Seasonal jobs have been a favourite with backpackers and nomads since forever. Fruit picking in Australia is a staple, so is the grape harvest in France. A friend altered me to her success with marijuana trimming in California now that the ‘drug’ is legalised in the state. *Disclaimer: this is NOT my advice, nor am I advocating for you to get into, try, or get involved in drugs.* I mention these options because there are tons of seasonal jobs all around the world that hire travellers. From bars in Barcelona to summer camp leaders in the USA.
If you are considering tackling the seasonal job market, consider your preference of seasons (do you want to bartend on the beach in Ibiza or the ski slopes in Switzerland, for example..), your existing skill-set and qualifications (perhaps you are a yoga instructor or a Divemaster which opens up a whole world of locations), and the places you want to visit. Then do your research about who hires in those places, what kind of people they are looking for, and how to ‘apply’, Keep in mind that sometimes ‘applying’ means walking up to the bar in Guatemala, speaking Spanish, and being liked by the owners.
A plus for seasonal employment is that you also end up meeting other travellers and expand your friend horizons no matter where you go.
Here are a few ideas for seasonal travel jobs:
- Summer camp instructor (USA)
- Harvest season field work (France / Spain / wine regions)
- Ski instructor (Europe / Canada / New Zealand)
- Bartender (anywhere!)
- Customer service (theme parks, zoos, tourist destinations)
- Yacht hand / steward (Mediterranean)
- Fruit picking (Australia)
- Tour guide (most touristic locations)
- High season reception / hotel help (hostels worldwide!)
Don’t let the lack of having a job lined up keep you from hitting the road. If you find somewhere and love it, you’ll often be able to find something that will pay you a few dollars. Especially if you are flexible and open to scrubbing a bar or cleaning skis every now and again.
From personal experience I have had some of the best times of my life doing this sort of work. I loved my time in customer service with a zoo in Australia, I still remember how to say “please don’t touch the koalas” in Mandarin-Chinese. I also adored being a tour guide, you meet people with such interesting stories and get to show them around a place you call home. I’ve never tried the classic fruit picking or grape harvest but even now the idea of working outdoors with a new, multi-national group of friends sounds like a blast.
If you’re wondering whether your desired destination has any type of seasonal work, Google is your best friend, or leave a comment and I’ll see if Travel Blogger Tales can help with your research.
Do you have a favourite seasonal job? Or a great vagabonding job story? Please tell me in the comments!