Travelling is undoubtedly fun – providing a heady mix of new cultures and new experiences. However, the pressures of constantly moving from place to place can take its toll – both mentally and financially. Taking a pause from the road gives tired travellers the opportunity to replenish cash reserves by finding some work. As an added bonus, those that choose the right type of work will find that they can quickly develop their language skills at the same time.
A traveller’s most valuable asset when it comes to finding a job may be their mother tongue. Those with good communication and interpersonal skills can find jobs simply speaking to students who want to practice their conversational skills. Those with a good grasp of the language of the country they’re visiting can find employment in schools, colleges, businesses and as private teachers. The best place to start is by contacting local language schools. Obtaining a qualification that enables, for example, travellers to teach French courses in France, is a good idea if teaching is something that appeals.
Seasonal farm work can be an interesting, if relatively low paid, way for travellers to experience the countryside. Organisations such as WWOOF link volunteers with organic farmers. In return for volunteer help, farmers provide students with food, accommodation and learning opportunities. There are WWOOF farm hosts around the world so travellers should choose one most suited to their learning objectives. For example – for those wanting to study German Germany is obviously the best place to be.
The busiest tourist destinations – mostly cities – are often in short supply of waiting staff. This can provide flexible work for sociable travellers and the chance to pick up some colourfully colloquial language. For those without the language ability to wait on tables, there are always vacancies for kitchen and cleaning staff at major hotels and restaurants. The work may be hard, but there is a strong camaraderie between employees, which usually extends into socialising outside of work. This is a good time to listen and learn.
Festivals are big business – good news indeed for the money-hungry traveller. In the UK alone, the number of music festivals has increased by 71 percent since 2003. Festival organisers need stewards for everything from enforcing health and safety legislation through to helping cars to park. There are therefore jobs available for travellers with all levels of language ability. The money may be negligible to non-existent, but the festival atmosphere ensures endless opportunity for engaging in conversation.