For those of you who have heard “do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”, you have no doubt thought about a career in the travel industry.

Seeing the world (and earning your way around it) is a dream for many. With it being such an extensive and thriving industry, there are lots of entry points into securing your perfect career in the travel industry.

Many different sectors form part of the wider travel and tourism industry and all work on passion. Whether it’s for an activity, area or destination, displaying a passion and travel experience will go a long way. You may hear the (incorrect) suggestion that those who travel have sacrificed time in their career to do so. With travel, taking time out to explore and do what you love actually contributes to your experience.

It is also an industry that doesn’t need a formal background or experience. Sure, a degree in travel, tourism or hospitality will give you a head start. It’ll also give you a solid understanding of the fundamentals.

Yet it’s not the be-all and end-all.

Those who have travelled, explored, and contributed will arguably have the most valuable experience of the two. Working in travel is enabling others to live their own adventures. Your experiences will be the medium that makes them happen.

So if you want to be that person that uses your own passion for travel to encourage others to live their dreams, then below you can find 9 jobs that can secure you a career in the travel industry.


Flight attendant/airport staff

A flight attendant working on a plane.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

This high flying career has long been a favourite for travellers who want to see the world on their stopovers.

The task of keeping passengers safe and well is not an easy one. You’ll be needing a strong level of customer service and physical fitness.

Yet, if you do, you’ll be part of the jet-setting lifestyle, ticking off new cities weekly.


Tour guides

A tour guide in a tour bus looking through the window.
Photo by Sarthak Navjivan on Unsplash

Tour guides traverse across some of the world’s most spectacular environments and enjoy thrilling activities daily.

Catering for groups of varying size, tour guides help with the safety of the group, whilst also providing an exciting and insightful take on the trip.

From trips around historic sites to jaw-dropping natural environments, tour guides do have the best “office” in the world.

If you’re looking at becoming a tour guide, the first step is to kick off your research, as this article here shows you how.


Travel agents and tour operators

A group of cars on a tour across sand.
Photo by Sebastian Sammer on Unsplash

Travel agents and tour operator staff are the gatekeepers to adventure.

With their own experiences around the world, they create tailored packages and suggest journeys for the customer. Whether trips to the snow-tinged, desolate area of Patagonia or quad biking in the baking heat of the Saharan desert, travel agents and tour operators find ways to make these dreams to reality.

If this is for you, check out this UCAS on how to start your dream.


Activity providers

A woman scuba diving amongst the coral.
Photo by hallie heeg on Unsplash

You can find activity providers dotted all around the world, bringing fun activities to the public.

If you’ve ever been on holiday and you’ve been jet-skiing, had a surf lesson, or been scuba diving, then an activity provider has brought this to you.

If you have a passion for maybe watersports, then you can use this to get into that activity. Strong experience on the water as a hobby is the perfect entry point, which you can then back up with qualifications and actual roles.


Hospitality staff

A hospitality worker serving a drink.
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Whenever you travel, you need somewhere to rest up, eat and re-energise.

Hospitality superstars are the ones who make your trip as memorable as it is, without you even noticing. You can find these roles worldwide, including at resorts, cruise ships or other tourism customer service roles.

The small “good mornings”, or engaging conversation when serving you a drink, all contribute towards your opinion of a trip.

So much work happens without you even realising and this is why hospitality workers are sought after and provide another key pillar of the travel industry.


Cultural exchange placements

Summer camp staff singing to campers.
Photo by Kyle Smith on Unsplash

Cultural exchange placements are a fantastic way to take a deep delve into a new culture and work abroad.

Whether you’re looking at working at summer camp, au-pairing or even volunteering, these placements are available worldwide. Cultural exchange provides experience working worldwide, which can be a foothold in how you move forwards within the industry.

They tend to need less professional experience and place more emphasis on personal experience, passions and hobbies, meaning it can be an easy method to gain real-life experience.


Cultural exchange agencies

Staff singing at summer camp.
Photo by Kyle Smith on Unsplash

If you have been on a cultural exchange programme, it’s 99% certain that your first summer was through an agency, who helped your entire application.

From the first submission to handling your flight abroad, placement agencies have the know-how and experience in working abroad. They’re always looking for people who understand how the process works, so it’s easy to see how going on a cultural exchange programme can lead to more opportunities in the future.

If you’re looking for cultural exchange agencies, try Smaller Earth, who cover a wide range of different cultural exchange placements.


Tourism Boards and DMCs

A group of tourists at a vantage point for a picture.
Photo by Elizeu Dias on Unsplash

Both public and private sectors benefit from a strong tourism economy, and destination management companies (DMCs) and local tourism boards work towards this end goal.

This can include marketing materials, reaching out to partners and much more, so there is a broad range of job requirements within these teams.

If you have a specific skill set and have contributed to the local area you represent, you could have a great impact. Not just these companies, but in helping your local area thrive.


Travel blogger

A man staring out into the distance.
Credit: Etty Fidele, Unsplash.

Being a travel blogger or writer can be one of the easiest ways of gaining a career in the travel industry.

If you travel, all you need is a laptop, internet connection and reserves of creativity to get started. To become successful and earn a living through it is another matter altogether, though.

It does, however, contribute towards a portfolio and growing list of entries on your CV within travel.



The beauty of the travel industry is that it requires input from all areas of the professional world.

You can utilise your own background and experience to secure a career in the travel industry, and once you have, you’ll find that a lot of the professional experience you gain will be transferable if you ever move elsewhere.

If you use your love of travel, not only will you be in a job that you enjoy, but you’ll be in a job where your favourite moments will help facilitate others in generating their own.


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