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There are a lot of misconceptions out there about jobs that travel for work. Some people assume that you need to be an Instagram model in order to be paid to travel. Others assume that if you find a professional job that travels, you will never be home to see your family. There are so many rumors about being a road warrior, so here are 5 myths about jobs that require travel.
Myth #1: I need to be self-employed to travel for work.
When you search the Internet for jobs that require travel, most lists will be based around creative careers: travel blogger, photographer, web designer, etc. Many success stories you will read will feature people who are able to travel for work, because they work for themselves and have the ability to work wherever they want.
However, you do not need to be self-employed in order to be able to travel for work. There are many high paying, salaried careers that will allow you to travel while you still receive a regular paycheck and health benefits.
Myth #2: I’m going to see the world on my employer’s dime!
Just because you found a job that requires travel does not mean that you are going to get to see the world, and it also doesn’t mean your employer will pay you to see the world.
When you are traveling for work, typically your destinations will be limited to where your clients are located or where your company has offices. These locations are not always glamorous: my company has clients in the middle of Oklahoma and in the suburbs of North Carolina. You may not necessarily always travel to big cities. You also may not get to travel internationally, depending on your company’s presence.
While your employers will be paying for your plane ticket and food while you are traveling for work, if you choose to stay the weekend, you will be expected to pay for yourself. Having the plane ticket paid for certainly helps, but your entire personal trip won’t be completely expense free. If you choose not to take any personal time, be cautious – even if you are traveling to a new city, you will be busy during the day. Your time to see the place you’re traveling to will be limited.
Myth #3: If I’m traveling for work, I get to work on my own schedule.
Unless you are self-employed, even if you are traveling for work, your company will have expectations of when you are available. Your company may have a mobility policy that lets you work from abroad, but you may still be required to work East Coast hours. If you are in Spain, that might mean working from 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm at night. If you are in Bali, that’s 9:00 pm to 6:00 am.
Even if you are traveling to a cool new city, you may not get a lot of time for sight seeing. You will be expected to work your regular business hours, and many people find themselves working later than usual while on work trips. Between client visits and team dinners, you likely do not get a lot of free time to yourself.
Myth #4: I will never be home if I start traveling for work.
Many salaried jobs that require travel for work will still fly you home on the weekend. Even if your job requires 100% travel, that is an expectation that you travel Monday through Friday. The majority of the time,, you will still get your weekends in your home base. While this type of travel schedule does not work for everyone, you don’t need to expect that you will be on the road for months at a time.
Depending on your career, even if your job requires travel, that does not mean that you are traveling all the time. There are many varying levels of travel. Within consulting, the amount that you travel for work will be dependent on the project that you are currently staffed on. I have been staffed on projects where I travel Tuesday through Thursday for six months, and then staffed on projects where I work from home for two months.
Myth #5: There are no jobs that travel in my field.
Every career field will have jobs that travel, you just have to know where to look. You may not be traveling every month, but there are ways to incorporate travel into nearly any job.
If you like your current job but want to travel more for work, look into conferences or training opportunities that are out of town. You can likely get your job to sponsor a trip if you can bring back a benefit to the company.
Check out our list of 30 jobs that require traveling.
If you are researching jobs that require travel, look for jobs that have clients. Every field has consultants, who are hired by their clients to solve problems they are facing. Consultants are typically required to travel to wherever their clients are located. There are engineering consultants, financial consultants, healthcare consultants – roles are available to all types of backgrounds. Consider sales or account manager roles as well, where you may be required to travel to meet potential clients.
So where do I sign up for a job that travels?
There are many misconceptions about jobs that require travel, and traveling for work definitely is not for everyone. If you want to find a job that travels on a regular basis, look at job descriptions that talk about the percentage you will travel. If you only want a brief trip rather than constantly being on the road, look for conferences that you can attend. You don’t need to limit your traveling to your paid time off – try to find ways to have your employer pay for you to see the world.
Ready to travel for work? Check out these posts:
- How to Build a Business Travel Capsule Wardrobe
- The Ultimate Business Trip Packing List
- Is TSA Precheck worth it?