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Imagine the freedom…
Exploring country after country on your own schedule, for as long as you want, with the person you love.
Since you’re working along the way, you don’t worry about your savings account tanking. Heck, you don’t even pay for accommodation!
Sounds like the dream, right?
It is. And it’s not as farfetched as it seems.
So how can couples work abroad AND score a free place to stay?
Come, my friend. Let me show you the best travel jobs for couples abroad with accommodation.
Table of Contents
Best Travel Jobs for Couples Abroad with Accommodation
If you and your partner are wondering how couples can work abroad, look no further. Choose whichever idea looks most interesting to you. Or better yet, try them all.
This list of travel-friendly job ideas is just the tip of the iceberg. For even more ideas, check out the internet’s most humungous list of jobs for travelers.
Perhaps one of the best travel jobs for couples abroad with accommodation is housesitting.
What if you were able to stay for free in a fully furnished (and potentially luxurious) home — complete with wifi, cable, a kitchen, and everything you need to live comfortably abroad?
In exchange, all you have to do is look after someone’s house and pets while they’re away.
Housesitting is an awesome way for couples to score free accommodation abroad because it can be super easy. That means you’ll have plenty of time to explore (or catch up on your digital nomad jobs).
It’s also flexible. You can opt for long- or short-term housesitting jobs, ranging from a few days to several months. Heck, even if you’re not traveling, it’s one of the best housing alternatives to live cheaply.
Some examples of common housesitting responsibilities can include:
✔️ Taking care of the house
✔️ Getting the mail
✔️ Watering plants
✔️ Feeding pets
✔️ Walking dogs and letting them out to use the bathroom
I even know of digital nomads who built their entire business while housesitting on tropical Caribbean islands. So if you’re looking for island jobs for couples with free accommodation, this could be your solution.
In most cases, there’s no pay involved. You look after the house and pet in exchange for free accommodation. If your responsibilities take an hour or so per day, this is a pretty great deal if it allows you to live in a house that would cost $100+/per night on Airbnb.
If the assignment requires more work than average, the host may offer a daily stipend in addition to accommodation. And if it’s a long-term arrangement and you win their trust, they may even give you free access to their car as well.
How to become a house sitter
The easiest way to find housesitting jobs is to sign up for a housesitting platform.
For more tips on landing your very first assignment, check out my full guide on housesitting jobs for beginners.
2. Au pair
Do you and your partner like kids?
If so, working as an au pair is an awesome option for you.
An au pair is someone who stays with a family (often abroad). They help with childcare and other household responsibilities in exchange for a place to stay, meals, a stipend, and the cultural experience of living with natives.
Some examples of responsibilities include:
✔️ Playing with kids
✔️ Driving kids to school
Your workday depends on what the family needs help with. You might be tasked with daytime work such as babysitting children too young for school while the parents are at work. Or they also might assign you the “evening shift” after school hours, where you help with supper, cleaning, or even homework.
Working as an au pair with your partner could be a wonderful way to spend your days together as a couple. You will either stay in a room in the family’s house, or they can set you up with accommodations elsewhere.
Keep in mind, while it’s possible to find au pair assignments for couples, there are relatively few opportunities. It’s usually a big family or one that has too much work for just one person.
If you do find a family that accepts couples, you may not be allowed to share the same room. Make sure you discuss all these details in your contract before you sign.
Au pair pay
The pay for an au pair is all over the board. It depends on where you are in the world, your responsibilities, and what the family is willing to pay for your services.
A rough ballpark would be $100 to $200 in “pocket money” per week, plus food and accommodation.
Here’s how it can vary from country to country:
200 – 250 AUD / week
330 CAD / week
195 USD minimum per week
80 – 85 GBP per week
70 EUR minimum per week
280 EUR per month
For a complete list of country pay ranges, check out this guide by Au Pair World.
How to find work as an au pair
Most au pairs find their work through au pair job sites.
You’ll usually have to create two separate profiles, one for you and one for your partner. In each of your applications, explain that you are looking for a couple-friendly position. For a higher success rate, start by searching for “au pair couple” jobs on each platform.
3. Hostel worker
If you and your partner are interested in hospitality, hostel work could be a fun way to score free accommodation — especially if you’re a social couple that loves to meet other travelers.
Most hostels are social by nature, so introverts beware. For a slightly more relaxed atmosphere, you may be able to score work in a guest house.
Some examples of responsibilities include:
✔️ Fixing things
✔️ Running social events
Hostel work pay
Most hostels offer you only free room and board. If you’re lucky, you may get free food and drinks as well.
If they paid you, you’d have to get a work visa. And that just complicates the situation. Most couples who work in hostels are volunteers. That said, if you find somewhere you’d like to work long-term, it may be possible to get a visa and start earning.
We met an English guy in Cambodia who fell in love with a party hostel while traveling. He started as a volunteer, then the owner ended up promoting him to bigger and better jobs. Now he runs an entire chain of luxury bungalow resorts across Cambodia!
How to get a job at a hostel
Start by searching on Worldpackers (use code UNTETHERED for discount), Helpx, or Workaway. And if you’re ever traveling and find a destination or hostel you especially like, ask if they could use an extra hand.
4. Cruise ship worker
Working on a cruise ship can be an absolute dream for perpetual wanderlusters — at least for those who have their sea legs.
Not only that, cruise companies like Carnival even have options for couples who want to work together as a team.
Most cruises allow you to share a cabin as a couple, but others might split you up. Make sure you get all the details ahead of time so you know exactly what to expect — you wouldn’t want to end up on entirely different cruise ships!
Cruise jobs come in all shapes and sizes. Some require experience (e.g., cruise medical staff, chef), while others don’t (e.g., entertainment team, waitstaff, bartending, cleaning).
Cruise job pay
Free accommodation, food, and possibly even free flights to and from the ship.
Pay varies based on your position. For most entry-level jobs, you’re looking at $1,400 to $3,000 per month. Earning $3000 a month or less may not sound like much for full-time work, but since your basic living expenses are covered, most of it goes straight into your pocket.
Your earnings also depend on your experience and how luxurious your cruise ship is.
How to find work on a cruise
Decide which cruise company you’d like to work for and the destinations you’d like to see. Make sure the company allows couples to work together, then apply on their website with a polished resume.
To find the best jobs possible and avoid common mistakes, check out this detailed guide by a cruise industry pro.
5. Ski chalet host
Looking for resort jobs for married couples?
Working at a ski resort may be just the job for you.
If you and your partner dream of snowy travel in the Alps or a ski town, then hosting a chalet could be your free ticket there.
A chalet is a lodge often found in ski resorts. Groups going on ski vacations rent chalets, and your job is to host them.
Your responsibilities as a chalet host are similar to jobs you’d find in a hotel:
✔️ Catering to the guests
If you choose a small chalet, you and your partner may host the entire place by yourself. In bigger chalets, you work in teams with other hosts and share responsibilities.
The best part?
In your free time, you can hit the slopes. This makes it one of the best adventure jobs for couples.
Just keep in mind that if you and your partner are hosting a chalet on your own, you won’t have anyone to cover for you. This might make it tricky to go exploring together as a couple.
Ski chalet pay
Don’t expect much. Rates vary, but expect around $100 to $200 per week. But keep in mind, you’re also getting free accommodation, meals, ski passes (maybe), and tips from guests.
How to become a chalet host
There are two ways to become a chalet host:
1️⃣ Apply to a company directly with a great resume. The best resumes for potential chalet hosts are those that have hospitality experience. If needed, you can take courses online to spruce up your resume.
2️⃣ Search for opportunities on job sites like VIP-Chalets, Ski World, and Neilson.
And for more details on working specifically in Canada, check out our guide on how to do a ski season in Canada.
6. International grape picker
Does it get more romantic than working and staying at a vineyard?
I think not.
Grape picking (or fruit picking of any kind) is a perfect travel job for married couples who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
If you both enjoy the outdoors and don’t want to spend your days cooped up inside, fruit picking is a unique opportunity.
Your job description is pretty much in the title — picking grapes. These grapes are then sent to winemakers. In fact, some grape picking jobs may even offer free wine.
Be warned, grape picking isn’t easy. And there will likely be some heavy lifting involved. At least you’ll be able to skip the gym!
It’s also a very social travel job. You and your partner will be picking fruit alongside plenty of other backpackers and travelers across the globe.
Fruit picking pay
Pay varies significantly depending on the country you’re working in and whether or not your job has accommodation. Since your goal is to find free accommodation, you might take a pay cut.
Don’t expect much more than minimum wage for the country you’re in. You won’t get rich, but it’s a unique way to experience a country and keep your travel fund topped up.
How to become a grape (or fruit) harvester
The two best options are:
1️⃣ Reach out directly to vineyards or farms and ask if they trade work for free (or reimbursed) accommodation.
2️⃣ Search sites like GumTree to find job listings.
Keep in mind, many countries require a work visa. The easiest way to get these is to choose countries with Working Holiday visa programs. And if you’re interested in Japan, check out this guide on how to find fruit picking jobs in Japan.
7. Teaching English
Are you and your partner native English speakers?
If so, you can make money from pretty much anywhere.
You can teach English online while traveling, or you can teach in person. One of the best countries to teach English is South Korea because they’re known for providing accommodation for their teachers. This makes it super easy to save money fast.
Plus, South Korea is famous for some awesome stuff, so it’s impossible to get bored.
Teaching English is a great way to see the world if your funds are limited. Teach by day, and explore on nights and weekends.
After you complete your contract, use your savings to travel for a few weeks (or months) until you start another contract. Rinse and repeat.
English teacher pay
Rates vary by country.
Your wage can range anywhere from just breaking even to thousands of dollars of savings per month. Some programs even cover your travel expenses to and from the country.
This free brochure has tons of great information about teaching in different countries.
How to become an English teacher
Choose a country. Check out the types of teaching jobs available in that country.
As most of these jobs require a TEFL certificate, make sure to take a TEFL course. Here is the one I took and loved (save $50 on tuition with coupon code: UNTETHERED). And here is a cheaper option, albeit less comprehensive.
Apply to the school directly, or work with a recruiter who can help place you in programs in different countries.
If you’re looking for location-independent jobs, you can also teach online (but you won’t get free accommodation unless you combine it with something else on this list).
Start by checking out platforms like iTalki and Cambly. Once you gain experience, shift into your own private freelance clients to increase your earning potential.
Volunteering is a great way to travel to a country you’ve been dying to explore, save money, and do some good in the world.
Your responsibilities as a volunteer are potentially endless.
You can work outdoor jobs such as farm work, planting trees, or even caring for animals. Or you might find yourself helping out in schools, food kitchens, or construction projects.
You could even volunteer digital services, like web design, in exchange for room and board.
It’s all just a matter of finding places that trade couple-friendly work for accommodation.
It probably goes without saying, but it’s just accommodations and meals for this one.
How to become a volunteer
One way to find volunteer work is through an agency. For example, Plan My Gap Year has opportunities in childcare, English teaching, wildlife conservation, and community projects in places such as Bali, Vietnam, Ghana, and Sri Lanka.
There are plenty of other organizations as well, just be careful to do your research. Some require an initial fee to join a program, which is fine, but make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Similar to hostel work, you can also use Worldpackers, Helpx, and Workaway to search for volunteer opportunities. Before signing up for anything, make sure to read this guide on how to stay safe on Workaway.
Lastly, there are endless stories of travelers who stumble across a hotel or restaurant that needs a website, photography, or some form of marketing help. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to offer your services. You never know who might be willing to give you a place to stay in exchange for your help.
Contrary to what many people think when they hear the word “caretaker”, it doesn’t always involve taking care of a person.
You can also care for buildings.
Caretaking responsibilities have quite the range:
✔️ Caring for the elderly, or anyone who needs special care
✔️ Pet sitting
✔️ House maintenance
For example, in Colombia, many families have “fincas” (like vacation homes or cottages up in the mountains). Fincas are a lot of work, and owners hire live-in caretakers and groundskeepers to hold down the fort.
Here’s an amazing finca we stayed at. Imagine getting paid to live here. In fact, if you are experienced with farming and growing fruits and vegetables, shoot us a message. The owner is looking for some help!
Some caretaking positions just earn you accommodation and meals. Others give you a stipend as well.
Any stipend will depend on your responsibilities and the cost of living in the country you’re traveling in.
How to become a caretaker
Search for caretaking websites that cover the region you’d like to stay in.
You may have some luck on Worldpackers, HelpX, and Workaway. You can also check out Working Couples, which caters specifically to couple-friendly positions.
Lastly, just ask around while traveling. The more people you talk to, the more opportunities you’ll find.
No, when I tell you to WWOOF, I don’t mean bark like a dog.
WWOOFing stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s a volunteer program in 120+ countries that helps connect volunteers with organic farmers. In exchange for your help on the farm, you live with a host family for free.
If you and your partner enjoy the outdoors and are looking for an immersive experience in a new land, put WWOOF at the top of your list.
Some examples of responsibilities can include:
✔️ Making compost
✔️ Sowing seeds
✔️ Cutting wood
It’s hard work, but oftentimes it’s only for a few hours each day. After that, you’re free to explore.
Free accommodation and meals.
How to become a WWOOFer
Head on over to the WWOOF website, choose a destination, and start reaching out to hosts
How can couples work abroad? (Recap)
As you can see, there are many ways to work abroad and score free accommodation as a couple.
It’s important to remember that if you want to actually get paid for the work you do abroad, you need some sort of work visa. Sure, you could work under the table, but I won’t recommend anything that could get you in trouble with the law.
That means most jobs fall on the volunteer side of the spectrum. Fortunately, these are usually pretty easy and don’t require much time commitment. This gives you and your lover more opportunities to explore (and do other stuff that lovers do).
If none of these options appeal to you, you could also become digital nomads, like me and my wife.
This lets you earn money while you travel, without the need for a work visa (unless you want to stay in a country longer term, in which case you can head to one of these awesome countries with freelance visas).
While you won’t score free accommodation with a digital nomad job, you can earn plenty of money to pay for it yourself. And if you don’t want to worry about planning your accommodation, you can even join organized digital nomad programs to take care of everything for you.
To get started, read my ultimate guide on how to become a digital nomad for beginners. It is literally the most comprehensive free guide on the internet (you’re welcome!).
Mitch is your typical nomadic backpacker. Or at least, he was. But after stopping in Colombia to take “one week” of salsa lessons, his life took a sharp left turn. He met a cute Colombian girl in dance class, fell in love, and got married. Over half a decade has passed since he left his career to travel the world as a digital nomad, and he’s never looked back.
Nowadays, he’s the blogger behind Project Untethered — where he runs an awesome email newsletter and Youtube channel teaching adventure-craved wanderlusters how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere, and build an “untethered life”.
His advice has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, Yahoo, MSN, Reader’s Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, and more.
Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Going Cheap Flights Newsletter - Get flight deals from your airport up to 90% off sent straight to your inbox.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).