The Future of Travel: A Travelers Dream
It’s not so long ago that the opportunity to travel abroad was something that came around for only two or three weeks a year during annual vacation periods. Hard earned money was used to book into high-priced resorts or hotels, where you packed as much “relaxation” in before you went back to the daily grind. But things have changed dramatically, and as new generations head off backpacking around the world and “gap years” have become a right of passage, the tourism industry is being redefined. Not only have we become aware of our ability to give back while overseas, but many companies are actually encouraging their employees to spend time working abroad, while many countries are making working holidays more accessible.
Added to this is a revolution in the way we stay, with companies like Airbnb opening up the accommodation market to each and every individual. The budget needed to travel has dropped significantly as competition between airlines increases in the skies and the world has suddenly become a lot smaller than it used to be. In this digital age we are also being swamped with “lifehacks” as those in-the-know share their tips and tricks for alternative ways to travel and we’re all being inspired to look outside the box.
So if a two-week annual vacation is never going to satisfy your travel cravings and you’re considering work for travel, travel volunteer projects or an alternative way to stay, then read on for a glimpse into the future of travel.
Work for Travel and Remote Work
Gone are the days when you start a career at the end of school or university and are tied down until the freedom of retirement sets in. More and more people are deciding to spend their working years abroad, combining a bit of travel with the opportunity to continue earning, all whilst experiencing a completely new country and culture.
Business Travel Opportunities
Some are lucky enough to work for businesses which offer transfer positions for their staff to work abroad for a year or two, either in the same company or one with which they have a reciprocal agreement. But for those that don’t, there are plenty of organizations out there who take all the hard work out of finding employment and securing visas. You can do everything from a pub job in the UK to working at a ski resort in Canada, as well as jobs related directly to your industry of expertise.
Other countries, such as Australia, offer two-year working visas for those under 30 years of age. You need to do a minimum amount of work while you are there, with a vast range of jobs on offer, and can spend the remaining time (and cash) exploring the country. Countries like New Zealand also offer temporary work visas for those with skills considered “in demand” by the country, so it’s always worth checking the immigration website of the destination that interests you to see what their work visa situation is.
Due to the new digital age, some companies are completely distributed, meaning they don’t work from any office. This is an ideal situation for those wanting complete freedom to travel when and where they want. As long as you’re online, travel at will. Now that’s the future of travel!
One of the most rewarding ways to see the world is through volunteer travel – offering your services for free in exchange for a culturally immersive and insightful experience. Volunteering while on the road offers a completely different perspective on a destination, allowing you to dig beneath the tourist veneer to discover how life really is for the people living there. It’s a great way to learn new skills, new languages and make new friends, and it is usually looked upon quite favorably by future employers when they see it on your CV.
These days there is no shortage of travel volunteer opportunities on offer. From working on organic farms as a WWOOFer to assisting environmental research programs and building houses with community-oriented NGOs, the potential to give your time while traveling really is unlimited.
There are lots of travel volunteer opportunities out there that are either free or cost a small fee to sign up to, such as WorkAway, WWOOF and Help Exchange, as well as turtle hatchery projects and Peace Corps projects. Volunteer projects can stretch for as little time as a week, up to months if you are really keen! It’s also possible to set-up multiple volunteer placements in different destinations so you can jump between projects as you travel the globe.
Planned Volunteer Trips
But if you don’t want to plan everything yourself, then organizations like Build Abroad, International Volunteer HQ and Global Volunteers International all offer fantastic projects, with excellent reputations and guaranteed security. They will take all the hard work out of planning your volunteer placement, while at the same time carefully guiding you through all the unknowns of venturing overseas to a new destination.
The Sharing Economy
In recent years there has been a transformation slowly taking place in the travel industry, led by the emergence of Airbnb. Now any individual can rent out their home or property as overnight accommodation for travelers, reducing the need to fork out high hotel costs and creating a more local experience.
It used to be that you had the option for cheap camping and hostels, mid-range motels or high-priced hotels when you went abroad. But today you can select from a whole range of different accommodation options, from a private room in someone’s home to a spacious modern villa, all on the one website. People rent out barns on their farms and teepees in their gardens, meaning that there is something to suit every style of traveler, no matter their budget. You are also engaging directly with local people and the personal touch of the sharing economy has really given it an edge.
Websites like WorkAway and WWOOF also tap into this, with free accommodation (and usually meals) offered in exchange for your hard work. It’s an ideal way to get hands-on experience in different areas and you just never know where that will lead you. The conventional education pathway of university study leading to a career is being challenged by the opportunities that these experiences offer and the life-altering aspects of travel reaffirmed.