Katie AskewComment

Will Work for Travel

Katie AskewComment
Will Work for Travel

Traveling with no funds? Work it!

Traveling and getting paid at the same time isn’t a myth, trust me. I took this opportunity to nanny in Monaco as a way to feed my passion to see the world and work and  write at the same time.

I know you’re asking: How did I do it? While I worked in New York City after graduating college, I babysat on the side for some extra cash. One family I worked for is Italian and, in 2014, needed someone to accompany their kids on a trip to Italy because the parents couldn’t get three weeks’ time off from work. Obviously, I jumped at the chance and (luckily) my boss at Reader’s Digest was totally on board with my travels. This was my first experience as an international nanny and it opened the door for my current job, too. A family friend of the Italians lives here in Monaco and was looking specifically for an English-speaking nanny.

So, after I was laid off from my job in Denver, I immediately emailed the Italians in New York City asking if their friends in Monaco still needed a nanny and voila! Here I am. Because when else can I be 24 and jobless with the ability to go on this crazy, beautiful adventureAlthough I had to turn down exciting job opportunities in Colorado (talk about tough decisions) and spend time figuring out what to do with my apartment, the turmoil was worth it in the end. It took about months to narrow down the job, obtain visas, and purchase flights, but I’m grateful to be in the French Riviera during the best months of the year.


In Monaco, hiring a nanny or au pair is a popular way to teach children a different language through full-immersion. Although my job is a bit different than most nannies in this area because I work for multiple Italian families, whereas most nannies only work for one family. During the week, I watch three girls after school for one family, and I mostly spend the weekends with the second family. Sometimes it gets confusing, but the private tutoring and English lessons are my favorite part of the job. 

I highly recommend doing your research before diving out into the world of working and living abroad. So if kids aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways you can fund your travels around the world! Here are just a few options:

  • Au Pair World: Families all over the world look for English-speaking nannies and au pairs all the time. If babysitting intrigues you, all the details of international nanny jobs are on this site. Literally every nanny or au pair I know here in Monaco has gotten their job through this website; I’m the outlier.
  • WWOOF International: In exchange for room and board, you can volunteer to work on organic farms around the world and learn real skills from the farmers and ranchers who own the land.
  • Couch Surfing: Although Couch Surfing doesn’t exactly provide you with a job, it does provide the cheapest way to stay in another country and meet locals to show you around
  • Workaway: Workaway is by far the easiest way to travel lots of places inexpensively. Although you have to pay a registration fee for the site, you can scan through thousands of host families offering room and board in exchange for volunteer help in variety of settings: child care, housework, farming, language teaching, and so on. The possibilities are endless and you can stay with different hosts in the same country (or multiple countries!) for any amount of time you agree on. Plus, you only have to work 4 or 5 hours a day, leaving you plenty of time to explore the area around you.
  • HelpX: This site is similar to Workaway, but a little less-known. In exchange for food and a place to sleep, you can volunteer to work around the world on farms, ranches, hostels, B&Bs, and boats. As is with Workaway, you only work 4 or 5 hours daily, so get ready to explore in your free time.

And, of course, the mission trips, internships, public health education trips, and nature conservancy efforts you could volunteer for throughout the world are endless--it just takes some research to find the program that best fits your volunteer desire and travel destination.