Have passport, will travel the world permanently.

Have passport, will travel the world permanently.

I travel non stop and have not had a permanent home for several years. I live most of the year in hotels and visit more than 20 countries every year. This is how I finance it.

I work as a tour leader.

You know you are a tour leader when the cabin crew knows your first name and says "welcome back".

You know you are a tour leader when the cabin crew knows your first name and says “welcome back”.

Right now, the majority of my income comes from taking tour groups around the world. I mostly work with specialized groups that are fairly high end and require a lot of personal service and I do this because it pays better as it requires you to know what you are doing when a client has paid 2-3000€ for a holiday.

This is not a job you just walk in to, but the main requirement in order to get this job is to have a lot of travel experience and travel knowledge, so it’s a job that really appeals to people who love vagabonding. You might have to start working as a rep before getting these jobs, but if you seriously want to travel the world for your whole life like I do, then working as a rep for one or two seasons is not too bad, if you can move on to the better paid tour leader jobs after that and as a rep you still make enough money to have a good life while traveling the world. Just for information, I usually make around 150-200€ per day when I work as a tour leader and they pay all expenses for me too, which means I can save almost everything up for some “real travel” once I am done working.

I have decided not to work just for one company and have a contract, cause then they will start to dictate when I work and when I holiday and I prefer to be king of my own life even if this means having a less secure job situation.

 

And I get most of my jobs by networking with travel agencies at travel fairs.

Socialising and networking with friends in Los Angeles.

Socializing and networking with friends in Los Angeles.

I’m no great believer in sending out cv’s cause then you are quite likely never to be considered, cause the travel agencies get so many cv’s send that they don’t read them all.

It’s better to get out there in person and tell them why YOU should be their tour leader.

Travel fairs are held all over the world in major cities, so try and look up the one closest to you if tour leading is what you want to do.

You might also want to check out my blog post where I talk about the pros and cons of being a tour leader.

www.travellingclaus.com/what-is-it-like-to-be-a-tour-leader/

 

I work as a public speaker.

Time to talk about Mexico.

Time to talk about Mexico.

Being a public speaker is something that pays you nothing in some countries and quite a bit in other countries. In my native Denmark it’s quite well paid and getting 4 to 600€ for 2 hours of talking about some subject is quite common. I have a few jobs a year doing that at the moment, but it’s just a side income for me. But this is a field that I will move further in to in the coming months. I have been saying no to a lot of these jobs in recent years cause i have been too busy tour leading, but i think I will start to prioritize these jobs more.

 

I make money from my travel knowledge.

My home fits in to these two bags.

My home fits in to these two bags.

Once you have traveled for a few years and build up some good contacts you can start earning money from that. This is a bit tricky as many travel agencies think that you will just pass on your knowledge for free if they give you one or two tour leader jobs a year. They will totally pretend that they never heard the word “consulting fee” but this is where you have to stand you ground and tell them to pay if they want your help.

 

So how do you get started if you are young and have not traveled the world yet?

Get out there, the world is a party.

Get out there, the world is a party.

If you are young then you need to be ready to take some of the not so well paid jobs in tourism for a start as this is the way you build up your credit. Trust me guys, I have done plenty of jobs where all the payment I got was free food and accommodation and that sucked at the time I did it, but life was not bad as I was traveling the world and meeting girls from around the world and sleeping on exotic beaches with them and that is worth so much more than money and career when you are young.

I am 45 years old and have been living out of my backpack since i was 19 and plan to continue doing so for as long as I can hold a cold beer and a hot girl in my hand.

If you have any questions about working your way around the world then you are welcome to write me and i will do my best to advice you if I can.

Claus.

This is how you dry your socks when you live in a hotel room.

This is how you dry your socks when you live in a hotel room.

28 Comments

  1. Great Blog and good tips! Many thank’s for sharing your experience and showing that a life of travel it is possible and happy! Safe travels!

  2. Inspiring!! I hope I could travel more like you too in my youth, but 3rd world passport and currencies gap are really the big obstacle of my dream :/

    Anyway, I love Frida Kahlo Paintings as your background in Mexico..

  3. Dang…I came across this totally random and I read it until the end because I wish with all my heart to do the same. Untill Now I traveled in couple of country but most of the time I had summer jobs in Greece. I wish to find some guidance from someone like you, Claus.

  4. Johana Méndez

    I love your blog! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Your life is my dream! I would love to you to give more tips to do the same. Have fun and hope to hear from you soon, xoxo Johana

    • Thank you for your nice comment Johana.
      I will keep updating my blog every week.
      Hope that get to do lot’s of traveling too and hope to see you out on the road one day.

  5. Nice blog. Although we have a (very small) home again in Berlin, we travel most time of the year – either for guidebook research, as tour guides (off to Japan in a few days for cherry blossom tours) or, as often as we manage, for fun and with little work. Many happy travels!

  6. Hi Claus, over 5 years since your birthday in Madrid! Enjoyed reading your blog. I have had a chance to observe you in action when you led the group for a while in the Cascais meet. You say you need to know what you are doing. I observed that when you work, you are serious about your business, and establish credibility by acting profesionally. The mixture about making this fun for other is an art – a tad more than just knowing your stuff. Great going Claus – and you play football to boot! 🙂

  7. Peder Pedersen

    Kære Claus Andersen !

    Jeg synes at have forstået, at du ved, hvor Lawrence Durrells hus på Nordcypern ligger ved Bellapais.

    Jeg var i Kyrenia 7 dage i maj sidste år med “Turistrejser” og tager afsted igen sidst i maj med.
    På en uge når man ikke alt. Således nåede jeg ikke at finde/se Lawrence Durrells hus.

    Jeg vil være taknemmelig, hvis du kunne give mig en god anvisning på, hvor jeg finder huset.

    Da jeg var der sidste år, var det 45 år siden, jeg have gjort dansk FN tjeneste i Nicosia i 6 måneder. Og det var godt.

    Gode hilsner
    Peder Pedersen
    Egtved

    For nogle år siden fik jeg fantastisk hjælp af gode folk via Virtualtourist til at finde den eneste kirke i verden, hvor Marc Chagall har lavet samtlige blyindfattede ruder – Tudeley syd for London. Denne sommer skal min drøm opfyldes sammen med min yngste datter.

    • Hej Peder.
      Jeg ved desværre ikke hvor hans hus er.
      Jeg har været på Nord Cypern og cyklet rundt der, men jeg har ikke besøgt hans hus, så jeg kan desværre ikke hjælpe denne gang.

  8. This is one of the best blog posts l have read recently. I appreciate you actually saying what you do, and putting out the figures. I hate it when people dance around it..like..you to can make it, just buy my book and l will show you etc..etc.. Thanks a lot!

  9. I was a tour guide in Europe after I finished my Bachelor’s degree and loved it. I’m not looking for more jobs like that out in Asia. It’s such a great way to continue traveling, and save some money! Really cool life you got! : )

  10. Awesome article! I’d never thought of leading tours in that way but now I will look into it! I’m currently working in your native land 🙂 being a free walking tour guide in copenhagen while saving up for my next big adventure!

    • Hi’ Maria.
      I think I might have seen you standing with a sign on the main square in Copenhagen, waiting for your people to arrive.
      I am in Copenhagen too at the moment and will be attending a couchsufer event tonight at Cafe Globen in central Copenhagen. Pop by and say hello if you like.

  11. very inspiring Claus! I’d love to travel the world like you do. How do you fit all of your belongings in two bags? What do you think is the most challenging part of travelling? Keep up the good work and safe travels. ?

    • Hi’ Imran.
      I don’t really need more stuff than what I can fit in to two bags.
      2 sets of clothes and my laptop and a few other things is all I need.
      It’s hard to say what the hardest thing is, but for me it was actually making the desicion to do it in the first place when I was 18 years old. After that, things have been fine. Not always easy, but I like a challenge.

  12. Hey claus,
    thanks for the blog is great. I have a few questions to ask you is there a way we can get in contact in real time? like skype?

    thank you and best,
    Diego.

    • If you click on “contact” right above the blog post then you can mail me from there and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

  13. You probably should choose cheaper countries to travel no?

    • I do that very much Deniz. I try to earn my money in countries and for companies where I am well paid and then go and spend them in countries that are cheap. This way I can travel more and work less. But sometimes, it’s more prctical to stay in Europe if it’s just a matter of a few weeks of traveling.

  14. Greetings from Heritage Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd. and Heritage Trekking Pvt. Ltd.

    It is very nice to know about your travel experience. We are Nepal based travel agency with experience of almost 4 decades. We operate inbound packages in Nepal, Lhasa, Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling. We are recognized for various achievements including pioneer in sending first ever group to Lhasa in 1981, Kailash Manasarovar in 1987 and Upper Mustang in 1992.

    We are member of national and international associations.

    If you ever plan to bring your group to above mentioned destinations, please let us know. We can provide you all the services with our experienced human resource and strongest network.

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  15. Chandler Vailliantheart

    Ah. Nice blog, sir. Um, do keep me in mind because I might have to consult your advice to get started in the future. I promised myself that this is the year I finally break the spell of the typical. I’m glad I found your blog. Expect to hear from me in the future, be it years from now or a few weeks from now. I hope you’re willing to give advice then.

  16. Interesting. This is one way of making money out of your passion. I know couple of people who do this too as travel bloggers: one travels and reviews exotic nature locations, the other gets sponsored trips to tourist spots in Japan and other parts of Asia.

  17. Hi Claus! I’m an aspiring traveller. There are many like me here in India. You should do a session for people like me. I can arrange it. Let me know if you’re planning to visit Mumbai.
    Best
    Mansi

    • I would absolutely love to do that Mansi. Let us stay in touch and see if I can make it to Mumbai some time in the near future. Right now I am in India, but cycling from Delhi to Kolkata. But I plan to return to India to other parts of the country, including Mumbai.

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