Traveling on the Cheap: Recruiters & Sites

Tour Directors in Quebec City

Tour Directors in Quebec City

A lot of people, young and old, have been bitten with the travel bug; I know, because I’m one of them. But what do you do when you know you want to go SOMEWHERE and do SOMETHING, but you have no idea where that place is, or what that thing is? Well, you do a little research. Having spent a lot of time browsing the internet for new adventures and fun opportunities for traveling, working abroad and volunteering overseas, I’ve come across a number of different sites that have been helpful in planning my own adventures.

Here are some great sites and resources that I’ve stumbled across to get you started on your own dreams of travel:


With Teach Away, you can work with a placement coordinator to find a job, which provides extra assurance about the job being applied for, or you can apply directly to different schools and learning institutions. If you want to work a job coordinator, be prepared to pay a fee; if this doesn’t sound like something you want to do, the job postings are all free to look at and apply to if you choose to go the no coordinator route. Jobs include places like: Abu Dhabi, China, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Taiwan, Qatar, Karachi, Ghana, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the UK and more. Jobs range from ESL instructors, to science teachers, to elementary school Principals.

Oman, Photo Cred: Jane Clark

Oman, Photo Cred: Jane Clark

International Teachers Plus:

This company’s head office is based in Kanata, Canada and focuses primarily on connecting teachers with jobs in the Middle East, so if this is not what you’re looking for, then this is not the site for you. However, if you’ve always dreamt of warm sands and camels, then take a gander.

ITS Academic:

ITS Academic is a good site if you’re looking for something that’s easy to navigate, with the information you need easily accessible. You can search by job title, grade level, or destination. This site is also goo because it provides you with a clear job distinction between ESL instructor job postings, and private school teaching positions for fully certified teachers, a distinction which isn’t always easy to find when you’re bogged down in internet searches.

Smart Teachers:

This website caters to teachers living both abroad and in the home country of the job position, but international applicants are welcomed. Smart Teachers posts job positions, and recruits, for both the UK and Australia.

Bomseo Summer Camp

Bomseo Summer Camp


International Schools Services (ISS):

ISS has worked for over 50 years to partner teachers with schools all over the world, including great positions in Europe and beyond. If you’re looking for a reputable company with a lot of connections, ISS is a great place to start looking.


If you want to teach in Korea, then EPIK is the company you need to look at. More recently, Korea has decided to hire fewer international teachers for their public school system; and, if you do want to teach in Korea, you have to apply through EPIK to be considered. Don’t let this deter you from applying; there are still many, many new teachers who come to Korea in the summer and winter, and an increasing number of teachers getting work at hagwons (private, after school academies) instead of with the pblic school system. If working at a hagwon is something you are interested in, you will have to do individual research because EPIK recruits only for the public school system.


Don’t feel like teaching abroad?

Why not take a GAP year or sabbatical from work, and volunteer? There are tons of companies and websites that will help you plan your volunteer “vacation”, and that will also help you plan around-the-world tickets for the least amount of money possible. Here are a few of the many sites that can help with this journey, just to get your started:

Photo Cred: Jane Clark

Petra, photo cred: Jane Clark

Gap Year:

Gap Year is a super comprehensive website that lets you search anything from work overseas, to volunteer opportunities abroad, to simply traveling the globe. Here, you can find information on world tickets, backpacker tours, flights, interrail tickets, money & fundraising, sightseeing tips, packing, etc. etc. Head to Gap Year for pretty much any information you need on getting out and away from home for a bit.

My Gap Year:

Not to be confused with the above site, “My Gap Year” is a Canada-based company that helps high school graduates plan structured gap years before they take the university plunge. If you’re uncertain about what you want to study in university, or whether going to university is the right choice for you, and you want to discover the world and who you are at the same time, “My Gap Year” is a great place to start.

Explorica Tour Directors

Explorica Tour Directors



A little closer to home for me, Explorica is an education-travel oriented company that provides educational trips for students across Canada, the United States, and further abroad. I worked as a Tour Director with Explorica for 2 years and can honestly say that it was one of the best jobs I have ever had; I got paid to travel and get kids excited about learning in a hands-on way. Worried that you’re too young or don’t have a lot of experience? Not to worry! Explorica’s Tour Directors are young, vibrant university students (for the most part), as long as you have the itch to roam and a passion for sharing what you know, this is a great opportunity for you to make money and spread your wings a little.


These are just SOME of the many, many websites and resources available for adventurers young, old, and in between. I hope that some of these sites are helpful, point you in the right direction, or simply help get you excited about globe trotting.

I encourage you to use these only as a starting point, and to let your searches take you where they will, you never know where a new opportunity for fun, travel and working vacations might be hiding! 



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