5 Certificate Courses You Can Take To Finance A Li...

5 Certificate Courses You Can Take To Finance A Life of Travel

Most of us are scared to leave everything behind and live a life of travel. Humans are designed to overthink, most especially about the future. The what ifs and the buts are part of the planning system and more often than not, you can never come to a conclusion on how you will finance your long-term travel.

It’s scary. I knew someone who left his job, sold everything he had, traveled the world and ended up going back home because it didn’t work. In most cases, I believe that it’s on us to make our life of travel work. Traveling long-term is beautiful and you have to believe me when I say that everything’s up to you. To be able to eradicate those bad feelings about leaving home to travel the world, I’ve listed five (5) short courses you can take before the big flight.

Uncertainty and being the poorest of the poor happened to me too but I didn’t do all these before leaving home. I just discovered it along the way but to give you less doubts and fears, you can do all these beforehand. Here are 5 certificate courses you can take to finance a life of travel.



Meet Oscar. One of my students in Quito, Ecuador.

You can actually do this online, when you already hit the road. However, there are some people who prefer to do it in the field aka language centres. I’ve taught English mostly in South America and it’s something that works well for me because I can quit it whenever I want. I only stay in one country for three months maximum (except for Argentina, Brasil and Peru because I totally loved it) and teaching English gave me the flexibility to earn money and travel at the same time. If you are about to backpack Southeast Asia, this is your best option. The demand for English teachers in Asia are increasing every year compared to the rest of the world.

TEFL stands for Teaching English As A Foreign Language. It is the foundation/first course in teaching English abroad. If you want to develop your career as an English teacher, further studies/certificate courses are recommended:

  1. CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) – This is for new teachers or people teaching without a formal teaching qualification. It can be full/part time or face-to-face/online with teaching practice.
  2. YL Extension to CELTA ( Young Learner Extension to CELTA) is a developing phase and is highly recommended to people with CELTA who wants to teach children and teenagers. It is better to take this course in the field than online.
  3. TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) is a foundation/developing course and is for new teachers who want to develop their confidence and improve their job prospects. This includes exams with a flexible and modular format.
  4. CELT – P (Certificate in English Language Teaching – Primary) is a foundation/developing course that is recommended to teachers who want to teach in schools/universities, particularly working in primary schools (ages 4-11 years). It can be done online, modular with optional face-to-face elements. This course is assessed through an exam and teaching practice.
  5. CELT – S (Certificate in English Language Teaching – Secondary) is a foundation/developing course like CELT – P but for teachers who want to work in secondary schools, ages 12-19 years.
  6. ICELT (In-service Certificate in English Language Teaching) is a developing/proficient course for existing teachers who want to develop their teaching knowledge or refresh their skills. This is done with a face-to-face course with teaching practice and distance learning support.
  7. DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a proficient/expert course for experienced teachers looking to update their teaching knowledge and improve their practice. It is a flexible modular format combining coursework and exams with distance learning support, local tutoring and assessed teaching practice.
  8. IDLTM (International Diploma in Language Teaching Management) is a proficient/expert course for experienced teachers looking to move into management. It is a face-to-face introductory course, followed by flexible distance learning.
  9. Certificate in EMI Skills (English as a Medium of Instruction) is a proficient/expert course for academic staff working in higher education whose first language is not English, but who have to deliver their course subjects in English through lectures and seminars. It combines online learning with optional face-to-face tutor-led sessions.
  10. Train the Trainer is a proficient/expert course for experienced teachers who are going to train teachers for CELT-P, CELT-S and TEFL courses. It is a combination of face-to-face and online learning.

Okay, I think that was too heavy. I was thinking of developing my career as an English teacher that’s why I wanted to share to you the different courses (just in case you want to do it too.) However, bear in mind that if you only want to sustain your travels, a TEFL certificate will be enough. Of course, if you want to score bigger job opportunities, you can take other courses that will suit you.

Interested to network with other teachers? Join our Facebook groups in Asia and Latin America!


2. Diving

Diving in Coron, Philippines.

Maybe you’re not the English teaching type. Maybe you’re that sporty dude who seeks adventures and finds pleasure through water sports. Then this course is for you! There are a lot of diver-level courses and in order for you to be a dive instructor, you have to go through all the basics. I did my PADI in the Philippines gazillion years ago and now I am planning to do my teaching license in Honduras.

TIP: The Philippines and Honduras are the cheapest countries to take your diving course(s).

Here are the levels/courses you can take if you want to pursue a career in diving while traveling the world:







Imagine traveling to the best dive spots in the world and doing this for a living — can you see it? Who knows, you might even build your own dive shop/school in a country of your choice!


3. Massage


Source: Richdales

Maybe you are blessed with therapeutic hands and massage is something you’re good at. I wish I can do it too but I have tiny hands and as a part of my yoga/meditation practice, I am not fit to receive heavy energies from other people.

This might not work if you are planning to backpack in Asia because massage is popular all over the continent however, you can take your teaching course in Thailand! Extensive courses are available for people who want to pursue a career in the massage industry and let me tell you that in continents Latin America and Europe (where massage is not too popular), pay can be really really good.


4. Yoga


Probably my favourite! Though I have freelanced in Colombia as a yoga instructor, I have not taken an extensive course to be able to teach yoga professionally. If you are a beach person like me, yoga jobs are easy to find now that it’s becoming more popular all over the world.

Should you want a professional accreditation, these are the four main yoga teacher associations you can chooses from:

  1. The British Wheel of Yoga
  2. Alliance UK
  3. Yoga Alliance International
  4. Independent Yoga Network

Countries like India offer a good teaching training program too. Additionally, yoga is in demand everywhere so there is no particular country/itinerary for you to target your long-term travel endeavour. It can be anywhere!


5. Cruise Ship


Now this is the perfect description of “get paid to travel the world.” Maybe working on a luxury cruise ship is your dream job? If yes, this one is for you! If you do not have an experience in the Hospitality Industry (aka never studied tourism), you need a certificate course to be able to join the Cruise Ship world. It can be done online or face-to-face and the companies you’ll enroll to will also help you score a job! I enrolled here before and backed out the last minute because one of my best friends got pregnant and I could never see her child if I go on a cruise. Plus, I will be forced to change continents so I didn’t push through. Here are some of the basic modules you will have to deal with when doing your cruise ship certificate course:

  1. Introduction to the Industry
  2. Cruise Ship Types
  3. Cruise Line Profiles
  4. The Passenger
  5. Cruise Geography
  6. Ports of Call
  7. Nautical Times & Time Zones
  8. Cruise Terminology
  9. Hierarchy of a Cruise Ship
  10. Master Rules & Regulations
  11. Living Onboard
  12. Working Onboard
  13. Customer Service at Sea
  14. Health & Safety Onboard
  15. Safety & Emergency Equipment
  16. Procedures & Drills
  17. Security & Port Authorities
  18. Essential Skills at Sea

Additionally, cruise ship job varies: you can be assigned in the kitchen, front desk, casino, service, etc — depending on your skills/choices.

I was thinking on how to close this article with an impact and I realised: one day, when my future childe decides to travel the world, I will never ever force him/her to go to University and study something she doesn’t like (plus drain my finances). I will suggest these career options instead.

If you are still uncertain about leaving everything behind to travel the world, these courses will definitely lighten the load of your unending train of thoughts. Finally, consider logistics as these courses will involve a lot of money but I’d like you do consider it as an investment.

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Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. Trisha also loves extremely spicy food, pineapples, plants and symmetry. In no particular order, her favourite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Follow her life adventures on Instagram: @psimonmyway

  1. Janice

    29 March

    Hi Trisha!
    I’m Janice, nice for short. I recently following and reading your blogs, and I really like it. I’ll definitely consider 1 or more courses that you recommended. I’m currently planning and preparing myself to travel for long-term as well, and hopefully I can write my journey and inspire others too. I’m a big fan of yours! 🙂

    • Hey Janice! Thank you for the kind words and for saying the most beautiful words, particularly the preparing-yourself-for-long-term-travel part. I’m ecstatic to hear more and more people are doing this! Please, by all means, write about your journey and may it end up really really beautiful. I can see the writer in you so don’t give up those gorgeous dreams!

  2. Ara

    29 March

    This is so informative, Trisha! Thank you for being so inspirational and informative at the same time! We appreciate it! 🙂

    • You are welcome, Ara. I find joy in sharing random things that cross my mind. 😉 Happy weekend!

  3. april

    29 March

    hi trisha. i have been following your blog for quite some time now. i have to say this article is what i have been waiting for. thanks so much this would be very helpful. i hope to live a life that you do someday soon.

    • April,

      Feel free to e-mail me at trishavelarmino[at]gmail[dot]com if you have more questions. May the force be with you. 🙂

  4. Marieta Aquino

    29 March

    Hi trisha..still remember me?..i am inspired by you..being able to survived your life abroad..and take note thay you’re enjoying your life..nakakainggit k..better say nakainspire day magagawa ko din yan..being able to travel the world..isan yan sa ulitimate dream ko..continue to live ur life to the fullest gurl!..(forgive me if there will be grammar error)..

    • Hey Marieta,

      Of course, I do remember you! I will never forget people from my high school! Thank you so much for reading and you don’t have to be sorry about the grammar. There are no right or wrong thoughts. They’re just thoughts. Again, thank you!

  5. Andrea Roa

    29 March

    I love the post, the information and everything! Thanks for sharing all your valuable travel knowledge with us 🙂

    • Glad to help, hermana! Have a nice time in China and I hope to see you really soon!

  6. This is a useful compilation, Trish! 😀 Will share x

    • Thank you Mica! Are you planning to take one of the courses anytime soon? Let me know! 🙂

  7. kim cataquiz

    31 March

    Sounds like me! LOL
    My dream job is to get paid to travel the world, and still dreaming about it since my first love is cuisine and i want to work in a cruise ship.
    With enough savings as a researcher-writer in a government office, I shall take formal trainings in culinary arts/cookery and get certificates.
    Currently, I have a PHL Teacher’s License and planning to take TEFL certificate soon using the 2monkeys 40% discount at MyTEFL (once i have enough time to focus in order to pass the assessment exams).
    Also, I’m getting a certificate after two more dives in Puerto Galera hopefully this April.

  8. Denis

    6 April

    Hello Trisha,
    very useful and somehow even inspiring article.
    I have one practical question. Not only you, but majority of travel bloggers said that they cover their living/traveling expenses by finding a job in designated countries. How you regulate working visa? I am excluding holiday working visa. Because for most of jobs, like waiters and all kind of instructors, seem that companies wouldn’t go thru whole procedure and expenses to hire a foreigner.
    Thanks in advance.

  9. Bernadette

    8 April

    Hi Trisha,
    I came across your page couple of days ago, I must say you earned another follower here.

  10. RObe

    8 April

    Trisha! Hello there! I have been thinking of quitting my job and travel like you by sustaining it with English Teaching. However, I’m only a high school graduate. So having these tips of yours are very helpful!

  11. Raffy Castillo

    24 April

    Hi! I got really interested in your article. I tried researching online about TEFL but got information overload. Any reputable website, school or institution you can point me to so I can start on my certification? Thank you very much.

  12. Love that post. Diving & yoga are definitely on my list!

  13. Belgrade Liberace

    7 May

    I am so thankful that i came across Rappler’s post about you and your blog. I feel like i really needed this because this is exactly where i am: figuring my life out and what i really wanna do with my future. Thank you for this, this might just change and turn my life around! ❤️

  14. Estan

    27 June

    Been thinking lately of getting skills to untie me from my base. With a teaching background, (I teach Photography), TEFL seems to be an interesting option for a start.

  15. Kaveri Mayra

    19 July

    Hi Trisha,

    I love your blogs. You are an inspiration for girls like me who like travelling so much and need tips to be able to afford it. From this one, I pick Massage, Yoga and English (in no particular order). Keep writing.


  16. Jia

    26 August

    Wow, thank you for sharing this, I travel the world and i was actually wondering today (yes, exactly today) what are the best courses to take while traveling!

  17. UniversityInCebu

    10 September

    Hi Trisha,

    Great post and the information is very helpful, the ideas and the courses are wonderful. Cruise Ship is indeed a good way to travel while being paid. Thank you for sharing this information, I’ll be waiting for another post.

  18. Hi Trisha! These are all wonderful certificates to have for working abroad and extending your travels! Before we moved to Asia in 2011 my partner and I got TESOL and TOEFL certified, and have easily found teaching jobs to fund our travels ever since. I think it’s important to note that in most (not all) places in Asia schools require a bachelors degree as well as a TEFL or similar certificate. Having your TEFL definitely gives you an edge over the competition though!

  19. Carol Colborn

    27 September

    I have taught English as a Foreign Language in America! It is entirely possible! Thanks.

  20. mar

    27 September

    great list, you really are an expert in TEFL! 🙂

  21. Kathrin

    27 September

    The TEFL sounds like a great way to earn money on the road. I think I would love to do it, but I’m actually not sure if you can take the TEFL as a non-native speaker? I’m always on the look-out for working opportunities to finance my travels, it’s actually quite hard right now for me to afford travelling. So thank you for the ideas!

  22. Claudia

    27 September

    Yoga is so not for me. Or massage. Unless I am the one being massaged. TEFL is actually a good one as it can be used all over the world. Thanks for this post 🙂

  23. Alice Teacake

    27 September

    I definitely recommend the CELTA course! I’ve funded my travels in Asia for 5 years this way. Massage is definitely another good option though. I met many people taking courses in Chiang Mai, Thailand and the pay back home would be very good if you’re a traveller who wants to head back at some point 🙂

  24. Meg Jerrard

    27 September

    This is a fantastic guide Trisha, because all people really need to do is think outside the box! There are so many different opportunities and careers which will allow you to pick up work while you’re on the road – I know a friend who is a diving instructor and they pick up work all over the world because there’s so much demand.

    Great guide!

  25. This is the second article today that I have read which mentioned teaching English as a way to earn money and travel. Perhaps its a sign?! I imagine you have to be quite a patient person to do this though.

  26. Sophie

    28 September

    Great post – I would never have thought of taking a massage course! I took a TEFL four years ago and I spent two years teaching English in a school in Xi’an and I can’t recommend it enough. One of the best experiences. Not only does it pay well but it’s also a big confidence booster and helps you enhance your Chinese skills very quickly!

  27. Cory

    21 October

    Great post. A tefl cert is definitely on my agenda, but a diving instructor is an idea I never thought of. Are there a lot of freelance tyoe jobs available for that or would you need to set up shop somewhere for a while?

  28. Will

    9 November

    Thanks for this information Trisha! Sandy and I are currently using to travel europe whilst working for our food and accommodation to make our savings go as far as possible. This is super helpful though and we are wanting to gain qualifications to work on a cruise ship, sounds epic! Keep it up (Y)

  29. ming

    18 January

    Hi Trisha, what specific course did you enrolled for cruise ship? And where? I prefer online po. Hope you can help me. Thank you so much. Love from Philippines

  30. Rose

    17 February

    hello trisha, first off, thanks for this very informative post! ^_^ based on your experience in teaching English in South America, do they require that you have a bachelor’s degree? I’m not a college graduate. so i’m.not sure if after i take Tefl courses, i will get job just with it.

  31. Honey

    29 June

    Hi! Im a preschool teacher in the Philippines. I’m wondering if you know any company or agencies offering CELTA courses locally. I’ve been looking and I have not gotten anywhere… Any advice would be great!

  32. Chris

    5 November

    You broke the routine in bringing information about a job which is somewhat like giving self realizations..

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