Work and Travel in North America


North America makes up some of the richest countries in the world and some of the poorest. Making up the mainland, along with what’s known as Central America and the Caribbean, this continent is a traveller’s dream. Whether you want to visit the sprawling metropolises of New York and Mexico City or laze around on a beach in the Bahamas, there’s something for you here.

Volunteering in North America will let you stay for longer, test your limits, and show others what you are capable of achieving. If the travel guides of North America are already convincing you to hop on a flight, take a look at some of the incredible volunteering opportunities on offer (

Do you have what it takes to tackle North America?

1. Work in North American Hostels

North American hostels aren’t as abundant as they are in Europe, particularly in the Caribbean and in the United States. However, everywhere else you’ll find it easy to find a position in a hostel. The work may or may not pay. It depends on the country, the city, and the hostel itself. But you can always expect at least a free bed.

Since North American hostels are some of the most expensive in the world, it makes good financial sense to take on one of these roles.

2. Volunteer as a Dive Instructor

So many people from all over the world come to North America to learn how to dive. The courses are not intensive and it’s relatively easy to become qualified. If you already have a dive certification, you can volunteer and begin helping out with teaching others how to dive.

There are a lot of spots in and around the Caribbean for this sort of work. However, if you’re looking to work and travel in a cheaper area you should head to Central America. Guatemala is a particular favourite of backpackers looking to dive.

3. Teach English in North America

It’s easy to forget that only the United States, Canada, and some smaller Caribbean islands have English as their native language. The rest of the continent speaks mainly Spanish. That’s why if you want to work and travel in North America you should look into teaching English.

Travel in North America and you can find English teaching work in a range of places. Mexico City, for example, is a main hub for teaching English in North America.

Depending on where you want to work, you may only need to be a native English speaker. But it’s always better to have a formal qualification, such as the TEFL. This will enable you to acquire work in formal educational settings.

Furthermore, a working knowledge of Spanish will allow you to begin teaching English from scratch, which provides you with more options for work.


Nicaragua offers a simple visa regime. Citizens of North America, the European Union (EU), the UK, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and South Africa are free to enter the country for 90 days without acquiring a visa in advance (

We should mention that the CA-4 Agreement between four Central American countries still exists here. It works much like the Schengen Zone in Europe in that you can cross the borders of these countries without additional checks when you enter one (

However, this agreement only applies to land-based border crossings. Air crossings work the same way as before and you’ll get a new stamp every time you enter a new CA-4 country through an airport.

Chinese and Indian citizens will still need to apply for a Nicaraguan visa before they travel (



What kinds of work are available in the spring time in North America. Remember to keep work that is all year round in the section above and not mention it again here.


Work that is needed by hosts in the summer in North America


What kinds of work are there in North America in autumn? Maybe it's harvest time, but do people need the help of foreigners for either cheap labour or expertise? This is the kind of thing we need to know here.


Skiing in North America - does it exist? Are there plenty of opportunities for people to get work in North America in the winter? What kind of skills are needed at this time of year? Please update this section and let fellow travellers know what you have learned if you have worked in North America in the winter or if you are a host and live here and can share your knowledge.


As this section is covering the whole continent of North America, one has to generalise, but, in general, what is the attitude? Are we all rich idiot tourists and if so, why on earth would we want to do some work? Or are we seen as western supremacists and viewed with suspicion? Let us know your thoughts and update them here.

Recent Contributors

  • Edited on Mar 12 2019 by
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If you have worked in North America or live here. Instead of saying `That information is not right` Please sign up to Working Traveller by clicking here and update this page with your opinions on the subject and your views on what the barter points should be. If your a host, you will have a SEO link added to the page directly to your own web site so viewers can see who provided the information. If you are a traveller it will link to your profile.

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