Cruise Your Way to Extra $$ and a Free Vacation

I’m an avid traveler who is always on the hunt for the next great adventure–at a fraction of the typical cost. No stranger to pinching my pennies in order to take a trip, I’ve honed a few strategies over the years that have allowed me to travel completely free of charge or at steep discounts. Recently, I’ve been researching how to take my efforts up to the next level and get paid to travel for free.

Get paid to travel for free?

In short, yes, it is possible to not only vacation for free, but to also earn money while on said vacation. If you’re looking for a relatively easy way to do so, working aboard a cruise ship might be the option for you.

Cruise Your Way to a Free Vacation–and Some Extra Money

The beauty of a cruise ship is that it’s a self-sufficient entity. Anything that is done on shore also needs to be done while on the boat. This means there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of jobs and gigs available on cruise ships. From bartending to housekeeping to teaching yoga classes, if you’re willing to work, securing jobs on a cruise ship is a great way to see the world while making money.

How to Get a Job on a Cruise Ship

If you’re interested in working on a cruise ship, you can search for jobs on each of the major carrier’s websites, or you can check out various sites such as,, and Considering that the cruise industry employs more than 350,000 people and paid out over 2 billion dollars in wages last year, there is a lot of money to be made while enjoying perks such as free meals, free excursions when not on the clock, free airline travel to/from port, and even steep discounts on future cruises for family and friends.

When researching one of the job sites mentioned above that aggregate the open positions for all carriers, make sure to read the fine print before creating a profile because there are some sites that charge minimal registration and membership fees.

Free Cruises for Non-Employees

If becoming a regular employee of a cruise line doesn’t interest you, there are still ways to travel for free and cash in on your experience. If you have expertise, skills or experience that can prove useful to the guests on a cruise line, you can be hired by the carrier’s entertainment department. Options include giving talks about the various destinations the ship will be visiting, conducting workshops, and even teaching guests how to cook or taste wine.

In this case, you won’t be a regular, salaried employee, but you will still receive the great benefits afforded to those people–and sometimes even better perks such as being able to bring a spouse or friend along for free. Requirements vary from carrier to carrier, but you can get started by contacting the cruise line’s entertainment department directly to see what opportunities currently exist.

Better yet, create your own media kit to “pitch” yourself and your idea and you could quickly find yourself cruising off into the sunset for free while making money on the side!

Good Luck, Penny Hoarders!