Country #8 Australia, Work and Long Term Travel the Globe

Undiscovered Jobs Even You Could Snag as a Backpacker- Little Known Backpacker Jobs

I have probably read more posts about finding travel jobs than you’ve devoured hot dinners, because I’ve been Googling ‘how to live and work abroad‘ since the millennium.

Many of them are amazing, but many also don’t attempt to give any leads for how to actually grab the jobs, and few have unusual or little-known backpacker jobs, the ones that can help you avoid the hoardes of competition. That’s where I hope this post could help with some tips on finding work abroad!

1) Health Research
– Over a beer at a Meetup gathering last year I learnt of this little gem. The backpacker next to me was unusually flush with cash thanks to an in-patient research study he’d just taken part in. See what I mean by undiscovered jobs you could snag as a backpacker? Anyone could do that.

He’d pocketed $3000 for a few nights in a clinic being assessed.

Naturally, not everyone is willing to do this without hesitation- it depends very much on the type of testing. But with studies often non-invasive and backed up with strong health evidence, it’s worth considering as a little known backpacker job. Google ‘clinical studies + your location’ to get going or check out clinical studies in Victoria. Volunteering in general is great for opening doors, better than drinking in the hostel, jobhunters!

2) Lollipop Lady (school crossing patrol)– here’s a job I was offered and was set to start but reluctantly had to turn down in favour of full time work.

An excellent option, it’s several hours a day during term time (a slot in the morning and one in the afternoon), great pay and a snazzy uniform. All you do is help the kids cross the road to school with the help of your stop sign. A great starting point is to call the local council wherever you are and ask: which agency supplies your temporary staff?

undiscovered jobs you could snag as a backpacker school crossing patrol

Find this job on Seek or Indeed under ‘schoolcrossing’!

3) Moving people’s homes- even if you’re built like a weed. I belong to the wimpy ginger sector of the human race, and would be hopeless with a heavy box, but I still got a temp job with a company that settles people into their new homes by organising and unpacking all of their items. It’s flexible and low responsibility so a good backpacker job option.

The best bonus was that my inner neat freak had a chance to run amok as I unpacked for newly settled families.
Find this job on Gumtree using the term ‘unpackers’!


undiscovered jobs you could snag as a backpacker- house mover

4) Exam Invigilator– for 2 weeks I was the stern face of law and order for final exams at a top Melbourne uni. Be sure to play up any supervisory experience, and any tutoring or volunteering in the interview and hop along to all the educational agencies you can find on Google for great pay and a short term 9-5. This makes a great gap year job as it looks impressive on your CV.

Find this job by searching invigilator on Seek just before university exam time! 

undiscovered jobs you could snag as a backpacker- teaching

5) Mystery Shopper– get a free night out, meal out, hotel stay or outfit plus a little dosh in your back pocket in exchange for reviewing the service you received at said hotel/restaurant/shop.

The perks are great but be sure to be reliable in this job, your report must be honest and submitted on time to maintain your reputation. Two excellent agencies include Retail Eyes and Pinecone Research.

undiscovered jobs you could snag as a backpacker

If you like it, then you shoulda put a pin on it!

Comment below: what’s the most unusual job you’ve ever tried as a backpacker, and how did you get it?

PS: Keen to find work for a whole year in Europe? Find out how I spent a free year in the Czech Republic working with children.

PPS: There are so many great jobs for travellers in Australia and 2nd year visa jobs, take a glance at my posts about a working holiday in Australia.


  1. Elena

    August 17, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    These are great suggestions! I really like the health research one and the exam invigilator. I never thought of them until now.

  2. Jennifer

    August 17, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    I have done the Mystery Shopper thing and it is great. I guess that is why being a writer is a good thing. I can always snag a few articles to write to make some money.

    1. Danni Lawson

      April 12, 2017 at 1:08 am

      It’s a really fun gig I reckon, I had a free dress from reviewing Zara not too long ago and that was lovely 🙂

  3. Kevin Wagar

    August 19, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    These look like a fun way to make a few bucks. Not quite sure about the clinical trial one though. I like how many fingers and toes I have 🙂

  4. Cynthia @Journal of Nomads

    August 19, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Yep, those are definitely options to earn some extra cash! I have a friend who’s done the health research one. Easy cash in a short amount of time. I’m just not sure if I would do it. I’ve done a few odd jobs here and there. If you don’t mind being naked, then posing as a life model for artists is also an easy and well paid job! That’s how I got my money together to do to Australia 😀 I wrote what I’ve done so far in this article, if you would be interested: Maybe you’ll get some inspiration too 🙂

    1. Danni Lawson

      August 20, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks Cynthia, I really liked your article- you have creative and unique options there 🙂

  5. Ami

    August 20, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    I like the last two – Exam invigilator and being a mystery shopper. Am going to look up for vacancies now 😀

  6. Vyjay

    August 22, 2016 at 3:05 am

    These are really innovative ideas for finding work. Had a few offers for Mystery Shopping, but could not take up owing to prior commitments.

  7. Agness of aTukTuk

    May 16, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    I haven’t heard of this but it seems like fun, Danni! Thanks a bunch for the informative post!

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