If you’ve spent a couple of years training to be a chef, then you have the key to the world in your back pocket. The hospitality industry is one of the world’s biggest employers and in recent years, has been struggling to attract top talent. As such, it’s possible for you to travel the world as a chef on a budget – and in some cases, without spending at all. Here’s how…
Start a blog
It’s not for everyone, but starting a blog, YouTube channel or social media page for your chef work is a great way to build an audience and make money. Budding chefs and food lovers are always on the lookout for new influencers to follow, and when you’ve amassed a decent audience, you’ll be able to charge brands for advertising their products and services via you.
Whether it’s reviewing restaurants, promoting a new kitchen tool or a service such as a recruitment agency or app, there are lots of ways you can use your skills as a chef outside of the kitchen and make money to travel the world. Travel blogging is a multi-billion dollar industry, so tie together travel and catering and you’ll be on to a winner in no time at all.
Work in temporary roles
The most obvious way to travel the world on a budget as a chef is to find relief chef jobs on your journey and spend a month or two building up your coffers for the next move. Working with a reputable recruitment agency in the UK is a great way to start, and as you get closer to moving abroad you can look for European opportunities to spread your wings. Sure, you will need to pick up some of the lingoes and perhaps apply for a working permit and visa, but you can take it easy and spend a few months in each country until you’ve covered the world.
Choose roles with accommodation
Many hospitality positions offer free or reduced-rate accommodation for temporary chefs and other in-demand talents such as sous chefs, pastry chefs, and kitchen hands. Not only does this significantly reduce your overheads, but it allows you to save money for your future and get to know your fellow workers on a deeper level than if you were to drive home every night. Sure, the accommodation won’t always be five-star, but it’s adequate and saves money…
Eat for free
Some kitchens, restaurants, hotels and cafes offer their chefs free food on the job, so make the most of it and eat as much as you can before your shift ends. Obviously, you’re not going to want to tuck into a huge carbonara just as your 12-hour shift starts, but eating strategically on the job will mean you’ll spend less when you’re not at work, meaning you can put your money towards plane tickets, hotels, and unique experiences like scuba diving and safaris.
Save, save, save
Finally, remember to save money. If you’re offered free accommodation, don’t choose to rent an apartment. If you’re able to eat on the job, don’t waste money at McDonald’s. Be sensible with your money and you’ll be able to put it towards more exciting events and activities. And when you’re travelling, you can save money by booking onto free activities, shopping locally, carrying snacks rather than buying at attractions, and creating a strict budget to stick to….
You only get one life, so make the most of it and travel the world. Becoming a temporary chef, of course, has its downsides – you’re never sure where your next paycheck will come from and you’ll struggle to climb the career ladder – but the life experiences and opportunities that await for you around the world trump that. Wishing you a safe and enjoyable trip!