7 travel jobs that pay over $100,000 — plus you get free trips 

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Want to travel the world but you're stuck in a 9-to-5 with two weeks of vacation? There are jobs for which you can travel on your employer's dime that pay over $100,000 a year.

1. Travel publicist (VP or higher)

Average salary: $116,000

A publicist establishes and maintains positive relationships with the media, getting their clients placement in various outlets, from TV to magazines. A travel publicist works for a hotel (or hotel chain), cruise line, airline or with an agency that represents travel-related clients.

The longer you stay with an agency, the more you can make. The median salary for a senior level vice president is about $116,000 a year, according to jobs website

Most travel publicists are required to travel for their job to pitch new clients, familiarize themselves with properties they represent, take journalists on press trips or to participate travel trade shows and conferences.

2. Luxury travel advisor

Average salary: $100,000

Before the internet, travel agents (as they used to be known) could do as little as book someone an airline ticket. Now, travel advisors not only put together your trip, but they also provide a high level of service and advice, and manage your vacation time.

Travel advisors are constantly on the road, especially those who specialize in luxury travel, where clients with big budgets want the advisors to really know the product via first-hand experiences.

A travel agent's salary is about $36,654 a year, with an extra $6,000 for bonuses and commission. However, a luxury travel advisor (someone who only works with five-star travel and affluent clients) gets commissions for bookings by most every company in the industry, from airlines and tour operators to hotels and often restaurants. They can make $100,000 annually after working for about two years, according to Jim Bendt, CEO of Pique Travel Design, especially if they have already traveled extensively and know luxury and have a personal network of high-paying travelers.

3. Hotel manager

Average salary: $105,000

The hotel manager ensures everything about the hotel is running smoothly. They manage all aspects of the property including operations, staffing and customer satisfaction, and they're mostly responsible for operational efficiency and profitability.

While the median salary for a hotel manager is about $105,000, those who work at a large, high-end hotel, especially in large, metropolitan cities, can make close to $200,000 a year. Jobs website Glassdoor shows a manager position at Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a five-star hotel chain, has an average salary of $114,000 from $95,000 to $129,000.

Hotel managers are traveling often for meetings and conferences, hotel openings within the same brand and various events. With bigger companies, general managers are given the flexibility to change properties every few years, which can include international relocation.

4. Director of sales

Average salary: $108,737

A sales manager at a hotel is responsible for developing business through direct sales, marketing, direct mail and tours of the hotel, also driving sales revenue, which can be booking large-scale events and conventions at the hotel. They travel with the hotel by representing them in various events and exhibitions across the globe. Eventually, they can get promoted to director of sales, which manages the sales staff and works with revenue management while spearheading marketing strategies.

The average salary of a director of sales at a hotel is $88,116, with the additional cash compensation (including bonus and/or commission) of $20,621 per year, which comes to $108,737.

If you're managing business sales for an entire region, like all the hotel company's hotels in one city or region (ie: all the Marriott hotels in New England), you can expect a higher salary averaging $117,440 a year with $56,729 additional compensation.

5. Airline pilot

Average salary: $137,330

If you've ever dreamed about being the pilot of a plane, know it comes with a great salary: over $100,000 a year (up to $208,000 a year for major airlines). The median annual wage is a nice $137,330, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Clearly, pilots get to travel, and they have opportunities to explore the places they fly into. The airline they work for provides the pilot hotel accommodations, transportation to the airport and an allowance for meals and other expenses when they're on assignment.

6. Creative or art director

Average salary: $133,000

The medium annual salary for a creative director in the U.S. is $133,839, but it can go up to $200,000 on the higher end for those who have more experience and nab jobs at large companies.

Directors who work in travel, like a hotel chain, for example, get the perk of traveling for their job, traveling to new hotel openings to determine the overall vision, working with designers, artists, copywriters and marketers. Based on their knowledge of trends, design and advertising, they plan the advertising, oversee the creative process and, in most cases, they dictate the general ambiance and look of a hotel's public spaces, like lobby and hallways, and often the guest rooms.

Creative directors can also work for cruise ships, airlines, bus companies and more.

Traditionally, an art director executes on a hotel's strategy, concept or idea that the creative director implemented.

An art director can earn up to $104,000 (average base salary is $69,665), according to

7. Cruise ship director

Average salary: $136,000

Being the cruise director onboard a cruise ship is not only fun, you can rake in about $136,000 a year on a large cruise ship, like Royal Caribbean.

The cruise director takes charge of activities, entertainment, recreations and events for all ages of a cruise ship, for both kids and adults, whether it's games and scavenger hunts or happy hours and themed nightclub events. They help produce performances, live bands, lecturers, deck parties and more. They're also the "face" of the cruise ship, and quite literally as most guests get to see them emcee events, meet them at functions and they often make public announcements.

Like passengers and crew, cruise line directors can hop off the ship when it's docked. Cruises are known to travel to many destinations in one itinerary, so directors will get to visit plenty of places.

Many assistant directors work their way up to director. Experience depends on the cruise line. Some require a bachelor's degree and proven history working in hospitality; others may want two or more years working in a luxury hotel or resort.

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