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Jobs & Careers

9 reasons to include travelling on your CV

Does travelling look good on your CV? Absolutely! Seeing the world isn't just a fun experience – it makes you look better to employers too. Here's how...

woman with laptop, map, bag and suitcase

Credit: Halfpoint – Shutterstock

Are you thinking of taking a gap year or doing a year abroad as part of your degree? Or did you just come back from travelling? You can use the skills you learned while applying for university or jobs!

Travelling the world gives you invaluable experience that'll help you stand out from the crowd. So if you're wondering how to put travelling on your CV, we've got you covered.

Do you have a passion for travelling? Check out our guide to interrailing on the cheap, as well as tricks for finding the cheapest flights.

Why travelling is good for your CV

An employment gap isn't as bad as it sounds. Sometimes, using it to travel can be a good thing. Here are the best reasons to include travelling on your CV:

  1. Travelling abroad shows bravery

    Whether you end up working in a panda sanctuary in China, a summer camp in America or waiting tables in a cafe in Barcelona, the work experience you gain when travelling is invaluable.

    By choosing to work abroad, you've shown you're not afraid to throw yourself into the unknown and try earning money in a completely unknown environment.

    Landing a job while travelling isn't the easiest thing to do. Not only will this look great on your CV, but talking about it in your interview will make you stand out from the crowd.

  2. You can learn new languages

    globe with graduation cap

    It's quite rare that you'll need an additional language to nail a job. However, some companies ask for it regardless of whether or not you'll need it.

    Being able to show you've taken the time to learn another language when travelling will look great to potential employers. Not only does it indicate that you're naturally inquisitive and interested in other cultures, but it shows you're able to apply yourself to something and stick with it.

    Similarly, teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is a great way to live and work abroad, and will look golden on your CV.

  3. It teaches you to manage stress

    Anyone who's done much travelling knows how stressful it can be. Trying to get from A to B using foreign timetables, currency exchange rates and travel etiquette can be challenging at times. Especially if your flight is cancelled.

    The more you deal with these situations, the easier it gets to cope. And (in theory) you should be able to transfer this ability to cope well under pressure to your graduate job, too.

    No company will want to hire a flapper, as they tend to make everyone around them stress out, too.

  4. You'll gain good interpersonal skills

    During your travels, you'll have daily conversations with strangers. Many people find this daunting, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. After a while, you might even enjoy it.

    Being exposed to these situations will make it easier for you to communicate with new clients in a relaxed and confident manner. It will also increase your chances of fitting in well with colleagues.

    It also improves your chances of nailing that job interview, as you'll come across well from the moment you walk through the door.

    Our content editor, Lauren Allen, often meets people while travelling solo:

    As someone who travels solo often, I've met people all over the world. In fact, one of my favourite things about travelling is interacting with others. Whether it's fellow travellers or welcoming locals, you're bound to have interesting conversations. These interactions can be great for improving communication skills.

  5. You can expand your global network

    international flags

    When travelling from place to place, you'll likely make friends from across the globe.

    This is not only great for opening your mind to other cultures, but it gives you a wider perspective of the world. Plus, keeping in touch could also work to your advantage. Especially if you decide to look for work in another country.

    It's always good to keep your options open!

  6. You'll become an adaptable employee

    If there's one major change that you'll find in yourself (if you don't have this quality already), it's how adaptable you'll suddenly become when travelling.

    All the home comforts and routines that were once so important won't matter anymore. For example, straightening your hair twice a day and being able to watch Netflix will no longer appeal.

    You'll also learn to enjoy being thrown out of your comfort zone. This is a great trait for the working world. Employers want to know that you'll be able to cope if something unexpected happens and you're required to step up and out of your normal role.

  7. Travelling makes you more responsible and self-aware

    Spent years running out of money and borrowing from your parents? Or gotten so drunk that you lost all your stuff in the pub? Unfortunately for you, travelling puts you in a situation where you have no choice but to be super responsible.

    You're looking out for yourself in a foreign country, with no mum and dad to pick up the pieces if things go wrong. So this really throws you into the deep end (in a good way).

    It's also helpful for the workplace as it teaches you to be more independent, responsible for your own actions and more likely to take the initiative.

    You'll also learn how to be more resourceful and save money in a whole array of scenarios.

  8. It enhances problem-solving abilities

    girl on suitcase

    Credit: Poprotskiy Alexey - Shutterstock

    As we mentioned earlier, you'll likely come across obstacles. Although they'll be a pain at the time, they're great experiences for you to build on.

    Every problem you're met with is a lesson. Over time, you'll get better at thinking practically and calmly about difficult situations. You'll also get better at working out how to solve them.

    One way to overcome obstacles is to buy travel insurance. You never know what might happen on the road. It's better to be safe than sorry!

  9. It will improve your budgeting skills

    Travelling also makes you a more organised person. Mostly because you don't have a choice. When you're trying to get to a new destination within a certain time frame (most likely, on a tight budget) you're forced to get your act together.

    This is a great quality to have in the workplace. We all know how valuable an organised person is to have on the team. Plus, your ability to budget will come in handy when you're planning the staff nights out.

  10. It can showcase your volunteer work

    Not only is volunteer work a great way to travel for less, but it looks great on job applications. If you've ever signed up for volunteer experiences through the likes of Worldpackers or GoEco, you need to add them to your CV.

    As well as showcasing your kind-hearted nature, it will give you an interesting talking point in interviews.

  11. It can explain employment gaps

    Most employers will question gaps in employment. However, if you've used that time to travel, they'll see it as a plus. Nowadays, taking a career break to travel has become the norm.

    If you took a gap year to explore Southeast Asia or experience African safaris, don't be afraid to make it known. Briefly explain what you did and how that will benefit the company through new skills.

Now you know all the invaluable experiences that travelling will endow you with, it's time to get them on your CV to show off your skills and search for that dream job!

When planning your year abroad, remember to use your student card for discounts when you start booking (and check our tips on how to save money while travelling).

Katie Paterson

WRITTEN BY Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson is an accomplished writer from Glasgow. She studied English Literature at the University of Strathclyde, then went on to do a Research Masters in Literature at the University of Amsterdam. As Lead Editor for Save the Student, Katie has covered topics from career tips to ways to make money go further as a student.
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