How Do Traveling Bartenders Make Money?

You know that person behind the bar, who’s always mistaken for a therapist, a taxi, or a tour guide? Yes, that’s a bartender who gives you some interesting services along with your drink. But it’s not all about mixing cocktails and listening to drunk conversations. Traveling bartenders elevate their experience by exploring the world while doing their job!

There are plenty of ways to travel and make money. But because bartenders are in such high demand, finding work is easy whether you have the qualifications or not.

This is the beauty of the hospitality industry. You can draw your own career path without the burden of an expensive degree.

Of course, there are several programs, courses and certificates that can add value to your expertise. CraftBartending is one of the fully dedicated sites to prepare you for a professional career in the bartending world.

However, developing your knowledge does not always mean going back to the books. Each country has its unique taste that will diverse your experience and allow you to become more innovative in what you do.

Are Traveling Bartenders Paid Well?

When it comes to the potential earnings of traveling bartenders, there is no limit to how much they can make. The amount of money earned daily is largely determined by the type of business they work for, where they live, and how many customers they serve.

But you may be surprised to learn that bartenders are among the highest-paid people in the world. And by pay, we’re referring to the salary + tips.

There’s a lot that goes into bartending, from pretty garnishes to cash handling and menu creations, but it’s not all about being quick and clean. When it comes to making money, you need to make it memorable. Focus on customer service; give them something to talk about.

Best Ways for Traveling Bartenders to Make Money

1. Head to High-Tipping Countries

If you’re still a newbie bartender, then you’ll probably be expecting to receive minimum wage. So, think twice before making any travel arrangements.

High gratuity is well-known in places like the United States and Canada, reaching up to 20% of the bills. Kicking off your bartending career there wouldn’t be a bad idea at all!

On the other hand, most people in China or Japan consider tips as unnecessary, and maybe even offensive, which can be a downside for the service industry.

In Europe and the Middle East, you may not get rewarded as highly as the US, but you do get a proper percentage of 5 – 10%. Many countries such as the UAE and Jordan already add a service charge percentage to the total bill.

Tip Jar Inspiration

2. Choose Touristic Spots

It’s not all about the high-tipping destination. You need to dig in deeper with a hunting bartender’s perspective.

Usually, foreign bartenders will hit off pretty well in touristic pubs and bars. Not only because of the high demand, but you wouldn’t really need the local language.

English is actually preferred to provide the best service for tourists, and any additional language would be a plus!

You can either do your research before heading to your next adventure, or keep the element of surprise and look for a job once you land.

3. Focus on your Network

Nobody can deny the power of social media nowadays.

Influencers like JoinJulez and BeautifulBooze have dedicated their Instagram feed to the world of cocktails and spirits.

While CharlesJoly 20-year experience has allowed him to travel more than 50 countries to teach the magic of bartending and become Hollywood’s favorite bartender.

Besides making money as an influencer, you should keep in mind that the hospitality industry is all about keeping a large network with connections here and there.

It’s a small world, you never know who might put in a good word for you. Β 

4. Work on a Cruise Ship

People are usually nice to bartenders, especially on cruise ships!


Well, if I’m going to live on a ship for a couple of weeks, might as well make sure that I’m day-drinking some top-notch margaritas and piΓ±a coladas.

And by making sure, I mean appreciating the bartender and showing him some financial gratitude every now and then.

As a cruise ship bartender, not only will you be getting constant tips, but probably triple the salary of a bartender on land. An average salary on a cruise ship can range between $1400 – $2200 per month.

The downside?

It’s definitely a long and hectic commitment to stick to. Usually, there’s no days off, and the only social life you will be having is with your customers.

You will also need a couple years of bartending experience before getting hired. Once you’re good to go, you can apply through sites like CruiseShipJob to get connected with the most suitable listings.

Time to Become a Traveling Bartender!

For the most part, bartending is one of the most sociable jobs that can truly take you anywhere in the world.

Being exposed to a diversity of cultures will create a distinctive approach for you to take advantage off.

In every bar you set down your shaker in, you will gain a valuable experience and probably a new appealing skillset.

It’s a constant learning journey, you just need to know how to make the most money out of it.