We're all going on a working holiday!

If you fancy combining time away in a foreign country immersing yourself in the culture and community of somewhere new, whilst paying your way by working while you are there, a working holiday may be for you.

If you are about to finish university or college, or just fancy a break away from the UK, a working holiday could be the answer. It could allow you to earn some holiday spending money whilst exploring what a different country has to offer. You can meet new people, add some different skills to your CV and maybe pick up some lingo in a different language.

There are many options available to you in terms of the destination for your working holiday and also what you will be doing in terms of employment. Summer resorts are obviously busier in the peak holiday season and often actively recruit nationalities of the clientele that they will be attracting. Jobs can be day work or night work and can include ticket sellers, restaurant reps, glass collectors and dancers. The website air-pro.co.uk is worth a look and offers packages to find summer jobs in resorts such as Ibiza, Magaluf, Ayia Napa and Tenerife. They offer assistance with the initial stages of finding accommodation and work in a variety of popular holiday destinations. They provide a knowledgeable rep to meet you at your accommodation (which is yours for 4 weeks), they also show you around the local night and day life and can advise you about working abroad and finding a job. If you decide you want to stay on after the initial four weeks, they can advise you on finding accommodation for the longer term.

You may decide to go on holiday and then seek work whilst you are there, which is obviously another option but remember to factor in time for finding affordable accommodation, sorting contracts and funding a deposit.

For those of you who want to travel further afield, and combine it with working along the way, another company offers packages to make the transition from the UK much easier than if you were making all of the arrangements yourself. Real Gap Paid Work offers a variety of packages including “Australia Outback Ranch Training”, “China Paid Teaching with TEFL”, “Canada Camp Counsellor” and “Your Complete Australia and New Zealand Gap Year”. An example of the ‘all-inclusive’ benefits on offer is:

“Australia Outback Ranch Training”:
• Twelve months of job offers all over Australia
• Airport pick-up
• Transfer from Sydney to training ranch
• 9 nights accommodation
• Help setting up bank account and tax file number
• Six days of training, familiarisation and job matching
• Meals at the ranch
• Working Holiday Visa (if you pick the option including the Working Holiday Visa)

A working holiday visa is an option that is available as part of this (and other packages on the site) but of course you can arrange for your own working visa, which may only be applicable to people below a certain age. The Australian Working Holiday visa for example, is only open to young people aged between 18 and 30. Those that successfully apply for the Australian Working holiday visa can stay in Australia for up to 12 months from when they arrive and can work in Australia for up to 6 months with the same employer. More information can be found at Australian Government Immigration and Citizenship.

Where else can I work on a temporary basis?

Canada currently has a working holiday scheme available to British Citizens aged between 18 – 30, permitting tehm to stay in Canada for up to 12 months.

Japan has a working holiday scheme available to British citizens aged between 18 and 29 permitting those eligible to stay in Japan for up to 12 months.

New Zealand has a working holiday scheme available to British citizens aged between 18 and 30 permitting those eligible to stay in New Zealand for up to 23 months.

Singapore has a working holiday scheme available to UK citizens aged between 18 and 30 permitting those eligible to stay in Singapore for up to 6 months.

South Africa has a visa available to full time students and recent graduates from the UK, where they can work in South Arica for a 12 month period.

USA allows full time students from the UK to work in the US for the Summer period.

So, if you are gearing up for a working holiday overseas, prepare yourself for all that life may throw at you by ensuring that you have travel insurance in place. Some companies offer competitively priced gap year insurance (or gap year travel insurance) to cover you for your time away from the UK. Make sure that you tell your insurer before you travel that you will be working whilst you are away as they may have restrictions in place about the sort of work that you can do (and be covered by the policy), this may apply especially to those involved in a potentially hazardous occupation such as working with power tools, underground, at heights or with animals or if the work involves activities such as quad biking.

UPDATE – Since writing this article, and in response to the increasing numbers of travellers including an element of paid or voluntary work in their travel plans, we have developed our specialist Working Holiday. This has been developed to take the guesswork out of making sure your travel insurance policy benefits will extend to cover you whilst you’re working. We have categorised occupations into 4 different Work Packs according to the risks involved, and the policy can be taken out for a maximum of 2 years away from the UK. Read more about the Working Holiday Policy here and get a quote for your travel plans.

Please note that some of the above links are to external websites. Go Walkabout is not responsible for the content of external sites and a link should not be seen as an endorsement of the site.

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