The decision to quit your job and leave your responsibilities to travel and work abroad for an extended period of time isn’t always an easy one. However, here are 8 good reasons why a working holiday is a good idea. This blog has been updated for 2019.
What is a working holiday?
A working holiday is when you are allowed to spend an extended stay in another country to holiday, travel and work. Many countries have a reciprocal working holiday agreement in place that allows young people aged 18-30, sometimes up to 35 years of age a stay of up to 12 months, but sometimes up to 24 months. Being eligible for a working holiday visa will let you immerse yourself in another country to discover the culture, food, work with the locals and see incredible things as you travel around. Check out our Working Holiday Visa page for more details on the Working Holiday Visa.
If you don’t qualify for a Working Holiday Visa don’t worry there are still plenty of options out there for you. You will find inspiration here Over 30 Your Travel and Work Options.
Stay longer on a Working Holiday
As mentioned, a working holiday allows participants to stay longer in a particular country. You will be able to experience more than what you would if you were only going on a short trip. Even if you decide not to work, you will be allowed to stay for a longer time. For example, in Australia, a typical tourist visa is for 3 months, but a working holiday visa can be granted for 12 months. Twelve months would allow you to experience a lot more of what the country has to offer.
Top up your money
The idea behind a working holiday is that you will be able to work on your working holiday. Working allows you to earn money to support yourself during your stay and hopefully add to your travelling fund for your travels around the country and beyond.
Apart from proving you have enough funds for your initial stay you do not need to save up thousands of dollars in advance before your adventure. With the working holiday visa, being able to work you can sustain your travelling lifestyle and not worry too much about running out of cash.
Try your hand at different professions
Bartending is a typical traveller job.
With the idea that you can pick up work while on your working holiday, it is not always expected that you will work in your current profession. This is because in many cases you will need to do bridging exams and/or register with professional bodies before you can work. This can all be time consuming and costly. So many travellers try their hand at something different. This could be serving pints in a London Pub. Maybe you could be a Jackaroo or Jillaroo in the Australian outback. What about picking grapes in Europe. Or maybe you would like to obtain a diving certificate to become a dive master! There are so many different opportunities to try while you travel and work abroad. Visit our Work Options for some inspiration.
Meet the locals
Staying for an extended period of time in one place allows you to meet the local. When you begin work you will be working with a local. And sometimes you can form bonds with these locals who may become long-lasting friends. I have a number of those from my travels and I now have places to stay when I visit Auckland, Los Angeles, London and Hong Kong.
Immerse in the culture
There is only so much you can do and learn on a short trip to another country. Spending an extended time in one country allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and truly appreciate many aspects of a different way of life. From seeing things the local people do, enjoy the local food, see natural wonders, experience vibrant cities and discover the culture.
It looks good on your CV
Yes, that’s right. Listing work and any volunteering done during your working holiday can be a great advantage on your CV for when you ‘settle down’. Some employers appreciate that a potential employee has had experience working overseas and cultural understanding abroad.
Have the time of your life
Do I need to elaborate on this one. I guess I should! Mostly you should have the time of your life and create lasting memories from your time when you travel and work abroad on a working holiday.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked at Sydney Airport. In her 20’s she left Australia and spent 4 years on a working holiday in London before working and travelling in other countries. She currently calls Melbourne home.