Working Holidays are a very popular option for young people who want to live and work in another country. The decision to quit your job and leave your responsibilities to go on a working holiday abroad isn’t always an easy one. However, many people leave all the time to work and travel. Here are my 8 good reasons why I believe a working holiday is a good idea. This blog updated 28 January 2020.
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 overview further in this blog.
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 Working Holidays
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 during 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 during working holidays, you do not need to save up thousands of dollars in advance before your adventure. This means you can leave sooner on your adventure because you will be able to work to earn more money to fund more travels.
Typical Working Holidays Traveller Jobs
Bartending is a typical traveller job.
With the idea that you can pick up work while on working holidays, 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. Possibly be a nanny in New York. 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 on working holidays. 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 yourself in the local 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 wil! Mostly you should have the time of your life while on your working holiday or working holidays. There will be ups and downs and some frustrations. Hopefully you will remain safe as you immerse yourself in local cultures and enjoy everything the place you are in has to offer. Enjoy your working holiday.
Working Holidays Visa Overview
Please note. The following list was current at the time of writing this blog. I highly suggest that you visit the appropriate country’s website to get the latest information. Following is a quick overview of which countries offer a working holiday visa. Remember, if you don’t qualify for a working holiday visa check out the work and travel options for Over 30s here.
- Argentina– 18-35; 12 months; Australia, Denmark, France, Ireland, New Zealand.
- Australia– 18-35; 12 months with second-year extension for subclass 417; United Kingdom, Canada, The Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, South Korea, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hong Kong, Finland, Cyprus, France, Italy, Belgium, Estonia, Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and USA.
- Austria– 18-30, 6 months; New Zealand. 18-30, Canada, graduate students.
- Belgium– 18-30; Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
- Canada– 18-30; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
- Chile– 18-30; must have proof of insurance; Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
- Czech Republic– 18-35; 12 months; Canada, New Zealand, and South Korea.
- Denmark– 18-30; 12 months; Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
- Estonia– 19-30; Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
- Finland– 18-30; 12 months; Australia and New Zealand.
- France– 18-30; 12 months; Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
- Germany– 18-30; 12 months; Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan; 18-35, 12 months, Canada.
- Hong Kong– 18-30; 12 months; Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, Japan, and South Korea.
- Ireland– 18-30; 12 months; Australia, Canada (18-35), Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and New Zealand; students from USA.
- Israel– 18-30; 12 months; New Zealand.
- Italy– 18-30, 12 months, Australia and New Zealand; 18-35, 12 months, Canada.
- Japan– 18-30; time length varies; Australia, Canada, France, Germany, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom; 18-25, Ireland.
- Malta– 18-30; 12 months; Australia and New Zealand.
- The Netherlands– 18-30; Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
- New Zealand– Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uruguay.
- Norway– 18-30, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand; 18-35, Canada; seasonal work
- Poland– 18-35, 12 months, Canada; 18-30, 12 months, New Zealand.
- South Korea–18-25 or 30, varies; 12 months; 18 months for USA citizens; Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States.
- Singapore– 18-25, 6 months, recent graduates, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Slovakia– 18-30, 12 months, New Zealand.
- Slovenia– 18-30, 12 months, New Zealand.
- Spain– 18-30, 12 months, New Zealand.
- Sweden– 18-30, 12 months, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea.
- Switzerland– 18-35, Canada.
- Taiwan– 18-30; 12 months; Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
- Thailand– 18-30; 12 months; Australia and New Zealand.
- United Kingdom– 18-30; 2 years; Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand.
- Uruguay– 18-30, 12 months, Australia and New Zealand.
Cheers to your Working Holiday
As you can see there are many countries for working holidays. The hard part now is choosing which one you want to go to first! Whichever country or countries you choose can I just say, enjoy your working holiday.
Sharyn has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. In her 20’s she went overseas and spent 4 years living, working, playing and travelling through many countries. Her travels inspire her ‘Live Work and Play’ series of working holiday guides and LiveWorkPlayTravel where she shares her knowledge of travel, being a digital nomad and blogging. Sharyn continues to travel and currently calls Melbourne home.