Are you dreaming of travelling to Thailand or Mexico, but strapped for cash? Maybe you have enough money for a short vacation, but you want to do some more substantial travel, to go overseas for 6 or even 12 months and really dig into another culture. Could an overseas working holiday be the answer?
Traditionally, people would have worked overtime or taken a second job, saved up a mountain of cash, and then finally head off on their overseas adventure. However, there is another option – have you considered a working holiday? There are many different ways you can work and travel at the same time, meaning you don’t need to put such a dent in your account balance (or credit card!), and also letting you extend your travels over a longer period.
Working holiday visas
A working holiday is a great way to see the world, while earning enough to support yourself at the same time. Not only does it have financial advantages over a normal holiday, a working holiday also means you stay longer in one place, and gives you the opportunity to really get to know a place and meet local people.
There are lots of different things you can do on a working holiday – from pulling pints in London to fruit picking in California. Just make sure you have your visa paperwork in order! Australia has reciprocal working holiday agreements with many countries including the UK, USA and many European countries.
For example, young Australians can get a year-long working holiday visa to the UK which allows them to work up to 6 months out of the 12 months, which you can spread in blocks across the year. This means you can work for a bit to build up some cash, then travel for a while before the cash runs out, an then find another job!
Look up each country’s immigration website for more specific information and requirements – be careful to check all the details, as many have an age limit requirement. In many cases you need be under 30 or 35 to qualify.
Teaching and Au Pair programs
These more structured programs are also a great way to travel and really immerse yourself in a foreign culture. There are a range of companies which recruit and place English teachers in a variety of countries, most notably China and other parts of Asia. These positions are generally well paid and include accommodation and often even flights are paid for. As always, do your research, but many companies have good reputations for well-structured programs which support to their teachers well.
There are also agencies which will place you as an Au Pair (or live in nanny) all over the world. These jobs normally require you to live with the family which can be quite full-on, however you should get time off to go sightseeing, and your meals and accommodation will be taken care of! Many of these positions are in Europe and the UK, and usually require some kind of child care experience, though not necessarily qualifications.
An entirely different approach, but still essentially a working holiday, is to work remotely while you travel. There is a rapidly growing community of ‘digital nomads’ who work online while travelling around the world. The obvious advantage to this is that you are free to travel wherever you want, whenever you want, as long as you have a computer and an internet connection!
This can be especially lucrative if you are travelling through some of the cheaper parts of the world such as South East Asia or Central America and being paid in dollars. Thanks to currency exchanges and low cost of living, you may be able to live comfortably off working only a handful of hours a week.
There is an amazingly large range of remote work you can do – if you are lucky, you may have an existing job that will let you work remotely and travel overseas at the same time. Otherwise you can look into teaching English online, freelance copy writing, data entry or website or graphic design (if you have the skills).
Just do some research and put in some applications. It is a good idea to have this all set up ,arranged and tested before you go on your overseas working holiday (and preferably before you book your tickets)!