Many people love to travel. Working holidays are a great way to travel on a budget. Depending on how you approach the trip, your work may leave you in profit at the end of it. Even if it does not, it will still absorb some of the costs. Working holidays need a bit of a different approach to regular holidays, so here are some tips to help. A lot of them apply to volunteering too:
Research The When And Where Carefully
A lot of places have a particular need for workers at certain times of the year. This means that you have a decent chance of getting work in any location, as long as you time your trip smartly.
Try To Line Up Work Before You Go
In the old days, it was unusual for workers to be hired before they arrived at a place. Now companies are more likely to be open to the idea of interviewing someone by video-call, especially for seasonal positions. This still is not guaranteed, but it is definitely worth a try, particularly if you have in-demand skills as these make you a more attractive hire.
Definitely Line Up Accommodation Before You Go
Be realistic about your accommodation and hence how much money you will need for it. Staying at a campsite or hostel, for example, may be fine to get your feet on the ground. It may not, however, be a practical option once you are working. A lot will depend on what you’re doing. For example, can you wear casual clothes (e.g. farm work) or do you need to wear a suit?
Make Sure You Are Clear On The Law
There is a big difference between having the general right to work in a place and having the right to take up a specific role. Some jobs will be subject to local regulations, generally for public-safety reasons. The good news is that a quick online check is usually all that is needed to find out what they are. What is more, fulfilling them is generally just about completing paperwork.
Likewise, be clear on what you can expect from the law. You should be able to expect basic safety protection. For example, these days, you should never be exposed to asbestos. If you are, you need to see a doctor and contact a mesothelioma attorney immediately. General worker rights, however, can vary widely from place to place.
More generally, be aware of any local regulations governing behavior. If you are planning on driving make sure that your license and insurance are both accepted locally for the duration of your stay. Also, check with locals if there is anything, in particular, you need to know about driving in your local area.
A Note For Digital Nomads
If you are planning on taking your work with you, then you will also need to make sure that you know where you stand on tax. Being location-independent does not make you tax-independent.
See If You Can Upskill For Likely Vacancies
If you have researched your location, you will have a good idea of what industries are likely to be hiring when. Dig a little deeper and there is a good chance you will be able to find what skills are most in-demand. Even if you cannot, then you might be able to guess them. For example, if there is a lot of tourism, then there is probably a need for food-prep staff, servers, and bartenders.
Anything you can do to upskill yourself in these areas can increase your chance of getting hired in the first place. It can also increase your pay rate when you are hired. Basic upskilling does not have to be hard or expensive. For example, something as straightforward as going on a course on food safety can give you an edge in the hiring process.
Be Ready To Look The Part
Even if you plan to work in an industry where you are likely to be given a uniform, it is best to be prepared. As a minimum, take a pair of smart (but comfortable) shoes, some black pants/skirts (or both), some white shirts/blouses, and a smart jacket. This will cover you for interviews and any work situations where you have to wear your own clothes and also look smart.
If you have favorite accessories like ties and scarves, then you can certainly take them. Otherwise, it is usually easy to buy these items locally, because you do not have to worry about them fitting you. It is generally best to leave expensive items (like jewelry) safely stored at home.
Get a haircut before you leave. That way you will give yourself time to figure out the best place to get one in your new location. Alternatively, you will give yourself the best chance of holding out until you get home.