Working holidays provide a fantastic opportunity to visit another country and earn a little bit of money while you are there, but how much of a holiday it ends up being will depend a lot on where you are going and what you have done to prepare. The following is a brief look at just how much of a holiday a working holiday can actually be.
It depends on your finances
You can work as much or as little as you like on your working holiday, though it will usually come down to how much money you have been able to save up prior to going. If you arrive broke then you may end up working a lot. However, at least if you go to places like Australia, where the rate of pay and conditions of work are extremely high, you can often get work for better conditions than you could back home.
Do you want a second job?
Every country has its own particular requirements when it comes to working holiday visas. In Australia, for instance, you can apply for a second working holiday visa, providing you have worked enough during your first one. Continuing with Australia as an example, here you need to complete three months of work in specified industries, such as agriculture, to qualify for your second and final year-long working holiday visa.
Many backpackers travelling to Australia on working holiday visas don’t do much work until over halfway through their trip, and then get stuck desperately trying to make their three-month work requirements over the last few months. If you do think you may want to get a second-year visa, make sure you don’t leave all your work until the end, because then it can become particularly stressful -- not what you’re looking for on your holiday!
It depends on the job
One of the biggest factors determining whether or not your working holiday feels more like work or a holiday is the type of job you get and the people you end up working with. Whether you work in a hostel in Sydney or pick grapes in the French Riviera, you can end up with some fantastic and multicultural groups of people, and in some pretty idyllic settings, too -- though there are also some horrible work situations that will make you wish you never came. As much as you can, listen out for reviews from other travellers, because word spreads quickly through the backpacker community. Whether you are backpacking in Sydney or London, you might be able to score a good job and avoid a nightmare situation by keeping your ears open and heeding some advice.
It depends on the location
The best work to do on a working holiday visa will again depend on where you go, though in many places the best jobs are fruit picking and farm work jobs. Not only do these often pay quite well, but they will also get you out into some of the more beautiful parts of the country. Many orchards and vineyards are located in places of staggering beauty, and working there will make it easy to spend some time and have the chance to see the country properly.