Working holidays: Get paid to work while you travel

Getting a job abroad can open up a whole new world

Nicola Trup
Tuesday 26 January 2016 16:38

It’s one thing planning a globe-trotting gap year, but quite another funding it. So, if you’d rather not spend months saving up, a working holiday could be the perfect option.

Australia and New Zealand are top destinations for gappers, and both allow UK residents aged 18-30 to apply for 12-month working holiday visas, costing A$440 (£206; and NZ$165 (£70; respectively. Companies such as STA Travel (0333 321 0099; and Bunac (0333 999 7516; can help with the paperwork, for a fee (from around £70).

For the US and Canada, Bunac and CCUSA (020 8874 6325; offer work opportunities (typically summer camp jobs or internships) with visa sponsorship. Up-front costs start at a few hundred pounds, covering room and board, and payment ranges from “pocket money” to a “competitive salary”.

Alternatively, teaching English can be a great way to see the world. Decent placements require a Tefl qualification; offers courses around the UK (from £249), online training (from £159), and a database of jobs, from Germany to Guatemala.

Keen skiers could try a season on the slopes. Companies such as Snow Skool (01962 713342; and Snoworks Gap (0844 543 0503; offer instructor training and will assist in finding a job. Up-front fees can be prohibitive, however, starting at around £7,000.

For a less structured work/travel experience, why not earn your keep in a hostel? Some of these jobs are listed on hostel chain websites, plus Hosteljobs .net and Hosteltraveljobs .com, but according to Paul Halpenny of Hostelworld (, you can also find positions on the road. “Just ask politely if any help is needed. You might only work for a roof over your head at the start, but you can earn a solid wage, depending on what you’re doing. There is room to advance and even build a career,” he says.

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