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Working while travelling?

Leeds, United...
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Working while travelling?

I'm not sure if this is the best place for this question (sorry if its not), but I'll be travelling alone and I guess a lot of people working while travelling will be solo too...

I'm 20, female, and planning my gap year(s) around Australia, Asia (particuarly Thailand and India), and Europe. However, I'm hoping to work as I travel and need to factor this into my plans. Which are the best places to find work? How easy is it to find work whilst travelling? About how much can you earn? And how much are living costs whilst working?

Thanks!

England, United...
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1. Re: Working while travelling?

That is a big question Emah. Really all we can do is guide you to the right places to research or where you might find answers.

You need to chat to people who have already done it so see if you can find a forum if you don't know some personally.

You need to check the countries you are going to to find out how to get a work visa. Australia should be easy to get the info and definitely do get one. If you work illegally and get caught in any country then you may find that you are unable to travel in the future as immigration in many places won't let you in.

Be sure to get references for places you intend to work or you could find yourself unpaid or worse. Be sure you know the rules (if there are any) for employment in the country you will work in.

It is wise to find reliable places to work before you go as it may be hard. Work is scarce in a large part of the world at the moment with many unemployed and possiblily you don't have the languages to work. Look for something niche for instance using your English.

Be sure that your travel insurance covers you for working. Be sure to get all your vacinations for your travels and malaria protection.

There should be some people here who can give you advice on where to find forums or how they or their children did it and info for this and be patient as it is the Christmas holidays. They will be along with suggestions

San Diego
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2. Re: Working while travelling?

I don't think you can absolutely count on finding work in other countries!!

You should have other means to support yourself while traveling.

You MAY find something but I can't imagine planning a trip and just hoping to scrounge money along the way.My son spend a lot of time as a traveler after university.

He had a credit card which he could use along the way. He had money in the bank that he could withdraw using his ATM card. He DID find odd jobs here and there but they were more work for room and board type of arrangements and not where he actually earned money.

Edited: 27 December 2013, 00:42
Jasper, Canada
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3. Re: Working while travelling?

Riff, since you are in the US, you are probably not very familiar with the whole Working Holiday Visa thing, but among the various Commonwealth countries, it is a "big deal", with literally thousands and thousands of young adults doing it and many resort/tourist places (including my region in the Canadian Rockies) absolutely depend upon these young workers to fill the various low-paid hospitality and tourism-related jobs. (The Whistler/Blackcomb ski resort, site of some the 2012 Vancouver winter Olympics ski and snowboard events, would probably shut down without Aussie workers!) One of my own kids is currently on a one-year WHV is New Zealand and has also had one in Australia. Both times, she has landed jobs literally within a day of arriving in a town that appeals. I've known dozens of kids from my little town to do the same - the popular spots for Canadians to get WHVs are Australia, NZ, England and Scotland. Also, I have a friend who emigrated from the UK to Canada, who made sure her Canadian children have British passports (with a British mom, they qualify for dual citizenship), since they can then work in the EU if they choose.

Emah, I am not sure that SE Asia or India has WHV programs. If they do, I would imagine the wages would be very, very low, and with the levels of poverty in those areas, there would be no shortage of people willing to take on even the most menial of jobs. You can travel very cheaply in SE Asia as a backpacker traveller. Be cautious about "voluntourism" projects .... as noted, some programs can be expensive ... many of these agencies are a for-profit business, filling a market niche in the travel industry and feeding on people's desire to help. There are also ethical considerations in that in some cases, you may be filling a job that would be better taken by a local person - and they need it to feed themselves and their family, not to continue travelling around the world. In other cases, such as when young people "help" build schools or similar, the resources used to house, feed and keep the volunteers safe can be a strain on the local community. Concerns have also been raised about some of the volunteer programs in third world orphanages, that relying on a revolving door of volunteers instead of a longer term local workers is detrimental to the children in terms of their ability to form stable emotional attachments. So I would recommend doing some research about these.

As already mentioned, you'll also need to do this for WHV information - you can apply for these online. Make sure you find the official government website for whichever country it is you are researching because there are also for-profit businesses that will charge you hundreds of dollars (or pounds ;-) to assist you through the process, and it's not necessary to use an intermediary.

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Working while travelling?

So, is TripAdvisor a forum for advice on "travel" or forum for advice on "work" OR both?? Work visas, to me, seem very specific to destinations or not travel related, and not a general "solo travel" question. Just my opinion.

San Diego
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5. Re: Working while travelling?

OK , I understand the Commonwealth connection but didn't know that"southeast Asia" or India still had that connection? Actually we have a lot of summer work visa young people here too but getting jobs is not as easy as you have described and housing here is expensive.

Jasper, Canada
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6. Re: Working while travelling?

India is a member of the Commonwealth (along with Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Maldives), and there are a couple of countries in SE Asia that are members (Malaysia, Singapore), but as I stated before, I doubt that most Asian countries would have any need for WHV labour, since they have their own pools of low-cost workers (and probably lower wages than any first-world gap year kids would be willing to work for).

Housing here in the Canadian Rockies resort towns and in Whistler, BC is expensive and scarce, but WHV workers are willing to live in small or often crowded quarters on a temporary basis (typically 6 to 12 months); it's part of the lifestyle. However, here in the summer season, lots of jobs go unfilled, not because there isn't available labour (there's a constant stream of young people passing through), but because of the lack of housing (Banff and Jasper are both within national parks, with limited land where development is allowed). Very frustrating for business owners, and one result is most local kids start working for the summer when they are 13 or 14.

I don't know anything about the availability of housing elsewhere, but my daughter worked in a town in Western Australia for about 7 months (and two of my neighbour's kids - WA is popular with Jasper kids on WHVs, maybe because the local high school has had several exchange students from there); she stayed at a hostel for a few weeks and then found a small house to rent, which she shared with several other young women on WHVs - a French-Canadian, a Chilean, an Italian, and a French woman. Now she is in a surf town in NZ, has found a job and is sharing a small townhouse with two Italians and a couple, whose nationality I haven't heard yet (they were due to move in shortly, when I last spoke with her a few days ago).

To our OP, Emah, if she is still reading.... my daughter has travelled extensively, both with a friend or boyfriend, and now solo - she prefers travelling solo; she says it's easier to meet other people. She has a number of friends who have travelled in India, which is also on her "wish list", but from what she has learned, she says that is one destination where she won't go until she has someone to travel with.

Also, further to bk's comments in #4 above ... these forums here on TA tend to be geared less to backpacker and gap year travellers; you might want to check out the Lonely Planet's thorntree forum, where there is lots of discussion about these types of topics, and the age group of users tends to be skewed a bit younger than here on TA.

Edited: 31 December 2013, 16:57
London, United...
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7. Re: Working while travelling?

Emah131

Happy New Year!

Just to add to some of the useful information given above, I would just like to add my two cents worth.

You asked about cost of living and how much you could earn but don’t say anything about your own skills set. What can you do? I am not sure how far in advance are you planning your trip, for this year 2014 or next 2015 but there are several things you can do you make yourself more marketable in the labour market.

If you have followed the news here in the UK over the last twelve months, you may have heard the government or business complain about young people leaving education without any or little skills for the work place. Today working overseas is becoming more and more like that - it is difficult. At one time you may have had the opportunity to do many things, now even teaching English is very limited.

I have a Thai friend who I have known for sixteen years now, when she was in the UK doing her doctorate , her family own a private school in Bangkok, and she often complains that the quality of some people they have recruited who’s usage of English grammar is poor. A principle should not have to correct their teachers’s use of English language.

I was in Brunei in early December and even there they are now restricting the amount of English teacher they recruit from overseas, as they have many students capable of doing this already. The Brunei government are trying force many of their own highly educated students who have studied in fine universities overseas – that the state paid for- to become local teachers. These days in many parts of South East Asia it would be difficult for even a post graduate to find work, let alone an under graduate.

So you are left with two options either the voluntary sector which is very competitive and far and few between or the open market. Finding work on route in South East Asia, where cost of living is cheaper, is far more difficult than say in Australia & New Zealand where you can get a student working visa but cost of living higher.

However, this comes with a big caveat, with our government strong focus on clamping down on immigration has impacted on many Australian and New Zealand student coming to the work here in the UK, hence the reason their governments are also now limiting the numbers of British students than can obtain visas to go out work there.

Anyway with all that said and done there are still many things you can do to improve your chances of finding work down under to widen your skills set. If possible take a part time job in many service industries as possible. Work in a pub or bar, try working in a hotel and work in nursery and old people’s home. You will be surprised the amount of people going out for a gap year who’ve have little work experience, even in part time jobs. The more experience you can get beforehand, the easier you will find it to get yourself work. Also to note that in Australia the idea that you can walk into an office job in Sydney is near impossible unless you have a family member already working for this company who can arrange a work placement for you.

Plus make sure you get references and I am not talking about a sheet of paper saying Paddy from Rose and Crown saying you are good worker- but proper references. Do consider working with children – and I am not trying to be patronising here, I knew this guy that was great with working with children, it was not his preferred choice, as he wanted to be a fitness instructor, but he had a natural ability with children and later said that no matter where he went he could always find work with that type of experience.

Also to note Australian companies are facing east, in New Zealand less so, its all about getting into China and doing business with the east, so to get a job with one of their blue chip companies you should at least know something about the market (do your homework) if you are already a Chinese speaker, the better your chances for work.

Australia is a large country and your chances of finding work on your travels would be better in some of the less populated areas, such as Western Australia or some remote regions. But this all depends on you obtaining the correct visa first.

I will quote you something that was told to a young lady, who tried to get a temp job in one major Australia companies, having been fortunate to have been granted an interview. At the interview this person said “I already have a billion people in Asia on my doorstep, all looking for work here, why would I employ you, when many of them can work longer, harder and for less than I would pay you?

A few things to chew over, but suggest you do your homework beforehand and if you have any relatives or contacts overseas in the places you are visiting, start asking for favours. Good luck with your planning.

8. Re: Working while travelling?

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9. Re: Working while travelling?

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