10 Reasons Why Taking a Working Holiday is a Good Idea

Unsure about taking that working holiday you keep dreaming about? Here are 10 reasons why you should pack up your things and go.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com, by avlxyz

A working holiday is when you spend a significant amount of time in another country and have the working rights to back it up. With this setup, you're able to pick up a job or two (or 6) and break that arrangement up by traveling or moving on to a new location in the country.

For the vagabond, this is the perfect situation that needs no selling.  For others who think it might sound appealing but still need that extra push, here are 10 reasons why taking part in a working holiday is a great idea to consider.

1. A Working Holiday Visa Gives You Longer to Travel

In general, a working holiday visa grants you access to a country for a longer period of time than a standard tourist visa.  In Australia, for example, the typical tourist visa is for 3 months when a working holiday visa grants you country-roaming rights for 12.  Even if you don't work at all, the working holiday visa could be a good option for the individual that wants to stay in Australia for as long as possible without needing to deal with exiting and entering multiple times for visa renewal.

2. The Getaway is Sustainable

With a working holiday visa, you can work as you go, meaning you won't necessarily go into debt while spending time abroad.  Your method of travel may vary.  Some prefer to travel up-front for several months and then spend the rest of the time working in one or two different locations.  Others prefer to work for a month, travel for a month and then work for a month again.  Either way, the travel is sustainable in the sense that you can keep refilling your travel funds with casual employment.

3. You Can Leave Sooner

Without the need to save up thousands and thousands of dollars in advance, you can leave for overseas adventures sooner with a working holiday visa. If there is anything more of a downer when it comes to travel, it just might be the idea that you can't do it because of money problems.  The working holiday visa alleviates this issue.

4. It Provides an Opportunity to Try Your Hand at Various Trades

With a working holiday visa, you are basically given the opportunity to test out any type of job, and you are probably put in a position to accept ones that you normally wouldn't when at home.  You never know what you might discover.  Perhaps your perfect job might be one where you're working on a cattle ranch in the outback or serving up drinks at a pub in London.  Maybe you discover that street marketing is your forte.  A working holiday, in this sense, could end up being a life-changing experience.

5. You Can Give Your Holiday More Structure

Many travelers find themselves, when staying in hostels night after night, participating in parties and drinking activities more often.  Not only does this cause you to deplete your travel funds, it might also lead you to doing less of the real travel activities you came for in the first place.  By splicing in some working here and there, it helps to put you on a schedule and keep your travels more structured.

6. A Working Holiday Makes a Good Break

A popular time to sign up for a working holiday is that break between high school and college or the break after college and before entering the real working world.  Later working holiday experiences are often used by individuals as a way to get out of a rutt with a job back home and have new choices.  The reason the working holiday is so great is because it allows for this break with some employment opportunities in the mix.

7. You May Make More Local Friends

When you're backpacking or jumping from place to place constantly, the majority of the people you meet – in hostels or on tours, for example – are simply other tourists.  By taking up employment in a country abroad, you are more likely to meet and make friends with the locals, and that can do wonders for really introducing you to a culture.

8. You Gain a Better Cultural Understanding

There's really only so much you can do and learn in a country on short 2 week holidays.  While this may lead to a general understanding of a culture, there's no getting around how much more you will learn with an extended working holiday stay.  In addition, you will have actual working experience in a foreign country, which may or may not be of benefit to you on your return back home.

9. It Builds a Better Resume

Obviously, this point is one of contradictory views.  Having a working holiday build a better resume comes down to the field you intend to work in down the road, as well as the type of work you will be undertaking while abroad.  Some employers might enjoy that a potential employee has work experience and cultural understanding abroad.

10. It Gives the Chance to Assess a Potential Expat Location

Seeing how a working holiday gives a person the opportunity to stay for an extended period in another country, it allows for individuals the chance to assess whether or not this would be a good permanent move.  You would get to see first-hand how good or bad the economy is functioning, what the job market is like in your intended field and a whether or not you mesh well with the setup in general. A working holiday in this case would be more of a trial-run.

About the Author

Brooke Schoenman is the type of person that doesn't need any convincing when it comes to heading out on a working holiday, but she is more than happy to help others who are still on the fence make the big leap.  She currently lives in Australia where she also writes for an Australia Travel Guide, but you can catch some of her personal adventures on her blog Brooke Vs the World or by following along on Facebook and Twitter.

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