Get paid for what others pay for! This is perhaps the best way to describe Working Holidays and Work and Travel Adventures - an appealing combination for those looking to enjoy a great lifestyle, from the Greek Islands to the Swiss Alps. Better than work, and better than a holiday.
Working holidays provide the opportunity to earn money whilst having plenty of free time (more than with most other types of work) to enjoy the sights and sounds and way of life of the countries you visit.
Previous experience is not usually required but if you have something extra to offer (a second language or previous work in a similar category - shop, accounts, mechanical, etc) this can be used to your advantage. The range and scope of working holidays is quite enormous with many opportunities to do things that, literally, dreams are made of.
Some of our members like to combine a variety of different opportunities to provide interesting Work & Travel trips overseas. For example - Trans Europe, Circle Pacific, Australasian Explorer, African Safari, American Interloper, to the ultimate excitement of complete Around-the-World work and travel trips. Routes can generally be pre-planned or on a non-scheduled basis of deciding as you go.
As part of the ground crew (though there are other opportunities) you will work in various jobs such as assembly, inflation/deflation, assisting with take-offs and landings, as well as equipment preparation, etc. During the flight, ground crew work out how to be at the landings using maps and compass and information provided by radio from the pilot during the flight.
Around the World in 40 Jobs: For the more adventurous members interested in working their way Around the World through country after country we have put together a myriad of different opportunities that have all been done by other members. These trips take in countries where you can earn good money with others off the beaten track that most people rarely get the chance to visit - a wonderful combination.
Longer Term Opportunities: Working at Disneyland in Paris, teaching in Japan, working on a cruise liner or private yacht, or any one of a number of longer term opportunities will appeal to those looking for a more settled period of overseas work.
However, to enjoy your time overseas you must avoid the drudgery and monotony you’ve decided to leave behind (and pretty well everything becomes monotonous with time). Thus, by combining several opportunities into a longer term ‘package’, you can spend a longer time overseas - a summer crewing on a ship in the Caribbean, followed by a winter working at a ski resort in the Alps - and so on. Variety, as the saying goes, in the spice of life, and that's what the Club is all about.
"Had somebody said to me two years ago that by the age of 18 I would be living and working thousands of miles away, I would almost have collapsed with laughter at such a suggestion. Still, here I am today doing exactly that. Taking a year out from education was not so much an option as an absolute necessity as I simply didn’t feel ready to go to university. I wanted to ‘see the world’.
"I always wanted to visit Africa, and was delighted when I was selected for a project in Luderitz, Namibia. My work involves producing a local newspaper for the town, which I thoroughly enjoy doing."… Sue Maxwell
Patagonia, the lower part of the South American continent, stretches from the Atlantic Ocean across the Andes to the Pacific Ocean. It is a land of towering mountains, deep valleys, immense forests, huge ice fields and glaciers, volcanoes, dramatic fjords, indigo and teal-colored lakes and roaring rivers, with some of the best whitewater rafting in the world.
"I'm sitting writing this in a bar in Inuvik - a small Eskimo town at 71 degrees latitude, deep in the Arctic.
"I've been staying here for the past few weeks in a glorious cabin. It's a whiteout outside with the temperature dropping. It's over 1,500 miles south to Dawson City in the Yukon, the nearest town, and from what locals are telling me, I've about 2-days before the road is shut off – and as far as winter woollies go I don’t even have a pair of gloves.
"Well, here goes …" John Peacock
John travelled to Inuvik after leaving a Club project in British Columbia.
"An old miner drove me and another to work in an old Willy’s jeep. On the way we passed eucalyptus trees, so still and pristine sharp, and over the stones of dry creek beds. All I wore were a pair of boots and shorts, and a miner’s lamp. A narrow rail led out of the mine to a dumping place. As I trundled the ore car by hand out of the adit and into the bright sunshine I felt as though I was in an old Western movie. I took lunch with me, and at the end of the day the jeep and the old fellow would reappear and drive us the mile or two back to camp.
"How many?" I was asked.
"At first I didn't understand, but it was soon explained that it meant how many beers for tonight? There was supposed to be a limit of a couple but this was not adhered to. Most of the men were drunk every night.
"After eating I liked to wander over to the old recreation room and play pool. The wind would gradually increase, blowing the rickety old doors about, before the evening downpour would come, exactly it seemed at the same time each evening. Playing in this abandoned and decaying building with the transition from the still heat to the whirling of wind and heavy rain gave a satisfying and soothing sense of being beyond the affairs of the world, in an enchanted place..." David Shaw (in Australia)
"One of the big highlights of the summer was a pop concert held on the Reservation with the Fugees playing as the main attraction. The singer Mariah Carey was responsible for organising the event, and we all had an amazing time. I thrived in such a busy, hectic environment and became friends with people from different parts of the world, who under normal circumstances I would never have met."... Kathleen Francois
"Victor and I had a love-hate relationship throughout France for over 3-months. Admittedly I did beat him up a bit during our travels so he did look a bit the worse for wear when the gendarmerie finally caught up with us outside St Ambroix in the Ardeche ...
"Wait a minute - that doesn't read too well. First of all I'm definitely heterosexual, secondly I'm not particularly violent and lastly I'm not a criminal. You see, 'Victor' was my hire van and we were casually thrown together courtesy of a mutual friend/employer - Eurocamp Travel.
"Can anyone drive? they'd asked dangling the keys in front of us all in the dining room. I grabbed the keys before anyone else had the chance to put their hands up. I'm a bad driver but an even worse passenger.
"It all started innocently enough during one of those grey London days in December. I went for an interview for the position of campsite courier and like most of the other pasty looking applicants was looking for a long, relaxing summer.
"Fifteen rainy weeks later I turned up at the Dover ferry terminal and a group of us were escorted on to the Dover-Calais ferry and then bussed south along the coast to St Valery. Training took place over two days at the campsite just outside the town.
"During the two days we 'camped' in the relative comfort of mobile homes before getting down to the nitty-gritty - putting up, cleaning and maintaining the tents and all the equipment.
"Did I say tents? They are more like detached, suburban home from homes. With maximum headroom and a couple of bedrooms they are equipped with fridge, gas stove, electric lights, beds, mattresses, crockery, cutlery, garden furniture, barbecues, CD player, satellite TV ... you get the idea!
"Once a site has been set up the allotted couriers are left behind to start running it and the rest of the team move on to the next one. There were about 12-15 of us setting up sites and we drove about 2,500 miles and set up fourteen camp sites. When we arrived at a site the first thing to do was find the owner, introduce ourselves and either crack a few bottles of wine with them then or wait until the evening - depending on the schedule. We'd then locate the store and load-up the vans. The first tents put up would be for the team to sleep in and one tent for cooking and eating in. Since none of us were cooks, we took it in turns.
"After setting up the last sites amidst the splendor of the Alps, Fiona and I returned Victor and Valery to the hire company office in Lyons. It was with heavy heart that I left Victor - farewell montage man, and montage van too as we had to scrub ourselves clean, shave, sleep for 14-hours, and emerge as couriers!
"Most people, myself included, see it as a one-off experience but many return year after year (sometimes working in the ski resorts during winter) and a few decide to make a career of it and become full time supervisors or administrators. The opportunities are there and whatever happens you will certainly have a memorable summer"
"Inspired to travel overseas by asking myself what would I be missing if I chose to stay in Scotland all my life, I urge anyone considering backpacking to just do it. If it doesn't work out you can always return home safe in the knowledge that you tried it.
"My adventure in Canada was blessed with amazing luck. Surviving a horrible budget flight, I arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, without a working visa and well below the funds required for my six-month stay. I headed to the little town of Osoyoos to sample life as a fruit picker, and one week later I was there. Imagine my disappointment/horror on discovering the harvest was still one month away.
"Stranded at the Greyhound bus station with no back-up plan and low on funds, salvation lay across the road in the form of a public house. I hadn't even finished my first pint when I landed work and accommodation at a beach and nearby ranch. I worked for the most generous people I have ever met. They supplied dinner every night and they knew how to eat well. Steaks, ribs, salmon and buffalo meat, washed down with gallons of Kokanee beer seemed a fair exchange for raking leaves off the beach.
"Before long I felt like a celebrity – being introduced to the locals (who were confused as to why I was in Osoyoos in the beginning of May). Everyone had a job for me from cutting grass to putting up fences and the gamble of not forking out for a working visa had paid off. Employers were keen on showing me around town, which led to wild parties with real life cowboys and Indians. The most bizarre party though, was with members of the Hells Angels after I had worked for one of the bikers. I laughed as I sent emails home, knowing my friends would take some convincing that I was telling the truth. I also thought of the same friends back home going through the boring routine that I was glad to leave behind.
"I became a local at the bar where it all started and the accent was deployed to great effect, with free drinks supplied by smitten barmaids. Again the bar doubled as job center when I was introduced to the world of fruit picking by another patron just hours after I finished a laboring job. It was perfect, just how I’d imagined it. The weather was flawless and the location scenic.
"Camping in the orchard with ten other like-minded backpackers proved to be an ideal way of life. Starting early meant finishing by two o’clock and on the beach by three. Carefree days were complimented by a superb camaraderie amongst fellow pickers as nights were spent around the fire, under the stars, with guitars strumming and beers flowing. PS. The money wasn't bad either!
"I followed the fruit trail north to Kelowna via Oliver and Penticton. This would be my happiest time in Canada. Within three days I was working at the hostel which covered my board and most meals. The hostel was small, making it very welcoming with a friendly, communal atmosphere. There was an interesting mixture of nationalities and being the first point of contact for new guests, I was never short of company. There was a unique family feel about the place, everyone knew each other and with time it genuinely felt like home. The hostel was the perfect place to pick up casual work and on more than one occasion I was down to my last $20, only for someone to enter the hostel looking for workers. There was an abundance of casual work and many bars to spend the earnings in, which I duly did.
"No one said it out loud, but I know many people doubted I'd be travelling for so long. I hope those same people realise that if I can do it so can they. I enjoyed backpacking so much that I didn’t go home, instead following the sun to Australia where I am still living the dream …