So you’re thinking of taking a working holiday to? I have one thing to say… do it!
But that’s not all I will say. Here are some of the little things I have picked up over the course of the last 6 months that will hopefully help you out!
First things first!
As a woman, mostly solo traveller, I was keen to meet other people on the road. One of the things I still get when people find out that I’m travelling long-term, and on my own is ‘wow, you’re so brave!’. Not really. Here is why. There are a lot of people out there, just like me. And just like me, they’re looking to meet people too. So it’s not as lonely as you may expect! And being a girl? Nothing to do with it. I follow my instincts all the time and it has served me well. I’ve stayed mostly in mixed dorms (all girl dorms are weird – with the one exception of Prague) and I’ve never worried that I would wake up in the middle of the night with a penis in my face. I’ve been lucky to get beds in rooms with cool guys, but, if I would have ever been roomed with someone I had a bad feeling about, I would have just asked to be moved. Easy!
I stayed in some awesome hostels while I was travelling. The best would have to have been Carpe Noctem in Budapest. What made it the best though…. well there are actually too many reasons to list, but principally, it was small & intimate. When I stayed at St Christopher’s in Paris, it was good but too large to really meet anyone. When they are too large, they tend to cater to large groups of budget travellers (i.e school groups etc.), as was the case there. Don’t be afraid to get intimate!
There are a few things that you can do here in the UK. Firstly, you can move to London (which is great) and get a job, a flat (or if you’re not that lucky, a bed in a room for a few other people), some bills to pay and have no money. Secondly, you can move to Edinburgh (highly recommended), get a job, a flat (or if you’re not that lucky, a room in a share house), some bills to pay and have a little more money than the London option but still not that much money. Or, you could live in.
There are pros and cons to both. London really is awesome and Edinburgh is even better. And there are a bevy of other places in between which are just as good but you really won’t do any saving so if your whole objective of working here is to save for onward travel then perhaps it’s not the option for you. Live in however, if you can handle sharing a room and seeing the same people everyday, might be best way to go. You certainly will save a lot more money that way – provided you don’t shop or drink too much!
The best contacts I have found for live in jobs are as follows:
If you phone Dee, she will give you a list of places, names and numbers to call. The job I’m in at the moment I found through Dee. I called her and had a job within a few days.
Great website – found my first live in job through these guys, within a few hours.
Most of the pub jobs seem to be located in the midlands, although there are exceptions of course. If you want Scotland, the jobs start opening up around March/April for the summer season. I haven’t found anything for Ireland as yet so I can’t help you there – because you can work in Northern Ireland on your UK visa!
What is it like to live in I hear you ask? It’s pretty great. You work long hours (50 at my last) but that’s good, cause you have less time to spend money that way. The work is good – you will most often be working with other Aussies, Kiwi’s or Saffas and they are all they’re doing the same thing as you. I wasn’t intending to do it when I came here but I was running out of money fast and couldn’t find a job because I didn’t have any experience in the industry so I did and now I’m glad I did.
Getting a national insurance number is easy. You call the number on this page here. It wasn’t hard. I answered a few Q’s and within a week or two I had my number in the mail. Don’t freak out and pay a fortune to someone to help you get it – it’s really easy.
- Bank accounts:
I found that there are so many websites out there aimed to scare you into paying them a fortune to open a bank account for you but I’m here to tell you, it ain’t that hard, especially if you live in. You get a job, they write you a wee letter and you head into the branch, within an hour or less, you walk out with an English bank account. Hey presto!
I have a lot more to come but I have letters to write so I will add more shortly.
Hope you find it useful!