Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Working Holidays :: What You Need To Get Started

If you are thinking of going on a working holiday lots of things will probably run through your head, where do you start, what do you want to do, where do you want to travel? Beyond actually having the visa you might not think about what else you need to get started. So what do you need to work in  other than the visa?

National Insurance Number
In the UK we have our National Insurance Numbers (NI), in Canada its a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and in Australia its a Tax File Number (TFN) but this is a vital first step to working in any country. It dictates how much tax you pay, your tax-free allowance on your earnings and allows you to actually be employed in a country. Sometimes you can apply for this before you arrive in the country you wish to work in, check out the government pages for advice.

UK - National Insurance Number Info
Canada - Social Insurance Number Info
Australia - Tax File Number Info

Bank Account
Where else will your wages go? Finding the best bank account and savings account to make your pay go further can be difficult. I'm a huge fan of finding accounts with a good rate of interest and low fees (this is the Brit in me wanting to make my money make its own money haha), so a bit of shopping around online can be your friend as well as asking locals when you arrive. For example when I arrived in Canada I already knew most banks charge transaction fees each month but some will wave them. Then a local told me to apply for an online bank called Tangerine once I have some credit history in Canada as they never charge fees.

Some banks will also wave the fees if you have your wages paid directly into your account or if you have preauthorisations (e.g. a post paid mobile plan) going out of your account. In Australia I used NAB as they had no charges and you can set up a e-saving account that you can manage from your phone.

Mobile Phone
As an obvious one but keeping in touch, calling potential jobs, getting called for jobs etc etc. A mobile phone is a asset in any country now. Whether you go prepaid, I found some great prepaid (PAYG) plans in Australia and the UK or postpaid (which better value in Canada if you are old enough -you must be 19 or over) connectivity will always be a jobseekers best friend.

The best plan I had was when I travelled Australia which included minutes to call mobiles and landlines in the UK making calling home a breeze - except the time difference - so Thanks Optus!

Job Hunting Knowledge
Finding those jobs can be vital sometimes to continuing your travels but knowing where to find them can sometimes be a challenge. Gumtree, Indeed and Seek are all great places to start if you want to search before you arrive in a city but going on foot and introducing yourself to the manager in person is always going to be a good bet. Personality and standing out from the crowd is key, be yourself and let your great personality win them over to get you the job.

For me these are the 4 basics I have learned will help get you started in the right way and for Australia were especially easy to apply for. Getting started on a working holiday is one of the most frequent things i have been asked so I figured its time to post about it.

Do you have any other tips for new travellers or first time working holidayers? Leave them in the comments below.

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