5 ways to conquer work and travel

By Jimmy Sonberg     04.10.17


It's the dream of all keen travellers, right? It's what people imagine as the perfect life (if that really exists). The ability to travel and work, work and travel, to keep your trip going and going. That's what it's all about. But how do you do it, and is it truly possible?


1. Understand, you need to be flexible




When it comes to the reality of work and travel, you simply have to be flexible, there's no way around that. If your vision of work and travel is you swanning around, posting images on Instagram and somehow becoming rich because of it, you need to just give up now. The short-but-sweet fad of being paid to Instagram and becoming rich from blogging is most certainly coming to a close. So don't set the bar too high. Get whatever work you can that's going to give you the flexibility to do it short-term and have plenty of time to travel. Something like Au Pair work is brilliant as many contracts are for a few months and then you can move to a different family in another part of the country. Remember the main goal here, you're working to travel, not travelling to work.


2. Always try to plan ahead




Funding your travel through flexible work doesn't just happen overnight. It certainly doesn't just fall into your lap. You've got to look ahead and plan where you're going. Throw some feelers out to different companies or organisations who look as though they can make it happen. Unfortunately, you won't be able to just turn up and have the dream traveller job on your doorstep. There are companies out there that really can help make this a reality, just do a bit of research on where you're wanting to go and look into some work and travel companies.


3. Look into seasonal work



Seasonal work can be a great idea for those who are looking to stay put in one place for a few months, then simple travel for the rest of the year. Not all parts of the world have seasonal options, but some of the big working holiday hotspots definitely do. Think of New Zealand (Queenstown), USA (The Rockies), Canada (British Colombia), Europe (The Alps) just to name a few. Many of these destinations are a hive of activity in both the Winter and the Summer, but different roles are needed in different seasons. You'll be able to find someone wanting backpackers to help them out, whether it be working in a bar, on the slopes, or as a holiday rep.

4. Don't look past recruitment agencies



Many travellers or backpackers think signing up with a recruiter means you'll be tied to a boring 9-5 job and being paid very little. This is far from the truth. I met with some recruitment agencies here in New Zealand who were gagging to get some backpackers and travellers onboard with them. They loved the flexibility of travellers, especially in the hospitality industry as people typically work on events or one-off shows. Backpackers stay on board with an agency, and as they travel, they contact them for work in new locations. Genius really!


5. Volunteering should always be an option



Though volunteering doesn't pay you, it can be an excellent way to work for accommodation or your meals. It's a way of not spending much but still moving round the country. In lots of countries, there are schemes to make this happen, whether you're keen to do a volunteering project, or you really want to get involved with work on a community level. WWOOFing is super popular all over the place now. It stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It's a scheme that connects willing workers with organic farms, who don't get paid but get their accommodation and food included. They are often just short placements, meaning you can move around the country and onto something new. It's a cool idea and worth getting involved in.

Travel and work no longer need to be separate entities, they can be used together to make your dreams come true. Be sure to look into the visa requirements for each country so you don't do something that'll get you kicked out! Using work to travel is a lot easier than you think, so with a little guidance and assistance, you too can be a Nomad Nanny or a Travelling Tradie.

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