Should I Work or Travel first in Australia? – RatPack Travel



Should I Work or Travel first in Australia?

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You’ve got your Working Holiday Visa, the one way flight to Aussie is booked and it’s time to think about how you are going to spend your time in Australia. You’ve probably got mates that have done the WHV and have heard about some of the sweet spots to see and where the best places to find work are.  We’ll be sharing with you our tips on whether you should work or travel first including tips on:
  • Being money savvy before and during your trip
  • What to avoid when on your working holiday visa
  • Working in return for accomodation
  • What to do when you start running out of money!

Before heading to Australia you’ve been working your ass off to fund your travels right? All those extra hours at work, the missed nights out, the instant noodles and selling your PS games is quite the sacrifice BUT we guarantee it is worth and that you’ll have the experience of a lifetime if you use your time wisely.

Read on to find out what its like to travel Australia whilst on your working holiday visa…

Don't get sucked into a job from the off..

We’ve heard wayyyyyy too many stories about people heading straight out to Melbourne or Sydney, finding a job, getting settled into the 9-5 lifestyle (like they had at home) or even worse slaving away on a farm to get those 88 days and then realising at the end of their time they only have 1 month left and try and cram in as much travel into 4 weeks as they can. We are NOT about that, as brits, europeans, canadians, americans and more we are so lucky that we have the opportunity to spend a full year (2 if you do the farmwork – more on this in another blog) living the dream in Aussie, so make the most of it RatPackers.

RPT Social Media Queen Sophie's story...

Like a lot of people I headed out to Australia with a working holiday visa, a one way ticket and the plan to travel and enjoy myself for as long as possible… I arrived in Cairns and with the help of Sammy Boy planning the best calendar for me before I arrived, I cruised the east coast of Aussie for 2 and a half months hitting up all the amazing spots. I saw the Great Barrier Reef, partied on Magnetic Island, sailed the Whitsundays, explored Fraser Island, experienced life in Byron Bay and had a LOT of good times. By exploring the east coast I was able to see everything and also – decide where I wanted to base myself, I realised that I loved the little beachy surf towns as they had the best vibes and were the experience that I wanted!

After nearly 3 months of bouncing around the east coast, I wanted to chill a little bit so I did loads of epic little volunteer jobs, I volunteered on the beautiful Fraser Island, where i did work in return for accomodation and food, I did work for accommodation in Hervey Bay and Agnes Water in hostels and had SUCH a great time. By doing work for accom you save a lot of money and still get to experience the hostel life (FYI – you’ll normally get sick perks working for a hostel, free or cheap food, discounted tours, free laundry, free wifi etc).

How much money do you need?

I’d saved up for a whole year before I came to aussie, this meant a lot of missed nights out, no new shoes or dresses, doing car boot sales and a very stripped back lifestyle, BUT oh my god was it worth the saving as it meant when i arrived i could properly explore Australia and what it had to offer. There was no way I was coming to this beautiful country to work in an office just like I had done in England or even worse slave away on a farm, I was ready to have crazy new experiences, do jobs I’d never thought i’d do and most importantly, have the time of my life doing so. I met SO many people who were so obsessed with the idea of getting the farm work out of the way and for me it seemed crazy to do the farmwork first to stay in a country for longer that you haven’t even explored yet! I’d also heard mixed reviews on the whole farm work experience and personally it wasn’t right for me. You come to aussie for the beach life, awesome experiences, great times and you’ll be stitching yourself up if you don’t make the most of every minute in this beautiful country!

To come over to Aussie with the Working Holiday Visa you need to have $5000 AUD in your bank, so get saving RatPackers before you come out here! You might have heard from people ‘Oh Australia is SO expensive’ – and we’ll be the first to tell you that it’s as expensive or as cheap as you make it..

For example:

Coffee – $3

Avocado – $3

Night accomodation in a hostel – $20-40

A 10 minute uber – $7

What to do when you start running out of money? 

After you’ve enjoyed yourself sailing the Whitsundays, cruising around Fraser Island, snorkelling with turtles and drinking way to much goon and xxxx gold to mention it’ll probably be time to get some work and give your liver a rest right? Okay SO, important tip RatPackers, do not let your money get down to your last $, or you might find yourself in a tricky situ. Jobs in Aussie are easy to come about you just need to get out there, get networking and get yourself known! Like Sophia did, you could always do work for accomodation, every hostel offers this and is always looking for volunteers, expect to work between 15-20 hours a week doing housekeeping, driving or cooking and you’ll get free acom. The best way to find this work is to ask at reception, keep an eye out on the backpacker job fb groups or if you’ve left a hostel to continue travelling drop them an email with your CV!

There are plenty of backpacker jobs in every town and city in Aussie, so make sure your CV is up to date and get knocking on doors! You’ll find that there are plenty of jobs available in hospitality AKA baristas, bar tenders or restaurant work. There are lots of opportunities to work for call centres, charities and door knocking type of jobs – be careful of some of these as they are commission based and can be tough. Working in construction is a popular option too and you’ll find this is how you can make that serious dollar! 

Ready to head to Aussie?

Doing a working holiday visa in Australia is without a doubt the best way to experience Aussie, travel, stop to work for abit to top up your funds and then repeat! 

  • Don’t get caught up in an office job if thats not what you want to do!
  • You don’t have to do farmwork if you don’t want to stay for the second year
  • Travel first to suss out where you’d like to base yourself and scope out opportunities
  • Save up plenty before you go!

Get these locked in before you go...

Chat to our Team

We operate a 24/7 service across multiple time zones. Our RatPackers have all been there and done it! Get the ball rolling on your upcoming trip. Send over your rough travel plans (including your flight details / dates). If you are yet to book a flight and seeking advice – HIT US UP ↡

I hope you love your time in Australia as much as I did, make the most of every single moment and ENJOY it!

Sophie – RPT Social Media Guru


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