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What is Work and Travel?

What is Work and Travel?

Work and Travel - this is a unique way to travel. Working and traveling at the same time? Have you encountered the concept before and you finally want to know how exactly it works and what you should consider? No problem: These questions will soon be a thing of the past, because in our article we will show you everything about work and travel. We will introduce you to the concept and the requirements for it and inform you about the organization, job opportunities and costs. Here we go!

What is work and travel?

The idea behind the Work and Travel concept is to spend a certain amount of time abroad and finance the trip – at least in part – through jobs in the respective country. That means you can work and travel at the same time. Many decide to do this shortly after completing school or training. Work and Travel is also popular for a break between a bachelor's and master's degree. Most travelers spend at least three months on it, but would like to stay longer. New Zealand, Australia and Canada are undisputedly the most popular countries for work and travel. The reasons for this are on the one hand the nature, wildlife, culture and sights of the countries, but also the good working and travel conditions for young people. 

What are the requirements for Work and Travel? 

In order to realize the dream of work and travel, you have to meet a few requirements. These are not many, but they should be taken into account. Everything revolves around the so-called  Working Holiday Visa . Germany has an agreement with many countries that offer this visa. These include popular New Zealand, Australia and Canada. The  Working Holiday Visayou can apply at any time if you are under 31 years of age at the time of entry and under 35 for Canada. In addition, you should have no criminal record and be a German citizen. The visa will be issued to you by the embassy or consulate of the country to be visited in Germany. It is usually valid for one year. In some countries you also have to show a certain amount of money to apply for a visa. This is done to ensure that you could survive (temporarily) without a job.

How do I organize my work and travel?

If you decide to go on the Work and Travel adventure, some preparation is of course required. To ensure that this is completely relaxed, we will show you the most important things you should pay attention to here. 

There are initially two options for planning: either you take it into your own hands or you let an organization help you. The best-known service providers for this are  AIFS  or  TravelWorks . Of course, depending on the country you want to travel to, there are many more. The third option is also becoming increasingly popular: the middle ground, where you can book a starter package. This enables you to have an accompanied start abroad. But it also means that you have to do the preparations in Germany and book the flights yourself. Also, keep in mind that each organization charges a fee for their services.

No matter which path you choose: Here is a checklist with all the preparations that work and travel requires:

  • Flight, getting around:  Of course it must be ensured that you reach your destination country and how you get from the airport to your accommodation or to other destinations.
  • Visa: The most important point! We have already explained above how and where you can apply for this.
  • Vaccinations: You should find out in advance which valid vaccinations you need to enter your destination country and do them in good time – if necessary. Keep in mind that some people also need follow-up vaccinations, which are separated by a certain period of time. So take care of it early on!
  • Insurance: In New Zealand, for example, international health insurance is a prerequisite for the visa. But you should also think about whether liability and/or accident insurance makes sense for you. Travel cancellation insurance can also be helpful. It is best to find out about the obligations and requirements in the respective destination country.
  • Overnight stay/food on site: Of course you also have to stay overnight and eat somewhere. Hostels are very popular with travelers for work and travel. Depending on the country, there are also numerous other options for accommodation.

This list represents all the preparations that you should best do well in advance of your trip. In addition, you can also think about some things on site. This includes, for example, a mobile phone contract including the Internet or buying or renting a car for the time being. You can usually get tickets for public transport or leisure activities locally.

How do I find suitable jobs?

When it comes to work and travel, the jobs that you will do during the trip are of course essential. But how do you find the right ones? We'll show you! 

If you stay in a hostel during your stay abroad, where many backpackers also stay, you can usually find out a lot from hearsay there. You can certainly pick up one or the other tip where they are currently working or where they are looking for workers. In addition, there are often bulletin boards in hostels or daily newspapers and flyers where job offers can be found. You can also ask the hostel staff. If you stroll through the place where you are right now, keep your eyes open! Because you often see notices with job advertisements in caf├ęs, restaurants, shop windows or supermarkets.

You will definitely find a lot of helpful things online: There are special job portals for backpackers and websites with classified ads. You can also take the initiative yourself, search through telephone or business directories and ask specific companies or shops. You also have the option of registering with a job placement agency or temporary work agency in the respective country. They can then find you a job. If you are traveling with an organization, you can also hope for support in finding a job.

The type of activity then depends entirely on the region and the need for workers in different areas. Temporary jobs are really often available. In New Zealand or Australia farm or plantation work is in high demand, while in Canada there is often a need for workers in the hotel and catering industry. 

When working abroad, you should pay attention to a few things so that the work and travel is and remains a positive experience for you: On the one hand, there are the working conditions of the respective job. It is best to find out here about the laws and regulations for (temporary) workers in the target country. This applies above all to the areas of wages, security and occupational safety. On the other hand, always write down your working hours yourself and make a note of any overtime. This is how you avoid a company taking advantage of you. 

How much does Work and Travel cost me?

You are certainly interested in what costs you should calculate for your work and travel adventure. We want to tell you. 

Basically, you should roughly estimate the costs before you travel so that you know how much you have to reckon with. The costs for the work and travel are made up of various components. If you decide to get support from an organization, you will of course have to pay them for their services - the prices here vary greatly and depend on the destination country. Then of course you should consider the price of the working holiday visa. This is around 300 euros, but can also vary depending on the country. In addition, there is the arrival. Depending on which country you are going to, the distance naturally also determines the price of the flight. If you are planning your trip alone, you can compare here. Before the start of the trip, the costs for insurance, which you may still take out, also come together. 

Regular payments are then made locally, such as for accommodation. As you have already read, hostels are very popular. This is mainly due to the low cost of overnight stays. In Australia you pay the equivalent of between 15 and 20 euros per night, while in New Zealand it is 20 to 30 euros. You should also take food into account: Grocery prices are mostly moderate, so you can shop well in the supermarket. Plan around 50 to 60 euros per week here. Of course, if you eat in a restaurant, you have to reckon with other costs. Leisure activities and sightseeing also cost admission. Whether you rent a car on site or use public transport, there are running costs here too.

This all probably sounds expensive to you at first, BUT: You also earn money by working. So you can finance a lot, especially on site. It certainly depends on the type of job and the payment, but the concept actually works well for most backpackers despite a rather small budget. Nevertheless, flights, visas and accommodation cost money. We therefore recommend that you start saving as soon as you are sure that you want to do Work and Travel. With this concept, the focus is still on travel - although working allows you to finance part of it, it is not the main part of the stay.

Did you know that you can also get tax refunds if you've worked abroad? If that's not practical for the wallet! This option is called taxback  . We strongly recommend that you check for your destination country whether and how you can have the taxes reimbursed. You have to submit a tax return for this. If this is a bit too complicated for you, you can get help from various service providers.


Work and Travel - this concept is ideal for backpackers. Traveling and working at the same time is the ideal solution for many. In our article you have read which prerequisites and preparations should be made. You have also learned which costs you should calculate and that you can start saving now. With that you should be well prepared for the adventure.

Rudolfus Kikkert
Rudolfus Kikkert Interest In City Tourism

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