How to choose a working holiday destination 

Working holidays are a great way to spend your summer. They offer the chance to explore new countries, experience different cultures, and earn some money at the same time. 

However, selecting a working holiday destination can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure what type of holiday or job you want. 

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at how to choose a working holiday destination. We’ll cover a range of factors, from identifying where you want to go to the type of work you want to do. 

Determining your travel preferences

Before choosing a destination, it’s essential to consider what type of experience you’re looking for. Do you want to relax and unwind, or seek adventure? Do you want to meet and socialise with new people, or to immerse yourself in a new culture? Or do you want all of the above combined?

If it’s the latter, you might want to consider working abroad in one of Europe’s top party hotspots. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded people, enjoy a vibrant party atmosphere, and get to spend your days sunning yourself on the beach.

If you prefer complete relaxation, consider destinations with stunning scenery and laidback vibes. Bali, Thailand and the Caribbean fit the bill, but they can be costly to get to. For a more wallet-friendly alternative, look into the Balearic Islands, southern Italy or the Portuguese Algarve. 

Adventure addicts should consider places like New Zealand or South Africa, where you’ll be able to find various adrenaline-fuelled activities like bungee jumping, skydiving and shark cage diving (count us out!).

Your budget and length of travel time will also need to be taken into account. When you’re weighing up a destination, first take the time to research average accommodation costs, daily living expenses, and the cost of transport. 

You might find it’s possible to have a longer holiday by heading somewhere with low living costs. Spending more time away means you won’t be as stressed trying to fit in both your work and leisure time. 

Consider your work situation

The type of work you’ll be doing while on holiday is another key component in your decision. If you’re a freelancer or are planning on continuing your current role remotely, you’ll need to consider time zone variations, internet connectivity and other logistical factors.   

If you’re planning on getting a summer job abroad, there are fewer limitations. You’ll still need to figure out what type of work you’re comfortable doing, though. 

Lots of people choose to work at holiday resorts in places like Spain and Greece. Here, you’ll find a great variety of work on offer. There’s usually no experience required (unless you’re doing a specialist job like bodypainting), and you’ll have the option of day or night work, depending on what suits you best.

Some other popular holiday jobs include:

Holiday rep

The role of a holiday rep is to take care of guests arriving at a resort. The day-to-day tasks can vary depending on who your employer is, but might include things like airport meet and greets, booking excursions, and providing guidance on the local area.

Bar staff

Wherever you go in the world, there will be bars, clubs and restaurants looking for workers. Becoming a member of bar staff generally involves making drinks, collecting and washing glasses, and providing excellent customer service!

Farm worker

In places like the Australian Outback, farm workers are often in high demand. You could spend your days fruit picking, harvesting vegetables or helping to manage livestock.  

Ski season worker 

Ski resorts get super busy during the winter months. There are plenty of businesses looking for people to work in hospitality, lift operations, and ski rental desks. 

English teacher

No, you don’t have to have a degree in English literature. In places like China and Vietnam, native English speakers have plenty of job opportunities to teach English as a foreign language to locals. 

Summer camp coordinator

Summer camp coordinators are responsible for planning and overseeing the activities at a summer camp. If you have any unique skills, such as playing a musical instrument, you could also look for work as an activity instructor. 

Make room for socialising

Working and travelling abroad can be a lonely experience if you don’t make time to socialise. It’s therefore a good idea to look for a working holiday somewhere that’s popular with your age group, or with people who have similar interests to you.

There are many destinations and types of working holidays that cater to foreign workers by hosting regular events and meet-ups. Some jobs, such as resort work, have a ready-made community that you can immediately integrate yourself into. 

Popular destinations for young travellers include Ibiza, Magaluf and Greek islands such as Zante. These are all famous for their wild nightlife, which involves some of the best clubs and beach parties in the world.  They attract young people from all over, making them the perfect place to spread your social wings.

Other considerations 

Choosing a working holiday destination is a decision that involves more than just locations and jobs. There are other important factors to consider to ensure a smooth and safe experience. Here are some additional things you should keep in mind:

  • Visa requirements – different countries have different visa rules, so you need to make sure you have the right paperwork before you travel.
  • Health and safety – take out travel insurance so that you’ve covered in case of a medical emergency. Do your research on staying safe, especially in countries where criminals are known to target foreigners (this isn’t normally a problem within Europe).
  • Cultural differences – it’s always a good idea to make sure you understand the local norms and etiquette before heading abroad, or you might find yourself having a few misunderstandings! 

Get booking your working holiday

Working abroad can offer many benefits, such as gaining valuable life experience, exploring the world, and making friends you’d have never otherwise met. But making the move fulltime is a big decision, which is why so many people decide to go on a working holiday instead.

Hopefully this guide has helped you get closer to deciding where you want to go on yours. If you’re ready to take the next step, take a look through the working holidays we provide at Ace. From Kavos to Ibiza, bar staff to PR rep – you’ll have plenty of locations and opportunities to choose from. 

About Fabio Delgado

Fabio is a resort rep and experienced head hunter. Fabio has a wealth of knowledge in working abroad. Fabio writes regular posts for to advise and share his first-hand knowledge of working in Summer Resorts. The process can be daunting if it your first time, so his articles will answer any questions about how it works and what you might need to prepare. Fabio also shares regular tips and guides on getting the most of your Summer Season.