Is a Working Holiday Worth It?

Is a Working Holiday Worth It - Globelopers

So you’re thinking about doing a working holiday but not sure if moving abroad is worth it? A working holiday is a great opportunity to experience a new country and culture, but it doesn’t come without difficulties. We weigh up the pros and cons of a working holiday, to help you answer the question: should I move abroad for a year?

Working Holiday Pros and Cons

Pros

A few months or longer in one place really allows you to get to know it like a local – much more than a holiday or short visit.
You don’t need as much savings as backpacking as you can legally earn whilst travelling.
You have the time to make lots of new friends and build meaningful relationships. Dating abroad is also lots of fun, and you may meet someone super special (it happened to us!).
Living elsewhere for a year helps you to realise all the great things about your hometown – when you return you may have a new found appreciation!
You might gain some great work experience and you never know where that may take you. Working holidays have been the catalyst for some of our team to start an entirely new career!
It can help you to be less materialistic – we’ve found that living out of one or two suitcases for a year helps you to reassess what possessions you actually need, and you will potentially end up saving money by avoiding pointless purchases.
You will make incredible memories for life, and even the bad stuff becomes something you can look back on and smile about.
Working holidays sometimes leads to immigration – you may love it so much you never want to leave!
It sounds cliché  but a working holiday does help one to “find” oneself. Putting yourself out of your comfort zone in such a huge way will most-likely lead to growth in confidence and self-assurance, even if things do go wrong! Also, a few months away from your current routine can help you to re-assess your priorities in life.
If you hate it, you can always go home, just with a better understanding of what your limitations and boundaries are.

Cons

Home-sickness is tough – a year away will mean you will most-likely miss out on a few big events such as weddings, births, birthdays, major sports events, etc. which we find is when the FOMO hits hard!
Setting up in a new country can be costly and stressful (setting up bank accounts, figuring out taxes, etc.) Luckily GlobElopers is here to help make all that easier!
Without prior work experience in retail or hospitality you may struggle to land a job unless you are willing to do labour work. It’s possible to find specialist work depending on your field, but you have to be prepared to fall back on retail, hospitality or labour.
Managing any responsibilites back home (e.g. renting out property) can be super stressful in a different timezone and dealing with international calling costs.
If you have consistent payments you need to be making in your home country (debts, student loans, etc) it’s important you look into how feasible it is to keep up payments whilst away and earning in a different currency. (Warning to US citizens – deferring your student loans looks tempting but can be very costly due to interest. Consider this carefully!)
If you don’t have a drivers licence you may struggle to; a) find work, and b) explore much.
You will be limited to what you can fit into one or two suitcases. Love your PS4? Yeah, you’re going to struggle to bring that with you.
You may fall in love with the place but not be presented with an opportunity to immigrate which can be heartbreaking.
A working holiday doesn’t provide an easy escape – if you are struggling or depressed in your current situation, dropping everything and moving abroad doesn’t mean your problems won’t follow you. You will get the best benefit from a working holiday if you are in a healthy state of mind.

So, is a working holiday worth it? You probably aren’t going to know until you get back from your trip, but hopefully our working holiday pros and cons list will help you to make a decision about whether it is worth it for you.

However, if you want our honest opinion, we would always encourage people to go for it! Despite the all of the above cons, we think a working holiday is most definitely worth it!