Should I Work Or Travel First In Australia?

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 accommodation
  • 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…

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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.

How I've done it - from a RatPack Team Member

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 accommodation 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).

Why Book

with RatPack Travel?

  • Cheaper than booking direct

  • Free date changes

  • Personalised all the way

  • 5 star reputation

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!

Ready to book?

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From our RatPackers


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22 September 2023

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Lindy Jurd
22 September 2023

Steve and I were incredibly impressed with Reuben's great professionalism and his ability to find us a wonderful deal for our upcoming N.Z holiday in 2024. Reuben was so helpful, informative and gained us a awesome JUCY Campervan package. Thank you so much for all your assistance.🤩 I would highly recommend Rat Pack Travel to all travellers. 😊Lindy Jurd.

Bobbie Hawkes
22 September 2023

Great service from Ben, can’t recommend RatPack enough. Got us a great price over a really busy period and got us the van we wanted. So easy and will definitely use them again in the future.

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22 September 2023

Jenna was a huge help getting me a camper for my trip up through the East Coast. Availability was tight and I can’t thank Jenna enough for sorting and at a great price. Definitely worth taking the stress out of searching and using these guys.

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21 September 2023

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21 September 2023

Ben from RatPack Travel was amazing!! Highly recommend getting in contact with this company if you’re unsure what kind of vehicle is best suited for your road-trip plans!

Jodie McWilliams
21 September 2023

Jenna was so helpful and informative. She made the whole process of booking a camper so easy and answered any questions that I had. I would 100% recommend Ratpack travel for booking a campervan trip! Thanks Jenna 😀

Donna Burke
21 September 2023

Jenna was amazing! She took all the worry and stress out of booking our holiday! She was so helpful and patient, offering so much advice and securing us a lovely discount as well! Congratulations RatPack Travel - you have a winner in Jenna!

Ryan Kelly
20 September 2023

Messaged on Instagram and within a few minutes Reuben had replied, he went through every bit of detail to help arrange our east coast trip, providing the specification of the van and the true costings without any pressure. Very excited to start our trip next month, credit to the team for sure

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20 September 2023

Mikey was amazing and helped us out a great deal! Can’t recommend them enough!

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20 September 2023

Just booked a camper through Ratpack Travel with Gregg. He was super professional and talked me through the entire process with constant updates - absolute legend. One of the easiest experiences booking a camper I've had. Would definitely recommend!

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20 September 2023

Reuben was so helpful to deal with. Would highly recommend

Zelah Fines
19 September 2023

Thanks for sorting out a camper for us Ben! I look forward to the trip and travelling in the RV you found for us

Mark Camilleri
19 September 2023

Gregg was fantastic chasing a great price and was extremely responsive - he called when he said he would, chased options immediately and was quick with follow up communication. The process was quick and painless and ended with us getting a great deal.

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