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


500+ Google & Facebook reviews


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Anita Howard
17 March 2023

I booked my campervan to travel in NZ via RatPack Travel, who managed to find me the perfect van at relatively short notice and with a discount! It was a real help to have someone do the searching and mediate with the company, once they had dates and information from me. Thanks for the prompt and friendly service!

Charlie Coe
16 March 2023

Great service! Jenner was so much help and gave us lots of options to suit our journey. Very attentive and made it an easy process.

Emily Hirsch
16 March 2023

This was the best customer service I ever experienced! I highly recommend you if you are looking for a Van or Camper to leave your email address so somebody of their team can get in touch with you. They compare for you all camper hire company’s and you can choose with one suits you the best. I literally talk to this awesome lady from Holland (as I’m only available after 8pm MEL time, so the arrange for me a call with somebody from the EU team for free) and she got our dream van for the most incredible price few minutes after we talked! And not even one day later I got my booking confirmation from the camper company. Their service is free of charge as they earn commission of your booking but this doesn’t cost you a cent. I did my own research before but the deals they give me was way better than I could find by my own. I highly recommend to get in touch with this team and let them find your Van. They literally saved us our fuel cost for a 3 weeks travel from Cairns to Sydney. Yes- that’s almost $1000 they saved us! Go and get your van! You won’t regret it.

Melissa workman
16 March 2023

So far, so so good. I should have started with RatPack to begin with and saved all that time searching for a camper and feeling like I was getting nowhere. Jenna was incredibly helpful -doing all the hard yards and getting us the best deal. Very prompt service. Thanks for making it so easy !

Alice Gould
16 March 2023

Very friendly service with Tammy. Super attentive and keen to help us. Got us a discount and one of the last available options.

Caleb Boyer
15 March 2023

Ratpack was super helpful! They were extremely responsive and helped us get an amazing deal on two 3-person camper vans. Highly recommend giving them a shot!

Katie O'Shea
14 March 2023

Really straight forward helpful and friendly people!

Nicole Rodriguez
13 March 2023

Mike helped us with finding the best van for us for our 3 week trip and was very knowledgeable. With some quick phone calls he gave us the best quotes and walked us through the process in detail. Everything was made clear and we booked our trip in just an hour! I would highly recommend their service.

Jaden Dankevy
13 March 2023

Great experience with the RatPack travel team! Really went out of their way to help us book our Van’s for two different trips! They have great rapport with the various Van companies, were able to help us book the last available Van for our time in WA and were able to get us some discounts as well. Zan and Mikey were both so easy going, made it feel like we were chatting with friends who genuinely cared about our travels haha, awesome guys! Definitely recommend the RatPack service, will save you time and money fellow travellers!

Rosie Paton
13 March 2023

Mike was amazing - helped me find a van and gave me quotes, a full breakdown, etc super quickly no stress! Just what I needed. Can't wait to start my trip. Thanks dude!

aaron coogan
12 March 2023

Booked a 3 week trip with MIKEY! Customer service was on point. No Buls**t straight to the point. Saved us a further % on the original price of the campervan and sent me a map of the east coast with highlighted areas he highly recommended to stop at. looking forward to our trip! 🇮🇪 🇦🇺

Amy Shaw
10 March 2023

Highly recommend this company! Mike was incredibly helpful; he gave us lots of useful info and managed to get an excellent deal on a camper for our trip. The whole process was quick and easy. Thank you! Alison and Amy x

Ruth Clark
10 March 2023

Mikey was amazing at helping us plan our 3 week schedule for the east coast. He went over and above to make sure that we were able to fit everything in that we wanted to in the time we have. His knowledge has been a great asset for us making an itinerary. Can't recommend enough!

9 March 2023

If you want to book a camper for your trip, you should only do so with Ratpack. The team is incredibly fast and provides great service. No annoying comparison of providers, since Ratpack takes over. They are looking for the best deal and can offer great discounts. they respond individually to your wishes and give you additional tips for the trip. Since there is also an EU team, you could make calls at individual times of the day - simply excellent all around - thanks for everything

malcolm weaver
8 March 2023

Absolutely delighted with the service provided by RatPack Travel. In particular, the excellent guidance and support offered by Jules! We explained our plans and she found a suitable solution to meet our needs. Very grateful and suggest other travellers use this facility. Thank you 😊

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