Here are five ways you can work overseas (especially when you’re over 30) without a traditional Working Holiday visa.
WWOOF stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms (or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). It’s a program that connects volunteers to host families who live on farms. In exchange for food and board, you assist the farmers, getting your hands dirty and working outdoors during your stay.
The expectations for your working day – how long it will be and what you will be required to do – will be made with your host family. You will live in your host family’s home and eat meals with them, working with them on the farm during the day.
If the idea of visiting an amazing destination and really understanding the everyday life of the locals appeals, then this may suit you. However, if you need your own space and are looking to develop your own social life, it may not. If your farm job requires manual labour, make sure you consult your travel insurance provider to see if this type of work is covered under your policy.
If you choose to go WWOOFing then there are no essential costs except for your flight. It’s one of the most inexpensive ways to complete a working holiday.
Help Exchange is an online network where you can explore opportunities to volunteer in foreign countries in exchange for food and accommodation. While it’s similar to WWOOF, the jobs are not just on farms, rather you could be doing a wide variety of work. These duties may include building a school, taking care of kids, renovating a farm, working as a guide – the list is varied.
Similarly, you could also try finding work through an organisation like Projects Abroad. Projects Abroad have staff that assist volunteers to provide support to local initiatives in developing countries. When you volunteer in a program like this, you make a real contribution to a community and you will develop a real understanding of another culture.
If you want to work abroad and travel cheaply while giving back to the communities, you’re spending time in, this is a great way to do it. However, as with WWOOF, you’ll be interacting with the people you work with 24/7, so it depends what your wants and needs are.
This is another way to travel long term without spending a lot of money as your flights will be the most expensive purchase you will need to make.
This is not a long-term option, but you can work from home (WFH) in another country for a month or two (or however long you’re allowed in that specific country visa-free).
House swapping is an excellent way for a mature person to travel abroad. If you’re a homeowner, you can swap this property with other people from overseas. For example, you could spend time in France while someone enjoys your local neighbourhood at your house.
House Sitting is similar, but instead of swapping you make yourself available to occupy someone’s house while they’re travelling. It makes people feel far more secure if someone is staying in their house while they’re away and in exchange you get to save money on long term accommodation.
If you love dogs, cats and pets in general, you might love house sitting as willingness to take care of pets is particularly desirable. House swapping is a great option for someone who lives in their own home, and in an interesting area.
These scenarios can be quite cheap in terms of accommodation, but you will need money for day to day expenses. If you combine these accommodation hunting strategies with teaching or working elsewhere this would be a great way to experience a new city.
The idea of working on a cruise ship might conjure images of white suits and romance, but cruise ships are just really large-scale floating cities, which means there are plenty of employment opportunities within them.
Have you ever worked in hospitality, as a lifeguard, in entertainment or in childcare? Perhaps you’ve been a manager, a hairdresser or worked in retail? If so, finding a job on a cruise ship is certainly a possibility no matter your age or field of expertise.
This could be for you if you:
What’s more, you may benefit from this arrangement if you prefer having your visas and travel arrangements taken care of for you.
You will get paid a wage and your accommodation and food on board will be provided, so there won’t be a lot of outlay for you.
 Department of Home Affairs. First Working Holiday Visa. https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-417/first-working-holiday-417#Overview. 2020.