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Work and Holiday late 2014; getting stressed out

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Work and Holiday late 2014; getting stressed out

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1. Posted by eastcoastkid (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y

Hey everyone!

Sorry if this gets a little too long in length, but there's a lot of things I have questions on and right now the whole process of planning my trip is starting to get to me.

My parents: How do I tell my parents that I want to take a year off from college/university and travel halfway across the world to backpack through a country? Right now I honestly don't care about college because I don't know what to major in and I don't think I should keep forcing myself to spend money/time on schooling that I'm not going to take seriously. I fully plan on giving college another shot when I get back, but it's just not happening right now and I need to find out how to tell them that. I don't mean to come off as bratty on this situation, but currently college isn't the best thing for me, and all of my close friends agree that forcing myself to go isn't a good idea. Another thing is that we really do only get 1 shot at life, and is it what we make it. I want to see the world and Australia is the top spot on my list without question. How would you approach this situation? I plan on sitting down with my parents when my semester ends in about 6 weeks.

Jobs/backpacking around: I understand you can only work for the same employer for a max of 6 months. The problem is that takes up half of the visa if you're staying in the same area. I'm going to try and see as much of Australia as humanly possible in the 12 months I'm there. Would you just recommend saving up as much money as I possibly can that way I can minimize the amount of time I actually spend working? Or am I just missing something here lol because I hear jobs are hard to find but yet if I'm working a lot then how am I going to keep moving from city to city?

Starting point: Sydney is #1 on my visit list, but it's kind of not an ideal starting point, right? If I'm trying to go along the coastline, isn't it better to start in somewhere like Adelaide, Melbourne or maybe even Darwin or Gold Coast? I'm not opposed to starting elsewhere by any means, I'm just curious what everyone thinks is a good place to begin backpacking. Even though it's an added expense, I'm considering OzIntro for Sydney, and then maybe going to another spot to officially start backpacking?

Visa extension: I live in the US which means I'm coming over on a Work and Holiday visa as opposed to the Working Holiday Visa. I know a standard WHV can be extended for a year with regional work, but I haven't found a solid answer as to if a Work and Holiday visa can actually be turned into a 2 year trip. Is it possible to do so, or no?

Thank you to everyone who reads this post and gives me any tips, info or advice! Every little bit is appreciated greatly!

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 2y

Quoting eastcoastkid

Would you just recommend saving up as much money as I possibly can that way I can minimize the amount of time I actually spend working? Or am I just missing something here lol because I hear jobs are hard to find but yet if I'm working a lot then how am I going to keep moving from city to city?

Mostly people tend to spend a solid chunk of time in a single city (far longer than they wish they'd had in retrospect, far too frequently), working hard to earn enough money to see the rest at a leisurely pace, and then during those travels keeping an eye out for odd jobs, and cleaning hostels if they end up in a spot they like enough to want to spend a couple weeks there. But there's really no one way to do it. If you can bring more money, then that is always good, though.

Starting point: Sydney is #1 on my visit list, but it's kind of not an ideal starting point, right? If I'm trying to go along the coastline, isn't it better to start in somewhere like Adelaide, Melbourne or maybe even Darwin or Gold Coast? I'm not opposed to starting elsewhere by any means, I'm just curious what everyone thinks is a good place to begin backpacking.

It really doesn't matter. Easy enough to take an internal flight halfway across the country, and you should expect to do some backtracking at one point or another anyway. Sydney is the most common starting point simply because it's the biggest international airport, and thus has the highest population of fellow newly arrived backpackers in the same situation, but anywhere works, really.

Visa extension: I live in the US which means I'm coming over on a Work and Holiday visa as opposed to the Working Holiday Visa. I know a standard WHV can be extended for a year with regional work, but I haven't found a solid answer as to if a Work and Holiday visa can actually be turned into a 2 year trip. Is it possible to do so, or no?

It isn't. The second year WHV only applies to the 417 WHV, not to the 462 WH&V.

I don't have any advice on how to approach the subject with your parents, but I do know that I'm glad I did my WHV after finishing university. The final two years were hard to wrestle through, but I'm rather glad I persevered, as it's unlikely I'd have been capable of going back to university after having been travelling (I became a pretty different person due to my travels), while having my degree most certainly helped me find work much more easily in Australia.

3. Posted by eastcoastkid (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y

Mostly people tend to spend a solid chunk of time in a single city (far longer than they wish they'd had in retrospect, far too frequently), working hard to earn enough money to see the rest at a leisurely pace, and then during those travels keeping an eye out for odd jobs, and cleaning hostels if they end up in a spot they like enough to want to spend a couple weeks there. But there's really no one way to do it. If you can bring more money, then that is always good, though.

Yeah my plan is work as much as I can from the start of summer up until about 2 weeks before I leave (that way I have time to hang with everyone and say my goodbyes). I'm definitely gonna try and enjoy summer, but the more I bring over the less I'll have to work and that's exactly what I want.

It really doesn't matter. Easy enough to take an internal flight halfway across the country, and you should expect to do some backtracking at one point or another anyway. Sydney is the most common starting point simply because it's the biggest international airport, and thus has the highest population of fellow newly arrived backpackers in the same situation, but anywhere works, really.

Good point on backtracking, I didn't really think of that. I'm trying to start my trip during Australia's summer, so I'd really like to see Sydney first for like a week (I'll get into that in a min) and then maybe start at the Gold Coast? I'm sure those beaches are so nice during the summer months.

It isn't. The second year WHV only applies to the 417 WHV, not to the 462 WH&V

That's a pretty big bummer to be honest, but hey a year is better than a few months. It is what I make of it and I plan on taking everything in!

I don't have any advice on how to approach the subject with your parents, but I do know that I'm glad I did my WHV after finishing university. The final two years were hard to wrestle through, but I'm rather glad I persevered, as it's unlikely I'd have been capable of going back to university after having been travelling (I became a pretty different person due to my travels), while having my degree most certainly helped me find work much more easily in Australia.

I've seriously been forcing myself to go to school the last year lol. Not knowing what I want to do with my life other than traveling (making a career out of that would be nice) is extremely frustrating. I personally don't have any plans to be at school for the fall semester, I'm putting all of my efforts right now into figuring this trip out. Time off might be the best thing for me, because I can see things getting worse if I actually make the transition from junior college to university.

As for the parents thing..I'm really considering OzIntro because it looks like a LOT of fun, and because if I have something to show my parents other than me backpacking alone it might give me more things to work with. $700 is pretty expensive but it looks awesome plus it potentially helps my case out. Right now I'm thinking of making a packet full of info for my parents (visa, OzIntro, flights, etc.). Other than that, it's just I need to work like hell from summer until I leave.

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 2y

Quoting eastcoastkid

Good point on backtracking, I didn't really think of that. I'm trying to start my trip during Australia's summer, so I'd really like to see Sydney first for like a week (I'll get into that in a min) and then maybe start at the Gold Coast? I'm sure those beaches are so nice during the summer months.

Think again, alas. When you go north, the regular seasons turn into just two: wet and dry. And December through March is the wet season. Around Brisbane, that mostly means unpleasantly high humidity, occasionally interspersed with torrential rains (and really bad flooding, every few years). The Gold Coast is perfect during October early November, and April/May. And all the way north is perfect from April right through November. ('course, the beaches are probably still an amazing place to be to escape the worst of that heat and humidity. Just less nice than at other times of the year.)

The best place to be in Australia around January tends to be New Zealand. :) (Really, they have both out of control flooding and out of control bush fires at the same time in Australia. (It's a pretty big island. *g*))

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Mar-2014, at 10:20 by Sander ]

5. Posted by eastcoastkid (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y

Today has definitely been good info-wise! I was doing my usual reading of forums, websites, blogs, etc. and saw that someone pointed out that Jetstar.com has one way flights from Honolulu to Sydney for $500! If I can get the cheapest ticket to Hawaii then I feel like I'm in a pretty good spot to save some money. Does that sound like a pretty good option for getting to Australia? I'd probably chill in Hawaii for a day or 2 just because that's a long flight as is and I'm not trying to be on a plane for like 30 consecutive hours lol.

I made plans to sit down with my current advisor and tell her everything I've told my friends/you guys. I just wanna know what happens with a few school things plus have another person to share my plan with. Pretty sure I'm still gonna opt for the information packets that'll have things like: what is a W&HV, visa cost, flight prices, OzIntro, hostel information, backpacking, etc. Tell me anything you think I should add to my idea packet. Plus there's the obvious speech about how I'm not happy, blah blah etc.

Also, what lonely planet guide(s) would you recommend me buying? I've heard these are extremely helpful and I'd like to get the ones that would help me out the most: http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/australia/

Sorry if I come off as annoying on this, but I'm just trying to learn everything before I have "the talk" then either trying to get max hours at my current job or try and work full time for 6ish months.

6. Posted by eastcoastkid (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y

Ok so I met with my school advisor a few days ago, and it went extremely well and a lot better than I expected. She took time off from school multiple times to travel and so she agreed with my decision, and was impressed with all the research I did. In fact, she encouraged me to tell my parents sooner than later, and I'm planning on telling them Sunday 4/13, and that's not even two weeks away...

It's officially crunch time with getting everything in check, and I'm starting to get a little nervous. Besides that, I'm really starting to get my info packets started and am planning on meeting with my advisor again next week to show her and present things to her one more time before I show my parents. My friends also said they would help me too.

So far, my packets are going to include: W&HV visa info, OzIntro, Flights, What are hostels?, and travel insurance.

If you guys could help me get this stuff sorted out it would mean more than I could put into words because this is a decision I'm 110% committed to and I want to show my parents I worked on figuring all of this out. What would you put in for information on each of those subjects, and is there anything else that you think I'm missing?

7. Posted by eastcoastkid (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y

Bump. I have 8 days left to figure this out and my nerves are already getting out of control lol. I'm drawing the biggest blank on how to explain hostels to my parents too. Anything else you would add into my packets?

Again THANK YOU to anyone who gives me advice/tips!!

8. Posted by KellieBarnes (Admin 813 posts) 2y

Please forgive the foolish question if you have already answered this elsewhere, but what do you need to explain about hostels to your parents? Or better yet, why do you think you need to explain hostels to your parents?

9. Posted by Steve79 (Respected Member 330 posts) 2y

Quoting KellieBarnes

Please forgive the foolish question if you have already answered this elsewhere, but what do you need to explain about hostels to your parents? Or better yet, why do you think you need to explain hostels to your parents?

Yes I am struggling to understand that as well?!

Also OP I'd advised going to New Zealand as well. I much preferred it to Australia.

10. Posted by Foxy1991 (Budding Member 55 posts) 2y

For travel insurance try DUInsure, they offer the cheapest insurance I could find so far and they cover a lot as well,