Lots of questions about living in Vancouver

Travel Forums North America Lots of questions about living in Vancouver

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1. Posted by SalFrog (Budding Member 22 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey hey to all,

My boyfriend and I are flying to Vancouver, Canada on July 26 of this year. We have a 12 mth plane ticket and are planning on staying in Vancouver for at least 6 months, more if all is going well.

We will both be working while we are there, I am after a job that doesn't require to much commitment as we plan to buy car and every month or so, go for a 5 - 7 day mini-holiday in the surrounding area, camping, hiking etc. (In winter we plan to do the same except replace hiking with snowboarding) So I have a couple of questions for anyone who is keen to give some help.

--> Is it likely that I will find a job that will allow me to take a week off every month or so
---> Would it be better for me to quit a job each time we go and look for another one when we come back from our mini-break. What are the chances that I will be able to get another job quickly? I'm not after anything fancy, just something to pay the bills.

---> Do any backpackers hostels provide long term accomodation that will allow us to leave and return regularly? (We would book our departure and return dates as far in advance as we can)

---> If staying in a hostel doesnt work out, we are happy so stay in an apartment, although what then is the likelihood of us finding a place that rents out on a month to month basis?

---> Also, if anyone could give me an idea of general living costs in vancouver? For instance, approximate weekly rental cost for a 1 bdrm apartment in a decent part of town, groceries, fuel, etc. I come from Brisbane, Australia ( so you have something to compare it to )

Thanks in a advance for all your help.
Happy Travelling

2. Posted by Piecar (Inactive 1218 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Frankly, I feel sorry for whatever business hires you only to find out you're quitting every month to take a vacay.

Rent for an apartment is pretty steep in Van. You could find some bachelor or something out of town for maybe 600 a month. Very few are going to rent month to month for a good rate. Something furnished can be found. But on a month to month the cost will be more expensive for sure. Try Craigslist.

beer in the bar will cost about four dollars for a pint
beer in the store can be bout for about a dollar fifty a can
Bread can be found for 1.89
Can of soup .99
pound of hamburger 3.50

What you are offering both the job and the home is a complete lack commitment and a possibility of just skipping off, leaving them hanging. I can't imagine anyone inclined to give you a great screaming deal. On the other hand, Aussies for some reason get away with all kinds of kooky things around the world....mostly through sheer audacity.

3. Posted by NDWT (Budding Member 14 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Piecar is right about appearing pretty flaky if you want to quit every few weeks to travel. Your best bets are bartending or waitressing. Hostels also have short term employment, but most want a few months at minimum. Be honest with any potential employer about your intentions to set expectations for everyone involved.

4. Posted by SalFrog (Budding Member 22 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your honesty guys.

I understand what you are saying Piecar about from the employer's / landlords' point of view about the possibility of lack of commitment, but I would always be upfront with them on my intentions. If that arrangement wasn't working for me after a while of looking, obviously I would then look for work / accommodation on a longer term basis.

$600 a month isn't to expensive compared to what we pay in Brisbane. I was actually budgeting for up to $1000 a month. I will definately give Craigslist a shot, thanks.

NDWT working in a hostel I think would be a great idea, I will probably look into doing that on a longer term basis, thanks for the idea.

I am all up for changing my plans if they don't work out, and after both your replies I am thinking twice about our original plans.

Thanks for the advice :)

5. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

If it's a cheap short term job you want apply for a midnight shift @ Siegel's Bagels lots of turnover, terrible conditions but a small amount of money.

Day produce vendors @ Granville Island Market also go through a lot of short term people.

Most hostels have a 30 day limit.

6. Posted by Piecar (Inactive 1218 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Well, there are day menial labour jobs to be had and agencies in the newspaper, and again, on craigslist that pay cash. That's a possibility

7. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

If you don't fall into one of the categories listed at Jobs that do not need a work permit, you'll have to obtain one if you want to work legally.

The criteria which needs to be met if you do have to apply for one can be found at Work Permits - Canada

Working illegally of course means that you'll probably be deported if you're caught. That would reflect detrimentally on any visa application you made to another country at some time in the future.

8. Posted by tazzaa (Budding Member 22 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I arrived in Vancouver last July, work was easy to find at that time and I've had regular office temp work since then. I wouldn't recommend taking off every month or so now though, jobs seem to be harder to come by at the moment so you might be better off working continuously for a while and saving for one longer trip.

Also wages are not as high here as they are in Aus so you would probably struggle to pay a $1000/month rent on bar/hostel job pay. FYI... I'm in an unfurnished bachelor in downtown Van for $800/month and rent this on a month to month basis (I think that's pretty standard).

9. Posted by Piecar (Inactive 1218 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Tazaa...Why are you paying a thousand a month to live in Van? It isn't necessary, you know.


10. Posted by tazzaa (Budding Member 22 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Piecar, read my post again... I don't pay $1000/month, I'm saying that SalFrog would struggle if she did. I pay $800/month (between 2 people) which is normal for Downtown.