Benefits: You get to work by the pool so think cruise ships and summer camps. You can even transfer your skills abroad if you apply for an international certificate and if your employer is ok with that. There are plenty of jobs and centres to get your qualification. The average hours are 37 per week for full time employees and salaries start at £11,500 a year but can go up to £15,000. The good thing is you can work on a part time or casual basis and get anywhere between £6 to £10 an hour.
Downsides: You need to be qualified so you have to pay a bit of dosh to start off. You also need to be reasonably fit to be able to swim and hold your breath underwater for a long time. The training takes 36 hours and includes timed swims and towing and rescue methods. The qualification is also only valid for two years so you would have to eventually renew it if you decided to stick to it. Sitting on high chairs for 10 hours can also get pretty boring.
How to bag it: A good place to start would be The Royal Lifesaving Society – they’ll give you all the information you need and provide you with info on the best lifesaving courses out there.
Fruit picking in France
Benefits: You get to experience the beautiful French countryside, eat loads of cheese and drink loads of wine. A lot of the farmers offer accommodation and food as well as adequate toilet facilities. Sometimes farmers will even let you pitch your own tent. You can earn anything between 35-70 euros a day for an 8 hr working day.
Downsides: The work is backbreaking. French farmers also love to drink so you’re basically hung over every single day while working your bones off, only to repeat the same thing the next day. There are usually no days off either.
How to bag it: It’s not terribly hard to get a job fruit picking in France but a lot of it is word of mouth so keep an ear out. There are websites like Picking Jobs which will help you get started but the language barrier is a killer. Your best bet is to find a French friend to help you out with the lingo or get in touch directly with the farm you are interested in working with. If you have the cash you can even get in touch with one of the many agencies that will guarantee you work. A good one to start off with is AC that charges 99 euro to guarantee you work.
Benefits: You get to sail and see the world for free. You might end up doing shitty jobs like cooking and cleaning for 10 people but you still get to enjoy yacht life and sea adventures. A lot of the time the captain will have a range of diving and fishing equipment too. It all depends on what the captain is after, if you have certain skills (like photography, a dive masters, a bit of sailing experience) you could probably get away with doing less work. A lot of the time the captain doesn’t even need competent or experienced crew but simply someone to do the odd jobs here and there. For people with no experience these jobs are usually not paid but you do get free food and accommodation.
Downsides: There are a lot of creepy old men out there looking for companions rather than deckhands so keep a close eye out. You’ll probably have to share a cabin with a few other people and the toilets are usually very small.
How to bag it: There are a number of websites that will help you find boats but probably the best one is Find a Crew. Set up a profile and start messaging people, you’re bound to hear back.
Adventure tour leader
Benefits: You get to travel to places as far apart as India and Cuba. Egypt and Morocco are big on the list too. The activities range from walking and trekking to cycling and polar voyages. The job pays well – something between £30- £50 a day – which is very generous for places like India where everything is incredibly cheap. Most of the time the agency you decide to work for will pay for all of your accommodation, travel and food which is always a plus.
Downsides: it’s pretty hard to bag a job, you have to keep a constant eye out for vacancies. You also have to do shitty jobs like prepare meals, deal with injuries and organise the whole thing. You also almost always have to commit to six months, have a first aid and speak a second language. Sometimes the job requires you to be able to commit all 24 hours of your day.
TEFL English teacher
Benefits: You get to live in exotic countries, good pay and get to mingle with the locals. In Thailand for example you can get up to £530 per month plus accommodation – that is a ridiculous amount of money considering a beer costs less than a pound! Hours may vary though and many work part time rather than full time. Either way, it’s still easy to get by.
Downsides: You have to take a teaching as a second language course and you have to pay your way out to the destination you want to go. Sometimes the schools you work for are not completely honest and you need to chase them down for your pay – (although this isn’t always the case!). You also actually have to like teaching and teaching ain’t easy!
How to bag it: Do a TEFL or CELTA course and get in touch with one of the schools out in the country you would like to work with. Check out websites like jobsabroadbulletin.co.uk, seasonworkers.com and teachabroad.com for vacancies and more info on doing courses.
Benefits: It’s pretty simple really – you get paid a shitload of money mucking around in the water, teaching people how to windsurf. Accommodation is usually free and the sun is always shining.
Downsides: You really need to know how to windsurf to do this job. Windsurfing ain’t easy either. You have to be strong, able to read the winds and be a bit of a speed demon!
How to bag it: Contact any water sports centre in the Med and ask if they’re looking for staff. Seriously, it works. The best places to get started is probably Crest Watersports in Limassol, Cyprus. If you want to keep it on the safe side then visit this job directory for some advertisements.
Benefits: Wwoofing is great for people who want to get away from city life and just chill out for a bit without having to worry about paying rent and buying food. All you have to do is work a few hours – usually four – and you’re all set. Farms are organic and all over the world. Activities include tasks like sowing seed, making composts, gardening, planting, weeding, milking, wine making, cheese and bread making. You get to learn about hippie stuff like permaculture and bio-dynamic growing methods. Pretty cool skills to learn, really.
Downsides: There aren’t many downsides apart from the fact that sometimes the work can be excruciatingly hard and you never get a penny for it. You also have to pay for your voyage out there. I’ve heard some horror stories where farmers are super nasty to their homestayers and they make them work 13 hrs a day, 7 days a week and get shit food and accommodation in return. Make sure you read reviews about the farms and contact people who have worked there – the best way to do that would probably be through Facebook or Twitter or something similar. If that doesn’t work, ask for references! Visa requirements can also be a pain in the arse so be sure to check them out too.
How to bag it: Wwoofing is pretty easy to get to. The best way to get started is to visit the Wwoofing International official website and follow their instructions. You will also sometimes need to pay a subscription fee to wwoof in certain countries. Check out the Wwoofing official website here.
Benefits: Visit the most beautiful reefs in the world and get paid a shitload of money for doing it. Free diving and usually they’ll offer you free accommodation. In Thailand for example, you will get £700-£800 a month including accommodation. Not half bad hey!
Downsides: Again – this is an investment. You need to get your dive masters which could cost anything up to 2 grand. You would also have to be able to pay your way to the specific destination where you would like to work.
How to bag it: Get a PADI divemaster certificate and fly yourself out to your desired destination, meet the locals and get involved. Otherwise visit this website for job opportunities.