For many backpackers, a Working Holiday in Australia, New Zealand or Canada is the first big backpacking trip of their lives. The principle is ingenious: Young travellers can apply for a working visa valid for a year and get the chance not only to see the country, but also to finance their trip by working there.
This kind of travelling differs from all other backpacker trips in one important point: During preparations, not only do you have to plan a route or worry about weather conditions and formalities. When planning what to pack, you should think about more than outdoor jacket, sleeping bag and swimwear.
Our packing list for world trips can serve as a foundation for your baggage. Additionally, we have compiled a Working Holiday packing list to help you prepare for everything.
Depending on the country you’re travelling to, you’ll either spend a lot of time playing at the beach or discovering mountain ranges. In Australia, you’ll be in need of lots of summer clothing, in New Zealand you should bring a good mix of warm and cool layers. In Canada, you should plan for cooler temperatures – if you’re there during winter, we probably don’t have to tell you to bring the warmest jacket you can find.
Apart from these weather-related considerations, you should keep in mind that a Working Holiday is also about working (and not only the holiday). The following working clothes shouldn’t be missing in your luggage:
For jobs as farmhand or harvester
- Hiking boots or solid trekking shoes for harvesting
- Tear-resistant outdoor pants made of breathable materials
- An old shirt with long sleeves as protection against sun, mosquitos and dirt
- A wide-brimmed hat or a cap for sun protection
For jobs as waiting personnel or office jobs
- A decent shirt or blouse
- Black pants
- Dark shoes
- A tie or expensive jewellery won’t be necessary
For finding work in your field (e.g. in your trade) you probably already know what you need. A robust pair of working pants, tools or a powerful laptop for web workers are eventually not that easy to obtain abroad. You can accept the extra weight with no regrets if that improves your chances of getting a well-paid job at your destination.
Documents and formalities
Apart from your working visa which you should take care of in good time (especially for Canada!), there are a few other documents and formalities that need to be dealt with.
- International driver’s licence
- CV and cover letter on a USB stick or in the cloud
- Travel insurance
- Refresh and have necessary vaccinations done (some countries require certain vaccinations, find out which ones apply for your destination early!)
- Tell the authorities you’re going abroad
The perfect backpack for your Working Holiday trip
Because of your additional Working Holiday baggage, you need a bigger backpack than regular backpackers. Where experienced travellers can easily survive with only 45 litres capacity, for a Working Holiday you should plan a bit bigger. We recommend the Tatonka Yukon with up to 70 litres of space for your belongings, while being super comfortable and looking just fabulous… yes, we really love our products.
Another final tip for choosing the right backpack: You should never order a backpack without trying it on first. Every human is different and has different demands for a comfortable carrying system. With our shop search, you can find a Tatonka dealer in your vicinity who can help you making the right choice. You can read everything else you need to know about carrying systems here.