Have you ever considered a ‘working’ holiday? No, I don’t mean a trip where you just bring your laptop and work from the beach. (That’s not a holiday – that’s “working from a remote location.”) I’m talking about a holiday where you do a farm-stay, working the land, volunteering, or other types of trips where your focus is a little less on sightseeing and a little more intentional.
These trips can be a fantastic experience – picking olives and then using them to make dinner, what’s not to like – but if you’re not careful, you can end up with something you didn’t expect, or want. Here are three questions to answer before you book any kind of ‘working’ holiday.
1. First, get really clear about what you want to be doing with your time on holiday. For example, I spend a lot of my day at work making lots of decisions. When it comes to holiday, I do not want to be making a lot of decisions. So, for me, a volunteering holiday where I’d need to be managing something is not for me. Working on a farm and maybe taking some cooking classes? Very relaxing to me. You might be different and want a challenge or some excitement on your trip.
2. Second, get really clear about the expectations of the providers for the options you are looking at. If you aren’t paying for your accommodation, then you will most likely be expected to work. A lot. I suggest picking something where you can have a bit of flexibility (which means paying the going rate, I’m afraid).
3. Then answer the question, What is it I hope to get out of this? You might just want to give back to a needy organisation. Maybe you want to learn something, about cooking or agriculture or hospitality.
If you are unsure about any of these 3 items, then ask more questions – you aren’t ready to book. A working holiday can be an enriching experience and take your mind off things back home, but if you’re not careful, you may regret it – so plan wisely before booking.
Photo by Rob
Posted : Thursday, April 4th, 2013 at 10:00
Andy Hayes is based in sunny Portland, Oregon. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he works on his own lifestyle publication, Plum Deluxe.