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Combine travel and casual work abroad in Australia

Combining travel and work abroad has been a traditional part of the gap year Down Under. When finances ran low, it used to be easy enough to top up the account with a few shifts at a bar or restaurant. It's not quite so simple these days, but it can still be a viable way of financing travel.

Cut through the red tape

The trickiest part of combining travel and work abroad is establishing what kind of paperwork you need to earn money from part-time work. The rules, and the strictness with which they are enforced, will vary from country to country, but it is important to establish what kinds of visas and permits you will need before your travel.

Australia is one of the most popular destinations for backpackers looking to finance their travels with a little part-time work. The country's numerous hostels, cafes, bars and clubs geared towards young travellers means there is a constant demand for part-time workers.

A Working Holiday Visa is the basic requirement for part-time work in Australia. This can be obtained through agencies or consulates and stipulates that you cannot work for the same employer for more than six months in Australia.

Before heading Down Under, it's also important to obtain an Australian Tax File Number. There are agencies and travel companies who can arrange this for you. It is essential to have this number, or you may be in a situation where you are paying emergency tax on your wages. As this is charged at a rate of 48%, it would make a serious dent in your pay-packet.

Stay safe

Combining travel and work abroad requires a degree of caution and common sense. Some Sydney backpacker establishments have sleazy reputations, so steer clear. To find jobs, use backpackers' online forums and the notice boards at cafes and hostels. Twitter and Facebook have made it easier than ever to crowd-source job opportunities.

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