If you're headed to Australia on your career break, you're not alone! It's the most popular destination – partly due to it being easy to work there (thank you working holiday visa) and partly because of the sunshine!
Here are our top ten tips to make the transition easier.
1. Read the papers
Read both local and national papers. Local ones will tell you about events in your new community, which are a great chance to get out and meet people. They'll also have offers and local contacts for the things you need.
National papers will give you an insight into the Australian culture and psyche as well as the news.
2. Slap on the sunscreen
Yep, you need to put sunscreen on even when it's cloudy. Australia has a rubbish ozone layer and you run the risk of getting burnt even when the sun's not out.
Sorry, but you need to slather yourself in suncream, all day, every day. A big hat is good too - corks optional.
3. Check tipping policy
Tipping is not really done in most Australian places and your tip might even be handed back.
If you really appreciate the service you have received, leave them a good review on the travel review site of your choice.
4. Read up on a bit of history
Knowing about the history and culture of your temporary home is not just for nerds!
Read up on recent history as well as older stuff. It can help you understand the major events that have shaped this nation, and give you a bit of background on Aboriginal and immigrant culture.
5. Go to the beach
Aussie beach culture is much more than sitting around getting a suntan - although that's a valid option if that's what you fancy doing.
If you feel up to learning to surf, go right ahead, but make sure you get proper instruction, to avoid the embarrassment of being the 10th pom to be rescued by a lifeguard that day.
6. Find yourself a decent place to stay
If you're only there for a year (the normal period of time for people on a working holiday visa), you might think your accommodation is not that important, but it is.
You need somewhere to relax after work, some space on your own – and of course, a decent place to invite back your attractive new friend.
Safety is important too - before stumping up your deposit, take a stroll around your proposed neighbourhood at night and see if it's the sort of place you feel comfortable.
7. Leave enough time to organise your paperwork
This is a "before you leave" one.
You'll need plenty of time to get your working holiday visa – applications can get held up for all sorts of reasons. The process is normally straightforward but the thing is, you won't know if something's going to hold yours up until it actually happens!
Leaving plenty of time to plan your trip also gives you more options when it comes to finding cheaper airfares.
8. Save some money
This isn't just so you can sink loads of beers with your new Aussie mates!
When you arrive in Australia on a working holiday visa, you'll need to demonstrate you have "sufficient funds" – otherwise they won't let you in. You'll also need an onward or return travel ticket - or enough money to buy one.
The other thing about having enough money is that it will cover your expenses if you don't find a job as quickly as you imagined you would. Which bring us neatly to our next point...
9. Make sure your CV stands out
Yes, there are a lot of jobs for Brits in Australia – but there are also lots of people chasing them.
If you've got relevant experience or useful skills make sure these are highlighted on your CV. Have in mind the sort of work you'll be doing (bar, restaurant and admin work are really popular) and see if you can get some experience before you go.
As well as helping you find a job quickly, any relevant skills or experience can net you more money for the same job.
10. Talk, talk, talk
Aussies have a well-deserved reputation for being a friendly bunch, and the more you talk to them, the more you'll get out of your stay there.
You'll get insights into places to work, good and bad neighbourhoods where you might be looking for a job, and useful local info like festivals, places to hang out and all sorts. You might even get invited to a barbie!
Sounds good, right? If you're excited about going to Australia, have a look at our Australia and New Zealand page here - it has more info on working and travelling Down Under, plus all sorts of career breaks available there.