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The Best Christmas Jobs for Travellers

Tuesday 15th November 2011

Christmas needn't just be about spend, spend, spend - apply for seasonal work and you could make Christmas work for you

Christmas is traditionally a time when you splash out, buying presents, maybe travelling home, and partying hard. But towns and cities across the UK and Australia are great places to find Christmas jobs, which can suit travellers down to the ground. The temporary nature of the work means that you are well within the rules of your working holiday visa, and there are many other perks which make Christmas jobs some of the most lucrative. For example:

  • If you are working in retail, you should get a good basic rate of pay (usually on an hourly basis) with the possibility of bonus pay or overtime if you work late or on bank holidays like Boxing Day and New Years Day - shop around (!) to find the retailer that offers the best package for Christmas staff.
  • If you are working in restaurants or bars, choose ones that have a clear tipping policy. Don't be afraid to ask about this before applying, as tips can make a big difference over the festive period.
  • Check out the perks of the job. Many UK based retailers give staff discounts, and if the shop is part of a bigger group, you can usually get discounts at other stores too. This is useful when buying gifts!

Above all, this is a great time to look for temporary work on the high street or in hospitality, even when competition is stiff you should find something worthwhile just because of the sheer number of staff required. In the UK, the big supermarkets recruit loads of temporary staff, Sainsbury's alone is looking for a reported 15000 Christmas workers this year. The benefit of working in a totally non-glamorous supermarket over the Christmas period is that you get your basic pay plus staff discounts on food and non-food items (deals vary though depending on the supermarket chain).

To get the most from working through the Christmas period you do need to be disciplined, and prepared to work hard. Shops and restaurants are busy and demanding, hours can be long, and you will be spending a lot of time on your feet. There is no point getting a Christmas job if you are just going to blow your wages on shopping at lunchtime (for this reason it can be a good idea to work in a shop where you don't actually want to buy the products yourself) or by running up a bar tab in the restaurant or club you are working in. The point is, to knuckle down to a short period of intense working, to come out in the new year with a wad of cash and the ability to go travelling afterwards.