7 things you should know before doing the Work & Travel program
October 3, 2019 11:46 am
As many of you already know, Work & Travel is a program aimed at young university or high school students that allows you to go to a US city to work for all your vacations, meet people from other countries, live alone, travel, etc. For many it’s the first job of their life, the first time you live alone, survive with your own money (oh yes, freedom and independence to the fullest). It’s something totally new that can become the best experience of your life or the worst. Obviously to be the first option, here are 7 tips that you should keep in mind YES or YES before living this incredible experience and enjoy it 1000%, so grab pencil and paper and write it all down:
1. Wear clothes according to the climate of your destination
In the United States will be in winter, so you should go with warm clothes so you don’t get sick (the medications there are super expensive) and you can work or travel without worries. I recommend you invest in clothing from brands like The North Face or Columbia because they have experience with these extreme climates. You can be at 28º F or -22 ºF depending on the state you are going, really cold! In case you go to a state like Miami or Hawaii where there is no snow, anyway there are very heavy rains (such as being under the shower) so a raincoat and some sweaters would be perfect. Better safe than regret!!
2. Do not travel with your suitcase full or almost full
We know that winter clothes are usually super thick, but try to accommodate your bags so that you have space (at least half of a suitcase) and you can bring the purchases that YOU ASSURE will do there. If you carry your suitcases with the exact weight, you run the risk of not getting everything back or you will be charged extra for the extra weight of your luggage.
3. Control and organize your expenses
Living alone is great, but it carries a lot of responsibility. They will pay you in dollars, and that in most countries is usually worth double or triple the national currency, so everything will seem very cheap; but STOP THERE COMPULSIVE BUYER, before losing control, carry a notebook where you write down what you have to pay, how much you get paid every week and what you are spending because believe me that the silver comes and goes as nothing. If you want to travel, schedule yourself with time and take advantage of low cost buses and airplanes, I recommend you to use Greyhound in buses and JetBlue as airline.
4. Sometimes, less is better
If what you want is to save money, I recommend you to do ‘extra hours’ because they are not always and depend on how much work there is in the season, and sometimes you can do extra hours in a different position from yours so that you do not get bored of the same, Buuuuuut WARNING! is really good save money, work and even get a second job, but remember that you are in holidays! Don’t focus only on work, the fun part of this experience is meeting people and traveling, so TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.
5. Is living alone easy?
While there you are alone against the world. What you should always keep in mind is that money comes and goes, so invest it in things that are 100% useful. Believe me, there are things you can get at $1 like bread, rice, noodles, etc. Try to give yourself the time to cook and eat as healthy as possible. You can get shampoo, soap and even sanitary towels or shaver for $1, saving money is not so difficult!
6. Prepare for living together
You probably will have one or more roommates, so put some rules to avoid problems and spoil the environment. In my case, we were 26 people in a two-floor house, great experience, haha! If you have to share a kitchen, get used to throwing away your garbage, washing what you use and alternate the washer and dryer so your clothes NEVER get lost. Nothing is impossible, so with the rules well set, all of you will have a great time and you will remember that summer forever in a good way.
7. Enjoy the experience to the fullest!
As I told you before, YOU ARE IN HOLIDAYS, so get together with friends to travel, go skiing, have a house party, a karaoke night, whatever, but don’t miss a single day. If you are over 21 years old, your friends and you can go to a disco or a bar. Try to make the most of the time with the people you live with because believe me you’re going to miss them later, YOU HAVE LIVED 3 MONTHS TOGETHER. Take advantage that time passes faster than you think!
These are some of the things that I would have loved to know before doing this program, but anyway I tell you that it is an amazing experience and that many people get to do 4 or 5 times in their life, so go ahead and try it, get together with your best friend or take a risk and go alone, that you’re gonna know new people anyway. You may be afraid, fearful, but believe me there will be a before and after in your life and it’s something that you have to live in order to tell it. #workandtravel