Summer is here but Britain is just as unpredictably rainy, chilly and grey as ever, with only the occasional burst of sunshine.
You could spend the next few months lounging around at your parents’, or working hard in a soullessly air-conditioned shop on the high street… or you could get paid to travel, and be basking in the sun as you crush grapes in southern Italy, perhaps immersing yourself in a new culture as an au pair, or living it up at an American summer camp.
This guide offers you a dazzling array of ideas for escaping your hometown for something new, whether you hop on a plane abroad or decide to stick to these shores. Just remember to call home once in a while so your mum knows you’re okay…
You’ve seen summer camps on American TV shows and in movies, but have you ever longed to join in the fun?
Camp America is an organisation with HQs in the US and London, which runs a scheme to place you in a camp for you to work at all summer. There are several different types of camp, including private, day, Girl Scout, special needs and Christian ones, so if you have a particular interest you can explore it here.
It’s essentially a cultural exchange programme, and you pay a fee (currently £752) for your visa, police check, interview and event costs etc., while all your food, accommodation and flight costs are met by your camp; you can earn whilst you’re out there., and CA will help you if you seek work in the US afterwards.
The scheme is recognised by employers worldwide, who know you have gained experience as a role model, leader and team player, so the experience will massively boost your CV while you have an incredible time.
If a summer jaunt to the USA is a little out of reach for you, or not your thing, why not work at a camp in the UK?
PGL runs several schemes for 7-17-year-olds every year and you could work for the company in housekeeping, catering, retail, admin, maintenance, or as a sports instructor or group leader. PGL have 23 centres across the UK, France, and Spain, and are a leading outdoor activities company, so if this sounds like your high-octane cup of tea, sign up for the 2017 season now.
Holiday reps are responsible for looking after guests on package holidays at resorts, making sure they enjoy their time away and that everything runs smoothly.
It’s a tough job, but if you’re up to the challenge, it’s a great way to be paid for seeing the world, while guiding other people through their getaways. Combine your love for partying with a job working for Club 18-30, which organises holidays in Ayia Napa, Zante, Magaluf, Kavos and beyond, or check out the jobs board on Career in Travel for a broad range of the latest opportunities.
Winemaking is a global industry which is constantly recruiting new workers to help them during their busiest times. If you’re willing to put he work in, you could be picking grapes anywhere across Europe this summer, earning money while escaping the grey drizzle.
PickingJobs and WineIndustryJobs list work throughout the world, suitable for summer backpackers and anyone willing to travel, while for something closer to home, Wine Jobs England has loads of opportunities at entry level and up. If you do jet off, save money on the outset by using Student Money Saver’s tool to compare flight costs and pick up the latest deals.
Summer au pairs typically live with a host family for a short period of a few months during the summer holidays, and provide support in the household, including childcare and light housework in return for food, board and a wage.
You get to experience a new country from the perspective of a resident, gain experience in looking after children, and any experience working abroad in such a position of responsibility is really attractive to employers beyond uni.
SeasonWorkers, Au Pair World and Smaller Earth are just a few of the agencies that can help you find a placement. Again, there are plenty of families in the UK crying out for help with their kids during the long summer holidays so if you fancy mixing it up and living with a British family for part or all of your summer, there are plenty of chances to do it – ask around or look on job sites for your next job. Bear in mind that a driving licence is a huge bonus in this kind of work.
Love The Holiday? Ever wondered what it would be like to live in someone else’s house for a while?
You could travel across the world for free accommodation as a house sitter, offering peace of mind to families jetting off on holiday by looking after their house (and often their pets, too).
So long as you’re relatively clean, tidy, conscientious and do the job properly, you can spend your whole summer living it up anywhere in the world.
Which of these ideas appeals to you? Would you like to get paid to travel? Let us know in the comments section below.