5 THINGS I DID TO PREPARE MYSELF FOR A WORKING HOLIDAY IN AUSTRALIA AS A SOLO FEMALE TRAVELLER (417 VISA)

AD - This post is in collaboration with Welcome To Travel


Choosing to move to Australia on a working holiday Visa was no easy thing. I had to consider leaving behind my friends and family, quitting a job I kinda liked, and moving thousands of miles across the world to a place I'd only ever seen on the screen. But I did it. I moved to the land down under and so far it's going pretty damn well!


So what did I do to prepare myself for the big move? As a solo traveller, and a female one at that, there were a couple things things I needed to consider that maybe groups or couples wouldn't even think about. That's not to say moving to Australia solo needs to be hard but it's not for everyone.


Grace feeding a single kangaroo
Feeding the Kangaroos at Maru Wildlife Park - part of the Welcome To Melbourne tour


Let's break down the prep I did for my Australian adventure...



1. Research - I didn't do as much as I should, I'll hold my hand's up to this one. I'd seen vlogs, and tiktoks, and bits on instagram about the girlies living their best lives in the sunshine and I was SOLD. "Get me to the place where it's always summer" I thought! But here's the catch, Australia has seasons too and their winter is still chilly! I wish past Grace did a little more research before hopping on a plane without a jumper to weather that was actually colder than the UK. 


So watch the vlogs, watch the tiktoks, and consume all the content, but do some proper research about the weather, the cities, read hostel reviews because you'll want to prepared and safe in the first few weeks of your new life in Australia. 



2. Apply for a working holiday Visa - There are a couple of working visa's you can apply for if you want to move to Aus but the most popular one in the UK is the Working Holiday Visa 417. This is the one I'm currently travelling on and it is VERY easy to apply for. In fact I applied for my Visa in about an hour and it was approved almost instantly. Waiting times for Visa approval can vary though so this is something to be aware of.


Remember once you do start applying for work in Aus, especially remote work, always check reviews from past employees and do a bit of digging into the company you'll be working for - your safety is more important than any potential earnings!


Looking down across a golden sand beach. The large waves are lapping at the shore.
One of the many gorgeous beaches along the Great Ocean Road


3. Book the flights - I booked my flight to Australia about 3 months before I intended to leave. This gave me plenty of time to prepare for the move and enjoy some quality time with my friends and family. Booking my flights so far in advance also meant I benefitted from slightly cheaper flights than if I'd have booked them last minute. But even if you do book flights in advance be prepared to spend a few quid on them. I paid £1070 for my flight as I wanted to fly with Emirates and this price seemed to be pretty average, however I did see flights for as low as £600.


As a woman travelling alone, I deliberately booked a flight with a short layover so I wouldn't have to travel in and out of the connecting city with all my baggage as this is when I feel most vulnerable.


4. Book a welcome tour - Before leaving for my big adventure I was feeling a little nervous, which is understandable, so I decided to life life on easy mode and book on to a welcome tour for my first week in Australia. I booked with Welcome To Travel, a company set up by travellers so I knew I'd be in good hands. Starting my working holiday with them meant I would get an airport pick up, a fab introduction to the city with multiple tours, help setting up an Aussie bank account, an Aussie SIM card, and they would also apply for my tax file number amongst other things.


The Welcome To Travel tour helped me get settled into Melbourne very quickly and also gave me 22 new friends who were all on the same journey. For me personally as a solo traveller, making connections with other travellers is so important and in that first week I made so many friendships I still hold very dear even weeks after the tour has ended. 


If you like the sound of a welcome tour, the company offers two, one in Melbourne (which I did) and one in Sydney. You can get $50 off either of these tours with my code GRACEBEE*


* I receive a small amount of commission when this code is used.


Four friends sitting with their back to the camera, they are watching the sunset across the bay.
Watching the sunset with new friends in St Kilda (just outside Melbourne)


5. Give notice at work - Once my working holiday visa was granted (and even before I'd really planned anything else) I handed my notice in at work. This one was quite bittersweet for me as I'd finally found a job I didn't hate but the thought of travelling Australia and one day finding a job in the sunshine made it VERY easy to hand in my resignation. Before you do this it's worth checking your contract as I didn't and my notice period was slightly longer than I had realised. It's also a good idea to talk to your managers about references so that you can update your CV ready for working in Australia. 


So that's how I prepared to travel and work in Australia as a solo female traveller on the 417 working holiday visa. If I can pull this off anyone can, but I hope my experience helps you plan for you own trip.


I'd be happy to answer any questions about my travels and don't forget to keep up to date with my adventure on Instagram - search @gracebeeuk if you're not already following!



Thanks for reading!


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Grace standing in the middle of an alleyway. Street art plasters the walls either side of her.
Exploring Melbourne street art in Hosier Lane

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