Every year, countless young people travel all over the globe to embark on a working holiday. Traveling abroad is undoubtedly a very exciting experience for any backpacker. After all, there is so much to plan – from accommodation and employment to activities and sightseeing in your new location.

That said, it is hardly surprising that the local tax system is often the last thing many backpackers think of when arriving in a new country for a working holiday.

However, every digital nomad or working holidaymaker should know a little about tax, as it may well be beneficial in the long run – especially if you are due a refund.

In truth, countless working holidaymakers and digital nomads miss out on claiming their tax refund every year. And with that in mind, we’ve partnered with Taxback.com to outline everything you need to know about claiming your backpacker tax refund.

Tax refunds for Canadian working holidaymakers

If you visited Canada on a work-travel visa, there are many reasons why you could be due a backpacker tax refund – such as if you overpaid tax or have expenses that you can claim.

The easiest way to check if you’re due any money back from the Canadian tax authorities is to apply with Taxback.com.

They will review your personal circumstances to see if you’re eligible to claim any expenses and ensure you receive your maximum legal tax refund. They will also ensure you are 100% tax compliant in Canada. What’s more, if you are missing any of the official documents you need for your tax return, Taxback.com can help you to track them down.

The average Canadian tax refund a Taxback.com customer receives is $998 so it’s easy to see why checking how much you’re owed makes so much sense. Check out their free tax refund calculator here.

Can Australian backpackers get tax back?

Backpackers play a crucial role in Australia’s economy. In fact, backpackers account for roughly 13% of tourism spending in Australia – totaling roughly $3bn per year.

When you start working in Australia you will pay tax at 15% on the $45,000 of income earned. However, the good news is that you may be able to reclaim some of your tax paid by filing a tax return at the end of the year.

In short, you will likely be entitled to a tax refund if you:

  • were in Australia on a 417 or 462 visa
  • were considered a tax resident during the year (you visited Australia for more than six months and lived in the same place for that time)
  • are from one of the following countries;
    • Chile
    • Finland
    • Germany
    • Israel
    • Japan
    • Norway
    • Turkey
    • United Kingdom

The average Australian tax refund is $2,600, and it is a good idea for every backpacker to file your tax return and check if you are due a refund.

In fact, even if you don’t think you will be due a tax refund, it’s also a good idea to file a tax return so that you can ensure you are 100% tax compliant in Australia. A clean tax record will come in handy should you wish to apply for another Australian visa in the future.

Backpackers may also be entitled to claim a tax refund of their Superannuation (these are mandatory salary deductions for your Australian retirement fund) contributions when you leave Australia.

The average Superannuation refund is $1,908, so it’s definitely worth investigating what you’re owed. You can easily file your tax return and claim your tax and Superannuation refunds online with Taxback.com.

Tax refunds in New Zealand

Backpackers in New Zealand typically pay between 12.5% and 38% tax on their income. How much you were taxed depends on a range of factors, such as:

  • Amount earned
  • Length of time you worked
  • Type of work performed
  • Amount of tax withheld from your wages

The good news is that Taxback.com can help you to claim a tax return, and their average New Zealand refund is $550. It’s free to find out how much you could get back, so be sure to use the New Zealand tax refund calculator.

Claiming tax refund as a non-resident in Japan

Many residents and non-residents in Japan are unaware that they are due a significant tax refund. If you worked there, you could be due tax back for a number of reasons, such as:

  • You worked there a year or longer
  • You are married
  • You have dependants

Did you know that the average Japanese tax refund with Taxback.com is ¥111,000? That’s a lot of cash to leave behind. Apply for your Japanese tax refund today.

UK tax refunds for backpackers

There are many reasons you could be due a tax refund if you worked in the UK. And yet, countless backpackers in the UK leave their money with the taxman each year.

After all, if you were on an emergency tax code, made redundant, or incurred work-related expenses, you could be due a refund. The average refund Taxback.com gets for workers in the UK is £963, so why not find out what you’re due back today?

Applying for a tax refund in Ireland as a non-resident

There are lots of reasons why non-residents who are working in Ireland may be due a tax refund. For starters, tax relief is available if you were emergency taxed had medical or work-related expenses, or were made redundant.

What’s more, if you were made to work from home due to the pandemic, there is a wide range of expenses you may be entitled to claim. The average Irish tax refund a customer with Taxback.com receives is €1076.17. So why not apply online today and find out how much you’re due.

Germany tax refunds for non-residents

Many workers in Germany can claim a tax refund if they meet the following criteria:

  • Your annual income was under the tax-free allowance
  • You worked part-time or had a temporary job in Germany
  • You were not correctly classified for tax payments
  • You financially supported your parents or other dependents in your home country
  • You paid rent in both Germany and your home country
  • You paid for flights to and from Germany
  • You incurred work-related expenses such as travel costs
  • You paid pension insurance
  • You are married, but were taxed as single
  • You had work-related expenses that were not covered by your employer

Remember, the average German tax refund with Taxback.com is €1,020, but you could be due even more. The easiest way to find out if you’re due a tax return is by using Taxback.com’s free German tax refund calculator.

Tax refunds in the Netherlands

Countless non-residents who visit the Netherlands leave their tax refunds behind each year. Many are unsure if they are owed anything, while others simply don’t know how to apply for theirs.

In truth, you could be due a refund if:

  • You worked for part of the year
  • You changed a job
  • You took on more than one job
  • You were granted a tax-free allowance of up to 30% of your salary

The average Dutch refund with Taxback.com is €910. The best way to find out what you’re due is by using the Taxback.com Dutch tax refund calculator here.

Who can claim a Belgian tax refund

There are several reasons you could be entitled to get tax back from Belgium, including if:

  • You worked in Belgium at any stage during the calendar year
  • Your income is under the tax-free allowance
  • Your income in Belgium is more than 75% of your annual income received globally

Belgium has one of the highest tax rates in Europe. It also has one of the largest average refunds in Europe for customers with Taxback.com. After all, the average Belgian tax refund with Taxback.com is €2,300! That’s a lot of money to leave behind…

Next Steps to File your Backpacker Tax Return

If you lived and worked in any of these countries, Taxback.com can help you. After all, why not take the stress out of your refund application by letting the experts take care of it for you?

Don’t be one of the countless non-residents in foreign countries who leave their refunds behind every year. Apply for your tax refund with Taxback.com today, and thank me later!

With 2022 full of hope, it’s time to dust off your backpack and think about where to go next. If you’re on a budget, you may be wondering about the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world. The thing is, especially if you’ve been aching to get back out there, ‘budget travel’ can be a bit of an oxymoron. People go traveling to see something new, and once it finally becomes possible to go backpacking in 2022, the last thing you want to do is restrict yourself.

The way to travel on a budget without feeling too limited is to go backpacking destinations where food, accommodation, and transport are cheap. This will allow you to stretch your budget and splurge on the occasional special activity to get the most out of your trip. The good news is, after you figure out a cheap way to get to your destination, it is possible to travel around some of the most beautiful destinations on earth for less than $20 a day. Believe it or not, it can sometimes be cheaper to be on the road than to stay at home considering your normal rent and daily expenses! 

So without further ado, here is our updated list of the cheapest backpacking destinations for 2022.

Bulgaria – The best Eastern European country for budget travel

Even though Bulgaria is the cheapest backpacking destination to visit in Eastern Europe, it has an abundance of gorgeous landscapes that rival its neighbors. During our 5 days in Bulgaria were able to see Alpine mountains, forested countryside, sandy beaches on the Black Sea, plus beautiful cities like Sofia and Veliko Tărnovo.

The Rila Monastery near Sofia in Bulgaria, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in the world

The Rila Monastery near Sofia, Bulgaria

Because we were traveling in the off season, we were able to splurge on the occasional high-end luxury accommodation for less than $100 a night. Of course, you can always find cheaper hostels in Bulgaria. Food and drink are also super affordable, with the average price of a beer being about a dollar.

Learn more: Backpacking in Bulgaria

India

India is one of those countries where budget travel is almost entirely dependent on your willingness to haggle. If you strike the right tone, India can be one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world.

When booking guesthouses, you’ll most certainly get a better price by booking directly with the guest house versus booking online through an agency. Transportation-wise, it is super cheap to get around in India. In the big cities, we recommend using Uber it’s actually much cheaper than the prices you’ll be quoted for a tuk-tuk ride. For intercity travel, trains cost between $8 – $30, and you can even find flights within that price range!

Learn more: Backpacking in India

Portugal – The cheapest backpacking destination in Western Europe

Portugal is a great option in Western Europe for travelers on a budget. You’ll be able to experience the vibrant European culture as well as world-famous food and wine at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay in France or Spain. 

Learn more: Backpacking in Portugal

Cambodia

Cambodia has so much to offer, and you can travel there for about $20 a day. Private rooms in a nice guesthouse will cost you about $10, and tuk-tuk rides are a savvy way to get around. Our guest house helped us arrange a private tuk-tuk driver to help us visit the many temples of Angkor Wat for just $12!  You can even get a 30-day SIM card with 1.5 GB of data for $2.

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Cambodia, one of the cheapest backpacking countries

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex

Learn more: Backpacking in Cambodia

Georgia

With medieval fortresses, majestic mountains, and friendly locals, the country of Georgia should be much higher on the list of top backpacking destinations. And with delicious meals starting at $3, and $1 local buses, it’s one of the best countries for budget travel. You don’t have to withhold on the cultural activities here, since most entrance tickets cost around $2.

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

Learn more: Backpacking in Georgia

The Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, the old trope ‘beer is cheaper than water’ is actually true. While the Czech Republic boasts much of the same beauty as its neighbors like Germany and Austria, it’s possible to travel here at a fraction of the cost.

Learn more: Backpacking in the Czech Republic

Bolivia – the cheapest backpacking destination in South America

Bolivia is one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world and is very popular with adventurers. Here, it is possible to get a 3-course meal for less than $2. Accommodation in a hostel dorm room costs between $8-$12 a night, and local and long-distance buses are a cheap way to get around. Even the most famous backpacker destination in Bolivia, the Uyuni Salt Flats, won’t break the bank, costing around $200 for 3 days, which is relatively cheap for this bucket-list destination!

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Learn more: Backpacking in Bolivia

Nepal

Trekking in Nepal doesn’t have to cost as much as you might imagine. Other than the Everest Base Camp Trek (an exorbitant expense), there are plenty of beautiful Himalayan treks where it is possible to go by yourself. The Short Annapurna Circuit, for example, is well-marked with guesthouses along the path for about $5 a night, so you won’t have to carry tons of gear. (If you want to go all the way to Annapurna Base Camp, you’ll need to go with a guide). Food and drink in Nepal are also very affordable, with meals costing between $2-$3.

Learn more: Backpacking in Nepal

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is certainly one of those countries where you can travel on a budget or live in the lap of luxury for relatively affordable prices. Their infamous train system (a bucket-list item in itself) is the cheapest way to get around the country. Or, you could hire a private taxi to travel between cities with a few other people from your hostel. Keep a special travel budget set aside for entrance fees to nature reserves and UNESCO Heritage sites!

Learn more: Backpacking in Sri Lanka

Colombia

Colombia is one of our favorite backpacking destinations because of the friendly locals, diverse landscapes, and of course, affordability. You could easily backpack in Colombia for a month with just $1000 in your bank account. By taking long-distance buses, staying in hostel dorm rooms, and cooking your own food in the hostel kitchens, you can visit destinations like Medellín, Cartagena, and Salento on a budget.

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

Learn more: Backpacking in Colombia

Honorable Mention

Denmark

This country certainly doesn’t scream ‘budget travel’ but it’s the cheapest destination in Scandinavia. If visiting this part of the world has been a dream of yours, we can definitely recommend Denmark in comparison with its more expensive Scandinavian neighbors Norway, Sweden, or Finland.

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in Scandinavia

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark

Learn more: Backpacking in Denmark

 

Backpacking means that you can get out and explore the world however you see fit. Though you might want to always be on the move, there are times when it is better to sit still and work a little. One of the best work travel jobs for backpackers is working a season at a ski resort in Europe or North America. Here are some of the reasons why this might be the right choice for you!

A Variety of Work-Travel Opportunities

One of the best reasons to work a season at a ski resort can simply be for the variety of work available. After all, a ski resort might as well be a small city, so there should be plenty of roles that you could fulfil.

If you have the qualifications and the experience, you might be able to find a role as a ski or snowboard instructor. You could also get a job maintaining the slopes and helping out with other aspects of managing the pistes.

Of course, there are also plenty of roles in hospitality. You could work in the lodges, whether they are for private owners or just for people renting for a week or two.

There is usually also a good amount of bar work in the ski resorts. Get your applications in early so you have a good chance at landing a role that works for you and your skills!

Enjoy the Ski Resort Benefits

Use your days off to enjoy employee discounts at the ski resort

Use your days off to enjoy employee discounts at the ski resort

A great reason to choose to work a ski season will always be the days off. Many jobs at resorts will come with either a staff pass or a serious discount for a day pass to the slopes. If you are not scheduled in, you will be able to head out and enjoy everything that the resort has to offer!

Just make sure that you are fully prepared for your time outside so that you can keep yourself safe on the slopes. It would be devastating if you were to run into trouble at the start of the season and would be left having to give up your position. Use tools like pistepro.com to monitor conditions on the slopes, and make sure your equipment is always properly maintained.

Meeting People from All over the World

Meet people from all over the world while working at a ski resort

Meet people from all over the world while working at a ski resort

When you choose to work a season at a ski resort, you will be able to meet people from all around the world. Whether you are a housekeeper or a bartender, there is always a chance that you will run into someone from the other side of the world who might nevertheless be your new best friend.

You have to work, and work hard, but don’t forget to have fun too! A ski resort is a great place to live for a few months.

Whether you are in Canada, one of Europe’s best ski resorts, or anywhere else with amazing slopes, you will have so many opportunities at your feet. Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges and embrace everything this adventure has to offer you!

As a backpacker, it can sometimes be good to stay put for a little while. In addition to the experience of working in a ski resort, you will be able to work up a fantastic pot that you can use to further your travels.

Working at a Ski Resort Abroad

If you’re interested in traveling abroad to work at a ski resort, be sure to check into the local visa rules for work travel. Some countries grant short-term work visas for people who are only interested in working for a season.

Working at a Ski Resort in the USA

Most of the ski resorts in the US are found in the West and Central regions, in the Sierra Nevadas and the Rocky Mountains. There are also some top-notch ski resorts found in the Northern New England area, in Vermont and New York State.

If you are a US citizen, you shouldn’t have any complications finding short term work at a ski resort in the US. Lots of young people choose to work a season at a ski resort in between high school and university, or after graduating from college.

If you are not from the US, you’ll need to secure a work visa to work a season at a ski resort. The most common work travel visa for the USA is the H2B visa. With this visa, the ski resort sponsors you directly to work there.

Unfortunately, in the past couple of years, the number of H2B visas has been limited, since ski resorts need to show that they cannot find a US citizen to fill the job. If you are a certified ski or snowboard instructor, you’ll have a better chance of landing a job at a US Ski Resort. Be sure to apply ahead of time, since most of the jobs are filled in the springtime before the winter season.

Working at a Ski Resort in Canada

Famous for backcountry skiing and massive Rocky Mountain resorts, Canada is one of the best places to work a season at a ski resort. Besides, Canada has a working holiday visa program, which makes it easier for foreigners to get a ski resort job in Canada compared with the US and even Europe.

The working holiday visa is open for most countries for young people from age 18 to 30/35. The benefit of the program is that you do not have to secure a job before going. The visa is valid for a year or two (depending on your country) and allows you to travel to Canada and start looking for a job.

Be sure to check the specific requirements to see if you’re eligible for a work travel visa for Canada.

Working at a Ski Resort in Europe

The most popular European ski resorts are found in Austria, Switzerland, France, and Germany. You can also go north to Scandinavia and find work in Norway or Sweden.

If you are a local EU citizen, you won’t have any visa trouble securing a job at a ski resort in Europe. However, if your job will have any sort of client interaction, you must speak the local language of the resort. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for non-EU citizens to secure a job at a European ski resort since most of the jobs will go to the locals.

However, Austria and France now have a work-travel agreement with several countries, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Korea and Chinese Taipei.

Switzerland does not have a work-travel visa program, so your only option would be to hope for a cash job at a Swiss Ski Resort.

Nevertheless, if it is your dream to work a season at a ski resort in Europe, be sure to check the working requirements, as things may change in the future.


Where will you go next? What will you do? All could be determined by what you manage to save up whilst working at the ski resort.

Take the time to work out whether this could be the right move for you careerwise, and then see if there is a ski resort that will take you on for the season!

Have you always wanted to visit the USA but don’t have the budget? Not to worry, as there are plenty of opportunities across North America where you can work in exchange for free accommodation in the USA. 

Depending on which state you are planning to visit, there are a wide range of opportunities to explore as well as plenty of companies who are willing to help. To help you understand the range of opportunities available, take a look at the various USA work exchange jobs which cater to everyone.

Become a Petsitter

Combine your love of animals with your love of travel and become a Trusted Housesitter

Combine your love of animals with your love of travel and become a Trusted Housesitter

The US has plenty of people looking for trustworthy housesitters to watch their pets in exchange for staying at their homes for free. Trusted Housesitters is the pet-sitting network for animal lovers who are responsible, reliable, and looking for a fantastic way to travel while staying for free.

You can find everything, from a chic apartment in Manhattan to a beach house in Malibu. A basic petsitter account costs just $129 to join and you can housesit anywhere in the world, and considering how expensive accommodation can be in the US, it’s well worth it.

Volunteer at a Ranch

Find work on a ranch in exchange for free accommodation

Work on a ranch in exchange for free accommodation

You will find plenty of ranches across America, where you can volunteer and benefit from free digs and maybe even meals on the house. This work will involve feeding the animals, milking cows, planting, growing crops, and plenty more agricultural work. 

If you love the outdoors, this is the perfect opportunity for you. All you need to do to work on a US ranch is get in touch with a reputable organization such as the USA branch’s World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF).

On the organization’s website, you will find plenty of volunteer roles in California, Georgia, and North Carolina. You can also check ranchwork.com, a job board full of work and travel opportunities in the USA.

Work in Hospitality

Some hospitality jobs in the USA offer free accommodation in exchange for work

Some hospitality jobs in the USA offer free accommodation in exchange for work

If you would prefer to swap your farmer boots for some sensible office shoes, a hotel receptionist may be a better option. The USA’s hospitality sector is a huge industry, so you’re bound to find a role that suits you. Popular tourist hospitality jobs include housekeepers, bar staff, waitresses/waiters, chefs, and more. 

If you are looking to work in exchange for free accommodation in the USA, then the hospitality sector is definitely one of the better options. After all, you get to work and live in the same place, so there’s no need for early alarms, and you may also benefit from free or discount food, drinks, and events. 

Become a Nanny

Get free accommodation in exchange for working as a nanny

Get free accommodation in exchange for working as a nanny

Another popular way to enjoy America without worrying about accommodation costs is by becoming a nanny. Most nanny jobs are live-in, which means you may end up staying in a lavish penthouse in New York City or even a beach house in Malibu and get a taste for the rich lifestyle.

As a nanny working in America, you may also be offered a wage that you can use to fund the rest of your travels. You may also be given a daily allowance typically put towards food and other miscellaneous costs for both you and the children you are caring for. 


Are you ready to get down in the dirt at a Georgia ranch? Or become a nanny to a generous American family? Whatever venture you opt for, it is possible to have the time of your life without breaking the bank. 

Remember, when applying for any of these roles, it is important to consider your visa eligibility. Even though you may not get paid for your services, you may need to obtain a B-1 or J-1 Visa before entering the USA. You should check with a visa specialist or check with the program leaders before completing your application.

Companies that specialize in finding work exchange for free accommodation will advise you on the application process, including everything from flight bookings to visa requirements. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start researching and preparing for your USA trip.

If you have hopes of travelling to the United Kingdom, but are worried about accommodation costs, you may want to consider applying for jobs that offer free accommodation in exchange for work in the UK. 

There are plenty of organisations which provide you with a steady job along with safe and clean digs in various parts of England, Wales and Ireland. To help you understand more about the process, here are examples of how to work in exchange for free accommodation in the UK. 

Become a Petsitter

Become a pet sitter and get free accommodation in the UK

Combine your love of animals with your love of travel and become a Trusted Housesitter

There are plenty of people in the UK who are looking for trusted housesitters to stay at their place for free in exchange for watching their pets. For animal lovers who are responsible, reliable, and looking for a great way to travel around the UK with free accommodation, you can get started with the petsitting network, Trusted Housesitters. It’s the #1 platform where you can find tons of different options, from a chic flat in London, to a seaside countryhouse in Cornwall. A basic membership starts at just €99 for unlimited housesits worldwide, which is well-worth the cost when you think about how much accommodation in the UK can be!

Volunteer with a charity

Volunteer with an organization that offers free accommodation in exchange for work

Volunteer with an organisation that offers free accommodation in exchange for work

One of the most rewarding ways to earn your stay is by volunteering with a charity. There are various programmes that offer charity fundraiser roles that involve door-to-door charity fundraising to help fund the chosen cause. 

Companies such as Wesser provide charity fundraisers work that helps them earn £10 an hour plus commission, along with free access to shared accommodation. This typically consists of a large four to five-bedroom property with various communal living areas which cater to the staff’s every need. 

Work in hospitality

Some hospitality sectors in the UK offer free accommodation in exchange for work

Some hospitality sectors in the UK offer free accommodation in exchange for work

Another great way to earn and live while travelling in the UK is by working in the hospitality sector. This could include working in a hotel as a live-in staff member who takes on the role of a receptionist or even a hotel manager. 

In the UK, there are a variety of seaside and lake and holiday camps that hire seasonal workers in the spring and summer months. These jobs typically offer fair pay along with free accommodation in a cosy cabin or even a quirky tepee. 

Become a live-in nanny 

Become an Au Pair and get free accommodation in exchange for work

Become an Au Pair and get free accommodation in exchange for work

If you enjoy travelling and love kids, why not become a live-in nanny in the UK? There are plenty of vacancies available in this field. This will provide you with work in exchange for free accommodation which will definitely be a lavish and unique experience in the UK, as the majority of employers will be extremely wealthy. 

There are also financial benefits of becoming a nanny, as on average, they earn upwards of £350 per week. This works out a lot cheaper than rent and can also fund your meals, as you will likely be given extra pocket money for food for you and the children. You can also use the remainder of your earnings to fund the rest of your travels.  

Work on an organic farm

Work on an organic farm in the UK in exchange for free accommodation

Work on an organic farm in the UK in exchange for free accommodation

If your dream is to travel and stay in picturesque locations, you should consider volunteering on an organic farm. This will involve living and working in the farm, where you will get involved in jobs such as picking grapes or even milking a cow or two. 

One of the most popular organisations is WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, which offers global opportunities for like-minded people looking to work, stay and learn all about farm life. Workaway is another great company which allows travellers to find free accommodation in exchange for farm work, while also offering the freedom of travelling like a local.


Now you have all the information you need regarding work in exchange for free accommodation in the UK, have you decided which route is right for you? Whatever you choose, it is important that you first check your visa eligibility to ensure you can legally work in the UK. 

It is also vital that you thoroughly research the company you are planning to work for by looking at reviews and asking around for personal recommendations. This will ensure that your experience will be completely legal, safe and enjoyable.