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Backpacking means that you are able to 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 in order 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 on the West and Central regions, in the Sierra Nevadas and the Rocky Mountains. There are also some top-notch ski resorts found in 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 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 in order 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 in order 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 back country 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 or 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. On average, European ski resorts are more crowded than those in North America

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, it is very important that you 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 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!

The UK is known for its fascinating historical sites, which can be found across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. If you are planning a trip to the UK, you should definitely consider adding some of the UK’s most historical cities to your must-see list.

There are a wide range of historical cities to choose from, so to narrow down your choices, here are some of the most popular historic locations in the UK.

Oxford

Visit Oxford, one of the most historical cities in the UK

Visit Oxford, one of the most historical cities in the UK

Oxford is the home of the prestigious Oxford University, which is the second oldest university in the world, just behind the University of Bologna in Italy. Even if you’re not attending lectures, you can still wander around the university, explore the gardens, brush up on your reading at the Bodleian Library, and admire the Radcliffe Camera building.

A trip to Oxford isn’t complete without a trip the Oxford Castle, which was built in 1071. You can take in the castle’s beauty from the Saxon St George’s Tower, the oldest building in Oxfordshire.

If you want to squeeze in a trip to the capital while you are visiting Oxford, it is just a short train ride away. In London, you can enjoy plenty more historical sites, sightseeing hotspots and, of course, shopping.

 

Durham

Visit the cathedral and castle of Durham

Visit the historical cathedral and castle of Durham

Durham is known as the jewel of the northeast for a reason, as it is home to the magnificent Durham Cathedral, a popular UNESCO heritage site. This Norman building is home to the shrine of St Cuthbert, which was constructed between 1093 and 1133.

Durham castle sits at the heart of the world heritage site. This beautiful structure was built in the 11th century and is now home to the students of University College, which is part of the prestigious Durham University.

Away from the world heritage site is the picturesque Crook Hall and gardens, a medieval manor first constructed in 1217. Both the building and the five acres of English gardens are a sight to see. You can stroll through the gardens every Sunday to Wednesday while enjoying a spot of tea in the Georgian drawing room.

 

Chester

Visit the walled city of Chester in the UK

Visit the historical walled city of Chester in the UK

Chester is located in the northwest of England and is known for its ancient wall, which encloses the city. It’s one of the most historical cities in the UK, since the walls are the oldest and longest-standing barricades in all of the United Kingdom.

However, instead of being used for protection, the locals use the walls as a relaxing promenade spot.

Since the Middle Ages, Chester has been known as a bustling market town and still is to this day. If you are a shopping addict, you should wander through the many shops near Watergate and Bridge Street where you can pick up something for yourself or a loved one back home.

In Chester, you will find the world’s oldest racecourse, which was established in 1539 and is still in operation. If you are lucky, you may get tickets to a race even or even a concert. However, keep in mind that if you go in the colder months, you definitely need to wrap up warm, as rain is basically constant during winter.

 


 Now you’ve got some inspiration, you can start planning your historic city trip to the UK. You may also want to start on your packing list, as you need to make sure that you have the right clothes for the unpredictable UK climate (which is mostly cold).

Are you planning your first European backpacking travel adventure? Packing for a trip can be exciting but stressful, especially if you don’t know what to bring. Whether you’re going for a week or for an entire summer, there are a few backpacking Europe essentials for your packing list. To help you get started, take a look at our backpacking Europe checklist, which will ensure you have everything you need for your trip. 

1. Backpack

The right backpacking can make or break your trip. A backpack that’s too big can make traveling uncomfortable, while a backpack that’s too small won’t allow you to fit all your belongings in it. 

When backpacking Europe, you won’t want to bring a large, rolling suitcase. European cities were built before the age of elevators, which means that you’ll be walking lots of stairs. When navigating the metro, the old buildings, and the hotels, you’ll be happy to be able to take the stairs instead of lugging around an unwieldy backpack.

When it comes to essentials for your backpacking Europe packing list, it’s best to bring a carry-on sized backpack to avoid baggage fees on budget airlines.

Backpacking backpacks come in sizes based on the liter volume that they can carry. A 30-40 liter bag is comparable to a carry-on size suitcase, while a bag that’s 50-65 liters will be too big to take with you as a carry on.

Make sure you choose a bag that fits comfortably on your body. If you’re visiting a store, the employees will be more than happy to help you select a few bags that are suited to your body size. 

If you’re looking for the best backpack for backpacking Europe, the Osprey brand has some great all-rounder backpacks. Osprey is the go-to essential Europe backpacking option and fits most people comfortably. 

2. Day bag

When you’re taking a day trip or going on a hike, you won’t want to bring your huge backpack with you. Leave most of your items locked safely at your accommodation and take along a day bag. Your best bet would be to purchase a foldable daypack that can fit into your bigger backpack.

It will need to fit essentials such as money, a snack, water, and maybe a change of clothes, so it shouldn’t be too big or bulky.

3. Padlocks

Padlocks are a quick, convenient, and inexpensive way to secure your bags and hostel lockers. When assembling your backpacking Europe essentials for your packing list, a small item like this can be a lifesaver! You can also use your luggage lock on your backpack during travel days, ensuring all your belongings are safe, including your passport.

4. Universal travel adapter

Your Europe backpacking packing list should include a universal travel adapter, which will work for your phone charger or any other electronic devices. 

The outlets in continental Europe use the same 2-pronged plug, but if you’re traveling in the UK and Ireland, you’ll need a different 3-pronged system. Rather than taking multiple chargers with you, a multifunctional adapter will do. 

5. Camera

The best travel camera for backpacking europe

Your phone camera is sufficient for everyday life, but backpacking around the world is an incredible experience that you will never want to forget!

Your travel photos will prove invaluable once you return from your epic journey, so be sure to capture all the incredible things you encounter along the way. Bring a camera that not only takes great pictures but also fits easily into your backpack.

These days, the majority of cameras are equipped with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, so they can be transmitted easily to your laptop or phone to post them online.

You may wish to bring a high-tech DSLR camera to take stunning photographs. For some, a more compact point-and-shoot camera will suffice, and will fit in a day pack without taking up much space.

If you want to take your backpacking adventures to the next level, then consider bringing along a GoPro, which will accompany you everywhere from underwater adventures to skydiving during your European backpacking adventures.

6. Travel towel

Your essential backpacking Europe packing list should include a quick-drying travel towel, since you will be moving from hostel to hostel as you backpack between cities. My favorite travel towel is a Turkish towel which is quick to dry and easy to fit in your backpack. You can also use the towel as a privacy screen if you secure a bottom bunk in a hostel.

7. Power Bank

A power bank is one of the essentials on my backpacking Europe packing list, for multiple reasons. While traveling, you’ll be using your phone much more than normal – for navigation, taking photos, videos, or researching travel tips. On days like this, you’ll want to have a backup battery for your phone. 

I’ve also relied on my power bank during long travel journeys when I use my phone and want to make sure I have enough juice to find my way to the next destination.

8. Change purse

Reliance on physical money is surprisingly still pretty high throughout Europe. Plus, having lots of €1 and €2 Euro coins is a good idea if you want to leave behind tips or donate to street musicians that you’ll see on your trip. 

9. The right shoes

For your backpacking Europe packing list, don’t forget to throw in a pair of rubber sandals for the hostel showers. You should also bring a pair of comfortable but stylish walking shoes. Some nightlife spots will require a certain dress code, but you can get away with leather-style sneakers. And women can get away with stylish looking flats that are secretly super comfortable.

10. Hostel survival kit

If you’ll be staying in hostels, don’t forget these 4 backpacking Europe essentials. We call it the hostel survival kit:

11. The Best Apps for Backpacking Europe

The Best Apps for Backpacking Europe

And lastly, before heading off for your European backpacking adventure, you should load up your phone with a few essential apps that will make backpacking Europe a breeze.

Apps to book transportation from place to place

Given the relatively compact size of Europe, you can travel between major cities by train or bus. There are a few useful apps for European transportation that can help make sure you find the best deal while sticking to your schedule.

  • Omio – compare trains, buses, and flight options in Europe and travel using mobile tickets
  • Trainline – a popular app in the UK to find train and bus tickets 
  • Flixbus – a long-distance bus company that is a favorite mode of travel for budget backpackers
  • Kiwi – a flight search comparison site that helps you find the lowest prices
  • Skyscanner – another classic flight search website that has powerful flexible search options

Apps for Finding Accommodation in Europe

Apps to book discounted activities and Skip the Line tickets

Apps to stay in touch with friends and family back home

If you don’t want to change to an international mobile plan, you can use these apps over free public WiFi to stay in touch with people back home.

Are you planning a trip to Ireland in the near future? If so, you should consider adding one of the many long distance hikes in Ireland to your bucket list. 

The best time to hike in Ireland is between May and October as temperatures are slightly warmer and you can enjoy pleasant weather during your hike. However, it’s important that you pack the right gear, should random rainfall occur. 

Many of the long distance hikes in Ireland will allow you to enjoy Ireland off the beaten path. During a hike, you may come across quaint villages which are definitely not on the average tourist’s radar. 

There are a wide range of hikes In Ireland, where you can either camp along the way or  find accommodation in the middle of your chosen route. As there are so many long distance hiking trails to choose from in Ireland, we have narrowed down some of the best treks available to explore. 

1. Kerry Way  (214 km)

Torc Waterfall which stands at the base of Torc Mountain within the Killarney National Park.

Torc Waterfall in the Killarney National Park

Kerry Way is one of the longest signposted hikes in Ireland which begins and ends in Killarney, a popular coastal town in the Republic of Ireland. Killarney is known for its bright-coloured 19th century architecture, including St Mary’s Cathedral. 

This hiking trail is a circular route that typically takes around 7 to 10 days to complete. Despite the length of the hike, it is a fairly easy route that is accessible to all levels. Although the terrain does differ with everything from sturdy tarmac roads to boggy national parkland and farm areas. 

Along the way, you will discover interesting castle ruins and ancient Celtic monuments, as well as stunning mountain landscapes. At the start of the hike, you can also enjoy the beautiful Torc Waterfall which stands at the base of Torc Mountain within the Killarney National Park. 

2. The Wicklow Way (128 km)

Wicklow Mountains National Park along the Wicklow Way - one of the best long distance hikes in Ireland

The J. B. Malone memorial above Lough Tay in the Wicklow Mountains National Park

The Wicklow Way is one of the most challenging hikes in Ireland. The trail takes around 7 days in total, starting in the Dublin suburb of Rathfarnham and crossing 26 peaks throughout Dublin and the Wicklow mountains. The hiking trail ends in the small village of Clonegal in County Carlow.

The most popular route along the Wicklow Way is the north to south route, however, you can also take the south to north route if you wish to start on low terrain and work your way up. 

Whatever route you take, you will be able to enjoy a wide range of sights including Marlay Park, Fairy Castle, the Powerscourt waterfall, the peaks of Djouce and more. 

3. The Irish segment of the E8 Long Distance Trail (650 km)

Walk the start of the E8 Long-Distance Trail - one of the best long distance hikes in Ireland

Walk the westernmost portion of the E8 Long-Distance Trail in Ireland

The E8 trail was established as Europe’s first long-distance hike, and it starts in Ireland in Cork’s Dursey Island – the westernmost tip of Europe. The whole trail stretches to Istanbul, Turkey, although the Irish section begins at Dursey Island and ends in Dublin City.

Part of the route overlaps with some of the best long distances hikes in Ireland including the Wicklow Way, the Kerry Way, the South Leinster Way and the Blackwater Way. 

The Irish segment of the E8 trail goes from coast to coast, and allows you to see all of rural Ireland including the bogs, mountains, windy country roads, old castles and even ancient burial sites. 

4. Dingle Way (183 km)

Cliffs along the Dingle Way towards Slea Head

Cliffs along the Dingle Way towards Slea Head

Ireland’s Dingle Way is a circular hiking trail that covers the Dingle Peninsula and takes around 6 to 8 days to complete. This is an easy to moderate walk with well-maintained terrain throughout. 

The Dingle Way starts and ends in Tralee, in the South-west county of Kerry. Tralee is known for its yearly Rose of Tralee International Festival which is held every August. This is a contest that celebrates Irish women all over the world.

The Dingle Way offers stunning views of beautiful beaches, lively towns and mountains. When you get to the foot of Mount Bradon, the difficulty of the trail increases, however, it’s nothing the average hiker can’t handle. 

5. The Beara Way (206 km)

Beara Peninsula countryside on the Beara Way - one of the best long distance hikes in Ireland

Beara Peninsula countryside on the Beara Way

The Beara Way is a circular long distance hike in Ireland that begins and ends in Glengarriff, a tiny village in the Beara Peninsula of County Cork. It takes about 8 to 12 day to complete the entire trail, however, you can start the walk at various points.

Most of the walk is dry, there are parts of the walk that are boggy, so it’s advised that you bring waterproof shoes. There are also various steep climbs and rough terrain, so it’s important you stay focused while you walk.

During the walk, you will come across spectacular Atlantic views, as well as plenty of wild mountainous land. You will also have the pleasure of visiting Bere Island during the trail, where you will find historic military buildings, plenty of heritage and even the opportunity to go whale watching. 


The collection of long distance hikes in Ireland does not stop here, as there are plenty more trails and sights to explore on The Emerald Isle. 

For more facts on travel in Ireland, take a look at our Backpacking Ireland guide which uncovers everything you need to know about Ireland including where to stay. It also discusses things to do while you are there as well as Republic of Ireland visa requirements and work permit information. 

The Best Long Distance Hikes in Ireland

Are you planning your first backpacking travel adventure? This can be both exciting and stressful, especially if you’re not sure what you pack. Whether you’re backpacking Europe, exploring Southeast Asia, or travelling throughout South America, there are a few backpacking essentials you’ll want to take with you from home.

To help you get started, take a look at our ultimate backpacking packing list, which will ensure you have everything you need for your trip. 

1. Backpack

Choosing a backpack should be the first thing you consider, as the right bag can make or break your trip. If you choose one that’s too small, you won’t be able to fit all your belongings in it, while a backpack that’s too big can slow you down and make your journey unpleasant.

When deciding on a backpacking backpack, consider the type of trip you’re taking as well as the type of gear you need to bring. A 30-40 litre bag is carry-on size and will fit a few days of clothes. For a longer world backpacking trip, you should be looking at bags that are 50-65 litres.

There are plenty of backpack brands to choose from, so it’s important to take your time and shop around for your particular body size. You should try on plenty of bags in-store and ask for size guidance to make sure you purchase the right one. 

That being said, one of the most popular backpacks for world travelers is an Osprey 65L backpack. They are durable, easy to load, and most importantly, comfortable. Women’s and Men’s backpacks are shaped somewhat differently, so purchase accordingly:

2. Day bag

A small collapsible daypack is an essential item on your backpacking packing list

Bring a small collapsible pack for your day trip excursions

For certain trips, you may want to leave your bulky backpack at your accommodation and instead opt for a lightweight day bag. It would be best if you buy a foldable day bag to fit inside your larger backpack.

Again this shouldn’t be too small or too big, as you need to make sure it’ll fit essentials such as money, your passport or even your visa. Try to choose a day bag with various compartments, as this allows you to separate your lunch from your toiletries. 

3. Waist bag or money belt

When backpacking around the world, you need to be extra careful when carrying around money, as pickpockets tend to target tourists. So, the best way to keep your currency safe is by storing it in a waist bag to keep it close to your person.

You can wear it proudly in front of you, wear it concealed under your clothes, or wear it as a cross-body bag.

There are a wide range of waist bags to choose from in a wide range of colours, so you can select a design to suit your preferences. The majority of money belts and waist bags can also be adjusted, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping down while you’re walking. 

4. Padlocks

To keep your belongings safe, you should definitely invest in padlocks. This small item on your backpacking packing list can be a lifesaver during your travels! You can quickly and easily secure your bag or hostel locker with a padlock for just a small cost.

Your luggage lock will also work on your backpacks, which will ensure all the contents are safe, especially your passport, as losing this would be a nightmare.

5. Universal travel adapter


One thing you will need to have on your backpacking packing list is a universal travel adapter, which will work for your phone charger or any other electronic devices you bring along. 

A universal travel adapter will solve all your plug issues, especially considering there are fifteen different power plug shapes around the world! So, instead of lugging different types of plugs around, you will only need a multi-purpose adapter. Just make sure you don’t leave it in your hostel!

6. Laptop

If you’re travelling alone, you’ll want to keep in contact with your friends and family to keep them in the loop about where you are off to next. Or maybe you want to document your journey on a personal travel blog.

The best way to do this is by taking a travel-size laptop. A Macbook air is the most popular laptop for digital nomads because it’s durable, lightweight, and compact.

If you are a freelancer or can work on the road, you can also use your laptop to work as you travel. You could even start up a public blog to document your travels and share your experiences with a wider audience.

7. Camera

Don't forget to bring a camera to document your adventures

A camera will help document your once-in-a-lifetime backpacking adventures

Your phone camera is sufficient for everyday life, but backpacking around the world is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! You’ll want to document all the amazing things you encounter along the way because your travel photos will be invaluable once you return from your epic journey.

This is exactly why you need a good-quality camera, which not only takes great pictures but also fits perfectly and safely in your backpack.

Most cameras these days come equipped with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, which means you can easily send them to your laptop or phone if you want to post them online along the way.

There are plenty of action cameras to choose from, so you do research and ask around to see if anyone can recommend a good camera that will capture all your memories and enhance your blog. 

A GoPro is the ultimate item for your backpacking packing list

A GoPro is the ultimate backpacker gadget for adventure-seekers

If you have the technical know-how, you may want to bring a high-tech DSLR camera that allows you to capture stunning photos. For some of us, a more compact point-and-shoot camera will do the trick and has the benefit of being small enough to fit in your day pack.

However, if you want the ultimate backpacker gadget, you should bring along a GoPro which can accompany you everywhere from underwater adventures, to skydiving during your world travels.

8. Travel towel

Another essential item for your backpacking packing list is a quick-drying travel towel, as you will be moving from different hostels as you backpack from city to city, where you will need a hygienic towel. A travel towel is compact and can fit easily inside your backpack. 

You may also need a quick-drying towel when you’re enjoying some water excursions during your world backpacking trip, such as exploring waterfalls or hidden natural pools. 


Now that you have an idea of what to pack for your next adventure, you can stop stressing and start researching and planning some activities for your first backpacking travel adventure. Have fun out there!