Planning a Working Holiday in London
It's bustling, it's cultural and it's certainly never boring. London is by far one of the most exciting cities in the world. Thinking of going? An easy and economical way to get to know the metropolitan city is by arranging a working holiday. It's more simple to set up than you may think. And once you're there, we have some tips to help make the most of your pounds.
Before you go, it is worthwhile to see what the job market looks like. The Guardian newspaper has an online job site (http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/) that would be a good starting point. Reed (http://www.reed.co.uk/jobs) also has an online job search site that caters to a broad range of employment types. While you're browsing you can specify the type of work you are looking for, whether it is permanent or temporary, part-time or full-time, and even your salary expectations. Remember to arrange appropriate working visas through your UK embassy before you arrive because employers will require documentation.
Deciding on where to stay may be tricky simply because each of London's boroughs have their own personalities. There are 12 central boroughs, and 33 total in the Greater London area. If you want a posh lifestyle, try Kensington and Chelsea. If you are more interested in the off-beat scene, Hackney's street art and independent gigs venues might be it. Renowned for Brick Lane's curry paradise and vintage shops, Tower Hamlet's is also a popular borough. And for those looking for something a bit quieter but within a reasonable commute to the centre, maybe find out more about Richmond upon Thames or Kingston upon Thames. The best way to decide is to do some online research. Find out what areas are most in line with your preferred lifestyle. To find accommodation vacancies, a good site is rightmove . You can specify whether you want to share or not, if you want short term leases and give your preferred rental prices.
Before deciding where to stay you may want to see how long the commute is to places you want to frequent. Transport for London's website (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/) can help any newcomer find out how to get around, and will tell you approximate commute times. It's easy to get around the city because of the underground train system, colloquially knows as "the tube". And it helps that there are maps all around the city too!
Wherever you stay, there is always something to do in London. The city is renowned for its art, theatre, fashion and dining. All of the major art galleries and museums are free for the public, so enjoying a bit of culture won't hurt your budget. A stay in London wouldn't be complete without getting familiar with the pub culture. Many of London's pubs have interesting histories, like the Ten Bells in East London where Jack the Ripper is said to have frequented.
Enjoying a vast range of experiences doesn't have to break the bank either. Sites like Deal Zippy offer fantastic savings on everything from elegant restaurants to cheap travel deals across the UK. You could enjoy a five course meal or a champagne afternoon tea for more than half the regular price off! And deals are updated daily so it's best to check them out often. There are also loads of free things to do in London from markets, to galleries to lectures to free walking tours all over the city where you can meet new people and hear stories about London's past.
London is an amazing place to explore no matter what your interests, and a working holiday may be the perfect way to do it.