If you’re looking to travel and work, then there is probably no better job to pick up than a spot of work as a bartender. Basically you’re getting paid to socialise, drink, have fun, and see a new place whilst you’re there, what could be bad about that? On top of this, work as a bartender will certainly help you meet new people whilst you travel, and when you think about it, that’s the whole point of travel in general.
Like everything in life, there are a few downsides and things you need to know and consider before you leap behind the nearest bar.
Check employment laws first
It’s never a good idea to go behind the law, so always check out the rules for foreign workers first, so you are in possession of the facts. Some countries forbid anyone working who doesn’t hold a work permit, which in some cases are notoriously difficult to obtain. In the case of working as a bartender, you’re unlikely to be granted a permit. Of course, not all countries have these laws, so simply check out the official line on where you’re going.
Be aware that hours can be long
If you’re heading to a tourist resort for work in the height of season then you need to be aware that you’re going to be working very long hours, usually involving either a split day and night shift, and probably not finishing work until the very last customer has gone home, which can be when the sun starts to rise again! Working as a bartender as you travel is hard work, there’s no denying it, but you have to work out the positives against the negatives, and in this case you’re looking at fun job to earn you some extra cash to fund your travels.
How are you going to find work as a bartender?
It’s not as difficult as you might think, in fact it can be very easy if you time it right. You need to know what you’re doing however, otherwise you’re going to be focusing your energies in the wrong places. Do a little research first, by asking around where the new bars are, and if you’re visiting at the start of season, this is the best time to simply walk around bars and ask if they need staff – most of the time it will be that simple in order to get a job. You will probably undergo an “interview” of sorts, which will probably be an informal chat. In some of the louder nightlife areas you may have a bar test, or even be plied with copious amounts of alcohol to see how much you can stand and still work!
Remember you’re not going to make a fortune
Bartender work isn’t really going to make you rich, but it will fund your travels enough to be able to continue onwards for a little while. Basically, anything is better than nothing, and whilst you’re working behind a bar you’re meeting new people, you’re learning about the place you’re staying in, and you have a bit of a routine, which can be invaluable at times during your travels.
Bar work is generally cash in hand = no rights
Working as a bartender as you travel is basically seasonal or transitional, so you probably won’t be on the payroll, you won’t pay taxes, and you won’t have any rights as a result. Remember that you could simply find yourself without a job within an instant, but you will also be paid your wages and tips in your hand at the end of the day, week, or month, depending on the arrangement you have with the bar owner.