Young First Time Traveler in Need of Guidance

I am 18 years old and planning my first trip to Europe. I am going to be traveling between the months of march-sep, possibly. I need advice on the best place for me to stay in England as a place to live/home base and possibly find work there to pay for my trip. Also, when would be the best time to go? Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

First, Erica, understand that you won't be able to stay from March to September. You will only be permitted to stay a total of 90 days in Schengen zone countries (most of Europe)out of the 180 days that begins when you first enter the zone. The 90 days doesn't start over because you leave the zone briefly, say, to go to Ireland. You can come and go from the zone, but only stay a total of 90 days all together.

I'm not sure what the work rules are for Canadian citizens living in the UK, but you might need a work visa in order to be able to work legally.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3403 posts

Erica, I think if you have a parent or grandparent who was born in the UK, you can get a short term work permit. Check with the British consulate in Vancouver.

Posted by Norm
Ottawa, Canada
4555 posts

Patrick...for tourists, it basically means that the UK and Ireland retain their own border controls (customs and immigration) while they've been abolished between the other Schengen countries, except in emergencies. It also means that the Schengen area limit of 90 days visiting each 180 days does not apply in the UK and Ireland. So if one wanted to spend a longer period of time in Europe, one could theoretically spend 90 days in the Schengen countries, 90 days in the UK or Ireland, then 90 days again in the Schengen countries, 90 days in Ireland or the UK.....and so on.

Posted by Chris
Puyallup, WA, USA
881 posts

Hi, Erica. The maximum length of stay for a Canadian visiting the UK< according to the Home Office (aka British government is 6 months.

Check it out here:

http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/infs/inf2visitors#9242695

Check out the work/visa info there too:
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/ukvqr?redirect=true&promoId=1910262&reason=Work&nationality=Canada&location=Canada

The UK is a really expensive place to base, even if you have free housing or anything. (Cost of living is a killer). So just be prepared!

As for when to go, if you can avoid July and August, they're the busy/costly times in the UK.

Posted by Tami
Boulder, CO, USA
780 posts

You can stay in the UK for up to 6 months without a visa, but you will not be able to work..

Posted by Simon
Sydney, Australia
4 posts

UK is not a Schengen zone country, so controls to not apply - 6 months is the standard for Commonwealth countries. If you have a UK parent you may be eligible for UK citizenship (and hence able to live and work in Europe), or for a Certificate of Entitlement to Right of Abode (hence able to live and work in the UK). If you have a UK-born grandparent you are able to work for a set period.

Posted by Pauline
Wadebridge
37 posts

I wouldn't say that any time was particularly better or worse than another, but finding work around Christmas and August/ September might be hard - Christmas things shut down and August people get their A level results and either start Uni, taking up casual work in their new town, or don't get to Uni, meaning they take up casual work in their home town.

Could you try an agency for au pair work so that you could do that for a certain period to give you a chance to settle in? Otherwise travelodge have some great deals if you book far enough ahead.

Registering with an agency before you get here would be a good idea.

Posted by Frank II
USA
4376 posts

Unless you have a legal right to work, you will have trouble.

The UK is notorious for trying to stop young people they feel are going there to work. If you show up and say you are staying for six months, they are going to ask you how you plan to support yourself. If you say work there, and you have no permit, or pre-arranged work, you will be on the next plane home. They won't even let you in. And, no one gives you any money back for your expenses.

Now, if you have legal right to work, then it won't be a problem.

Posted by Erica
Vancouver
1 posts

Thank you for all the help and websites. They have been very imformative.