There’s no better time for people in their 30s to embark on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV), with many countries increasing the maximum age from 30 to 35. Yet there’s still such a stigma around how old is “too old” when it comes to embarking on a WHV, gap year or even travel in general. I’m here, as a fellow “geriatric” WHV-maker, to tell you why there’s nothing to fear about a WHV in your 30s. In fact, it’s the perfect time to go!

1. More disposable income

Whilst backpacking is synonymous with budget travel, it’s undeniably more fun without the stress of being strapped for cash. Statistically, you probably have more income after working for a decade than you did as a teenager. Whether it’s upgrading to a private room instead of sharing a hostel dorm or eating out instead of instant noodles, you can make the most of exploring your new home.

Some of my most memorable travel experiences were my Ningaloo reef snorkel tour in Australia and grizzly bear watching tour in Canada. Both excursions cost hundreds of dollars and wouldn’t have been an option when I was younger and backpacking on a budget.

2. More work experience

When it comes to the ‘work’ part of your WHV, age can be a positive thing. Having more years of work experience and potentially more senior roles on your CV will increase the variety of jobs to choose from.

It’s not guaranteed—especially in cities where competition in the job market is tight—but you might find something comparable to the position you had back home. On both my WHVs in New Zealand and Australia, once I had my foot in the door at a company, I moved from basic data entry into more senior roles because of my previous work experience.

3. More chance of settling down (if you want to)

Maybe you’re using your WHV as a way of testing the waters before a longer-term move. Applying for permanent residency in a foreign country often revolves around a points-based system: the more experienced you are in terms of educational studies or job title, the more points! Someone in their 30s will likely have more points than someone fresh out of school with no work experience or degree. A WHV will help you build your contacts and work experience in that country, which could be beneficial for the process of settling there permanently.

4. More confidence (in a different way)

One of the brilliant things about travel—especially solo travel—is the way it develops your confidence. In my early 20s, my WHV gave me the confidence to be independent. Now, however, it’s about feeling confident that it’s never too late to start over and remembering that your 30s are still a time for being, acting and feeling young!

Depending on where you grow up, there is often societal pressure to achieve milestones by a certain age. No wonder turning 30 starts to sound ancient… Ignoring the criticism and going on a WHV will rewire the way you feel about yourself and those important goals in life.

5. More appreciation

I’m not saying you won’t appreciate travel when you’re younger; travel is for every age! However, I do feel more grateful to have taken part in multiple WHVs now I’m approaching the age where I’ll no longer be eligible.

Plus, my first solo travels were more focused on meeting people—I’d prioritise booking social or “party” hostels that ran bar crawls or bottomless brunches (and didn’t always make it to the sunrise hike or walking tour the next day…) Recently, I’ve focused my WHV plans more on getting off the beaten path, being welcomed by locals into their culture and marvelling at Mother Nature’s ever-changing landscapes.

I still get to meet like-minded travellers but this time our bond is special because of our shared experience of how lucky we are to be on a WHV, unlike when I was in my early 20s and took my WHV for granted.


I'm originally from Buckinghamshire, UK and love to travel. I've previously completed WHVs in New Zealand and Australia. In 2024, I am embarking on a new adventure to start my Canadian WHV!

Je suis originaire de Buckinghamshire, Royaume-Uni, et j’adore voyager. J’ai déjà complété un PVT en Nouvelle-Zélande et en Australie. En 2024, je pars pour une nouvelle aventure au Canada en PVT!

Add to my favorites

There are no reviews at the moment.

Please login to be able vote.


There are no comments at the moment but feel free to add your own 🙂