Gap Years and Short-Haul Holidays Just the Ticket for Waikato/Morrinsville Travellers
Posted by Fleur Revell
Young Morrinsville and Waikato locals are taking extended holidays rather than doing a “big OE” as they focus on job security according to one of New Zealand’s top travel industry experts.
While the United Kingdom was once “the place” for young Kiwi school leavers to go for their big OE the tightening up of criteria for two-year working permits there has prompted young Kiwis to instead opt for extended holidays or gap years, says Morrinsville House of Travel owner/operator Kate Smyth.
“That way they retain the option of a two-year UK visa as it’s available until they turn 30,” she says.
Smyth says finding part-time work in the UK is also harder now, despite Kiwis’ reputation for having a good work ethic.
“Countries like France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Ireland now offer one-year working holiday permits and quote a lot of young people who opt for a gap year are having travel and some living costs funded by their parents,” she says.
“Others go overseas to play sports which guarantees the provision of accommodation and some money.”
She says short-haul destinations remain popular with Waikato residents and their families who are heading for the Queensland, Fiji, Rarotonga and Vanuatu, places which don’t take too long to get to and where the weather is good year-round.
“Accommodation can be self-catering and there’s generally more choice for room types in these sorts of destinations too which is an attractive option for families in particular,” Smyth says.
Corporate couples are tending to choose a week in the islands and holidaymakers are more active, incorporating walking, cycling and sporting events into their trips, she says.
Local travellers who decide to head for Europe are tending to go for between four and 12 weeks to make the most of it. “They cover off as much as they can – it could be the only time they go.|”
Smyth says unsurprisingly April to the end of June was a popular time for many rural locals to travel with calving time in July.