Working Abroad: Hospitality In Mallorca | Travel Review
Hello everyone and welcome back to my favourite segment here at Meg's Gap Life, it's the travel experience reviews!
If you're new here you might not know that every once in a while I sit down with a guest to ask them some questions about a travel opportunity that they've experienced, whether it be studying abroad, working at Camp America or embarking on a group travel trip, and anything in between. The questions are designed to gather up as much information as possible about each stage of said opportunity, from planning to booking to completing it, in the hopes that the answers will help you out if ever you're looking to do something similar.
Today I have sat down with the lovely Paige (follow her on Instagram here), who has worked within the hospitality industry in Mallorca twice now. She's very kindly told me everything you need to know about her experience out there, so let's get to it:
What was it that you did? I worked two jobs while out there. The first was as an events and bar manager for a hotel for half of the season, then as a chip shop manager and bar staff for the second half of the season.
When was it? April 2018 – August 2018.
Where was it? Firstly in Santa Ponca and then in Magaluf, Mallorca.
How long was it for? The full 5 months.
How far in advance did you book it? I was due to go out just before the season started (in April) which is when flights are usually cheaper anyway, so it was only around a month in advance when I booked my flights.
How much did it cost? The only thing I had to pay for was my flight out: a one way from Manchester to Palma de Mallorca. This cost me around £45 including baggage.
Did you need much spending money on top of this? I took around 200 euros with me for before I started the season.
Did you go by yourself or with others? I went by myself and stayed with family.
Did you need a visa? How much was it? How did you get it? I didn't need a visa, just an NIE number (the tax identification number used in Spain) which costs around 180 euros and ensures you never have to work without a contract. I can't stress how important it is to have this as both you and your employer can be fined without it! Some places do require you to have a Spanish bank account in order for you to work there too, if you do need one I recommend Banco Sabadell as they have both Spanish and English speaking staff.
Note: This may change after the UK exits the EU on 31st December 2020, so make sure to check work permit requirements for any EU country you wish to work in if doing so after this date.
How much luggage did you take? I took 30kg, although I would advise more for the return as you will more than likely acquire items whilst you're there!
Did you find work before you went? How? So for my initial job in a hotel I booked before I went; I just used websites like Indeed and other generic search engines. You can just search 'Jobs in Santa Ponca' for example, and you'd be surprised how many pop up. The jobs I got after the hotel were found while I was there, just through word of mouth and asking around as most places (especially in the Magaluf area) are always looking for work. It's a lot easier to find work earlier on in the season too (March/ April) so keep that in mind if you're planning to find work once you're out there.
Do you have any must take item recommendations? SUNSCREEN! It's the one thing you definitely need but it is actually quite expensive over there so take some with you! Everything else you can usually get for a great price.
Were the company helpful in answering questions and helping you organise bookings/ arrangements? The hotel I worked were good in that they offered me accommodation, of which the cost would have been taken out of my monthly wages. As I stayed with family I didn’t need this option but the reductions can vary from 100-400 euros for accommodation costs.
Did it involve working/ volunteering/ education or was it purely for pleasure? It was working but I work abroad purely for the enjoyment of being there.
Sum it up in one word? MESSY!
Did it live up to your expectations? Is there anything you wish you’d known before you booked it? Sadly, the first half of the season didn’t live up to my expectations at all, however the second half (after changing jobs) was wonderful. It definitely depends on your job!
Tell us the good/best bits? The best bits are the odd days off and being able to explore, meeting different people and even finding familiar faces along the way.
Tell us the negatives? Despite it being illegal, a lot of places require you to work 6/7 days a week every week, which for anyone in that combination of heat and being so busy, can be detrimental to your health. Not everywhere is like this, but its vital for you to know what you might be up against before you go, so you can resolve any issues first. Also, most places close for winter at end of September/ start of October which means if you’re planning on staying permanently, you'll have say bye bye to your summer of fun and just get saving. If this is your plan then a job with any kind of party lifestyle wont work for you.
Was it worth the money? If you manage to get a few days off then yes 100%, however if you’re like I was at first and get stuck working 25/8 then no not at all.
Are you glad you tried it at least once? Yes, I think everybody should, working abroad allows you to live such a different lifestyle than back home.
Would you do it again? Knowing what I know now yes I would do it again, but only under the right circumstances and because I know what to look for now.
Would you recommend it to your family/ close friends? Yes, experience it at least once, you’ll learn a lot.
Any final thoughts or advice? - Before working abroad, especially in Santa Ponca/ Magaluf, make sure you know what you’re up against. People love to talk about how fun it is but fail to mention the hard work that goes into it, and the stress it can also bring.
- Research your area, like the bars and places of work etc, to make sure where you're going is safe and trustworthy. Definitely don’t work for anyone who requires you to work 7 days a week, it's illegal and you’ll also regret it! If you do encounter any issues within work, its fairly easy to go through the stages to resolve them through a place called TAMIB. As long as you can acquire a translator you should be good!
- Returning home can be expensive at around £400 euros. Make sure you know your return dates asap so that you can book in advance!
- Due to the crash in tourism, accommodation can be hard to find if you’re not wanting to spend too much on it. You’ll more than likely end up going for an apartment share which is great if you're okay with that, go for it!
-Food is relatively cheap especially if you’re home cooking, fruit and veg are fresher and cheaper over there too!
And that's everything! I hope we've covered everything and anything you may need to know when booking to work abroad, but feel free to ask any extra questions if needed. Thank you again to the wonderful Paige for helping out with this piece and I'll see you again in the next one, Meg x
**All opinions in this post are based on a PERSONAL experience with this specific experience, and cannot guarantee that you will have the same feelings. Any negatives are written with the aim of being as honest as possible and again are purely personal opinion based on a specific experience. No offence or slander is intended**