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Advise needed on accomodation for Australian Backpacker in London

14 replies

Flip · 01/04/2004 16:06

A friend of mine has come over from Australia for a few months. She is staying up north for two weeks and then plans to travel to London on the 15th April. She's 21 and want's to work and live in London while she's here. Does anyone have any idea how to go about finding cheap accomodation in London and how she might be able to get a job? Are there any local newspapers from you Londoners that might be helpful.

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prettycandles · 01/04/2004 16:22

There's a 'Downunder Centre' just up the road from me. I think its email is [email protected], but I don't knoe its url. You could try them for advice.

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Issymum · 01/04/2004 16:24

Try www.thegumtree.com - accommodation, jobs of all types etc. for Antipodeans in the UK.

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binkie · 01/04/2004 16:24

She should definitely have a look here: the gumtree - there's a special section for short term flatshare offers if she doesn't want to be in a hostel (they can be grim). She could also try it for work, but it may be more for casual-type work. TNT online might be better for work, don't know.

People used to use the website version of "Loot" - think it's called Scoot? for flats etc. but impression is that the gumtree has taken over.

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valleygirl · 02/04/2004 17:56

she could get a job living and working in a pub -i did this when i first move to london and came back from travelling - it pays enough to have goign out money and of course there's no rent to pay or bills and dinner is included if it's a pub serving food.
otherwise pick up a free copy of tnt magazine which is dotted around the city, usually outside tube stations.
agree - gumtree is good too

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Janh · 02/04/2004 18:04

Ooooh, thanks for gumtree link - dd2 plans a working trip to Oz next year and it looks as if the Oz pages could be quite helpful for her too!

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Janstar · 02/04/2004 18:21

Hi flip. Before I settled down to being a SAHM I had my own business renting out accommodation to backpackers in London.

It really depends what kind of accommodation she wants. It's possible to get share rooms where you turn up and are placed in a room with people you don't know, and live very cheaply. Usually there is a share kitchen and bathroom and sometimes a lounge too. These places are usually large houses. Some can indeed be grim but others are not too bad. Good place to save a lot of money. If it is classed as B & B you save because you don't pay utility bills on top and you have breakfast provided, laundry of bedlinen and there should be someone cleaning.

Some backpackers get together and rent a flat together. This is more expensive and they have to take more responsibility but usually the conditions are better and you have more freedom to play loud music and have friends to stay, etc.

There are large hostels but IME these are the worst places of all, very grim indeed.

Backpackers congregate in certain areas, Cricklewood and Willesden, Kilburn, Earls Court, Notting Hill Gate and Battersea, Camden and Kentish Town for example. So the local shop windows are a good place to look. There is a tiny shop window right next to Earls Court tube station that is crammed with cards advertising accommodation.

There used to be free weekly papers available outside some tube stations, Southern Cross and another one I don't remember the name of, these had pages of ads for backpacker accommodation.

Also if she frequents the backpacker pubs she might be able to ask around. The Spotted Dog in Willesden Green, The Black Lion in Kilburn, The Church (not sure where that is, it moves around) The Walkabout Club (I think it's in Shepherds Bush), The Polar Bear in Leicester Square.

Jobs also in the aforementioned mags. Places my tenants often used to work: Elonex, Impact Cleaners at the Nomura Bank, Macdonalds, local pubs, local temp agency, or get nannying or granny sitting jobs in The Lady. What is her normal job?

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Flip · 03/04/2004 14:56

She's just finished studying and wanted to come to England for a bit of experience. I live up near Manchester so I'm going to be quite a distance away to help her if need be.

The gumtree website looks very good but does anyone know if you need a national insurance number to work in England? She has a british passport but that's it. She's also finding it very difficult to open a bank account. Any idea's how she can go about that? Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Flip

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survivour · 03/04/2004 15:02

I've checked this for a friend, if she gets a job her employer would apply for a N.I. number for her. Bank Accounts have got harder to open, she would need a garantur, some one who has an account at the bank where she wants to open her account, would help, and again her employer would help with this too. After staying here for 2 years she would be entitled to benifits and housing.......Hope this helps.

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Janstar · 04/04/2004 15:42

My tenants used to have great difficulty opening bank accounts. One thing that helped them was if I wrote them a reference confirming that they were resident at whatever address. Then I had to lend a utility bill to confirm who I was.

What did she study? I was just trying to think of a suitable type of job for her, thinking of what kind of thing my tenants were able to get into. But I need a rough idea what skills she has.

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kiwicath · 05/04/2004 09:33

The other magazine she might like to try is the TNT which is free and is outside most tube stations. Been ages since I was in that scene but I think it's out on Monday mornings - they go really quick though!! The mag is also on line try here Also an Auzzie version which you can get via the same link.

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Janstar · 05/04/2004 12:50

TNT! Of course that is the name! I advertised in it for 10 years. Now 3 years and one baby later, I can't remember my own name sometimes!

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Helsbels · 05/04/2004 13:03

she could work in a youth hostel - that would also in some cases give her accommodation - e-mail me if you want any further details.

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toddlerbob · 06/04/2004 09:27

The Thomas Cook in Christchurch NZ has a sign saying you can open a UK bank account there. May be worth checking out if they have branches in Oz.

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SueW · 06/04/2004 09:58

Flip can you take her along to your bank and introduce her? I'm not sure what rules are for opening accounts now as it's so long since I did it but since I need two forms of ID to withdraw over the counter more than £100 from my own account, I'm not surprised she's having problems Paranoia gone mad

DH (Kiwi) worked in a pub when he came over - did it for ages, saving up enough to go away then coming back and doing similar. Accommodation and meals included. One of his cousins is a teacher and did that; another did secretarial work and looked after elderly people overnight from time to time when she needed extra cash for a trip. She lived in a big shared house just off Fulham Broadway, where they shared 3 to a room and charged people a fiver to doss on the floor overnight if they were desperate! It was clean and warm and friendly with great parties though.

Girl cousin started her OE with a European bus trip with someone like Trafalgar and I'm pretty sure it was through that she met some of the people she flatted with. She always got work by registering with agencies.

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