Seasonal Outdoor Instructors: Winter Work

What do seasonal outdoor instructors do during the Winter?

Lots of people start working in the outdoor and adventure industry as seasonal outdoor instructors. It’s a great way to work flexibly and get a variety of experience.

The ‘season’ normally runs from April through October (7 months) with a really busy period during June, July and August.

At Land & Wave, seasonal contracts start at the beginning of April and finish at the end of October. At the moment, we have 14 full time permanent staff; we normally employ 25 full time seasonal instructors, as well as a few full time ‘short season’ staff.

Recruiting brilliant staff is our biggest challenge; it’s something we have to work really hard at.

This is what our seasonal outdoor instructors have planned for the winter…Working a Ski Season

Some outdoor staff head to the mountains and spend the winter chalet hosting, looking after children, working behind a bar, driving mini busses or working as a chef. For Brits, France is the most popular destination. North America is difficult because of visa problems and a lack of jobs at the moment.

Pro’s: Lots of skiing, no bills, mountain life, meeting excellent people

Con’s: Hard work, rubbish pay, early mornings, not much time off | | |

Working and Travelling in the Southern Hemisphere

If you’re 18 – 30 years of age, getting a working visa for New Zealand or Australia is relatively Straight-forward.

The Antipodes are warm, English is the first language, there are amazing things to see and do and work is easy to find.

Pro’s: Sunshine, thousands of beaches, well paid work (£12 an hour for bar work), no language problems

Con’s: High cost of living, cost of flights, spiders, giant spiders


If you’re careful, it’s easy to save money working as a seasonal outdoor instructor in the UK. Travelling across a continent or two is an excellent way to spend the chilly months.

Travelling doesn’t have to cost lots of money. If you aim for less-developed countries, it’s possible to live comfortably very cheaply; £10 a day can go a long way in India.

Pro’s: See the world, meet amazing people, eat incredible food, experience life in all it’s glorious confusion

Con’s: You wont earn any money, cost of flights, career/ training break

Work in the UAE

There is a well-developed outdoor education and adventure industry in the United Arab Emirates. It’s much too hot to work outside during the Summer, so the Winter ‘outdoor work season’ runs from October – April, During the winter season, the average daytime temperature is 25 °C!

The Winter season in the UAE matches up almost perfectly with the Summer season in the UK to create a year-round pattern of work for outdoor instructors.

Pro’s: Winter sun, well paid work, tax free income, experience a different culture, food

Con’s: It gets HOT, not much variety of landscape, sand gets everywhere

Getting a Permanent Job

After a season or two (or ten), some outdoor instructors choose to settle in one place for a while. Full time, permanent outdoor work doesn’t always offer the variety that seasonal work can, but it’s great for professional development, working on qualifications, as well as putting down roots, buying a dog and starting a family.

Pro’s: Consistent pay, being part of a community, training and development

Con’s: Sometimes you get itchy feet 


Whatever you decided to do, do it with purpose. Have adventures, be kind to people, enjoy yourself