Banff National Park, Alberta
The population of Banff explodes during the peak in seasons. Foreigners (mostly Australian) flock into town and take the jobs on the ski hills, around the town and in hotels. It is a common complaint that there is very little information for working holiday visitors who choose to make the towns of the Rockies their temporary home. Well, they don’t call me the Banff Insider for nothing (actually they do I think). Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t join the crowd of people who are forced to go home due to problems with getting jobs and apartments.
The BIG key is to come early. Come a month before season with enough money to survive for a month. Banff is not as expensive as people make out and if you budget carefully, it isn’t too hard to live off a basic budget. Particularly in winter, make sure to apply for jobs as early as October. For those who got in early, the payback is huge. Working as a server for example up in Sunshine Village is a really well paid job. Add the tips to the wage and some people are walking away with $250 daily. On top of this, all staff for Sunshine gets a free ski pass which immediately saves you $900. In conclusion – get in early!
The same applies for apartments. When the seasonal workers start coming in, the competition for places to live becomes phenomenal. Check the notice boards around town and the Banff Crag and Canyon newspaper every Tuesday. However, there is a little trick that will push you ahead of the competition. Instead of waiting until the Tuesday newspaper comes out, check the newspapers website as the ad’s for apartments are up days before it goes to print. This is why you will find sometimes when you ring a place first thing on Tuesday morning, it is already gone!
If all else fails, Canmore is an equally delightful town with a much more Canadian feel about it. There are more apartments available here and work is easier to come by too. It is only a 15 minute drive from Banff. Persist with everything you are doing until a restraining order is handed to you. Banff and the Canadian Rockies, much like a beautiful woman, are worth the effort. The season you spend up here whether visiting or working will be one to remember.