Work and Travel in Martinique
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN MARTINIQUE FOR TRAVELLERS
Martinique is one of the French islands in the Caribbean. This island is often popular with travellers who have big budgets. However, travel in Martinique doesn’t need to be expensive. You’re going to find out that you too can work and travel in Martinique without breaking the bank.
So how do you do it?
Read our travel guide to Martinique to find out more about what you need to do to visit this pristine Caribbean island.
1. Teach Languages in Martinique
Martinique is a French-speaking island with a smattering of Spanish speakers from other areas of the Caribbean. There’s a big demand for native English speakers who want to teach English in Martinique.
It’s one of the best volunteering opportunities in Martinique because you’ll get the chance to enjoy the island and teach your own language at the same time.
There’s also demand for those speaking Spanish. Many islanders see the value of Spanish and they want to learn it.
Typically, you’ll need a minimum of a TEFL qualification to qualify for English speaking positions, but there are options even if you don’t have a formal qualification.
2. Work in a Bar/Restaurant in Martinique
Martinique has a huge amount of tourism and so there are hundreds of bars and restaurants across the main settlements of the island. They always need additional help to deal with the influx of tourists throughout the high season.
This work doesn’t necessarily give you much and you’ll be expected to work long hours, but in an island as expensive as this it’s a viable option for backpackers who want to settle down for a month or two.
3. Help on a Sailboat in Martinique
Martinique is also a hub for ships going north and south, in line with the main hurricane season. Many people who travel in Martinique decide to work on a sailboat.
These vessels come in all shapes and sizes and come with different requirements. Some of them will just accept anyone who turns up by the harbour. On the other hand, enormous ships may require you to have prior experience in sailing and ship maintenance.
As well as being a way to enjoy island life, you could even find that this work in Martinique is your ticket to the next island.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR MARTINIQUE
Martinique is a French island, but it doesn’t share the same visa policy as France, or even the other French possessions across the world. However, the visa policy of Martinique is identical to that of the nearby French island of Guadeloupe. For more info click here.
The UK (until Brexit) and the European Union (EU) enjoy the chance to work and travel in Martinique for as long as they like without worrying about a visa.
North Americans, Australians, Kiwis, the Japanese, and South Koreans are able to enjoy their stay in Martinique for 90 days without getting a visa in advance.
South Africans, the Chinese, Russians, and Indians must apply for a visa for Martinique in advance. You can apply at any French embassy.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN MARTINIQUE
The spring season is part of the hot, humid rainy season in the Caribbean. It’s not a good time to visit the country, but there are volunteering opportunities in Martinique you can take advantage of.
The primary type of work in Martinique you can find is teaching English. Spring is the perfect time to start because it’s the beginning of the rainy season and many of the more traditional volunteering project shutdown in anticipation of the hurricane season later in the year.
Another option could involve working with abandoned animals. You can work in one of the shelters there and help rehome stray and abandoned cats and dogs.
The summer season is a continuation of the rainy season and this is the time when hurricanes and tropical storms could strike the country. Make sure you take care to check on the weather conditions before you travel in Martinique as the hurricanes can be random at times.
In spite of this, the summer season is also part of the smaller high seasons. Spend your time working in a bar or restaurant in summer. You’ll get the chance to work hard and to sample some of the social scene on the island.
You can also refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for more information on some of the things you can do in Martinique.
The autumn season is the worst time of year to work and travel in Martinique. It’s the most likely time for hurricanes, all the way up until November. You’ll still find backpacking jobs available, but you need to take care to follow the weather.
You should refer to the ‘Spring’ section for more information on the things you can do in autumn.
The winter season is the main tourist season and a chance to take advantage of the tourist season. One of the most popular volunteer opportunities in Martinique in winter is working in the harbour and finding a job on a boat. Many backpackers take the chance to move onto the next island.
Another option is to work in a major resort. You should bear in mind that you’ll need to have prior experience before picking up this type of work. Furthermore, you typically need to apply for resort work months in advance of the winter high season.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN MARTINIQUE
Martinique is a French island that has a distinctly European feel about it. You should be aware that a recent drive against illegal workers has made it much harder to pick up many types of work. There’s also a policy in place that allows locals to get the first refusal of any job, due to the high unemployment rate on the island.
It has led to a lot of illegal working, but this is an issue that infuriates the locals, so make sure you stick to the rules when you work and travel in Martinique.
Do you want to go on an adventure in Martinique this year?