For most of us, our dreams of travelling the world get a harsh reality check when we glance at our bank accounts. As traditional thinking goes, you can either spend your money on trips or stay at home and save to gain financial security. Fortunately, now there's a third, much more attractive option — a working holiday.

The idea of a working holiday is growing in popularity with both employees and employers, as we gain a better understanding of the benefits of international travel. Government programs also support this enrichening career move. For example, International Experience Canada provides opportunities to Canadians between 18 to 35 to travel and work abroad for a period of up to two years, and for international youth from partner countries to do the same here. Canada has agreements with over 30 countries and territories that make work permits under the program less expensive, more flexible and processed more quickly.

Here are four reasons why a working holiday can help take your career to the next level:

Learn new knowledge and languages. Companies are looking for people with global perspectives to fill talent shortages, close skills gaps and create new business opportunities for sales and growth. Position yourself as someone with global mobility and cross-cultural proficiency by adding a few lines of international experience to your resume.

Boost your creativity. Travel has a way of giving you a fresh outlook, providing clarity on everything from your personal priorities to professional goals. See the bigger picture and gain new ideas, solutions and approaches to problem solving that can help you stand out from the competition at home.

Acquire leadership skills. Project management, multi-tasking, budgeting and balancing competing responsibilities are all skills you will need to master when living and working in a new country. International work experience demonstrates that you have the essential qualities of a good leader, and some research even suggests travel can improve your chances of promotion. Impress your boss or hiring manager with a working holiday that proves you're up for the challenge.

Expand your networks. Spending a few months or over a year abroad means getting to know whole new groups of people. Expand your social circle with new friends and your professional network with international contacts for a fun, rewarding experience that's full of lasting connections.

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