If we talk about traveling for a long time and how we manage ourselves during such trip, like working or volunteering, we can find a few variants. Among these the one mentioned in the title, Workaway.
If we analyze a bit, ends up being quite funny, you go on a trip to escape any kind of routine. You do not want a standard job and you just want a platform that gives you a little sustenance and security, when it comes to contacting a future “employer.”
There are many platforms and endless discussions about which is better or more convenient.
We already named some in our low cost guide and also gave our advice on which are the best ways to find volunteer opportunities.
On the other hand, there is also the common place of the debate “why should I pay to a page”, or “it is a lot of money”… but that is the decision of every single person.
There are several options like Worldpackers, Woof, HELPX and others.
We choose, use and even say we met by Workaway.
How to find volunteer opportunity
Now we are travelling as a couple. It can be harder to find hosts that accept couples, but it is not an impossible task.
Ivan was traveling alone in South America, when the guy he met hitchhiking told him he had some friends who ran an organic garden in the south of Chile.
He stayed there only few days, but they were more than interesting, especially getting to know how the whole network of organizations worked. Workshops and homes lending each other mutual aid and setting up festivals.
That was the starting point of many other meetings and volunteer work throughout the entire trip.
Seeing it from here, out of nowhere, one arrives to a place where for the simple fact of offering himself to work, asking or showing who you are, you can be offered great opportunities. That’s the spirit, knowing that at some point you’re going to find what you need.
There are lots of possibilities and even jobs can appear, spontaneously.
Talking, asking or showing any intention, can lead to a great opportunity.
As simple as that is the way to find them.
What is Workaway?
Let’s go to what we know. Even if it’s little, we’ll show some interesting points.
Workaway is an exchange network. Here we refer to families, organizations, volunteers and help around the world.
That’s the basic premise. This aims to enable organizations, travelers and volunteers everywhere to have access to different types of exchange.
Even we don’t expect it, we will realize that we can share and learn many things.
How does Workaway work?
Basically, Workaway works like any other Internet platform.
You can create a profile of host/organization or volunteer profile. From there, you can use it according to what you are looking for.
First, we must say that searches can be done without the need for membership. Simply enter the page and review it, doing the search that interests you the most.
What you can not do if you’re not a member is to contact somebody from the page.
Let’s say whether you’re a member or not, you’ll see the page almost in the same way.
The difference is that as a member, you will have your own profile, which along with your contact message will help in showing you the ones you are interested in contacting.
Once that’s complete, we can continue.
What does the page offer?
Select the place you want to visit, and from there you will see available options.
There is no need to clarify that we can not create the perfect host and many times it will cost us to find the place we want, so we will have to match our needs to the requirements of those who offer a place.
In Workaway, you can find many opportunities. The people that need help to feed their dog during the summer, ones that need to remodel the house, gather apples or take care of the kids when they leave school.
Once you find and choose the options, you will take the job of reading the profile.
The first thing you will see is that there is a diagram with explanations and characteristics of the offer as well:
You can make sorting according to the time of activity, if they need people immediately or if they are updated. Search by keywords like “animal care” or separate results on the map, even you can see if there are volunteers near you.
You will also have references and photo albums of other volunteers who passed by. On these you can rely before deciding to contact some host.
You’re probably going to share a lot with people from places you didn’t know existed and you’ll find out about many other things.
After this brief review for those who had no idea of what is and how to use workaway, we will share with you our experiences and how much workaway means in our of travel.
We also need to tell you that, from our point of view, it represents the best way to reduce costs in accommodation.
We have so far only contacted and worked in hostels. Although we know that there are many other options, this is the one we always try, because it is the one that best fit us.
Ah… It has a price
The small downside is that to be a member, you have to pay.
are €29 for an individual account
€38 for a couple or friends account.
Those prices are for the membership for a year and you do not have a limit of volunteering. I mean, you can spend the whole year going from one place to another.
Here is an exception, do not try to use an account with another denomination or lend it, because automatically you will be forced to change it, by payment, of course.
Is it a deal?
In the beginning, it may seem expensive. But if we look more closely, let’s do this sum:
4 nights hostel, plus some food.
Assuming we’re in a cheap place, our account is going to be around €30 in Europe.
If we go to some country in South America, it can be less or more.
If we plan a long trip, we know we have an option of using workaway throughout that year.
That is pretty nice, isn’t it?
What are the advantages of using Workaway?
Making quick notes, we can say that using it has many advantages.
On the basis that the jobs are voluntary, you will find that they can be more or less flexible.
The main exchange that occurs is free accommodation and most places include some meals too.
We said that when you travel almost all expenses are going in accommodation and food… Here’s a great answer.
You’ll also have your free time. And if you chose a good place, you will be able to use it to visit the city, or escape to some neighboring city.
Besides, you’re going to meet people from all over the world. You’re going to practice and learn new languages.
You’re also going to have to learn a lot of things you had no idea before and didn’t even know you could do them.
On the other hand, there are many places that offer some free tickets, free tours and also commissions or small payments.
And so many other things.
How do we do it?
In our trip, we divide time according to where we are going and our needs.
As we travel hitchhiking, we know that sometimes it is good to stop and find a place that will make us feel at home, in exchange for a few hours of work.
So we go one or two months moving around and seeing places and another one or two looking for a hostel.
Ivan used Workaway in:
Colombia, Serbia, Croatia.
Travelling as couple in:
Spain and Turkey
You have to remember some points too
The responsibility. Although you come to a place as a volunteer, to help and collaborate, you have to know that all the people who receive you count on you to help them in their work. That’s why we have to anticipate what our intentions are when we plan to stay somewhere.
On the other hand, also know that under the same conditions, the hosts must respect the volunteers and that nothing forces you to stay, if there is something not agreed or just is not what you expected.
From our opinion, Workaway serves a lot if your trip is long. It will give you a lot, you will meet many people and is also going to help you extend your trip.
There are those who argue that it is undercover work and may find their reasons in a deeper analysis.
It is true that many times we will not find a hammock in the Caribbean, although that can be the case.. But you have to know how to live with that. Like everything, you can often receive a No as response.
Beyond everything, to us as to many other travelers, Workaway has allowed us many things and we find it really functional, in the end that is what counts.