The coolest travel website ever –> Workaway. There are loads of other website that can help with long term travel but this one works for us reallllly well so sticking to this one (for now). This is how we can travel the world for so long and at very little cost, you just need money for getting to the location and a little extra for sightseeing/experiencing the place etc!
I briefly mentioned workaway in the last post but thought I’d provide a little more detail and a step by step how to guide:
- Sign up to the website, it’s 30 Euro for a 2 year membership. You can have a partner account so if you’re travelling with a friend you can have an account with them or if you’re a couple you can also share the same account. YOU DONT HAVE TO SIGN UP TO BROWSE THROUGH ALL THE PLACES! If you just want to have a look and see what opportunities are out there then go for it! If you want to contact them you will need to sign up.
- Create a profile- upload a picture, enter in your age, what you can help with, what skills you have, a description about you, languages you speak, dates you’re travelling and countries you’re travelling too.
- Start searching for places! Search by continent, then by region, then by area! You can also put in keywords- eg. Surf, animal, whatever it is you’re interested in.
- The hosts show what months they are looking for volunteers and if they are in need of someone right now, great if you get to a place and decide you want to stay longer but don’t have the funds to stay on as a tourist. (Green tick=looking for volunteers, yellow or red box under the month=don’t need volunteers)
- The hosts are also rated, (100% as above) HOWEVER, this isn’t really an accurate number to use, it’s not just based on feedback left by other volunteers it’s also how often they respond to emails and how active they are on the site. Our current place in Portugal is rated 65% but it’s freakin amaaaazing! So don’t be put off or drawn to one purely based on the ratings 🙂
- You can read the feedback left by other workawayers, I think this is the best indicator of what the place is like and you can even get in contact with them if you have other questions. (This feedback is for the Costa Rica example)
- When we organised our workaway in Morocco we had a Skype video call. I guess hosts get stuffed about a bit sometimes so best to be sure you have legit people coming! Our France and Portugal one was just by emails 🙂
- Hosts can also search for workawayers and contact you in the same way you search for hosts! This is where the countries you’re travelling too is important, if you list you are travelling to Italy for example then hosts from Italy can email you! A yoga retreat in Italy got in contact with us but unfortunately we couldn’t make it as we had other commitments! We will be back for another European summer to do Spain, Italy and Switzerland though so will try to do it then 😛
- Send emails to each and every one that appeals to you, see what you get back then make a decision, don’t set your heart on one and only one just in case they don’t need the help when you are wanting to be there.
- Most places require a minimum 4 week commitment which is fair enough. By the end of 4 weeks you have finally got everything down pat, know all the places to visit and recommend, sorta know your way around the area and then you’re off. By the end 4 weeks seems too short! But it gives you enough time to soak up the culture, make friends and explore the delights of an area – not to mention pick at the brains of the locals for must sees’! Its also easier for the hosts to organise their volunteer schedule, so the longer you can stay the more likely you are going to get the gig.
- I’ll link a few here that might appeal to some of you- for all those avid party go-ers out there- how does this one sound, located in South Africa on the garden route Garden Route Workaway
Or how about something a little more deep and meaningful-helping out at a childrens orphanage in Nepal Orphanage Workaway
- This was just a quick search, when I first stumbled upon the website I spent about 5 hrs going through all these amazing places to visit and things to do!! It’s so freakin’ cool!
- It varies from place to place but you work a few hours a day and get 1 or 2 days off. It’s supposed to be a maximum of 5hrs a day 5 days a week but the hosts state what the conditions are on their profile. Or if not feel free to email and ask. (Costa Rica example):
- In exchange for your help you get various things in return depending on what the host has specified. In France we had our own caravan and all meals covered, in our current place we get free accommodation and we get given 30Euro each a week for food, which easy to manage if you don’t go out for meals! (Costa Rica example):
- The help required varies pending on what the host is looking for, in France I was the housekeeper and Dan the kitchen help. In Portugal we take turns (shifts) in running reception-checking guests in and out, managing tennis court bookings and bike rental, chatting with guests, helping with breakfast and other various tasks! I think Morocco is running the reception as well. The best part is all the interesting people you get to meet and work with from all over the world 🙂
- Also if you get to one and it’s not what you expected or you really don’t like it you are free to leave! If you don’t think it’s going to work out then of course you aren’t obliged to stay!!
I hope this will inspire some of you to opt for this kind of inexpensive, meaningful travel! If travelling is something you really want to do but can’t/won’t because it’s too expensive then this is your solution. It really is amazing settling into a place and becoming a part of the culture. It’s also nice to settle down, unpack, get into a routine and not having to worry about anything for a month at a time! Stay tuned for Portugal pictures and hopefully a video soon!!!