We’ve met some very fascinating people while overseas. Some totally picked up their bags like we did and actually stayed in one country. Others are just hopping around the world, finding work opportunities as they go. Sometimes we wonder, how in the world are they managing to skip from gig to gig or just stay in one place for so long? Shouldn’t they have a full-time job like we do? Well, if there’s one thing we’ve learned lately it’s that there are so many options out there to seeing the world. Some take a more unsteady route, finding random jobs as they go and embracing the uncertainty with boldness. Others like us try to secure jobs before we go overseas and have a steady paycheck to count on. But there are many in between that can’t do one or the other, as in having a full-time remote job or finding sporadic jobs. If this is where you land, we’ve found an option that might be just for you! Introducing; Workaway.
Recently, we’ve talked about companies like HouseCarers and WWOOF. Each has its own niche. HouseCarers helps you house-sit in different countries and live there rent-free. WWOOF connects you with farmers around the world that focus on organic agricultural or fascinating trades. You get to help them out and learn new crafts and skills- all while getting free room and board. If HouseCarers and WWOOF are not what you’re looking for, you’ll want to check out Workaway.
What is Workaway?
Workaway is a network that connects you with organizations and businesses in 155 countries that you can volunteer for or work with. They have a growing list of 30,152 hosts around the world, each representing a particular organization or practice. As in the case of WWOOF, you’ll get room and board, as well as a great cultural experience in exchange for helping out hosts a couple of hours a day. One thing we noticed makes Workaway different from WWOOF is the variety of jobs or volunteer work you can do!
Here’s a taste of some of the options they offer:
- Helping a Canadian family build their new eco home in the Kingdom of Tonga, located in the South Pacific.
- Help take care of horses at a ranch in the western part of New York.
- Volunteer for a new eco-school in Eastern Cape, South Africa.
- Help at a hostel in the Dominican Republic.
- Helping with lambs in the middle of Norway.
There are countless more opportunities to find through Workaway! We spotted the 5 above in just minutes and can’t imagine how many more exciting ones we’ll find later. Please note that hosts may be looking for volunteers with a particular set of skills or languages spoken, but that’s not to limit you from finding a great opportunity. The majority also need assistance with a variety of tasks, so if you’re willing to get your hands on multiple tasks/projects, you can fit in just fine.
How to get started with Workaway?
1. Register as a volunteer and create your profile.
You can register as an individual or as a couple. You can also gift someone a registration! Single person registration is $34 and the couple registration is $45.
When creating your profile, Workaway lets you submit up to 15 photos demonstrating your skills and one video to give hosts a feel for who you are.
2. Find opportunities that interest you and get in touch with hosts.
Through your registration, you will have access to all 30k hosts and opportunities across 155 countries. You’ll simply need to browse through, review each opportunity and how you qualify, and see if your schedule fits the timeframe in which help is needed. If your availability and skill-set align with what the host is looking for, you can move forward with contacting the host and getting approved to join them.
If your calendar is pretty flexible, you can join the last minute workawayer list. It sounds pretty self-explanatory. You’ll basically be one of the volunteers hosts would reach out to for last minute opportunities.
Please note each hosts’ reply rate and average reply time. Keep it in mind as you wait for a response so you don’t grow too impatient 🙂
Lastly, know that you can always add opportunities to your list of hosts so you can get in touch with them further down the line. For instance, we’re not able to jump on some opportunities due to timing. We already have our next 6 months planned out. But we’re definitely keeping hosts in mind for future opportunities.
3. Volunteer and integrate
Workaway views your experience as a cultural exchange, and we highly recommend treating it as such. Once you’re plugged in at your host’s location, get to know them. Soak in the experience and the area around you, and enjoy the time you have outside volunteer work to its fullest.
Workaway is great at helping volunteers connect with each other within the country they’re in. They have a meetup feature that allows you to message volunteers near you. They also have weekly webinars to keep everyone informed, engaged and up to date. They even have a photo competition. You can submit a cool photo to their gallery and potentially win some extra cash 🙂
All in all, we think Workaway is the best option so far for doing volunteer work in exchange for room and board – all while getting an experience like no other around the world. Whether you’re ready to pack your bags now or not, be sure to join their network and keep an eye out for those opportunities you won’t want to miss!