Helpx: travel the world with free accommodation and food by volunteering

Helpx: travel the world with free accommodation and food by volunteering

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HelpX is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience. In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 4 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts.

1. Website

2. Country

There are hosts from a lot of countries from all over the world. But Helpx is specialized in countries in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada and USA.

3. Organization

Help Exchange, HelpX for short, was launched back in April 2001 by Rob Prince from England. HelpX has steadily grown over the years both by number of hosts and helpers, as well as by continual further development adding new features and improvements all the time.

4. Types of hosts

  • Organic farms
  • Non-organic farms
  • Farmstays
  • Homestays
  • Ranches
  • Lodges
  • B&Bs
  • Backpackers hostles
  • Sailing boats

 5. Duration

You can agree with the host the duration of your stay. Usually it varies from 1 week to 3 months, but there are also helpers staying longer.

6. Fee

Volunteer helpers are required to register for one of two levels of membership, Free or Premier.

Free helper members can see all the opportunities available and can be contacted by Premier hosts but they cannot contact hosts directly.

Helpers must upgrade to Premier membership to take full advantage of all HelpX has to offer. Premier membership costs 20 Euros = 25 USD for 2 years and allows the helper to contact all hosts and read all host reviews. Premier helpers can browse this site and contact hosts directly to see about making arrangements to stay.

7. Compensation

The compensation and working hours can vary considerably depending on the tasks at hand and the host’s preferences. Some hosts may require just 2 hours per day for accommodation only, and ask you to provide and cook your own food.

Others may expect 6 hours per day in return for meals, your own room and sometimes other benefits such as free Internet use, horse riding, kayaking, bikes, local sight-seeing trips, yoga or English lessons, etc.

Some will give weekends off, while others might allow you to put in 8 hours one day and later take a full day off. Helpers often live with the host family and are expected to join in and offer a helping hand with day-to-day activities.

8. Eligibility

You need to be a least 18 to be a helper. Under 18s are allowed if accompanied by a parent, provided this has been agreed with the host. There is no upper age limit so long as you are fit and healthy enough to participate. Note that each host operates differently and may have their own preferred age range for helpers.

9. Application steps

  • Check the Helpx website: in the website you’ll find the host database.
  • Search for a host in the database: in the Home Page click on “International” on the menu and you’ll find the the search engine to find the hosts. You can do a standard search by Country and type of host.
  • If you find a project that you like register to Helpx: you’ll only be able to send messages to the hosts once you’ve registered.
  • Contact the host: once you have registered you can send a message to the host and agree when will you arrive, how much time are you going to stay and in which activities will you be working. Keep in mind that some hosts don’t reply to the messages so it’s better you contact many in case some don’t respond.

10. Deadline

Application open all over the year.

Good luck!

Are you interested in finding opportunities to go abroad? In the Scholarships Finder you can find a wide list of scholarships, work opportunities, volunteer projects, contests, entrepreneurial support, and virtual courses!

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