Workaway: travel with free accommodation by volunteering

Volunteer - workaway

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Travel cheaply and stay for free, whilst making a difference to the communities you visit with Workaway. Put your existing skills to good use, or try something new you‘d never normally get to do and pick up new skills along the way. There is an ever growing list of thousands of active hosts in over 170 countries offering all kinds of places to stay.

Workawayers typically are interested in cultural exchange and learning and will help out for a few hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation, with visits lasting anywhere from a few days to a few months.

Check in this post the 10 most important things you need to know for the application process!

1. Workaway Website


2. Country

You can choose a host in one of the 170 countries in which Workaway now operates (the list is growing every day).

3. Organization is a site set up to promote fair cultural exchange between budget travellers, language learners or culture seekers and families, individuals or organizations who are looking for help with a range of varied and interesting activities.Currently has over 31,697 active hosts from 170 countries!

4. Types of hosts

Hosts are typically small business or families looking for help:

  • Family
  • Individual
  • Community
  • NGO
  • House sitting
  • Business
  • School
  • Farm
  • Hostel
  • Boat
  • Sustainable project
  • Animal welfare

5. Type of Work

You can choose a project according to your existing skills that could be:

  • Gardening
  • Babysitting / child care
  • Building
  • Babysitting / child care
  • Elderly Care
  • Cooking / shopping
  • General Maintenance
  • Farming
  • Help with Eco project
  • Help in the house
  • Animal care
  • Helping with Tourists
  • Charity work
  • Language practice
  • Art project
  • Other
  • Help with Computers / internet
  • Teaching

6. Duration

You can agree with your host the amount of time that you’ll be staying. Usually it varies from 1 week to 3 months, but I’ve heard of volunteers staying for more time. Also, if you like your host and want to stay more time your can propose to extend your visit.

7. Compensation

You’ll work more or less 5 hours a day for 5 days (free weekend) in exchange of accommodation and food.

8. Eligibility

You must be 18 years old to register for a profile. The minimum age for volunteering in most countries is 18. Minors accompanied with their parents are also accepted on some family projects. There is no maximum age. In fact many hosts prefer more experienced workawayers who have specific skills.

9. Application steps

It’s very easy to participate, just follow these steps:

a. Check the website

n the Workaway website you’ll find the host database.

b. Search for a host in the database

In the Host List Page you’ll find the the search engine to find the hosts. You can do a standard search by Continent, Country, City and an specific keyword or phrase. Also, you can make a more refined search with the host rating, type of host, availability of the host, and type of help wanted.

c. If you find a project that you like, register in Workaway

You’ll only be able to send messages to the hosts once you’ve registered. The cost is 49 EUR for a single person and 59 EUR as a couple and you can pay with “PayPal” or “Credit Card”. When you sign up you can contact the hosts for one year.

d. Contact the host

Once you have registered in Workaway 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 you should see the percentage rate of response of the host because some hosts don’t reply to the messages so it’s better you contact many in case some don’t respond.

10. Experiences using Workaway

a. Experience in Argentina

In this post you can read the experience of Lily, a Brazilian girl who went to study Spanish in Argentina and got free accommodation and food working at a hostel.

My experience volunteering in a hostel in Argentina

b. Experience in South Africa

In this post you can read the experience of Karla, a girl from The Netherlands who went to Cape Town, South Africa and got free accommodation working at a hostel.

My experience as an intern at a hostel in Cape Town, South Africa

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

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  1. Roland Visser
    23/10/2021 / 1:00 AM

    Hello. My name is Roland Visser. I am 58 years old. I have been a professional gardener for 20 years, 10 of those in London.
    I am very interested in this program, and would like to find out more, esp. in the Wilderness/ Garden Route area. I can start in mid-November.
    I am useless with computers, and filling in eforms, so l could use a few pointers. Much appreciated. Regards Roland.

  2. 04/12/2020 / 6:57 AM

    Great info 😀

    We use Workaway a lot ourselves. We were full time travel volunteering when covid hit and after a crazy Albanian journey with lockdown we decided to wait it out back in Ireland.

    Thanks for this 😀

  3. 06/08/2018 / 1:07 PM

    I have no money bt I luv travel any plz give me a chance for travelling

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