Work Exchange for Travelers

Work Exchange Programs for Travelers

A New Zealand dairy farm, hand feeding alpacas, working in a vineyard and picking macadamia nuts…all of these are coming up in October and November for us at Will Work 4 Travel! In exchange for a few hours of work each day (varies by host) we’ll receive meals and a comfortable place to stay. We’ll join in with life on the farm and become a part of the host family for periods of a few days to two weeks at a time. Our travel costs are drastically reduced and we get to have some pretty awesome experiences along the way!

Where do you find these fun places to work while traveling? What’s required? How would I do this, too? This are definitely questions we’re most often asked, so we wanted to share two of our favorite work programs for travelers (in addition to WOOFing) and how you can get your own experiences milking a cow or shearing a sheep while seeing the world!

 

Work Away (www.workaway.info)

Workaway.info is a site set up to promote fair exchange between budget travelers, language learners or culture seekers and families, individuals or organizations who are looking for help with a range of varied and interesting activities. This is a great place for travel, language, and work exchange.

For those travelers interested in working abroad, integrating in local cultures, learning a new language, acquiring new skills and making new friends, this is the site for you. Workaway.info holds a database of families, individuals or organizations in an extensive range of different countries that have registered with us and are looking for volunteer help in a huge range of different fields. From painting to planting, building to babysitting, shopping to shearing, you’re sure to find something of interest here. No money is exchanged, so a work visa isn’t necessary.

While not as large as HelpX, Work Away has many fun opportunities available. The standard Workaway volunteer rate is 5 hours per day 5 days a week in exchange for food and board. Of course, this is negotiable with your hosts upon your arrival.

Their emphasis is on language learners who want to become immersed in the local culture in order to communicate more effectively. The possibilities for exchanges are endless – You can use it to enable you to travel around a country for very low cost, you can use it to practice a language you have spent many years learning, but have never had the opportunity to practice with native speakers, or use it to learn new skills and meet new people!

How it works: Registering with workaway.info is just 22.00 Euros (single) or 29.00 Euros (two friends traveling together) for two years to contact any of the hosts on the list. Payment can be made by all major credit cards or from your bank account using Paypal.

Just complete the registration form with your personal details and press the send button. You will then be able to access and edit your profile and be to view the contact details of registered hosts.

You make contact via e-mail with the hosts that interest you. If the host has a place available then they will contact you with their telephone number or Skype and address so that a placement can be mutually arranged.

 

 

HelpX (www.HelpX.net)

HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.

HelpX is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for those 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.

This is the program we use most often to secure unique farmstays and places to trade our expertise for food and lodging around the world. Whether it’s for a few days or a few months, HelpX can also be a wonderful introduction to a new country. New Zealand and Australia are heavily represented, but almost every country has at least one opportunity available.

How it works: Registration as a helper is simple. You automatically become a Free member with a short questionnaire. Free helper members who provide a self-description as part of their profile can be contacted by Premier hosts but cannot contact hosts directly.

If a helper upgrades from Free to Premier membership they will be able to view all provided host details and reviews in all networks worldwide.

It costs 20 euros to upgrade to be a premier helper, which lasts for 2 years worldwide for both single and twin memberships.

TIPS AND FAQS

  • Use keywords to narrow down the search. There may be hundreds of opportunities in a particular country, so it’s important to pick what interests you most. For example, by searching for alpacas in New Zealand, we were able to pick the areas where we’d be most interested in visiting and spend time with the animals as well.
  • Read the reviews left by other workers. Often it’s easy to get a good feel for the work required and the hosts this way.
  • Be aware that some listings may be outdated. It’s a good idea to check when the hosts have last logged in. If it’s been a few months, send an email to the host to see what their current needs might be.
  • Some work programs welcome families while other prefer no children. Check with your host to work out details in advance so there are no surprises.

Good luck and happy travels!!!

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