Have you ever heard about Workaway.info? Maybe one of your crazy friends mentioned it, back from a trip and you didn’t give the necessary attention. In this article, you will find out what is Workaway.info and why you should try this experience.
The world of volunteering abroad is huge and incredibly multicoloured. Living in another country is always an enriching experience, but taking part in a project or just gifting your time in exchange for a unique experience is what make a trip, a life journey.
The people you could meet here, the feelings you may experience, the knowledge you will learn are comparable with nothing. If you dream about low budget travelling and real adventures, spend a few of your time to read this article.
WHAT IS WORKAWAY.INFO?
Workaway.info is an online platform which promotes 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.
At this moment, Workaway.info can count on more than 38 000 Hosts in other 180 countries and trust me, the variety of projects available is impressing. Generally, this is the base agreement, the host asks usually 4-5 hours of work and offers food and accommodation to the volunteers. All the details should be mentioned in the announcement description and it’s your responsibility check them carefully before apply.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
It’s really easy! Jumping into the website you will be able to go freely through all the positions available, filtering them by country, tasks requested, the number of volunteers accepted and so on. Now you are excited and already seeing yourself working in a botanical garden in Guadeloupe or taking care of elephants in a Thai sanctuary. But, before preparing the backpack and say goodbye to your mother, there are a few steps more to accomplish.
To be able to contact a host, what you need is the subscription to the platform. Well, one individual traveller subscription costs 36€/year and if you have a travel mate you can share an account (couple/two friends) for 48€/year.
Now that you are a Workaway member, I highly suggest you make yourself beautiful. I mean, choose a nice profile picture, fill your description showing your skills and strong points, mention any special needs you may have and the tasks you would like to work on. Once you have done, it’s time to contact some hosts.
WHICH TASKS AND JOB ARE REQUESTED?
As I told you before, here there is no lack of diversity. The figures requested go from the brutal force worker to professional skilled personalities, you may be an English teacher for kids as well as a farmer in some countryside. Check carefully the announcements and choose that fits you and go for it.
Keep in mind that even if some positions could sound similar to a free holiday, we are still talking about working and the reality could be very different from your expectations.
Some of the jobs wanted: teaching, art project, charity work, helping with tourists, helping in the house, helping with Eco project, general maintenance, cooking, babysitting, building, gardening and so much more.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A POSITION IN WORKAWAY
Here it’s where a lot of people get in troubles. This platform is the one with more opportunities out there, but it’s also true that there are fewer hosts than volunteers, so the chances to start to collaborate in a project are higher, higher your commitment and effort is. You should consider applying for a Workaway.info the same as applying for a job.
The exhaustiveness of your profile is crucial as you can imagine, as much the first message you will send to the host. Here some advice, based on my personal experience, in order to have a better chance of endearing yourself to the host:
- focus on the reasons why you are the right volunteer to choose;
- read between the lines the host and tasks description, in order to catch the details and avoid bad surprises;
- show you are aware of the profile they are looking for, underlying your related experiences;
- draw out enthusiasm and responsibility from your message;
- assure the host, proposing more ways to get in contact;
- don’t copy/paste a message for different hosts, rather use a template, but try to make it more personal.
If still, you are not receiving positive feedback from your applications, be sure to review the date of last activity, reply rate and its average. Avoid not active hosts, and give the priority to the ones are listed as “last minute”, which are looking for help immediately.
Contact more than one place at the time, but not the ones where you are not really willing to go and give a not too short staying availability (at least one week).
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TRY WORKAWAY
Workaway is not only puppy dogs and rainbows but considering the pros and cons, I believe that it’s an experience which everyone should try once a lifetime at least. These are the first 5 reasons came out in my mind to convince you:
- SAVE MONEY AND EXTEND YOUR TRIP: There isn’t a lot to say about this, except you should take it with a grain of salt. The financial aspect, especially on a long trip, is critical, but it cannot be the only reason which drives you to volunteer abroad;
- GET IN TOUCH WITH LOCAL CULTURE: Here we are, my favourite point. Sometimes connect with locals could be hard, so what’s better than working side by side or sharing meals together? Working, you may have less free time, but it could be itself your best travel experience. There is nothing more powerful than jump in someone else’s shoes to appreciate more our life;
- DISCOVER YOUR OWN UNEXPECTED TALENTS AND PASSIONS: The circumstances can bring us to avoid developing certain skills or passions, often we are neither aware of them. Gardening, spending time with the elderly, building a hut out of bamboo, taking care of animals, can teach us a lot about our planet, the humankind and ourselves;
- SUPPORT GREAT CAUSES: In the Workaway context, there are plenty of organizations involved to achieve a constructive impact on the local community or environment. Despite these, whatever project brings a positive change spreading good vibes is a great way to spend our time;
- MEET NEW PEOPLE: So far good stuff. But what about all the amazing people you will meet on this journey? If I should give it a value, I can only say that I am super rich.
MY PERSONAL WORKAWAY EXPERIENCES
Do you like this article and you wanna gift me a Workaway subscription through this link?! No cmon, you are too kind, I cannot accept it!
Part jokes (or not?), in 2018 I used widely Workaway to volunteer in Catalunya, Belgium, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Since I want to give you a clear idea about my personal experiences I wrote an article only for that, rich in details and photos naturally.
What’s more? If you liked this article share it with your friend passionate about travelling and let me know in the comments if you have any question or interesting story from your Workaway experience!