Workaway has dramatically opened the doors to the world of budget travel. For some, a nice week or two’s holiday once a year is a pleasant reward for their hard work. For others though, travelling gets in the blood and many a nomad saves every penny they earn to continue their travels. The huge increase in budget airlines has made foreign travel that much easier and cheaper. However, you still need to consider your accommodation and meals. With the concept of workaway, it’s now possible to see the sights of Torrevieja, or many other cities around the world on a shoestring budget. Once you’ve signed up though, you may never stop travelling 🙂
How Workaway Started
The idea of workaway was first thought of by David, a traveller from the UK. When he was travelling in Hawaii in the early 1990’s he managed to extend a week’s stay into a couple of months by helping friends on a local project. This gave him the idea that keen travellers not shy to do a bit of work along the way could get meals and a roof over their head in exchange for helping out. Since then workaway has grown into a global travel phenomenon with many thousands of registered volunteers and hosts sharing their homes and work experiences.
How Workaway Works
The concept of workaway is quite simple. Willing hosts that need extra labour, a childminder, foreign language teacher or many other types of work assistance simply register with their specific requirements and what they offer in return. Volunteers or ‘workawayers’ need to first register then fill out a personal profile. It is very important to be as thorough as possible with your profile in order to attract an interest in yourself as a potential employee. No matter what your age, list all your skills, qualifications, languages spoken, hobbies, likes and dislikes.
With thousands of hosts in over 135 countries, the prospects and work opportunities are vast. It really is up to you as an individual to decide on the countries you may wish to visit. Then click on the country or countries on the website and see if there is anything available that suits your specific skills. The diversity of countries and work placements is huge. You could be helping a family in Switzerland as a childminder. There is work on sailing or fishing boats. Farming and working with animals are popular placements. It’s just a matter of getting yourself out there.
Workaway Living Conditions
Unless you are a carefree, happy go lucky type of person, you need to consider what work and living conditions will suit you. Work could be on a large prosperous project where you have your own room, excellent hot meals, and maybe even a wage. On the other side of the coin, you could be having to build your own grass shack in a remote jungle and live on scarce provisions.
Remember, it’s as much about the travel experience and meeting new people as it is about the potential work rewards. The majority of placements will offer basic housing and meals in exchange for a few hours of work a day, usually with a day or two off to explore the delights of your new environment. It’s important to be clear that workaway does not offer assistance with visas, travel expenses, personal expenses and travel insurance. Some hosts will be willing to pick you up from the airport, train or bus station, but that is not assured so be prepared.