Traveling is all about creating memories and enjoying new experiences. We are able to witness new cultures, try out new and interesting foods and drinks and meet a lot of exciting new people. After such an experience, we return home as more cultured and mentally richer individuals. However, traveling is often quite expensive for the average individual, especially if you live in a country where getting a visa before entering a country is mandatory. Fortunately, there are options for those who are hell-bent on experiencing the world and Workaway is arguably one of the best currently available option.
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What is Workaway?
Workaway refers to the practice of working for an individual or company abroad in exchange for accommodation, meals or in some cases, both. The exact conditions often depend on the employer or the organization hiring the workers, but generally, all conditions are either detailed on the website or sent to you via an e-mail. Workaway is not a concept that describes this type of work and travel, but rather an international hospitality service focused on organizing cultural exchanges and homestays.
Why Workaway instead of a normal way to travel?
The first answer to that question that comes to mind has to be cutting down on travel expenses. Food and accommodations are usually the two most expensive aspects of traveling and by utilizing work and volunteering as a basis for your travels, you are saving up a lot of money you would otherwise have to spend just by being there. Workaway provides its users with an excellent opportunity to travel and work abroad and actually get to know the place instead of just visiting the tourist spots and truly experience the community, culture, and local cuisine.
By working instead of simply lying around the hotel room, you’re acquiring new skills, learning a new language and making new friends, including people from around the world who have decided to, just like yourself, packed their things and gave work and travel abroad a chance. The only downside might be having to work for the average amount of around 4-5 hours every day, but have in mind that whether your work hours will be liberal or strict depends largely on the host or the employer.
What type of work can I do?
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When it comes to the amount and variety of work offered by Workaway and similar work and travel organizations, the possibilities are virtually limitless. You can help run and maintain organic farms, volunteer deep in the Colombian mountains and help with building, gardening, cooking, farming, be a tourist guide or the go-to tech nerd for keeping the internet alive. Some hosts are looking for new additions to expand their international family, while others need a helping hand with doing various chores associated with running a household.
or experince / workaway review from Scotland:
How do I sign up?
Signing up for Workaway is as simple as visiting the official website and creating a profile. Once created, you need to add a couple of pictures of yourself, preferably with happy and friendly undertones and write a short introduction about yourself, what you enjoy in life and what type of work you’re looking for. Have in mind that Workaway charges an entry fee of 29 US dollars for a single person and 38 US dollars for couples, for two years.
How do I choose the right project?
Which project you choose is completely up to you. Some people prefer manual labor while others find pleasure in interacting with people and relying on useful information to tourists. Make a small list of around 5-10 different projects and way out the pros and cons of each project. If you have little to no experience working and traveling abroad, then make sure to avoid projects that don’t have enough positive reviews. Unless you’re used to sleeping in a tent, look for hosts that offer a bed to sleep in or at least a dedicated space you can call your own.
After you decide on a specific project, you will have to get in touch with the hosts by sending them a message or calling them via Skype and telling them a little about yourself and the reason why you would want to work with them. After that, all you have to do is sit patiently and wait for their response. If you haven’t gotten a single response despite sending a number of different applications, go over your application one more time and rephrase if necessary.
How much money do I need?
This question is as common as its answer is vague. In truth, the amount of money you will need will largely depend on the location you’re visiting, the amount of time you plan on spending there, your general spending habits and the bed and boarding agreement you have with your host. Some people spend virtually nothing at all, while others burn through their entire budgets in less than a month. Research the country you plan on visiting and find out about the food and beverage prices or simply look for the bare minimum of cash required to make it through the month.
Sometimes unexpected situations may occur, so make sure that you bring some additional money. If you don’t have enough money for such a move, you might want to consider the benefits offered by fast loans. Traditional bank loans require sending an application and waiting for an approval which you may or may not receive, and even the smallest of loans often have mind-boggling interest rates. Online personal loans or fast loans, however, feature far more reasonable interest rates and require no collateral. You’re only tasked with filling out a simple online form in order to apply and wait for a response in order to proceed.
How long do I have to stay with hosts?
The duration of your stay is determined by the terms and stipulations found on the project page. While some hosts prefer workers who can stay for a couple of months in order to provide a real contribution to the cause, others are fine with workers spending only a week or two. Try to spend as much time as you can on a single project in order to take full advantage of your situation, but at the end of the day, no one is going to force you to stay if you don’t want to.
What are the accommodations and food really like?
Accommodations and food options vary from project to project and from host to host. Some people have reported staying in a small tent, others had their own room, while some had the pleasure of having the entire guesthouse all for themselves. Food generally depends on the country you’re visiting, but the food provided by the hosts is often quite enjoyable.
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Is Workaway safe?
The short answer is a sound yes. Safety is the single largest concern when it comes to Workaway and other work and travel options. Every host goes through a screening process before becoming eligible to host. Some locations are difficult to travel to and from and if you feel a little bit nervous about making such an impactful decision, try choosing a host living in or near a city. Swap Facebook and similar information and don’t forget to leave the address you’re traveling to with someone back home, just in case.
As you can see, there are more ways than one to travel around the world and experience new countries, cultures and languages for just a fraction of the cost of a normal travel arrangement. Carefully consider the cost, location and the conditions associated with the project itself. Weight out the pros and cons and make sure to apply for projects that feature positive reviews. Your budget should depend on the country you’re visiting, but also on your overall spending habits. Always have some side cash stashed somewhere in case something unexpected happens and don’t be afraid to take a change. You’d be surprised by the number of people who have used Workaway and similar services and reported nothing but positive experiences throughout.