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Travel like a local – work away!

Written by 7 September 2012 5 Comments

When most people think of the word “holiday”, it usually includes the picture of a fancy hotel, a white beach,  a palm tree and laziness. Unfortunately, this kind of travel is also the expensive one. But there is another way to experience a foreign country while spending nothing but the costs to get there… if you are not afraid to get your hands a little dirty: Become a workaway!

Workaway.info is an online community, where two types of people meet:

1. Travellers on a short budget

2. Hosts looking for help in their homes

How does this work?

The deal is simple, really: For a few hours of honest work a day, you get free food and a roof over your head. All you do is become a member for two years by paying a small one-time fee, then you set up a profile and start contacting hosts and make new friends from all over the world!

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What kind of work do I have to do?

Work varies completely depending on where you go and the skills you bring along. Naturally, all sorts of handicrafts look good on your profile, but also computer-, video- and photography- skills come in handy when looking for a host. Hosts from all over the world are looking for help: A traditional sailboat in Malaysia, a turtle farm in Costa Rica, a cosy Bed & Breakfast in Ireland.

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What is expected from me?

You are usually expected to work four to five hours a day for five days a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, it always depends on your host. Conversation is the key here: Always ask questions to avoid misunderstandings. After all, you are living in another person’s home, sharing their meals and often enough, you are treated as part of the family.

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To me, this is the best way to travel. Not only do I save a lot of money, but more importantly: I become part of something, I get to know a place through the eyes of a local, make new friends and learn new skills. It allows you to go off the famous beaten track. I’m writing these lines from a remote Scottish lodge up in the Highlands, the sheep are grazing on the green hills on front of me and the dog is ready to go for a walk in the wild country. I can only encourage anybody to try this for themselves.

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Not convinced yet? Read more about my experiences with workaway here!

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5 Comments »

  • crispy said:

    Hi Gesa,

    We enjoyed reading your article about Workaway, and thought others who come to our blog might be too, so we’ve re-posted it here: http://workawayblog.com/travelettes-backpacking-in-heels/
    Hope your travels are going well, interesting site you’re involved with here, plenty to read (even for boys!)

    C

  • Adieu Deutschland: So geht mein Nomadenleben weiter! | Planet Backpack said:

    [...] Workaway / WWOOFing (d.h. mal wieder meinen Körper spüren und meine Arbeit gegen Bett und Verpflegung eintauschen) [...]

  • Gesa said:

    Hi Crispy,

    thank you so much for this! I am so grateful your site exists and enjoying my travels so much more because your site exists! It gives me the chance to meet locals and to see a country in ways I never imagined! It’s a blast, really! Thanks again, you guys ROCK!!!

    Happy travels :-)

    Gesa

  • Marissa said:

    Hi Gesa,
    My name is Marissa and I am an American currently living in China teaching English at a high school. I’ve been bitten by the travel bug and want to continue to travels. I’ve been looking into Workaway but I have a few more questions and I was wondering if you could contact me by email?
    MissJohnson.Marissa@Gmail.com
    I just have questions about the type of work, the amount of money you spent travelling, and money exchange!
    Thank you!
    - Marissa

  • Akilah said:

    This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am genuinely
    pleassant to read everthing at alone place.

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