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How to Use Workaway to Travel on a Budget

Updated on January 25, 2019
Teszra profile image

Tess is a first-time female solo traveler and workawayer who plans on traveling the world while remaining on an affordable budget.

Explore the world with WorkAway!
Explore the world with WorkAway!

What Is WorkAway?

Traveling long term can seem like a distant dream when you factor in housing, food and transportation costs. Many people avoid traveling more often simply because it can cost a lot. But what if you could travel and have your accommodation and food taken care of? An organization called WorkAway gives people the opportunity to do just that!

Workaway is an organization set up to promote fair exchange and friendships as well as volunteering and work opportunities.

Connecting culture seekers, budget travelers and language learners with families, individuals or organizations that are looking for help with a range of varied and interesting activities.


The organization was founded in 2002 and has over 30,000 hosts in 184 countries that are willing to teach and exchange knowledge.

Why Should You Consider WorkAway?

If you enjoy traveling long term, then you're probably aware that costs can add up quickly. Volunteering is an excellent way to cut the costs of housing and food.

You have the opportunity to volunteer and do things such as teaching or learning a foreign language, baking, gardening, helping at an animal sanctuary, painting, and much more! The options are endless so there's something for everyone.

Volunteering while you travel gives you the opportunity to save money on housing and food while allowing you more time to explore the surrounding area.

View of a beach near my volunteer location.
View of a beach near my volunteer location.

How Does Workaway Work?

This organization allows travelers to work a few hours a day for a host in exchange for room and board in a specific country.

Travelers can go to the Workaway website and view thousands of volunteer opportunities across the world. They can then narrow down their options by country, volunteer work, host rating, and more. Then travelers can contact a host directly to discuss any details of the work and accommodations provided.

Volunteers on Workaway must purchase their own transportation to and from the location unless otherwise stated by their host. The majority of hosts will provide volunteers with room and board but make sure to discuss the details of your trip with the host prior to your departure.

What WorkAway Is Not

  • It is not a free all-expenses-paid vacation.
  • It is not a matchmaking site. You must do your own research when finding hosts.
  • It is not your only option to volunteer while traveling. There are plenty more!

WorkAway can take you places you've never been!
WorkAway can take you places you've never been!

Who Can Use Sites Like WorkAway?

Anyone can volunteer and travel. Your age and skill level do not matter. The only things you need to have is a willingness to learn, explore, and have fun!

Some volunteer locations may require you to have certain skills prior to arriving, however, each location is completely different so make sure to ask the host about details.

How Long Can I Volunteer?

The length of your stay is dependent on the host and your personal preference. There are hosts who ask for volunteers to stay for a minimum of two weeks while others ask that you only volunteer for a week maximum. Every host has their own requirements so make sure that you read the host profile carefully and talk to them about your intentions prior to booking any flights.

There are volunteers that have planned on staying at a Workaway location for only a week and ended up staying four months. Then there are volunteers who arrive at a Workaway location only to realize it's not the best fit for them, so they left to another location early.

WorkAway strives to promote a fair exchange of work opportunities and friendships for food and accommodation. However, if you arrive at a volunteer location and it does not meet your expectations, you have the right to leave early. Your safety and happiness are your number one priority.

With that said, always have a backup plan just in case the volunteer location you arrive at does not meet your expectations.

Start Your Search Today!

Traveling does not have to cost a fortune. Anyone can travel the world while remaining on a budget. There are more opportunities available online to volunteer and travel.

So what are you waiting for? Start traveling today!


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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      You give a good description of WorkAway in this article.


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