When I went on my Big Trip I knew that I didn’t enough money (any money) to travel for long so after booking cheap flights I looked for ways to stay abroad for free, and found Workaway. There are loads of amazing projects all over the world that you can help on, from teaching kids in Cambodia to helping in hostels to being a tour guide in Costa Rica. All you have to do is work for five hours five days a week on the task they set you and then you’ll get your bed and board for free.
I did three Workaway projects during my four months in Europe:
- Conil, Southern Spain: Painting villas, gardening and cleaning.
- Ceglie Messapica, Southern Italy: Laying paths, pruning trees, building, gardening and chopping wood.
- Bechyne, Czech Republic: Gardening, cleaning, handyman duties.
Each one was absolutely brilliant in its own way. By doing a Workaway project you get to see a side to the country no tourist usually would. We got to live in their homes and meet their friends and family and hang out as if we were locals. It saves loads of money, especially in Europe, and you also get to gain skills and do things you never thought yourself capable of.
How to sign up
Go to the website and build a profile. Just add a few pictures of yourself looking happy and friendly and a few lines about what you enjoy in life and what you’re looking for in a placement and that’s about it. Have a look around the site to see if there are any projects you fancy then pay the €22 if it’s just you and €29 for a couple to join, and from then you’ll be able to contact the hosts and arrange some stays.
This was my biggest concern – it’s a bit nervewracking going to someone’s house in a rural area. To get over this make sure you check the review section on the Workaway site for each host and make sure previous guests have had some good experiences.
Remember the worry goes both ways: they’re inviting a stranger into their house too, so it makes sense to email a bit beforehand and get to know eachother. You could also swap Facebooks before you go, just so you know a little more about them. Make sure you give the folks back home the address of where you’re going too.
Within minutes on all three of my projects I felt completely safe. Workaway is such a good way to really get to experience a country as the locals do. I often find myself trawling through the pages on the site and imagining my next holiday. I would absolutely 100% do it again.