How to… travel with WORKAWAY

This week I want to talk about workaway. I am not sure if all of you know what it is, so I will explain:

What is it?
Workaway is a website where people can register who either search workers or work. Doesn’t sound so special, but the thing is, that workaway targets  travellers. You are in Argentina and your budget could use some rest? Just work some weeks on a farm! You are on Bali and can’t see margaritas and beaches anymore? Just work in a nature reserve! You are in Scandinavia and the food is too expensive for you? Just chill out in a hostel reception for a while!

I think you get the idea.

Workaway is a big data base full of people who need some help from enthuisastic travellers. You can search for the country, region, select what type of work you are interest in and so on. Workaway is worldwide and exists on all continents (except Antactica).
Most jobs are in agriculture or building. Many outbackers need help building eco friendly houses, some have a hobby farm or work with animals. You can also work in a hostel, tourism and NGOs. Be a horse guide, receptionist, cook, nanny, care taker…
Also you don’t need any specific experties. Good attitude, being friendly and productive, that’s it mostly. Of course you shouldn’t apply for a job, if you posses no talent in it at all (Example: me and carpenting).
You live either directly with the family or on the property of your work. Sometimes in cabins, tents, private rooms, dorms, it depends on the placement. Either way it’s a garantee you experience some local culture or learn maybe some nice recepies from your fellow workawayers.

Now why would I work when I am on holidays?
You don’t get payed but depending on the work you get food and accommodation. Sometimes there are also other benefits, like free surf equipment.
Plus the company! You really get to know amazing people! No matter if your work in a hostel (hub for all sorts of cool folk) or in the outback of Australia, you will always have other travellers around. Make some new friends, maybe travel onwards with someone you meet. If you want to make connections, workaway is great! Also over the online community you can meet travellers near by.

So it is an excellent way to save money, learn something about local culture and meet up with other travellers!


All facts considered:

  • 30 Euros per year
  • 135 countries
  • Dozens of different fields to work in
    • hostels, hotels, farms, child care, environmental work, building, animals
  • You live with a family or on the property
  • Free lodging and food
  • Good to save some money while travelling
  • You have to be 18
  • You can have a single or double account
    • double account is a paired account of yours and your friends/cousins/husbands/grandmas
  • You can work on your own, with friends or as a family
  • Organise your stay over the webiste
    • Search for hosts in the country and area you want to go
    • Contact them through the website
    • Clear all details with the host for your stay
    • Go there and have fun!
    • Write and get recommendations
  • Through recommendations you can make sure the people you want to work for are trustworthy
  • You may need a Visa for the country you are going to but in most cases a tourist visa is enough for workaway


Just a few warnings:

  • Please be careful! People might seem nice and friendly only in the internet. Before you go somewhere or even give them your phone number/address make sure they are trustworthy! Does this host /traveller has recommendations? Can you maybe email someone who has been there before. Does the place you work for has a website or facebook?
  • Please don’t apply to a place you are not suited for. It will make your time and their’s harder. If you don’t know how to ride properly, don’t apply to work on a horse farm. If you don’t know the emotional risks of working in an African orphanage, don’t apply!
  • Make sure the placement is morally approvable! Especially if you are working with kids! Don’t go to an orphanage, youth centre for a week! Children need stability. If you don’t speek their language or their yours, if you vanish after a few days or if you are not committed to them, it will harm them more than help!


My example:

My first workaway was in a surf hostel in Chile, right at the beach! I worked there for 3 weeks together with a whole workaway family and a guy from New Zeeland. I got a bed, breakfast and free surfbords and wetsuits to use. My job was to make breakfast, clean and welcome guests. I didn’t have a license so I couldn’t drive the guests to the surf spots, so my colleges had to do that. We got an awesome, rusty Jeep for that!
It was really relaxed. Sometimes we were 4 people for 1 guest! We went surfing every day and in the evenings we had barbeques or cooked traditional meals from our home countries. The owner came by once a day to check on the place or bring guests to the bus station. In total I worked maybe 3 hours a day, sometimes less. (But don’t expect that always!) It was easy to meet new people and with some of the guests I met up later in my journey.
At the end we were something like a small family in the hostel and it was really hard to pack my things.


Link to the website:

Let me now in the comments, if you have any experience with workaway or where you would like to go!

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