In December last year, whilst volunteering at our 15th project in Bremen, Germany we received a call from Alicia at Workaway wanting to know if we would consider becoming ambassadors. It wasn’t the first time we had been approached by a company to help endorse a product but it was the first time we knew we could say yes. You see, over the last year, we found 17 of our 18 volunteer projects through the Workaway website. We know the ‘product’ inside and out, we love what it stands for and we would highly recommend it to anyone- single people setting off on a gap year, couples and even large families like ours who bring their cats along with them.
So what is Workaway?
Simply put, Workaway is a site that connects hosts (people who need help or assistance) with ‘Workaways’ (people who enjoy helping out, learning new skills and travelling).
The variety of jobs and opportunities are endless and you can find placements all over the world. Over the year we have worked on organic farms, we have removed and replaced a roof in Portugal, we helped run a campsite in France, we learnt to take care of and train ponies and horses in Belgium, we worked in vineyards in the Netherlands and we helped complete household renovations in Germany. We have picked fruit and cleared land and built sheds and shelters. We have learnt how to plaster walls and drive tractors and diggers. We have felled trees and a built a deck for an Eco house but over and above all this, at every stop, we have made friends-true friends, the kind that you know will always be able to call on and count on.
So how does it work?
The typical* Workaway arrangement is that a Workaway works for a maximum of 4-5hrs, 5 days a week and the host provides accommodation and food for the duration of your stay. The rest of the time you are free. Free to go sightseeing, free to explore the town or city you are visiting, free to sample the local food and drinks, free to do whatever you please.
Tips for getting the most out of your Workaway experience
• Don’t treat it as a cheap holiday. It is an incredibly cost effective way to travel as food and accommodation is included but the hosts you will meet along the way need help. At every project we have gone out of our way to do the best job possible and our hosts, in turn, have spoilt us beyond belief and have done all they could to ensure we had an enjoyable stay.
• Spend time creating your profile. Hosts will be inviting you into their homes and families and your profile is what will make the first impression.
• Read host reviews from other Workaways to get an idea of what to expect from a particular host or project. We found this to be an invaluable tool especially as we were travelling with children.
• Remember that no money is exchanging hands and if you arrive at a project and it’s not what you expected or you feel uncomfortable for whatever reason, you are not obliged to stay.
• Lastly, have fun! I am so thankful for the experiences and opportunities this past year has afforded our family and am looking forward to many more in 2020.
All that’s left to do is head to the website to see where your Workaway journey will take you.
*We have a competition running on our Instagram page with 2 Workaway memberships up for grabs. Head on over and let us know where you would to start your Workaway experience.
T&C’S: You must be over 18 and new to Workaway. Competition closes 3rd March 2020