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The most frequently asked questions about Workaway (with answers)

The most frequently asked questions about Workaway (with answers)
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Workaway is one of the most useful sites a traveler can find. In fact, it allows thousands of people each year to travel without spending all of their savings on lodging.

It is well known that it is very difficult to find decent places for less than $80 per night, even for just a few nights.

Of course, I am generalizing. Every country is different and has its own prices and standard of living.

But there’s no denying that traveling the traditional way is not for everyone. And that’s where Workaway comes in.

“Workaway is run by travelers for travelers.”

Workaway: What is it?

Workaway is a meeting place for hosts and workwayers.

Hosts: These are often people who need some kind of help (gardening, babysitting, house sitting) and in return offer a room in their home and (often) food. They can also be associations or hostels that offer a salary in addition to accommodation.

Workawayers: These are the travelers who use Workaway to find places to stay while visiting a city or country.

I found this site by accident a year ago and immediately took advantage of it. My friend and I were hungry for new experiences, but with other priorities, we couldn’t spend all of our savings on a traditional trip.

So when we learned that there was a way to travel almost for free in exchange for a few hours of “work”, we immediately signed up.

In this article I will explain what I have learned and answer your most frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions, you can post them in the comments section of this article.

How to use Workaway

Usually you select a specific country or city you want to visit and then open the website. If you want, there is also the Workaway app that you can easily download from the Play Store. Personally, I find it very useful to quickly read host responses and respond to them even when I am away from home.

After choosing your destination, go to “Find a Host” and enter the name of the country or city. Hundreds of hosts will appear ready for you, so if you don’t want to spend weeks scrolling through and reading all the descriptions, you can take advantage of the filters.

In the meantime, you can decide what type of host you are interested in, including Family, Individual, Community, NGO, House Sitting, School, Farm Stay, Hostel, Boat, Sustainable Project, Animal Welfare and Other.

Then you need to enter how many people you are in “Accommodation Info”. So whether one traveler, two or more.

You can enter if you have animals, if you are a family or if you are traveling in a camper. You can also filter the results so that only certain hosts appear to you and most importantly, this is essential, you should enter the month for which you want to be hosted.

How much does it cost?

Workaway is quite inexpensive when you consider what you gain by signing up.

There are over 50,000 hosts to chat with, making it easy to find the perfect accommodation for your needs. Workaway fosters an open, social community and helps you meet new travel buddies for your travels.

Plus, because of the care Workaway takes in reviewing each and every profile, you can be sure you are in good hands.

There are two plans to choose from:

Single Plan: It costs $49 and is valid for one year. You have access to all the hosts on the platform, the community and all the support.

Couple/Friends Plan (which is what I did): It costs $59 and is an account used by two people. Each person talks a little about themselves and puts up their own profile picture. It has all the benefits of the single plan.

Honestly counting that sometimes we spend something like that for a night out, the price is very affordable. My membership will expire soon and if I plan to continue traveling, I will definitely turn to workaway again.

How people travel for free

How to Contact a Workaway Host

Once you have read a host’s description and found out:

  • What they offer
  • Their availability
  • How many volunteer hours they require

Now it is time to contact them.

First of all, I would like to remind you not to overthink it. Hosts are normal people just like you, and they are not going to stand there and analyze every single syllable you write.

But, and there is a but, you still need to write your introductory message carefully. Because it will be the first impression you make on this stranger you want something from.

So, what should you write in the message?

First, introduce yourself.

Explain who you are, what nationality you are from, and briefly explain your hobbies.

After reading their profile carefully, explain to the host how you will be useful to them. Do you have any special skills they might be interested in? Past relevant work experience? Do you have any common interests? Can you help them learn a new language?

In your message, refer back to their profile often. Not only because it shows genuine interest and gives them proof that they have been heard.

But also because everyone sees these experiences from their own perspective.

They offer food and a home, what do you offer in return? Explain that and what you expect from the experience, and you’re sure to make a great first impression.

The first message should never be so long that it becomes a school essay. Be concise and try to stay relevant.

What to put in Subject when messaging the host

Many workawayers often worry about what to put in the subject line of a message. But as important as it is to put something in there, it’s really not THAT important of a step.

I recommend that you put the month in which you expect to arrive, for example “October 2024” or “October availability”.
Or write the way you plan to help them, for example: “Gardening and house cleaning.”

The choice is yours, but keep it simple!

How to volunteer all over the world

How to Receive a Workaway Response

After you send a message to a host, there’s the wait. You wait and wait and wait…
And wait.
But why, why don’t you get an immediate response when you want one so badly?
Well, many people I have seen make the same mistake.

They put all their hopes in one basket. Chatting with a workaway host is not like chatting with your friends. You don’t know them, they don’t know you, so don’t put all your trust in one person. Your Workaway chat should be FULL of chats with hosts you like.

Viewing more profiles will benefit you in two ways:

  • You’ll find the most suitable offer
  • You have a much better chance of getting not only a response, but a positive one.

My friend and I spent weeks looking for “the right one”. We looked at the description, how we could help someone, and how many hours we would be expected to help.
We received many negative responses.

But I need to be Honest. We started contacting people a month or two before we wanted to leave, and that’s never a good idea. Workaway is a very competitive site (who can turn down free travel?), so it’s always a good idea to start looking well before you arrive at your destination.

So yes, many wonderful workawayers we contacted were already fully booked, but we were not that unlikely. We received two positive responses back and they were kind and willing to give us all the information we rightfully needed.

But the point is, we didn’t try once. Or two. We didn’t contact 5 or 6 families. We wrote to 15 hosts. And I know that may seem like a lot, but if you want to find something last minute that fits your needs and wants, you should really consider taking the time.

If you try, I assure you that you’ll get plenty of opportunities.

Why hosts don’t respond to you

If you’re still being ignored after trying and trying, it could be for one of the following reasons

  • They read your message on the emails and forgot to reply.
  • They received too many applications for the same period of time and can’t respond to all of them.
  • They respond only to the candidates they are interested in.
  • They don’t use the platform anymore.

What should I know before doing a workaway?

Workaway tries to be as safe as possible. But of course you have to remember that you’re staying in someone else’s home in another country. With strangers.

So, especially if you are traveling alone, there are a few things you should keep in mind to help you feel safe.

What to check before you say yes to a host

There are many safety precautions you need to take when traveling, but here I just want to talk about how you can be safer when using Workaway.
Before you say yes to a host and organize your trip, you should at least know how to answer the following questions

  • Your name
  • How many people you’ll be sharing the house and utilities with,
  • How many hours of work are expected
  • What kind of work
  • How will you get to the place?
  • Have you seen pictures of the place?
  • Is the location safe?
  • How do you plan to get there? By train, plane?
  • Can you help with transportation?
  • In an emergency, how would you get home or to a safe place?

If you didn’t already sign up to Workaway use this link to recieve 1 month extra membership for free when you sign up.

That’s all you need to know about Workaway, or at least all the answers people are often looking for. If you liked this article try to share it, it really helps me and my blog!
Thanks for reading and have a great trip to as many countries as you want.

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