Homestays Abroad
Find and stay with host families worldwide

50,000+ projects

local communities, individuals and families

162 Countries

for volunteering, working and cultural exchange

598920 Feedbacks

the world‘s leading community

Low cost travel

without having to pay expensive agency fees

Homestays and host families from around the world - Workaway

With Workaway you can find 19928 local hosts and families for volunteering around the world.
Low cost immersive travel without having to pay expensive agency fees.

Families and homestay projects worldwide

Feedback from Workaway members

There are 91323 reviews for 12001 Workaway hosts for Family help from Workaway members.
12001 Hosts for Family were rated at least 4.9/5!

Es un lugar increible, hermoso de ver y lleno de cosas por hacer, Lucas y Mirella siempre atentos a tus necesidades, dispuestos a ayudar en todo momen...


Best place to land in Australia !
Amazing place for sure Graeme built this amazing house and Meg use of permaculture to design this beautiful garden ...


We loved staying with Karen and Rick.
We were accommodated in a spacious and very clean RV. We had access to their bathroom in their house.
The work...


As I sat down to write this feedback, I suddenly realized that my stay with Carol and Bud was simply a Workaway experience and that I'd only stayed wi...


Very lovely people who picked us up in Cromwell which was really helpful, gorgeous place we loved every minute of the experience, we really appreciate...


Registering as a Host

Registering as a host with is completely free of charge. has been set up to promote and encourage exchange and learning. Hosts on Workaway should be interested in cultural exchange and sharing experiences. They should be able to provide a welcoming friendly environment for visitors as well as offering accommodation and food.

Register to be a host

Workaway benefits

24 hour support for members
Paid members have 24 hour access to our friendly support team
Personal reference letter
Subscribers can request a personal reference letter showcasing their feedback left by hosts while Workawaying
Receive tips and advice on how to showcase your profile
A member of our team will personally review your profile and offer tips on how to highlight your skills for hosts
See hosts and Workawayers nearby on a map
See who's around and send them a direct message. Chat, meet up and connect with like-minded people
Talk to your personal advisor via live chat
Members can chat to one of our team in real time who will help answer any questions
Connect with fellow travellers
Find travel buddies with common plans and interests. Connect profiles to visit hosts and explore your destination together!

Homestay Projects with Workaway

Are you ready to immerse yourself in a travel experience you’ll never forget? Do you crave the road less travelled instead of the crowded tourist spots? Perhaps you simply want to live like a local? You can do it all with a homestay through Workaway!

What is a homestay?

As the name describes, a homestay is where you stay in a local’s home instead of typical tourist accommodation such as a hotel or hostel. A homestay allows the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in their culture resulting in a more authentic travel experience. You are welcomed as one of the family with your host sharing meals, travel tips, stories, and their home for you to truly learn about their way of life.

In exchange for the host family inviting you into their home, you volunteer your time and skills. This can include help with cooking, shopping, gardening, maintenance or language practice for example. The cultural exchange of a homestay benefits both parties as your skills help to improve the community, and their hospitality allows you to travel more authentically.

Why stay with a host family through Workaway?

If a homestay sounds appealing, your next step is finding a host family. That’s where Workaway comes in. Safety is imperative to us, as we know staying with strangers can be a daunting prospect. However, we are also aware of how truly life-changing a homestay experience can be, that’s why we champion this style of travel and offer the platform to make it happen.

Here at Workaway we are determined to build a sharing community of global travellers who genuinely want to see the world, whilst giving back to the places they visit. We connect these travellers to welcoming local hosts who need their help and currently offer over 50,000 volunteer opportunities across 170 countries.

Alongside this, there are several benefits to a homestay with Workaway, these include but are not limited to:

  • Safety – Understandably, safety is the number one reason many travellers are dubious about a homestay. Workaway has extensive safety protocols in place to help put your mind at ease. These include 24-hour support via email or live chat, an emergency help plan and child protection guidelines. We also encourage our community to leave detailed reviews for both host families and Workawayers with each profile being manually screened by our team before publishing. These steps ensure only those with genuine intention use Workaway, for a cultural exchange that’s safe, inclusive, and fun.
  • Low cost, high impact – The safety of our users is also why we charge a membership fee. Unlike other volunteering platforms that charge expensive agency fees per project, we charge a nominal annual membership. This fee means only those who are genuinely committed to our ethos join the site. It also allows us to fund our team (of actual humans) who are ready to help optimise your profile, offer travel advice, vet users, and make your homestay experience as epic as possible.
  • Global membership – Why stay with a host family in one country when you can find host families from over 170 countries? Whether it’s a vineyard in New Zealand or a sailing boat in Sweden, we can connect you to unique homestay opportunities all over the globe.
  • Join solo, as a couple, or as a family – While a homestay is one of the best ways to meet people while travelling, you don’t need to be a solo traveller to join Workaway. We offer a variety of membership options including couples and friends. There are even host families who welcome families, so you can join as a larger group too.

What to expect from a homestay with Workaway?

A home away from home
Whether it’s your first or fiftieth trip abroad, sometimes we all crave home comforts. That’s why a homestay is ideal. It offers a home away from home, where you will be welcomed as one of the family.

It’s a great way to ease yourself into solo travel or push yourself out of your comfort zone as you can choose a home setup that’s very similar to your own or entirely different. For example, you can enjoy an authentic farm stay in Catalonia, or live in a yurt in Mongolia. Whether you’ve dreamed of going off grid, hopping aboard with a family at sea or escaping to the city, a homestay with Workaway can be as adventurous or as familiar as you want.

Like minded People
As well as finding your dream accommodation options, a homestay also allows you to find families that align with your values. Passionate about the planet? Why not save the sea through sculpture in Norway or encourage recycling in the UK. Animal mad? Stay on a sheep farm in South Africa or even take your pet along for the adventure too like Workawayer Kristina.

An experience you’ll never forget
Generally, hosts will expect around 5 hours of your time each day, in exchange for your accommodation and meals. Some host families provide you with your own room with others it can be shared accommodation.

It may even be a tent, hammock, campervan or somewhere completely unique! These arrangements, your schedule as well as the skills you offer will all be discussed beforehand, so both parties are on the same page; however, prepare for a cultural exchange that will change the way you travel forever.

What kind of duties does a host family need help with?

Generally you will be asked to assist with the common tasks required to keep a home afloat such as cooking, gardening, painting, or housekeeping. Some host families may also appreciate assistance with language practice, dog walking or babysitting.

However, some host families require help with particular activities for example; renovating, permaculture, home schooling, olive farming or rearing livestock. The majority of hosts are happy to welcome those with no experience as long as you bring a positive attitude and an open mind.

If you’re familiar with any of these tasks mentioned, make sure to include photos of them on your profile and don’t forget to keep your profile updated as you learn new skills before your next adventure. This will all prove to potential hosts you’d fit in easily in their home as well as help your profile stand out.

How long does a homestay last?

Homestays (like all Workaway experiences) can differ in length. It is worthy to note however, the longer you stay in one area the more you’ll develop an in-depth understanding of the culture and truly feel like a local. On the flip side, you don’t want to become too comfortable as this is when boredom sets in.

Some homestays may take a week or two to find your groove and settle in, especially if you’re finding your feet with a new language or climate. Other’s you’ll feel like part of the family from day one and cancel your flights home before bedtime.

Each host profile will have a calendar that shows their availability of when they can accept Workawayers. Check this first to make sure your plans align before contacting to discuss exact dates. Alternatively, you can also filter using the dates you are travelling as well as your minimum stay criteria by adding them to the “availability” filter before you hit search. You can also tick the option of “last minute host” if you’re searching for a homestay at short notice.

Is a homestay only for students?

No - it is often a misconception that homestays are only for students. At Workaway this is not the case and we welcome both hosts and volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels. We truly believe it is never too late for a gap year and that a homestay can benefit any age – not just students.

In fact, we have volunteers who swapped retirement for a lifetime of adventures, another who completed their first Workaway aged 55 and empty nesters whose gap year turned into 8 years of adventures!

Benefits of Living in a Homestay?

  • More affordable – The Workaway membership fee is for an entire year of adventures making it far more affordable than staying in a hotel or hostel. This is one of the many reasons homestays are popular with those travelling on a budget. They also allow you to experience authentic food where you’d otherwise have to pay to dine out, insider travel tips which usually come with a costly tour fee and not to mention priceless memories that money can’t buy.
  • Best way to learn a language – Living with a host family is one of the best ways to learn a new language as it encourages total immersion. From sunrise until sunset you can be conversing with native speakers and learning new vocabularies. More importantly, you will be practising with locals who have the patience and time to help you learn.
  • Make connections quickly – Turning up in a new country can feel isolating and lonely at times. That's why a homestay is great for meeting new people. You will immediately have people to spend time with, show you the area and teach you about the culture. In many ways, this saves you time as well as money as you won’t need to use expensive group tours or hostels to find people you click with. Workaway lets you find those people before you even arrive!
  • Cultural Exchange – Sure, hostels and hotels can be fun but often we stick to our comfort zones when we book these places. Typical tourist accommodations are just businesses at the end of the day, they don’t care whether you leave having learned something new about the area. Homestays on the other hand are not revolving doors focused on profit, they focus on a cultural exchange. You don’t “check in” or “check out” you are welcomed as part of the community and contribute to making a difference.
  • The ultimate tour guide – On a similar note, host families have zero interest in making profit out of you, unlike tour guides. This means, they can provide an incredible insight into their country which you won’t find elsewhere. Locals will share the hidden gems that will give you the most authentic experience – not the route with the most gift shops or restaurants with the most Facebook likes. They know where to hike for insane views, who makes the best cappuccino in town, which campsites are less crowded or what markets are overpriced.

How to make the most of your Homestay experience

Keep an open mind - The culture, language and food may all be different but embrace it. You will learn so much from your homestay if you say yes as much as you can. Don’t hide in your room or sit scrolling on your phone. Try not to judge or criticise, appreciate the differences.

Communicate - If you are uncomfortable or confused with anything, speak up. It’s always best to be honest and open so both parties can gain as much from the experience. Simple misunderstandings can be resolved much quicker if you speak up early on.

Ask questions - Whether you want their family recipe to try at home, you need help with pronunciations, or you’re curious about the culture - ask! Questions are the best way to learn about your homestay and you might never get an opportunity again to ask a local so make the most of it.

Be prepared for culture shock - With some homestays you’ll slot right in as part of the family immediately, with others you can take time to adjust. To prepare for culture shock do a little research before you arrive. What typically will you be eating? What’s acceptable to wear around the home? What does a typical daily routine look like for your host? Having this insight before you arrive will set you up for a successful homestay.

A little thank you goes a long way - There are so many ways you can show your appreciation that cost very little but will mean so much to your host. Ideas include - make a traditional meal from your home country, make a thank you card, write a poem or song about your experience or even bring something small from home that symbolises your culture.

How to find the perfect homestay

You’ve learned about the benefits, expectations and the reasons why a homestay should be top of your bucket list, so how do you get started?

  1. Join – Start by signing up for a membership – remembering you can sign up solo, as a couple or even as a family. Each sign up will also add a tree to the Workaway forest. Then it’s time to perfect your profile using our top tips to make it stand out from the crowd.
  2. Connect – Your perfect homestay is just a few clicks away thanks to our detailed search options that let you filter for the ultimate match. While you can simply filter by a particular area and make your way through the entire host list, there are a few ways that can save you a ton of time. These include:
    • Filter by Host type – If you have a homestay in mind, use the host type filter and select “family.” This will avoid you having to read profiles of hosts such as schools, hostels or house sits which don’t align with your current plans.
    • Keywords – Another tip to narrow your search is to use keywords you’d associate with your ideal host family. These are keywords that align with your own values or are areas you’d love to learn more about. For example, you could use keywords such as vegan, yoga, sustainability, childcare or Spanish.

    Once you have found a few hosts, you can add them to your favourites list. We recommend you then personalise your introduction message, don’t be lazy with copy and paste! Share why you’d fit in with their family, not forgetting why you want to visit and what tasks you can help with.

  3. Pack your bags – Once you and your host have agreed dates, projects and expectations it’s time to pack the essentials, book travel insurance and get ready to find your second home..and then your third and fourth. Soon you’ll have places to call home all over the world.