Workaway for newbies: your top questions answered

So you've been googling how you can travel differently, volunteer abroad for free, or get a full cultural immersion and meet new friends while on the road... and you've stumbled upon Workaway is a website that lets you connect with hosts and travellers around the world, give back to local communities, and get free accommodation and food in exchange for a few hours of your help! That sounds like a dream, but how does it actually work?? If you're new to Workaway, welcome and no worries! We're here to answer your burning questions about the platform and how to get involved...

1. Am I too old / too young for Workaway?

You do need to be at least 18 years old to register on the site, unless you’re a minor who’s travelling with your adult parent(s) and workawaying as a family. On the other hand, there is NO upper age limit . We have workawayers who are taking a gap year after high school, workawayers at different points in their careers and taking a sabbatical, and workawayers who are now travelling full-time after their retirement!

solo female workawayer chopping wood

Related blog post: 5 Reasons to do a Workaway when you are Retired

2. Is Workaway safe? Are the hosts legit?

Here at the Workaway HQ one of our main jobs is to ensure that all members on our site are genuine and offer exchanges that are safe and fair for all parties! We review EVERY host that signs up on our site and every update they put on their profile, as well as every new workawayer, before they can go online and arrange exchanges. We also read through every single feedback left on our site, so that we stay on top of all arrangements between workawayers and hosts, while taking measures to resolve conflicts and investigate issues if necessary. This helps us check that all members are genuine and provide enough details (e.g. what kind of accommodation is offered, if the type of help offered/sought is suitable and safe) for workawayers (and hosts) to make informed decisions when planning exchanges. 

Our team also offers 24/7 support on our help desk as well as live chat for workawayers who have questions or need help in case issues arise. Before starting your first exchange, make sure to check out our safety page for more information too :) 

workawaying solo woman marine boat volunteering happiness

3. I'm only interested in taking a short trip. Is that OK? 

Sure! Your Workaway membership means you'll have full access to our host list and other site features for one year, during which you can plan your exchanges however you want to. A lot of us can only travel during summer holidays, or go on a few short trips near our home countries, which is perfectly fine too -- you don't need to quit your job for good to become a workawayer!  Plus remember, you can always meet up with other workawayers who are in your area , so you can still get to know new friends and cultures, even if you’re just on your lunch break ;)

If you're looking for a project that you can visit for just a week or so, there are hosts that can accommodate that too! When browsing on our host list, have a look at their minimum length of stay to see how long a Workaway stay is for them.

workawayer and elderly local chopping turnips

4. Can I do a Workaway locally, right here in my own country? 

Of course! Your next Workaway host can be right around the corner. Especially with travel restrictions still in place in many countries, now's the perfect time to explore all the local gems within your home country . As a workawayer you get to experience unique and real places, meet and learn from interesting people, and get a taste of a completely different way of life through them. Not ready for stayovers? Check out hosts and workawayers nearby for a spontaneous catch up! 

local workaway project in mexico cooking tamales traditional way

Related blog post: 10 Reasons To Travel In Your Own Country & Why You'll Love Every Minute!

5. Can I travel with my friend/ child/ pet?

If you're travelling with a friend or your partner, you have an option to sign up for a couple account , so that you can contact hosts under the same workawayer profile. If you and your travel buddy might go on separate Workaway trips sometimes too, we'd recommend signing up for two single accounts and then connecting your profiles when you're travelling together (you can disconnect your profiles after your joint trip)!

Tip: If you know someone who’d be interested in joining Workaway, remember to share your invitation link with them, so you can get three extra months for free for every friend you successfully refer! Your friend will also get an extra month added to their membership 

For our wanderlusting parents who'd like to bring their children along their journeys -- YES, you can definitely go on a Workaway trip as a family! Travelling and volunteering abroad is an incredible way for your younguns to learn about the world – we’ve had workawayers bring their toddler along their Workaway farm adventures, and families who’ve explored amazing locations through Workaway together! We would advise looking for hosts who can accommodate families

gardening experience for young kids while travelling

Related blog post: Family Travel with Workaway

If you're looking to bring your pet on to your Workaway, we know there are also a lot of  hosts who are happy to accommodate! You could utilize the filter on our host list to look for hosts who accept pets. Don’t forget to introduce your best buddy too when writing to hosts.

workaway hike with dog pet

Related blog post: Top tips on workawaying and travelling with pets

6. Are there paid opportunities on Workaway? 

Yes! Apart from families, farms, NGOs and community projects, Workaway also lists a number of working holidays and paid positions (marked with an icon on their listing) for those looking to extend their travels by earning some extra funds. You’ll still get free accommodation while workawaying with a paying host, and of course there should always be a cultural exchange between the host and workawayer ;)

outdoor cement mixing travel work

7. What kind of visa do I need? 

Workaway is a listing site that enables contact between members, we are unfortunately unable to arrange or advise on visas. There are so many countries with different regulations or laws for different types of volunteering activity, so we would suggest directly getting in touch with the relevant embassy of your destination. It is the responsibility of the host and/or volunteer to make sure they are within the law. Remember, Workaway is about cultural exchange and experiencing new ways of life!

workaway group meetup hiking adventure

8. How do I collaborate with Workaway? 

We love it when workawayers want to share their adventures after they've had positive experiences with the site! If you have an interesting idea on how to spread the Workaway word and help our community grow, feel free to write and  send over your proposal.

workaway group pole installation outdoors

9. I'm absolutely ready to start Workawaying... so how do I start?!

If you're ready to begin your adventure you're already halfway there... just follow the five steps below and you're good to go!

  1. Hop right on to our sign up page and join as a workawayer
  2. Complete your payment and fill in your profile with information about yourself. Not sure how to introduce yourself? Make sure to check out our tips on how to create a great workawayer profile.
  3. Browse around the site to find your ideal hosts and travel buddies. While looking for hosts, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help with your search!
  4. Confirm an exchange with your favourite host!
  5. Book your trip and pack your bags for your adventure! Make sure you get the most out of your experience by using these Workaway hacks too :)
workaway community travel explore Egypt while dancing

And there we have it! Hopefully with these top questions answered, you're ready to start your first Workaway adventure. 

Make sure to also check out the video below on how Workaway works, to get a better idea of how you can use the platform to enrich your travels..

If you wanna know more about the platform -- please feel free to check out our FAQs or drop our support team a message :) 

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