When you want to go on a trip the first thing you think about is your budget, there are now many opportunities to travel for extended periods without a lot of money.
Some of the ways you can do this include: Volunteering with Workaway, HelpX, Wwoofing and Working Holidays visas. Some of these solutions allow you to travel for years without stopping and sometimes even to put money aside.
Personally I have traveled for over two years and had incredible encounters and many opportunities to grow as a person. Traveling this way is also a real benefit to your professional background.
I/ Be voluntary
Workaway is a website for « Volunteering, exchange services and cultural immersion”. It is present in 155 countries and has over 17,000 active hosts. For me the strength of this platform is that in addition to suggesting opportunities to volunteer all over the globe, the website is full of different kinds of exchanges: teaching English in Vietnam, developing an ecolodge in Canada, working in a natural reserve in India …
Each person that offers to host volunteers must provide a descriptive ad with:
– Personal description of the host and the place with pictures
– Detailed engagement
– The number of hours worked per week (generally not more than 5 hours / 5 days / week)
– What exactly the host provides to volunteers (single or shared room, the number of meals per day, wifi …)
– availability dates
Here are examples of ads you can find Workaway on:
Also at the end of each ad you will find reviews from past volunteers. This allows you to get an external opinion on the host and how each volunteer lived their own experience.
WWOOF farm Bio global network
Unlike Workaway, Wwoof network only offers the possibility to be volunteer on organic farms. This can be an excellent way to approach a local culture especially in developing countries.
The concept is really good and pretty much the same as Workaway The host offers accommodation / meals and introduces you to the principles of organic agriculture in exchange for your help.
The only complaint I could make about this network is that you have to pay a membership fee per country, for example if you want to do wwoofing in Chile, you will have to pay fee on Wwoofing Chile website and if you want to do wwoofing in Japan you will have to pay a second assessment on Wwoofing Japan.
I have met many travelers who have had varied experiences wwoofing, if you have had your own experiences(good or bad), do not hesitate to share it in the comments.
The fee is about 30-40 USD per country, here is the International Wwoofing website.
Helpx volunteer network
Short for “Help Exchange” and founded in 2001, HelpX network offers volunteering opportunities in various missions. The membership fee is 20 euros for 2 years.
A detail on HelpX that I really appreciate is the site has a “Travel Companions » category which allow you to find people to travel with if you’re a bit afraid of loneliness.
Here is the HelpX website.
A tip for how to use these three platforms in the best way:
Completely fill out your form, put a photo, describe yourself, your passions … The more information you provide, the more likely you are to find the experience that is right for you.
Comparative: Workaway, Wwoofing et HelpX
These 3 websites are more or less different networks, allowing travelers to be directly connected with organizations/individuals who are looking for volunteers.
There are varied opinions online as to which platform is the best and there are many stories of good and bad experience over all the platforms. I think a successful volunteer experience will depend on the quality of the host, not the platform you use.
In my personal experience I used Workaway, I found it practical to use and the platform is also better visually and more thought out than HelpX, but I am sure you can have excellent volunteer experiences on HelpX or Woof.com as well.
II/ BE “AU PAIR”
Being an « au pair » is a great way to travel. Travelers who want to be an “au pair” can normally expected remuneration and accommodation in exchange for work with the children in a family. This type of trip is mainly to learn a language and discover a culture.
They are many countries to be “Au Pair” such as:
- New Zealand
The conditions are obviously different for each country, as an exemple, it is mandatory that you go through an organization to be “Au Pair” in the USA.
If you want to know more about becoming a female or male “Au Pair” Here is the AuPairWorld website.
Finally here are some tips for a successful trip:
– Beware of overly enticing ads (pay 3-4 times higher than normal, for example)
– Converse a lot with your future host family (email, skype)
– Do not be afraid of your language level, this is also the purpose of your trip
– Find out as much as you can about where you want to go, to be sure that it will suit you
– Search on Facebook, there are often “au Pair” groups by destination as “Au Pair Melbourne”, “Au Pair London” … Do not hesitate to ask advices to the group members.
III/ WORK AND TRAVEL ALL OVER THE WORLD: The Working holiday Visa
The Working holiday Visa is as its name suggests, a visa that allows you to work. Beyond the famous Australian WHV, Canada or New Zealand, there are lots of other countries around the world offering these visas, depending on your nationality.
Find a job when you are on the spot:
Seeking employment abroad works the same way everywhere in the world. Whichever place you want to visit, several important points have to be considered :
- translate you Resume in the local language
- Visit recruitment agency / recruitment agencies websites
- Send unsolicited applications
If you are in a hostel, feel free to ask directly at the reception for advice and if they know companies that hire.
- On Facebook there are a lot of expatriates (Pague Expat / Hong Kong Expat …) that will give you plenty of advice in your research
- In either case looking for a job IS a job, which means you have to spend time on it, at least 5 hours a day. More time you spend, the quicker you will get a job.
After a year travelling around the world and several volunteer experiences, here is the second method I have found to keep traveling.
I’m currently living in Melbourne Australia for 6 months, with a working visa and here i earn more money here than i did when i was working in France. This allows me to save money for my future trips when my Australian visa expires.
IV/ Working on a boat
Two solutions are available:
- be a crew member on a small boat
- be part of the embeded staff on a larger ship
To mate it is not necessary to have experience, here is a website to get job on a boat: All Cruise Jobs
Moreover, many cruise lines and shipping companies recruit new members of board staff fairly regularly. Jobs are really diverse and varied.
If you want to work on a cruise ship, do not hesitate to directly contact the companies through their websites.
V/ Be a house sitter
This is an interesting solution especially if you love animals! at Trustedhousesitters the process is very simple: People offers you accommodation in exchange for home maintenance and possible animal sitting while tenants are on holiday.
Access fees are 10 euros/month, but if you’re an animal lover and you travel a lot it definitely worth it.
The purpose of this post, beyond sharing these different methods is to really show that the idea of « travel is expensive » is wrong and nowadays it is possible to discover new countries, new cultures for a few weeks or even months, it is really possible to everyone.