What About Working Away?
Traveling can be inexpensive if you know where to look, what to do and are willing to put in the work. Traveling for cheaper means you get to travel for longer. If living like a local, experiencing a place for a lengthier amount of time and getting your hands a little dirty seems up your alley, Workaway.com is your new best friend. If working during your travels seems like the opposite of what you want to do but still want to do it on a budget, check out my post on How to Couchsurf Like a Boss.
First off, what is Work Away? Work Away is a website where you can apply to work for people all over the world in exchange for a free place to stay and a couple of meals per day. Each Work Away is different depending on the host and the job type but typically, it's about 4-5 hours of work 4-5 days per week. You usually get a few days off to explore the area and sometimes you can work 10 hour shifts and get long weekends. You can be an au pair, gardener, farmer, carpenter, electrician, etc. If you have a skill there is more than likely a job for it. Many hosts are willing to teach skills if you will be staying for a month or so.
Work Away costs a small annual free (around $15 USD) but is very worth it if you will use it. You can stretch your travel budget by leaps and bounds if you spend a month working here and there. No, you don't make actual cash, but if you aren't spending money on accommodations and food, you are saving heaps of money plus you get to live with actual locals and really experience their culture and way of life.
Choosing a Work Away can be a tad daunting. There are so many of them and they all seem interesting. When looking for a Work Away, I always start off by reading the reviews. If other workawayers have had positive experiences, then it is much more likely that I will too. The reviews can give you insight into what the hosts, work days, accommodations and food are like. It's rare that I see a Work Away that had bad reviews but if they do, it's usually because they are asked to work really long hours and don't get enough off time. I am always glad that I see that before applying. If I'm using reviews of others to determine my trip, I always like to pay it forward and leave my own reviews about my hosts, the accommodations and food provided. I feel like its good work away karma!
Once I find some Work Aways that have good reviews, availability and work that fits my skills, it's time to start applying. You apply by sending the host a message. I usually send a brief message giving them the dates I would like to work, highlight my skills and tell them why I would like to work for them. Many Work Aways take time to get back to you so I always apply for as many as I can and the first one to respond is the one I usually go with. You typically need to plan ahead with these so you can guarantee a spot.
Work Away is truly a wonderful offer. You can meet amazing people and be apart of a group workspace and communal living. If you have the chance to take part in this opportunity, I would hands down say yes!