Going on your first Workaway experience is no small feat, it’s a step into the travel adventure of a lifetime! ☀️ To really be sure that you’ll be making the most out of your big trip, it’s down to knowing what you want out of it, what you can use it for, and why you’re going on a Workaway in the first place…
That’s why we’re going to walk you through some questions you might want to ask yourself before heading out on your adventure:
1. Where should I go?
Looking to see the northern lights in Finland or Machu Picchu in Peru? Deciding on the country we want to go to might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s also very important to consider what you’re looking for long-term! Especially since you’d likely be at your host location for quite a while… Do you prefer staying in the city or the country-side? Rainforest or farm? Think about a place where you’d be excited to wake up to every morning and get things done! 😄
Do keep in mind the visa requirements! Head over to travel locations that are easier to get to without too much of a hassle or visa restrictions.
2. What do I want to gain from my experience?
When you’ve got over 40,000 different hosts to choose from, you’re bound to find a perfect experience that suits you! Do you dream of living in an off-grid community in Peru while learning Spanish? Sailing across Nova Scotia as you pick up some seamanship and carpentry skills? Or teaching in Indonesia and getting immersed in the local culture? There are also a bunch of NGOs out there that could really use your help, like this one in Bosnia and Herzegovina supporting refugees! Are you an aspiring videographer? Scuba-diving instructor? Volunteering at different locations and settings helps you to grow in all these skills!
3. Do I want to explore alone or with someone else?
If you’ve decided that this will be a trip that you share with your travel buddy, be aware that your Workaway trip is not a ‘vacation’. While you’ll have plenty of free time to explore, you will also be contributing to the project that you are helping with, or spending time with the host that you choose to stay with. That means your trip will be packed with lots of fun time and activities! It is a learning opportunity, a unique travel experience, a way of life while you are on the road, and a great chance to bond with your travel companion by doing something different together! (Also read: How to travel long term as a couple without killing each other)
Need people to travel with? We can help with that!
And if you are travelling alone – that’s great too! We can’t brag enough about how much we LOVE travelling solo – it’s such a fantastic way to meet new people! Take a worthy challenge, step out of your comfort zone and start making new connections with the people around you. Often though, if you’re house sitting, or volunteering at a smaller project without any other workawayers around- you will have to spend significantly more time on your own. 👯♂
4. How do I want to spend my time abroad?
Depending on your travel style and the length of your trip, sometimes you might want to spend more time helping out at a project, whilst other times you might want to have extra time to explore a location. If you choose to devote more time to your host’s project, you’ll get to gain more (from shared meals to new skills), and connect with your hosts on a more personal level. But if you’re more for the travelling and exploring, make sure you communicate your travel plans with your host in advance! And there’s no guarantee your host would be able to both house you and feed you three free meals if you’re volunteering fewer hours.
5. How do I join the community?
Now you’ve made up your mind that Workaway is right for you, let’s get you on board and ready to go! Sign up for workaway if you haven’t, so then you can start reaching out to hosts once your profile is verified online. ✨ And if you need help with creating your awesome profile, we are happy to review it for you and to give some advice.
Here are a few of our top tips for contacting hosts:
- Express what you want out of the whole experience – be clear about your expectations while contacting the hosts you’re interested in!
- Share how and what you can contribute to each Workaway project – explain why you’re a good fit for your potential hosts.
- Know your limits – and let the host know them as well. Make sure your host’s expectations align with what you can actually do/ contribute.
- Add some good photos and include your personality/ interests in your description – be honest and authentic while letting your personality come across naturally.
Once you’ve arranged all the details, it’s off to your first Workaway experience.
Happy travels, nomads! Remember to let us know how it goes! ✈️