A Guide to Workaway: One Way to Travel the World for Free

workaway website logo

Joining Workaway was the beginning of my journey on becoming a British Expat Living in Spain. You can read how it became a reality here.

1. What is Workaway?

Workaway state that: “Workaway is a site set up to promote fair exchange between travellers (workawayers) and hosts who are families, individuals or organisations looking for help with a range of activities.”

The idea of the website is that hosts around the world provide the Workawayer with free food and accommodation (generally) in exchange for around 4-5 hours a day of work, for 5 days a week (generally). Note ‘generally’, this can change between each one, but most of them are as stated above.

2. Why do Workaway?

  1. Free accommodation and food!
  2. Practise/learn a new language
  3. Utilise existing skills, or acquire new ones
  4. Make new friends from all over the world
  5. True immersion into the culture and lifestyle within a community

There are many more benefits in doing a Workaway, but I believe these are 5 of the most important! Free accommodation and food in exchange for around 4-5 hours of work is a great deal, as when travelling these are in the top 3 of expenses (alongside travel too) you will have to factor for – well, you will no longer need to!

3. How much does Workaway cost?

Signing up to the site currently costs €29 for a single person for one year – available here. This and travelling to the Workaway will be the only expenses you will need to pay for!

Additional (optional) expenses:

  • Exploring the nearest city in your own time
  • Nights out in the nearest city
  • Additional food on-top of what you are already provided with (if you’re still hungry)
  • Weekend trips to other cities (most Workaway placements get weekend off)

4. Length of a Workaway?

This is very dependent on which Workaway placement you choose, but generally they are between 1 week and 1 month. There is no contract involved, and as you’re working for free, you can theoretically leave the Workaway before it is over if you really do not like it – there are no strings attached!

5. What jobs can you do with Workaway?

The potential opportunities are pretty much endless, the image below shows the categories provided on the website for filtering through the Workaway placements – see for yourself here. From my experience, I have found that the majority of offered placements are childcare/help around the house, or manual labour e.g. building/repairing/working on a farm.

types of workaway placements

6. My Workaway experience?

My first and only Workaway experience (for now, November 2017), was during the month of July in 2017. I was a volunteer for 4 weeks in an English Summer Camp in La Rioja, Spain.english summer camp la rioja spain volunteer

I loved each of the 4 weeks, I got very close to the other Workawayers and the family over the month and was very sad to leave when the time came!

The Workawayers were provided with 5 meals a day with normally second/third servings during lunchtime and dinnertime, so if you love food like me then there is always more available!

living la rioja spain workaway

The surrounding area is beautiful and if you love to hike, swim and play sports with kids different ages then it was FUN ‘WORK’ – I wouldn’t have even called it work.

I had many first time experiences at this Workaway and was able to learn a lot of Spanish too.

A typical day:

  • Wake up around 8am for breakfast (2-3 times a week I would prepare it)
  • Go on a 2-5 hour hike around 10am
  • Play a mixture of games during the day with the kids (British bulldog, Capture the flag, etc.)
  • Time off in the afternoon
  • Swim in the nearby river
  • Night activity with the kids – e.g. bonfire, camp songs.

This day may appear longer than the typical 4-5 hours written earlier in this post, and that’s because it was. But again, it never felt like work, I was never forced to work for longer than expected, I really enjoyed the ‘work’.

For more information on the hosts’ English summer camp, the website can be found here.

7. Should you join Workaway?

It is completely free to browse all of the Workaway placements available on the website.

I would suggest to do this until you find a few that you really like the look of, and then buy the year subscription.

If you’ve enjoyed this post and want to join Workaway, you can support this page by using my personal invite link here: JOIN WORKAWAY NOW! I gain a few extra months onto my own membership by doing this.

Workaway is an amazing opportunity and has been the platform to completely change my life.

ExpatLivingSpain – Jake.