Workaway is an international organization and hospitality service that enable travellers willing to work as volunteers to contact hosts (who can be individuals, families or groups) wanting help with their projects or activities.
Volunteers or ‘Workawayers’, are expected to contribute a pre-agreed amount of time per day in exchange for lodging and food provided by their host.
I had my first Workaway experience on the Big Island, Hawaii. All in all I had an awesome time and I saved a bunch of money as well. We stayed with Cameron and Lori , a couple who moved from the Mainland to a farm on Hawaii and opened a pizza business there. We stayed in a house together with other helpers and usually worked 3-4 days a week ( mainly pizza baking & selling, ingredients preparation and a little bit of farm work). The work was easy and we got along really well with our hosts. We shared some dinner and drinks or went to the beach and even went diving with Manta Rays at night, which was great. In our spare time we explored the rest of the island, went to see Lava,several watefalls, green and black beaches and did a Skydive. If you are on a long trip for a couple of month, it´s the perfect way to slow down a little bit and take as much time as you need to explore a certain area without overspending your budget. You will also get a kind of “local feeling” and you´ll experience the culture and the life there much more than if you would just stop on the main tourist attractions and rush through the country.
Workaway is not a free service, the annual fee is $29,00 for a single person or $38,00 for a couple account. There is another website called Helpx, which is a similar database of hosts looking for volunteers to help with a wide variety of projects. Accommodation ranges from farmstays to B&Bs, and there’s even a category for boats.
Workaway and Helpx allow users to browse the host listings for free before paying for a membership. This means you can check out both sites, and make your decision based on which one you find easier to use and which one has hosts that you’re most interested in contacting.
WWOOF is a little bit different, because it´s mostly about farming and learning about organic lifestyle. There is not such a variety as on the other two websites and the biggest disadvantage is, that WWOOF has it´s own organization in each country and you need to pay a membership fee for each one.