At the moment, almost everyone is concerned about the question – how to travel on a budget? Is there a way to see many interesting places almost for free? Yes! There are many such ways, but now we will talk about traveling as an assistant.
All you need to go on an adventure is free time, tickets to your destination and a desire to help make this world even more beautiful. You will be provided with housing, food, communication, the opportunity to visit places that you may have only dreamed of, all for a little help and work on your part.
Are you already packing your bags? Wait, first let’s see if it’s as easy as it seems.
How to travel on a budget?
WWOOF is the ancestor of host and helper communication sites. You can view helper ads for free, but you will not have access to the contact details of the hosts. To contact them, you will have to purchase a membership: about 1,700 rubles a year for one person or 2,500 rubles a year for a couple.
What’s the plus? The site specializes in finding assistants for organic farms and households. Historically, there are more users here than anywhere else, respectively, a higher chance of finding an interesting offer. For example, in Nepal, a farm assistant is required near the capital, Kathmandu.
The family needs an assistant. We grow plants, make spices in a small mill. We can teach the principles of oriental medicine and practice yoga together.
Although the site looks old-fashioned, there are quite a few ads that allow you to save on travel in exchange for help, and the scope of activities is not limited to farms. Yes, and membership costs only 23 US dollars for two years (for one or for a couple), and this is only 1,500 rubles. For example, you can go to Australia, Sydney, and live on a boat, working only 2 hours a day:
Hello. We have a fully equipped lifeboat docked at Pittwater Pier in Sydney. We are looking for a couple (sorry, we do not take singles) to work in the garden for a couple of hours a day in the summer, autumn and spring. In exchange, you can live on a boat, use a stove, refrigerator and gas heater. We also have kayaks so you can go for walks around the bay. You will prepare the food yourself, but we will be happy to take you to the store.
This is the “brother” of helpX. Membership here is more expensive – 42 US dollars for one or 54 US dollars for a couple per year (respectively 2500 and 3500 rubles).
What can the site offer for this money? See for yourself and find an amazing opportunity to get to the country of your dreams. For example, you can build a cave hotel and live in a cave house in the Canary Islands, Spain.
My dream is a natural life in harmony with nature. I plan to organize a shelter for donkeys and build a cozy cave hotel where you can come with dogs. I would also like schoolchildren to be able to come to me and learn the basics of survival in the wild with an instructor. Come and help me to carry out this project. For dinner I cook typical Canary dishes, and during the day you can have as much fruit and fresh eggs as you like.
And here is the most interesting: a completely free site with many offers from around the world that will help you travel on a budget. There is a very important function: you can search immediately on the map. Poke at random, and flew? For example, in Los Angeles, helping in a hostel that was once a Hollywood mansion?
We can accept up to 6 volunteers for a period of 2 months. Creative, non-standard and energetic personalities are required. We are all a very friendly team. You need to work 20-25 hours a week, 4-5 hours a day. You will have plenty of time to see Los Angeles and California.
Of course, many questions arise:
- Is it possible to go for a week? And for three months?
Yes! And yes! As you can see, everyone needs help, everywhere and always, so you need to check with the owners for what minimum and maximum period they are looking for helpers. Even in a two-week vacation, you can have time to plunge into such an unusual adventure.
- Will I be fed? Where will I live?
It is usually assumed that the inviting party provides the assistant with both housing and food, but there may be subtleties that the hosts talk about in their profiles. Feel free to ask, it’s common practice!
- Will I get paid to help?
No. The principle of such an exchange is precisely that the traveler gets a chance to see the world at minimal cost, and the owner gets the required help at minimal cost. In addition, real work requires a work visa, and working without it is illegal. Therefore, when you go to help, do not say that you are a volunteer and are going to work. First of all, you are a tourist.
- What do you do if you don’t like the owners? What if they don’t like me?
Firstly, the sites have a feedback system: you can immediately see the rating of users and weed out “bad” options. If it turned out that already in the process you understand that the conditions do not correspond to those stated in the ad, the best way out is to talk to the owner. You can try to come to a compromise. Or leave an honest review after the trip.
- I don’t like farming. How else can I help in such projects?
Yes, anything! Who only is not required here, and what kind of tasks the owners do not come up with. This includes helping with children, and drawing or music for art projects, and repairing houses, and fishing, and looking after the house while the owner is away, and walking all the dogs in the shelter, and just chatting in a circle of like-minded people. There will be work for everyone.
- Is it possible to travel with a child?
And such cases happened! It is necessary to negotiate with the host. Often the ad says so: we welcome families. Nothing is impossible. Remember that children need special attention, so take out insurance for you and your child in advance before the trip.
- Can I invite helpers? Should I invite too?
Yes, you can register as a host and ask for help if you need help. This is not a prerequisite, you can only be a helper, and this will not violate the rules of the communities.
Now, perhaps, you have no excuses left to postpone your next trip?)