Work in exchange for housing is on the rise in the travel world. Across the web, there are platforms and networks for travellers and small businesses just waiting to connect. One person needs help, and the other would like to travel at a lower cost. Both, when connected, can learn about each other’s cultures, and even make lifelong friendships.
Interchange work and travel, how does it work?
Avid travelers communicate with locals and small business owners in destinations around the world, that are looking for some help in their business or day-to-day life. The locals typically offer visiting travelers a place to stay for no monetary cost. Instead, they ask travelers to work in exchange for housing. This is known as a “work exchange” and also as part of the “interexchange work and travel movement”.
How does this work exchange agreement benefit each party?
Both sides get to save money, which can be huge in today’s financial climate! The local businesses “free labor” without needing to pay a wage. This can save a lot of money if they don’t yet have the finances to pay a salary. On the other hand, they can offer the visitor free accommodation during their interchange work and travel experience which will also save the traveler needing to spend money on lodging.
Think about a typical vacation, accommodation is usually one of the highest costs attributed to most trips. So, if you’re able to save money by staying somewhere for free, there’s going to be more money in your pocket to enjoy the destination!
What to know before your own work exchange experience
As great as this all sounds, before you work in exchange for housing overseas, you should always remember that you cannot just use the place like a hotel. You will need to contribute to the agreed amount of work required of you. That being said, hosts are very clear about their requirements before you arrive so you will know beforehand. This avoids any nasty surprises. The work is always agreed in advance and it’s usually only a few hours a day. The rest of the time is yours to enjoy how you wish.
WWOOF is a platform that connects travelers with organic farms and local farmers. All of the work in exchange for housing takes place in the countryside and gardens of these locals. It’s a very trusted site.
This platform has a mixture of placements available for volunteers who want to enjoy a work exchange that also focuses on learning about a new culture. You’ll learn many new things while on a HelpStay trip.
This site is one of the best known in the industry and they’ve branched out to different types of volunteer work. You’ll find work exchange opportunities including farms, hostels and more so there is something for everyone.
Voluntourism has become much more popular with multiple websites and platforms offering the chance to work in exchange for housing and all it takes is a little bit of work during your vacation. You’ll meet people, learn new things and get a unique opportunity for little to no cost. What are you waiting for? Search for your trip now.
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