If you want to spend your whole vacation lying on the beach, Workaway.info may not be for you. But if you want to get a sense of how daily life works in a different country, make new friends and learn new skills, you will adore this form of travel. Workaway operates on the principle of committing to a few hours of honest work each day in exchange for free food and lodging with a family in the country you are visiting. The website contains a database of families, individuals and organizations willing to host travellers in exchange for their work in a variety of fields. Some are in need of a nanny and cook, others require help shearing sheep or building a garden and many just want the opportunity to learn a new language and have someone to help around the house. Over 3,000 hosts are living in all areas of the world. So whether you want to babysit in Ausralia, teach English in Spain or work on a farm in Botswana, there is an option for you!
WWOOF, otherwise known as World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, allows you to travel in a budget-friendly way while granting you the chance to learn more about the environment and living organically. The website helps to connect willing volunteers with organic farmers in need of an extra pair of hands. Dozens of countries are part of the organization, so there are plenty of places for you to check out. Some hosts require help with animals, others will have you working in the garden and some are developing more eco-friendly ways of living and can use assistance with designing and building. In exchange for your help, you will receive free food and accommodations from them, as well as an opportunity to learn about a more sustainable way of living. Plus, you'll meet new people and gain insight into a different country's way of life!
Obviously most people aren't fortunate enough to have friends and family in all the destinations of the world they would love to visit, but that shouldn't deter you. If you have an old friend in England or an aunt in Mexico, let them know you would love to visit and learn more about them and their country. Many people are eager to show others their home and teach them about their way of life, and will likely be more than happy to invite you to stay. When invited, bring some thank-you gifts, and make yourself as helpful as possible. And of course, let them know you would happily welcome them into your home in exchange. It's a great opportunity to reconnect with a family member or friend and to see a new place in a less expensive way.
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