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An honest review about Workaway vs Worldpackers

I’m sure that you came here because you want to know which volunteering program is better: Workaway vs Worldpackers. Well, I’m here to give you all the information you need regarding safety (especially for women), cost, and quality.

Let’s get into it!

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workaway vs worldpackers

Here you can skip to the parts of this post that you find important.

What are Workaway and Worldpackers?

Before we compare both organizations, I think it’s important to know exactly what they stand for.

Workaway and Worldpackers are organizations for work exchange.

This means that you exchange a few hours of work for free accommodation, food and many more benefits. You help your host with whatever tasks they need you to do (this can be ANYTHING), and you get a free stay in return.

The working hours are often no more than 5 hours a day for 5 days a week. It can be different, but these hours are what you should keep in mind.

Why volunteer abroad?

Volunteering abroad can have many benefits for you.

These are some of the greatest benefits of volunteering:

  • Free accommodation and food
  • Meeting many like-minded people from all over the world
  • Developing your skills and mindset
  • Being able to explore the destination on your free days
  • Often you get free activities and tours included. This can mean free yoga classes, surf lessons, hiking tours, parties, and many more things.

Volunteering abroad is especially great for solo travelers. When you’re staying at a host, there are often other volunteers, friends or family from the host, or guests (if you’re working in a hostel, for example).

It basically means you won’t get lonely. There are always people to connect with and do fun activities together.

Workaway vs Worldpackers

Can you get paid for volunteering?

It’s not usual to get paid for volunteering, but yes, it’s possible.

On the Workaway website, you can find hosts that offer payment on top of the accommodation. In these cases, food is not always included, because you earn money to get food yourself.

If you find a host offering compensation, you will get paid the minimum wage of the country you travel to.

I don’t have experience with being paid for volunteering, so you have to figure out for yourself if it’s something you want.

Where can you go on a volunteering trip?

There are volunteering opportunities all around the world. From India to Greenland to Brazil. You will be able to find volunteering opportunities on every continent.

Because all countries are different, you will find different kinds of projects. For example, in Thailand, you may be able to find more animal-caring projects, while in Spain there are more hostels or social projects.

Workaway vs Worldpackers

Which kinds of projects are there?

Of course, everyone has different skills and things they like. That’s why there are different projects; so you can be sure to find something you like.

These are the most popular sorts of projects:

  • Building & repairing
  • Teaching English
  • Helping out on a farm or ecological project
  • Animal care & rescue
  • Touristic projects, like helping in hostels, campings, guesthouses, and such
  • Helping out a family with tutoring or cleaning
  • Manage social media and/or a website for your host
  • House-sitting

Of course, in these kinds of projects, there’s a very wide range of choices.

Luckily on both websites of Workaway and Worldpackers, you can filter your searches on the kind of host you’re looking for or the destination you want to visit. But more on this later.

Workaway vs Worldpackers

This post is structured into parts where I tell you about both companies with my honest review. I will compare them to each other in different aspects, for the clearest information. At the end, I will tell you which one is my favorite and generally better.

I do recommend reading everything, or at least the parts that matter to you. That way you can choose one or the other completely knowing the pros and cons.

Workaway vs Worldpackers

Workaway: Overview and honest full review

Let’s start by telling you about Workaway. This is an organization established in 2002, which makes it a well-rooted company with over 50.000 Workaway opportunities.

Note: The website for Workaway is Workaway.info

When I found out about Workaway I started searching for where I wanted to go, but there were so many hosts, it was hard to make a choice. But the good thing about this is that the chances are quite big that your application will be accepted.

But first things first.

How does Workaway work?

If you want to join Workaway, you need to get a membership of €49 per year. If you’re traveling as a couple you can get a membership for 2 people, for €59 per year.

Ps. All prices in this post are the same in dollars

Then you have to make your profile and fill in all sorts of questions about your skills, hobbies, travel experience, and more. This way a host can get a clearer picture of who they’re inviting into their home (this is so important!).

With your membership, you can browse the entire database of hosts. You can type in your next destination or search by host type, accommodation info, availability, and more.

This makes it super easy to find the right host for you. You can easily make a selection of hosts by making a wishlist.

When applying to a host it’s important to write them a strong personalized message. This makes for better chances of them responding.

In my experience, most hosts replied to my applications and some hosts even invited me to come volunteer for them. I also had some conversations with other Workawayers which was a lot of fun.

Workaway is an amazing platform to find many volunteering opportunities. The website and mobile app are super easy to use and you can find a host rather quickly.

work exchange abroad

Benefits of Workaway (what you’re paying for)

Of course, you want to know if Workaway is worth your money. This is a full list of what you’ll get:

  • Access to 50.000+ hosts in 170 countries
  • You’ll be able to access an active traveler community
  • Workaway emergency help
  • 24-hour support team and live chat
  • Some more safety features (more about this later)
  • A tree planted in the Workaway Forest

Now this all sounds pretty great, right? But don’t settle for Workaway before letting me introduce you to Worldpackers first!

volunteering abroad programs

Worldpackers: Overview and honest full review

Worldpackers is very much like Workaway, but quite different as well. Let me tell you more about it.

Worldpackers has only been around since 2014. With a variety of hosts from over 140 countries worldwide, you can travel to an amazingly wide range of countries with Worldpackers.

How does Worldpackers work?

One of the greatest things about Worldpackers is that you don’t have to pay for a membership right away. You can browse through hosts without paying a dime. You can, however, not apply without a membership.

A membership for Worldpackers costs €49 per year. You can also get a couples membership for €59 per year. There are other membership packs, for more layers of safety, check them out here.  

Worldpackers may be just as expensive as Workaway, but with my discount code ‘’NOVAONTHEROAD’’, you will get €10 off your membership!

Anyhow…

After purchasing your membership, it’s time to complete your profile with your languages, skills, travel and volunteering experience, and much more.

With Worldpackers, you can even develop new skills by following short courses on their website. After completing a course there will be a certificate on your profile, which makes your acceptance rate higher. These courses don’t take longer than an hour per course, so it may be worth investing some time in learning about volunteering.

Now that you’re profile is complete, a lot of things work the same as Workaway. You can search for a host by program type, destinations, availability, and even on the purpose of your trip (what you hope to experience).

Workaway vs Worldpackers

You can make wishlists all the same the only thing that’s a tad different is applying.

Before applying you need to look at the requirements section, which tells you what kind of people can apply. This is purely technical, and often only requires you to speak a certain level of a language, have a certain age, and some more stuff.

Without the requirements, Worldpackers won’t even let you apply.

Before applying you always need to read every part of the program and make sure everything is in line with your wants and needs.

When applying, you usually need to answer some pre-entered questions. This is very simple, you just need to make sure not to copy/paste your answers into different applications. You need to make it more personal, use the host’s name, and make sure you tell them why you’re the right person for the job.

After applying, the host has a few days to respond and sometimes they do, but other times they don’t.

With hosts from 170 countries, Worldpackers’ range is very wide. But since it’s newer than Workaway, it doesn’t have as many hosts. And with more than 5 million travelers on the platform, it does get competitive and harder to secure a volunteering place.

Workaway vs Worldpackers

    Benefits of Worldpackers (what you’re paying for)

    Of course, you want to know if Worldpackers is worth your money. This is a full list of what you’ll get:

    • Access to many different hosts in 170 countries with a combined average review of 4,8 stars
    • You’ll be able to ask travelers what a host is like
    • WP Safeguard
    • Highly responsive support
    • Some more safety features (more about this later)

Now let’s compare both organizations and see which is better!

Workaway vs Worldpackers: Website use

First, it’s time to compare the ease of the websites and mobile apps. Both Workaway and Worldpackers have a very easy website and mobile app.

Both websites are very complete in giving information about the host, and everything you need to know.

The only con with Worldpackers is that you can’t directly send the host a message, you need to apply. And if you don’t meet a small requirement, you simply can’t apply and ask the host for flexibility.

However Worldpackers has one con in this part, the con is also a pro, which I will explain in a minute.

Which is better in website use: Workaway or Worldpackers?

Indecisive. They are both just as good.

is workaway safe

Workaway vs Worldpackers: Destinations and offer

Both organizations have hosts scattered around 170 countries. You can travel almost everywhere with both Worldpackers and Workaway.

But let me get back to what I said about Worldpackers’ site usage, that you can’t send a message to a host without applying first, and how this is a con.

This is also a big pro. And here’s why:

At Workaway, many hosts are quite easy and sometimes even negligent about which people they invite to their homes. They don’t always do their research on who a person is and it could make for a bad experience because you don’t connect or are very different.

It kinda comes down to this:

–              On Workaway there are more hosts than users

–              And on Worldpackers, there are more users than hosts

So Workaway hosts are having more trouble finding help at all and often just let anybody come.

Worldpackers hosts get so many applications that they have to do their research on which candidates will fit best. And this makes for a great connection between volunteers and hosts. There’s simply a better guarantee of a good experience.

So it may be harder to find a host on Worldpackers, because of less offer, but you may get a much better experience.

Which is better in destinations and offer: Workaway or Worldpackers?

It’s very hard to come up with the right verdict because everyone’s different. I would personally lean toward Worldpackers because of better quality experiences. But if you want to have a wider range of hosts and better acceptance rates, Workaway may be better for you.

But don’t choose just yet, there are more comparisons to come!

is worldpackers safe

Workaway vs Worldpackers: Safety

Now one of the most important aspects: Safety.

Both Workaway and Worldpackers are very committed to the safety aspects of volunteering. They review new host and Workaway accounts manually to keep the community fair and safe.

But unfortunately, accidents or even fights can always happen.

Example: You’ve been working for your host for a week, only to find out, they’re not as nice as you thought they’d be and you have to work way more than agreed upon. You want to leave earlier, but is this possible?

Another example: You are working in a kitchen, but slip and you break your arm. Your host doesn’t allow you to stay because you can’t work anymore. What now?

For unfortunate cases like these, there are solutions. I should tell you more about them.

workaway reviews

If this were to happen on Workaway, this is the help you’re getting:

Workaway emergency help: This is where you can get advice and help. However, they can only help you under certain circumstances, like when the host has been negligent. You can also only get help if your Workaway stay has been confirmed through the platform. There are some more small letters to this, make sure to read them here.

24-hour email support: May you stumble upon some issues or disagreements with your host and you don’t know the right way to handle them, you can get email support and they will help you through it.

Community feedback: If you’re scared of getting bad feedback, don’t be. Every review is manually reviewed by the Workaway team and they will step in and take action if needed.

Note: Workaway does not offer any kind of insurance, but they do have good recommendations here. Check it out!

There are some more aspects to safety on Workaway, but they are less relevant to mention. May you need help, make sure to bookmark this page, so you can always review the safety options yourself.

worldpackers review

If this were to happen on Worldpackers, this is the help you’re getting:

First off, Worldpackers has higher requirements for hosts that want to join, so generally this is a very good and safe sign already. Plus, their hosts have combined average reviews of 4,8 stars!

WP Safeguard: With a regular membership plan, you get access to WP Safeguard. This means that if your host doesn’t stick to the agreements and you’re leaving early, you can get a refund for unplanned accommodation for up to 3 nights. They will also help you find another host as soon as possible. Again, you can only use this if your stay has been confirmed through the Worldpackers platform.

Highly responsive support: You can get support from the Worldpackers team 7 days a week, before, during, and after your stay. With a satisfaction rate of 93%, this team is very capable and will help you as best as they can.

Ability to chat with travelers who’ve already stayed at a host: You can ask people about their experience at a certain host, to make sure it’s the right place for you to go.

Reviews: Review policy and requirements are quite strict on the platform, which makes it all the safer. You can only leave a review after your stay and every review is manually reviewed.

Note: For Worldpackers, you will also need separate travel insurance, make sure to get it here!

Make sure to check out all safety features here!

Which is better in safety: Workaway or Worldpackers?

After reviewing both organizations thoroughly on safety matters, I must say, that Worldpackers is better in this aspect. They are a lot more invested in your experience and selecting the best hosts for the platform.

So if safety is very important to you (it should be), Worldpackers is better.

is worldpackers legit

Workaway vs Worldpackers: Membership cost

I’ve already told you about the membership cost of Workaway and Worldpackers, but may you have missed it, here are the exact membership plans and prices for both organizations.

Workaway vs Worldpackers
Workaway vs Worldpackers
These packs are also available for couples.

As you can see, the cheapest plan for Workaway is €49, and the cheapest plan for Worldpackers is also €49.

It’s almost just as expensive, but with my discount code ‘’NOVAONTHEROAD’’, you can get €10 off your Worldpackers membership, which makes it only €39.

Which is better in cost: Workaway or Worldpackers?

They’re just as expensive, but assuming you’re gonna use my discount code for Worldpackers, that is the cheapest option, with €10 difference.

The final verdict: Workaway vs Worldpackers

Now it’s time for the final answer on which organization’s better.

And let me tell you first, they are both incredible options and it was very close.

But the best option is Worldpackers.

This is purely based on the quality of your experience and support. Because this is simply the most important part of volunteering.

Worldpackers is also a bit cheaper if you purchase it through this link, and use my discount code ”NOVAONTHEROAD”.

Yes, Workaway scored a bit higher in destinations and offer and was only a tad better in website use, but that’s not what volunteering is about.

It’s worth making some extra effort to find the right host, to get an incredible experience.

So now that you’ve researched which platform is better for you, it’s time to purchase your subscription!

Make sure to get your discount on Worldpackers here!

If you’re convinced that Workaway is the platform for you, be my guest. Workaway is also great and has given me a very unique experience.

After all, the choice is yours to make 😉

Happy travels!

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