View of the author with South Koreans during her exchange with Worldpackers 

Worldpackers Review – Is the Exchange Platform Right for You?

If you’re considering working or volunteering abroad and looking for a comprehensive Worldpackers review, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re a budget traveler then you’ve probably learned many ways to stay on budget while you travel. But, when you first learn that you can exchange your skills for accommodation, it seems too good to be true.

That’s why I was skeptical when I first stumbled upon Worldpackers. The idea of volunteering in a foreign country is both exciting and terrifying. But, from my personal experience, it only takes a few minutes of exploring the Worldpackers platform to fall in love with them. 

And if you’re still wondering if Worldpackers is right for you, in this detailed Worldpackers review I will cover my experience with Worldpackers, the pros and cons of Worldpackers, how it works, and the programs it offers so you can decide for yourself.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!

Worldpackers Review Quick Summary

View of the Worldpackers Homepage

Worldpackers connects traveling volunteers with hosts around the world through a community of experienced travelers and hosts. Travelers can open a profile, and search through hundreds of volunteering experiences.

When I first found Worlpackers back in 2019, I liked the diversity of countries and volunteering programs they offered. More than anything, I loved the simple newbie-proof user interface and the rating system that allowed me to find the perfect host for me in Seoul, South Korea.

It was my first time volunteering and staying in a country for more than a few nights, and I was scared my host would end up taking advantage or exploiting me. But, I felt reassured when I found out about Worldpackers travel insurance, which relocates you if you have a negative experience. 

The annual fee of $49 for a solo traveler and $59 for couples is a bargain when you consider all the benefits you get, like tips for your trip, certified hosts, honest reviews, and guidance through the whole volunteering experience. You can even lower that fee further by claiming your $10 membership discount here.

View of the author in front of a traditional house in South Korea

Pros of Worldpackers

  • Free accommodation while traveling
  • Meet other fellow travelers
  • Get a profound cultural experience
  • Learn new skills and grow experience
  • Honest review system to pick the best hosts
  • Worldpackers insurance for a safe travel
  • Certified and verified hosts
  • Community blog and online support

Cons of Worldpackers

  • There is a character limit to reviews
  • Hosts can ask for a volunteer to work up to 32 hours
  • You live with your boss and you’re usually on call 

✨ Ready to check out Worldpackers? Click here to claim $10 off your membership fee

Worldpackers is best for:

  • Budget travelers
  • Solo travelers
  • Digital nomads
  • Backpackers
  • Solo female travelers
  • People taking a gap year
  • Young professionals or college students

Worldpackers might not be a fit for:

  • Luxury travelers
  • Complainers
  • Privacy lovers
  • Lazy people
  • People who are uncomfortable sharing a room with others

👉 Claim $10 off your Worldpackers membership with our promo code now

Worldpackers Full Review

View of the author in a park in Seoul
Seoul is one of the places you can travel to with Worldpackers

So that was a quick summary of Worldpackers. Now let’s dive in deep into what Worldpackers is, how it works, and the volunteer programs that it offers to its community of travelers.

How Worldpackers Works

View of the Community Blog page of Worldpackers
Worldpackers offers additional resources for volunteers

Worldpackers website is a platform with a supportive community dedicated to connecting volunteers with potential hosts. They offer two different memberships with just one annual fee. One of $49 for solo travelers and the other of $59 for couples.

After opening a profile you can search positions by destination, skill, or by keyword. You will see the requirements for your volunteer job on your host’s profile. You’ll also find the time they take to answer back, if they are searching for volunteers, and reviews of volunteers that stayed with them. 

Most hosts will ask you to work around 25 hours and you can use the rest of the time for sightseeing. Besides a free place to stay, some hosts offer free meals, laundry service, free tickets to attractions, tours, and a medium of transportation like bikes or scooters. 

After your experience, Worldpackers will invite you to write a review. Remember not to let any host pressure you to do odd jobs or write a false review. Always aim to write honest reviews, as they’re the guide for future helpers.

👉 Did you know? In most cases, you don’t need an extra visa besides the tourist visa to be a volunteer? You can volunteer in most countries just with the same paperwork you would need for a normal trip. 

Worldpackers Programs and Volunteer Positions

View of the Worldpackers Volunteer Positions page

Use the filters to search for volunteer openings

The Worldpackers membership offers a variety of volunteer options for all kinds of travelers. Either if you’re looking to save money or you just want to experience the culture like a local, you’ll find a stay that fits you.

The three main Worldpackers programs include the Work Exchange Program, the Eco Program and, the Social Impact Program. The Work Exchange focuses on hostels and guest houses. The Eco Program sports opportunities in eco-villages, farms, and permaculture projects. The Social Impact Program offers openings in schools, NGOs, and social projects.


View of two woman holding a dog in Worldpackers website

NGOs are Non-governmental organizations that are supporting humanitarian causes like clean drinking water for underdeveloped countries, universal education, and reducing waste.

NGOs need multiple skills at the same time so you can find NGOs that need volunteers for gardening, painting, and construction, and NGOs that need helpers for marketing, photography, and video making. 


View of a long table with chairs in Worldpackers website
Example of how the page of a hostel looks

Hostels are one of the most common volunteer jobs and the most popular among first-time volunteers. Hostels tasks include cleaning, reception, guest entertainment, and marketing. This was the one I did during my first work exchange with Worldpackers.

From my experience, it’s the best type of work exchange to meet lots of new people. I’m still friends with three German girls I met back at my hostel in Seoul.

👉 Pro Tip: If it’s your first time volunteering and you feel insecure about going to secluded destinations, you can use Worldpackers filters to look for experiences in hostels in main cities. Hostels are a good option to help you lose the fear. If you decide you would like to get a job in a hostel, we have a detailed guide for that!

Farm and Permaculture Projects

View of a man doing gardening work in Worldpackers website

In both farming and permaculture jobs, volunteers can work in gardening, taking care of animals, and sowing the land. The difference between normal farming and permaculture is that permaculture looks to create sustainable agriculture through self-sustained methods and organic farming.

Some of the farming opportunities also include tasks about social media, content creation, and web development.


View of School volunteering section in Worldpackers website

School volunteering opportunities are mostly about teaching sports and languages to kids. It’s also one of the best options to do social work and make an impact on someone’s life while traveling the world. Besides teaching, you can help with manual labor, gardening, cleaning, cooking, video making, and marketing.


View of a room in Worldpackers website

Homestay’s volunteer openings are great for experiencing life as a local. You get to live with the host family and help them with their tasks. Some homestays tasks are child care, housekeeping, cooking, and gardening. But, you can also find homestays in which you’ll do tasks like teaching, marketing, video making, photography, arts, and social work. 

Surf Camps

View of people learning how to surf
Help out a surfing camp in Spain!

Surf camps are one of the most fun volunteering jobs in Worldpackers. The best is you don’t necessarily have to know how to surf to help! You can learn how to surf while you help with cooking, cleaning, making videos, or marketing tasks. Some surf camps also request volunteers that can teach yoga or other classes.

Holistic Center

View of two woman meditating

If you’re looking for a more relaxing, slow-paced, and healing experience while traveling, then you can volunteer at a holistic center. Holistic centers help people to develop a healthy and mindful lifestyle while learning about themselves and connecting with nature.

You can help with tasks like social work, gardening, farming, cooking, cleaning, photography, content writing, and video making.

👉 Pro Tip: When choosing a place to volunteer, take into account not only your skills but your final goal. If you want to meet new people, then a hostel probably works better for you. But, if you want to make a social impact or immerse yourself in the culture, you should look for a homestay, a school, a farm, or an NGO. 

Where You Can Go with Worldpackers

View of the author sitting in front of a Traditonal House in South Korea
Me in South Korea during my trip with Worldpackers

Worldpackers offers volunteering opportunities in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania, North America, Central America, South America, and even the Caribbean! They cover all the popular gap year destinations, plus many more spots around the world.

Let’s take a quick look at some of Worldpacker’s more popular destinations for volunteering. 

👉 Click the country names to explore their offerings, but be sure to enter code TRAVELLEMMING at checkout for your $10 discount:

  • Mexico –  Mexico is great for working in hostels, farms, eco-villages and, permaculture projects while you practice a bit of Spanish, and enjoy all the many fun things to do in Mexico in your free time. 
  • Brazil – Brazil is the home of Worldpackers, where everything started and so, you can find all kinds of volunteer opportunities in hostels, farms, campings, permaculture projects, pousadas, eco-villages, and holistic centers.
  • Costa Rica – Costa Rica is famous for its focus on nature and not on war, which is why you’ll find volunteer opportunities in eco-villages, eco-lodges, campings, hostels, farms, and NGOs. Check out our guide to the best Costa Rica destinations.
View of authentic dishes from South Korea
With Worldpackers you can experience the local culture and gastronomy
  • Thailand – Thailand is a dream destination for many people. With Worldpackers not only you can travel to Thailand, but you can volunteer in hostels, NGOs, farms, schools, eco-villages, guest houses, permaculture projects, and homestays.
  • Vietnam – If you’re looking for school opportunities, Vietnam offers a lot of them! You will also find opportunities in NGOs, homestays, guest houses, permaculture projects, and eco-villages.
  • United Kingdom – Either if you’re looking for a farm in the countryside or a hostel in the city, United Kingdom sports it all. You can also volunteer at guest houses, eco-lodges, holistic centers, and homestays.
  • Italy – If you’re looking for a place where you can easily move around while volunteering, head over to Italy, where you can work in hostels, farms, eco-lodges, permaculture projects, guest houses, campings, homestays, and schools.

👉 Heading to Europe? Don’t miss Travel Lemming’s Ultimate Guide to Backpacking in Europe so you don’t miss a single destination you love. 

  • Portugal – You can volunteer in Portugal on guest houses, hostels, permaculture projects, eco-lodges, farms, homestays, and camping, all while practicing your Portuguese.
  • Spain – If you’re into breathtaking coasts and big waves, volunteer at a surf camp in Spain! You can also find opportunities in hostels, guest houses, eco-villages, farms, and holistic centers.
  • United States – The United States is to many people in the world the land of the dreams. You can meet it by volunteering on hostels, farms, NGOs, homestays, guest houses, campings, and holistic centers.

Worldpackers vs Workaway

View of the Workaway Homepage

Worldpackers and Workaway are both online platforms to do work exchange and volunteering abroad, each with its pros and cons. You can browse both websites for free, but to see all the hosts in Workaway, you have to join the platform.

While Workaway is an older platform and sports more hosts than Worldpackers, it filters negative reviews from their hosts, which makes it impossible for potential volunteers to make fully informed decisions.

While Workaway offers higher chances to get volunteer opportunities because of its many hosts, Worldpackers is ideal for new travelers as it is the only platform that sports an online community with travel tips, and constant online support through all the volunteering experience. 

If something goes wrong with any of your work exchanges, you can immediately communicate with Worldpackers to claim your insurance and get relocated at no extra cost. That’s why I chose them as my platform when I had to personally choose between Worldpackers and Workaway.

If you want a more detailed comparison, check out my full breakdown of Worldpackers vs Workaway.

Final Verdict – Is Worldpackers Worth It? 

View of the author wearing a beautiful Hanbok

WorldPackers is ideal for travelers who want a free bed while traveling but also for people who want to create honest relationships with the local community, learn new skills, make new friends, contribute to a greater cause and grow as a person.

In my experience, the annual membership fees of Worldpackers pay for a lot more than just the platforms, it means getting more support, a community, travel safety, and life experiences.

👉 Visit Worldpackers and enter code TRAVELLEMMING for $10 off

FAQs about Worldpackers

View of the author in a busy market in South Korea

Is Worldpackers legitimate?

Worldpackers is a legitimate online platform that helps travelers find volunteering opportunities around the world. The platform sports an experienced online community and different programs in eco projects, organic farms, hostels, schools, and animal sanctuaries.

Is Worldpackers better than Workaway?

Worldpackers is better than Workaway for volunteers who wish to have a supportive community through their volunteering process. Worldpackers also sports unique and exclusive insurance that guarantees a fair exchange experience as well as an extensive pool of certified hosts. 

Is Worldpackers safe?

Worldpackers is a safe work exchange platform for travelers and volunteers. Worldpackers verifies the identities of all hosts. Worldpackers also features honest reviews about each volunteering opportunity and offers the WP insurance that relocates volunteers to a new place when something goes wrong with their work exchange.


Worldpackers is a lot more than a platform to exchange free labor for a place to stay, it’s a community that believes in the importance of cultural exchange and social impact. For more tips on how to travel on a budget, check out this guide to how to find cheap places to stay in Europe.

👉 Visit Worldpackers and enter code TRAVELLEMMING for $10 off

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An honest review of the Worldpackers platform, from a real traveler who used Worldpackers to travel to South Korea.

Product Brand: Worldpackers

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  1. My experience differed greatly, and I wanted to give a different perspective since I used this review and another as my basis for paying Worldpackers.

    I have applied to 18 open opportunities. 10 never garnered a response. 6 got canned emails saying they already had filled it (meaning a lot of the posted stuff is not updated or the hosts lie) and 2 that seemed interested. I had multiple day/multiple message conversations with both. The hosts asked me to set aside time to interview during Zoom. The day of, I got a message from both (separate days) saying they just filled it (after not mentioning this was a possibility when they had me block off times days in advance.

    I’ve read a few people have had trips canceled by hosts after they’ve confirmed travel, at the expense of the traveler. And from the behavior I’ve seen on the site from hosts who care little for others time, I can forsee this happening to me. I’ll also add 2 of the hosts that didn’t respond at all still have 100% response rating, hmmm.

    So now my choices are to admit I threw away 60 dollars to be annoyed for 3 weeks by a bunch of not opened opportunities or keep trying and risk a host that just cancels whenever they feel like it. They do not vet the behavior of their hosts well, and their site seems dishonest in my view.

    1. Hi Gregory – I am sorry to hear your frustrating experience. I just want to jump in with a few suggestions based on a conversation I had with Worldpackers. First, I suggest reaching out to Worldpackers support as they can help in these cases. My main suggestion would be to just keep trying, and to ask their help with improving your search process. Worldpackers is a platform for connecting with hosts, it’s not a service that promises a particular result. Bear in mind that you can use their filters to narrow down your search to the potential hosts who are the best possible fit for you. That may help you to get a better response rate.

      Also, bear in mind that the response rate listed is calculated among the 10 prior applications received by that host. In terms of cancellations, Worldpackers has their WP Insurance for last minute cancellations (within 7 days). If you know people who have been canceled on they should contact Worldpackers support at so that they can address it with that host. Again, Worldpacker is a platform for connecting volunteers and hosts. There are of course also going to be some people on both sides of that equation who don’t adhere to community guidelines, as in any platform, but they do their best to address it.

  2. Hi, I am a host with World Packers (joined last year) and I found them great and very attentive when I was joining and could actually speak to ‘humans’. I have had lots of volunteers since then I am so pleased to say and found their website one of the best I have used/ looked at using in comparison to others i.e. Helpx, Workaway etc. However, in the last 3 months my opinion is changing somewhat as I have been trying to contact them (not robots) regarding review issues from parties of 2 that although have separate profiles are linked together and although you get a request to leave two reviews and so do the volunteers me as the host can only read one the other one is not visible and I think that is very unfair. So I am trying to get this sorted but so far my e-mails to their support service have gone unanswered other than an inane acknowledgment from a robot. I have heard from other volunteers that they are also finding it difficult to contact Worldpackers. Does anyone have any experience with this or indeed a contact number in the UK for them? I do still have the number from the agent I originally dealt with and all you get is her voicemail but no return of message. Can anyone help?

    1. Hi Charlotte, hosts can contact Worldpackers at I know they have been hit by the same staffing issues as many companies lately, but have been dramatically growing their team lately. Worldpackers says they’ve doubled their support team size since November, so I’d suggest trying that email above now. Thank you for reading along and for sharing your perspective on Worldpackers as a host!

  3. Gregory B – I am sorry about the experiences you have encountered with hosts. However, I as a host with worldpackers have received many volunteers since joining last year and mainly all have been great. I also have a lot booked for the year ahead.
    I understand that you might continue to see hosts keeping dates open (I do as well) when they might reject a volunteer but you should think why this is and not just that the host can’t be bothered etc. In my case when I keep dates open after rejecting an application it is usually because the gender of the applicant does not fit in with what accommodation I might have available.I am not a hostel where all genders are crammed together. My accommodation takes a maximum of 2 to a room with private facilities and it is same gender to a room especially if they do not know each other. If they are different genders travelling together and comfortable with sharing then I have no problem with them sharing but I would not put 2 different genders together and expect them to share a room together. I also try to age match volunteers. So there could be a few different scenarios why an application is rejected. I respond to all of my applicants within a few hours as I understand the importance of this to them for them to secure further locations as quickly as possible to allow them to continue their journey with as little stress as possible it is as important for me as it is for volunteers to respect each other. So please do not paint all hosts in the same picture and I am sorry about the experiences you have had

  4. I am a host at workaway, helpx and worldpackers (potential only). It may be completely different for a host vs a traveler, but here is my experience:

    -workaway answers my questions/ concerns usually immediately and never more than 24 hours. they approved my profile in a matter of days, and review every change I make before it goes live. I know have 30+ 5 star hosting reviews.

    -helpx took months to respond for the initial profile. now that my profile is live, I can change it without anyone reviewing it. they have never responded to any helpdesk notes I sent. There seem to be many good travelers, but have never had success with dates lining up.

    trying to sign up with worldpackers to host – no response to from their helpdesk in more than 2 weeks. I asked a couch surfing friend that used them successfully to travel (and recommended I host) and he said they were superslow to ever respond.

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