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.
Table of Contents
- Worldpackers Review Quick Summary
- Worldpackers Full Review
- Worldpackers vs Workaway
- Final Verdict – Is Worldpackers Worth It?
- FAQs about Worldpackers
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👉 Go to Worldpackers and enter code TRAVELLEMMING for $10 off your membership
Worldpackers Review Quick Summary
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.
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
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Worldpackers is best for:
- Budget travelers
- Solo travelers
- Digital nomads
- Solo female travelers
- People taking a gap year
- Young professionals or college students
Worldpackers might not be a fit for:
- Luxury travelers
- Privacy lovers
- Lazy people
- People who are uncomfortable sharing a room with others
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Worldpackers Full Review
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
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
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.
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.
Hostels are one of the most common volunteer jobs and the most popular among first-time volunteers. Hostels tasks include cleaning, reception, guest’s 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
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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 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.
- 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
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.
Final Verdict – Is Worldpackers Worth It?
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.
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FAQs about Worldpackers
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.
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.
I believe Worldpackers does a good job making travelers feel safe while living great traveling experiences. The annual investment is more than worth it, even if you volunteer once or twice a year!
👉 Visit Worldpackers and enter code TRAVELLEMMING for $10 off
An honest review of the Worldpackers platform, from a real traveler who used Worldpackers to travel to South Korea.
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