Workaway is without doubt my favourite way to travel around the world for so many reasons. Getting to see how other families live in other places, enjoying the company of other adults whilst travelling alone with a child are just a couple of them. I have had good and bad experiences but I have taken something from them all and I am so looking forward to lots more amazing workaways over the next year in all parts of the world!
What is Workaway?
If you don’t know what workaway is then you can check out the website here. In short it is a website that connects people who wish to travel, with people who can host them. In return for being hosted you help with jobs, perform tasks or work for the family or business. Accommodation and food are included. On the website it described itself as “The world’s leading community for sustainable travel and cultural exchange. Promoting Volunteering, Family, Homestays, Farmstays, Working Holidays, Travel Buddies, Language Learning and Cultural Exchange.” There are such a wide range of different jobs that you can do from housework and childcare to DIY and building work.
Why workaway is great for single parents
When you travel alone with your child/children you can find yourself craving some serious adult conversation. The great thing about Workaway is that you get to live with other families and therefore will have other grown ups around to talk to. Even something as small as having a glass of wine and a chat in the evening can make all the difference. After spending a month doing AirBnb across the US this was one of the things I really missed.
Why Workaway is fun for kids
Travelling full time with an adult can be tough on kids. With Workaway you can stay with other families and be sure that they have someone to play with or other kids for them to hang out with. I also think it’s really important for kids to see different walks of life from a young age. They become more adaptable, learn how things work in different houses. Every family has different rules! Being able to work with your environment is an essential life skill. Being able to talk to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds
Why workaway is ideal for worldschoolers
As a worldschooling family workaways have provided us with some stability and helped us get into a routine. When we travel and stay in AirBnb or with friends for short periods of time we are in “holiday mode” but when we do workaways it’s real life. Families doing daily chores, homework and going to school. So it’s much easier for me and Nyneave to get into our daily routine and get on with school work.
Why workaway is great as a digital nomad
Even though you are required to work 5 hours per day during week days as a workaway, I still love doing it. Even though I also have to carry out my usual work tasks such as managing social media for clients, writing proposals and promoting myself. Being in a home environment, much like with worldschooling gives me a much better work routine. As with worldschooling it can be easy to let things slide when you feel like you are on a never ending holiday. When the families are up in the morning for work or school, I get up and get on with work. It also means I don’t feel as much pressure to earn money and have a safety net when clients don’t pay. Rent and food is covered!
Workaway is a great way to meet people
I can honestly say that of the 4 Workaways I have done so far, 3 of the families will be friends for life. I will 100% go back and visit them all. Infact I can’t wait to! The other one you can read about here in my blog How to survive your first workaway. The kinds of people that open their homes up to strangers are always interesting people. The kind you can have long talks with and who can broaden your mind. Living with a family you get to know them really fast! It’s intense and generally a big learning curve because everyone is so different but it means you build bonds with those people fast and they are real friendships that I hope will last for life.
Workaway is amazing if you are on a budget
If you are looking for ways to explore the world on a shoe string there is no better way! You get room and food taken care of and all you have to do it help out 5 hours during week days. The rest of the time is your own to do what you like or explore. You could book flights somewhere with a few hundred pounds in your pocket and stay for a month easily.
Workaway gives you the opportunity to give back
There is something really special about going into someone else’s home and helping them. I personally love it. Especially when you help someone who really needs it. Staying with other single parents who have 4 kids to look after. Just being there for them as an extra pair of hands. I can’t imagine how hard it is to look after 4 kids on your own but I love being able to help out. Our most recent one has been helping out a mum who has just had a new baby. So rewarding!
Tips on how to find workaways that accept children & families
- Approach other families – They will be more likely to accept you. I have found other single parent families even more so.
- Be clear about what you can offer – Even if you are just applying as house help, make it clear where your strengths are and what you can bring to the family. Are you super organised or an amazing cook? Tell them.
- Personalise your message – Don’t send generic messages to each host. Read their profile and make reference to what they have said they are looking for.
- Send lots of messages! – Sorry but you will get lots of non responses. Sit there for a few hours firing out messages to anyone you would be happy to stay with.
- Try different countries – Some countries/cities are easier than others. For example I didn’t get a single response from Sydney hosts. Very popular city with lots of single travellers so I guess they don’t need to take on a family.
- Complete your profile in detail and keep it updated – Your profile is what can really help to sell you skills. Ensure you complete it and add lots of details and pictures.
- Choose appropriate “work” – You are expected to work 4-5 hours per day so you need to make sure that you can fit that in around your kids. If you have young children then I would recommend choosing childcare or house work roles. That way you can easily manage both.
I honestly can’t say enough how grateful I am to all of the people who have hosted us over the last few months. I recommend workaway to anyone! It really us an amazing way to travel the world. Give it a try. Sign up here.