Read time: 8 minutes
NOTE: This article contains affiliate links! If you use them, you'll receive discounts and I will receive a small commission which supports my travels :)
Are you dreaming of exploring the world but are a little light on cash? Do you crave immersive experiences? Are you a solo traveler that wants to explore an inclusive community? This is where Worldpackers - a volunteering platform - comes in.
Here, we'll walk through every step of the Worldpackers process and how it can help you explore the world while making lifelong memories - all while being super budget friendly!
I've personally done five Worldpackers projects in five different countries. From hospitality projects in Edinburgh, Scotland, to off-grid eco projects in The Amazon Rainforest. I can confidently say that Worldpackers is one of the safest and most reliable ways to travel. It has in-place safety measures, diverse project options, and thorough academy courses to kickstart your journey.
Although I am affiliated with Worldpackers, this is my honest opinion of the platform.
Do you want to live rent free on a vineyard in Tuscany? Paint a beautiful mural in Thailand and explore the country in your free time? Do you want to learn hands-on skills while you travel that you can put on a resume? You can do just this in over 140+ countries around the world!
For most of my life I never thought international travel would be possible. I was raised by my retired grandparents in rural Kentucky. In 2016 I received a scholarship to study abroad in Japan and thought that that would be my only opportunity to afford to travel. Then, I moved there long-term in 2019 to work as an English teacher. When in 2022 I learned that I would be receiving a one-month unpaid break I was suddenly thrown into the world of being financially-insecure abroad. Something I don't wish on anyone.
That's when I found an opportunity to volunteer in Hiroshima City for one month through a similar company called Workaway (a company I no longer recommend). The agreement was simple. I volunteered doing basic tasks for a few hours a day. In turn, I received free accommodation and other benefits like tour recommendations and meals! I essentially had a month of no living costs while traveling.
Suggested: Worldpackers vs. Workaway - coming soon.
I was in a good place to try out volunteering for the first time. It was only a two hour bus ride to my home in Okayama City. I decided that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving this a test run.
What unfolded was the most fun I'd had in Japan in years. I had the opportunity to intimately explore a city, brush up my business Japanese, and create a community abroad.
I went on to do this in five different countries, and have found so much beauty in the lifestyle. You can experience this, too!
With Worldpackers volunteer for accommodation arrangement, it's the perfect option for even the tightest travel budget.
Essentially, the funds you need to travel to the project is your biggest expense.
When I volunteered in Seattle, I saved over $5000 in one month of travel because I volunteered three days a week.
When I volunteered at an eco project in The Amazon Rainforest, I received accommodation, three balanced meals a day, and free tours. Normally valued at over $500, I was able to explore hidden waterfalls, Amazonian farms, submerged caves, and take a canoe down a tributary of The Amazon River.
Think of how much you will be able to save!
Worldpackers offers a promotion each month to help travelers like you see the world.
October, 2023 - Worldpackers will be raffling off new members and people who have created an account, but aren't members yet, for a chance to win one of three airplane tickets worth up to $500!
To qualify you need to complete the certification, "How to Be an Amazing Worldpackers."
As a solo female traveler myself, safety is my number one priority. There are inherent risks with traveling, but I've felt incredibly safe at every project I've been to. I went directly into a warm community of people who are also traveling. The hosts are often locals, so if I needed any help, I had connections.
One of the best parts of Worldpackers is that you can see reviews made by previous volunteers. There is safety in transparency.
Before going to a project, you can message past volunteers to ask any questions!
If you need to leave a project for safety reasons, Worldpackers has an established help team to communicate with. See more below about amounts of insurance you can get with different membership plans.
A unique draw to Worldpackers is the diversity of projects. You can harvest olives at an eco-project in Greece, hit the slopes in Austria, teach English in Vietnam, instruct yoga in Costa Rica, or help in a traditional ryokan in Japan.
To find the best project for you, Worldpackers has an easy filtering system. This helps you to find a good fit between project, host, and the type of experience you want to have!
The first step after you sign up for Worldpackers (discounts!!), ready to start your volunteering journey, is to create your profile.
This is where you get to show yourself off! Highlight your skills, personality, and goals. When you make your profile engaging and authentic, you are more likely you are to get accepted by hosts. Here are some tips to create a profile that will catch their eyes!
This isn't a formal resume; be yourself, and be detailed. Showcase your skills, passions, and travel goals! Why are you great for the type of project that you're applying to?
Be sure to emphasize your skills and what you can bring to the host community. Whether it's teaching, cooking, or web design, let hosts know why you're an asset.
A friendly smile goes a long way, even in the digital world. Upload a friendly photo and write a captivating bio that tells hosts who you are beyond your skills.
Once you've created your profile, you can search projects and connect with hosts! Applying is how you get approved. And, trust me, it's always exciting to get the approval message.
Here you can find any type of project you want in any area of the world. Bonus, you'll always see if Worldpackers is running a promotion to make your travels even cheaper.
For this example, let's use the life-changing project I went to in The Amazon Rainforest!
The application process is straightforward. You state how long you're able to stay, flexibility, and answer basic questions for the host to review!
One of the great things about Worldpackers is that you can actually see host response rate and who needs help immediately. Reportedly, 97% of members who send three applications receive responses from hosts.
There are three pricing plans. While each one allows you to apply to projects around the world, the Solo Pack is the most recommended because of the amazing benefits!
Solo Trips $49 a year/$39 with code ENCOMPASSEDTRAVELS
This is the most basic plan and it offers access to the Worldpackers academy as well as applying to hosts.
Solo Pack $99 a year/$79 a year with code ENCOMPASSEDTRAVELS
This is the most popular choice. It goes beyond just applying to hosts and volunteering. With these plans you get access to courses that teach you how to make travel into a lifestyle and get paid to do it.
Worldpackers has the potential to change how you experience the world. While you're backpacking on a budget, you are also living like a local. This opens the door for total cultural immersion. You can make the best friendships of your life through your volunteering. At the same time, you can learn hands on skills to put on a resume!
This is one of the safest, budget-friendly ways to travel the world.
Any questions? Feel free to reach out and I'll be happy to guide you through the process.