Well I want tell my experience,I have a simple opinion about workaway, is a fantastis place for host ,but not as good for volunteers is timeconsuming and tough to find a place most of them are isolated and your possibilities to be stuck in the middle of nowhere are high.
If you arent young, english speaking and travel alone your posssibilities decreasing enoumously...
I was reading this thread about 2 hours ago after typing 'workaway review' into google. This really had me umming and ahhing about joining workaway. I decided to take the risk as there was a particularly suitable job advertised on there, and what the hell it's only 22 euros right?
I sent my first request and had a reply within minutes! (unfortunatly my request was declined) but at least I can say that these adverts are active and I still have 2 years to find a job!
I'll keep looking and update when I find something or correct this if I see anything suspicious.
Well, I have tried make an itinerary trough south of france and I had only a positive answer,I tried again in Portugal , and now in Ireland more or less the rating of success,so I have been bamboozled about the possibilities however reality is depressing...
I have a good profile I was gardener,I have experience farming and I was housekeeping in my twenties during the summers so whats the problem...may be I am not veg not young not english native so resuming instead of travelling this summer I have sour and grapes.
Ah everything is excellent in their reviews,I dont believe it,its a circle of interests,the volunteers dont tell the true because want get places,and the hostess needs cheap hand,its is the pure reality...
Ok, so I wrote to 12 hosts in total so far and have heard back from 6. 4 of them have offered me and my friend work in Portugal.
Maybe Workaway is not the best of these sites, but I wouldn't know as I haven't had to sign up for any others. It has worked well enough for me, and unless these are fictional jobs, (will find out in a month) workaway certainly isn't a con.
I just signed up so as to contribute in this post.
A week ago, a friend of me sent me an email about workaway and both of us were very excited about the whole thing. I signed up immediately and I started applying in several hosts.
Actually, we are on an overland trip in Africa and our next destination is Tanzania. You can check our blog thepinproject.blogspot.com.
I found three amazing hosts (not social working, no NGOs, no orphanages but beach resorts!!!) and I sent them customized messages according to their needs and our skills as well.
How on earth a high class beach resort in Zanzibar can work with volunteers is another thing that can be discussed in another post.
In 10 days time, I did not receive a single answer from anybody while the workaway team was advising me to improve my profile, add photos, add videos and so on otherwise I am not that interesting for the hosts.
The difference is that I am a volunteer.. I am not applying for a job.. I am applying for a single volunteer position.. Why I have to present myself like I present myself who chases a job of 20.000 dolars, mr David from workaway can explain us..
In the meanwhile, I could see that all three hosts were active and used to log in every three days to the website. That means that they were ignoring all the received messages by me and anybody else.
After an upset email, I received my easiest refund ever.. Mr David was more than happy to give my money back just like that..
He never replied back to my privacy inquiries and how/why the workaway team monitors and controls all the communication process and can check also your messages.
The day after the refund, I noticed that one of the hosts updated his profile by posting "AT THE MOMENT NO NEED FOR HELP ALREADY HAVE VOLUNTEERS"
I personally believe that these guys have only a few hosts and all the rest is for the poor travellers that they think they can save money by using them.
Off course, I cannot see how 5store lodges, high class lodges and safari camps of 500 dolars per night can work with volunteers!!!!!
Mr David can explain to us why these "professionals" do not reply to the poor travellers.
Hi Nikos et al
I am a host and have used workaway and wooff for more than 5 years.
If you think you do not have to present yourself, I would certainly not reply to you.
You are asking to come and stay in my house and I have to take your word for it? No if you can't be bothered, so can't the hosts.
We have had nearly all good experiences with both organisations and I have seen the requests coming in over the years going tenfold or more. This week I received 60 requests and I would not have the time to answer them all, although I try with a short, polite answer and encouragement.
It seems that this kind of volunteering has taken hold in all parts of the world and bringing on more requests. We are also getting a lot of requests from mature people, so the spread is getting thinner.
High class establishments can work with volunteers, don't think you will be the only person working there, you will be asked to help paying staff. I live in France, where the government is thinking of not allowing volunteers to help out in case they take the job of a paid worker. This would be a shame as we enjoy our experience of meeting volunteers from all parts of the world and we will never be in a position to pay a worker.
As with all things in live, there are good and bad experiences and I think you get back what you put in to it. So if you can't be bothered to introduce yourself in a description, you will not get answers if and when you suddenly need accommodation.
Be positive and try to help each other, that was the original idea of all these organisations.
I truly believe that you have to present yourself properly (even though everybody uses Facebook so as to scan everybody's profile, photos, personal life and so on). And anybody who has access on my profile and the personal messages can verify this. Obviously, as there is no privacy within the workaway site, all the workaway team which has access can verify that my profile was full of personal details, contact details and photos of volunteering (painting walls, cooking etc etc).
BUT, we are talking about a volunteer. If you are an employer and you are looking for something professional, go for it!! In this life you get what you pay.
You want someone to join your team and start helping but without paying him.
Don't tell me about the exchange of food and accommodation because 50% of Africa's placement are paid placements where the workawayer has to pay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If that makes any sense..
What is more, you are looking for professional attitude, background and personality when you are not willing to reply to all the 60 emails and so being unprofessional to anybody that found your hosting interesting and tries to make his own travel plan. Come on..
Its not very difficult for the host or the workaway team to set a period of some days and after this period, no reply means no interest at all. But neither you as a host nor the Workaway are smart enough to end up the frustration of people who are waiting for a reply by introducing this simple thing.
Finally, I am not an idiot to believe that high class accommodation establishments work ONLY with volunteers. They are smart enough to have ten locals by paying them almost nothing and using also volunteers for all the rest.. However, these "hosts" are the best advertisements for sites like workaway as I am sure that they do not exist but they are there to attract more and more volunteers who prefer this compared to an NGO or an orphanage.