I am a host on Work A Way and have hosted a constant parade of various volunteers from many places, England, France, Spain, Japan,
and now we are expecting a couple from Taiwan to arrive soon, then from Italy and China after that. It is a very much a for real site and our
volunteers have been great, some not so great, so it is what you make it to be. As a host, our helpers have made life better, more fun, and
interesting. It is for real, I am for real,and I have had a year of experience now as a host. Our volunteers had been with other hosts and were
going to other hosts when they left us. Our son has also used this site for years with success.
Take a look, The Rosa Family from Miami, Florida.
Hi Again, the Rosa Family From Miami , Florida. USA
In addition, I did learn to qualify the applicants for a home stay with us and I require the copy of the passport and travel also, tickets with their name and travel dates on it, be sent to me . With one exception when I did not do that, the first time we accepted some body, our volunteers have been wonderful, very helpful, reliable, honest, all of the positive praise I can give. A couple of them did not want to work for real, and they wanted a Play A Way instead but they did not stay long with us.
I answer each and every message I receive in some way almost immediately and in Miami, you can imagine how many requests we got.
Corey in France !
It is illegal in the USA to pay anybody to work only with room and board, you must also pay the minimum hourly wage rate and taxes if you hire anybody to work for you. Since this is a cultural exchange volunteer program, we slip under the radar on that . We are very much for real, and I love having the help I could never afford any other way, however, in Miami, the cost of groceries is so high that it does not justify to have a guy with an appetite come. We could pay a pro to do the jobs for much less than the cost of groceries to feed a man, not to mention the cost of having additional people in the home - toiletries, i e toilet paper, paper towels, electricity, sundries, even laundry detergent and fabric softener has to be purchased, the store does not give it to me for free.
The first woman I had from Jamaica, a German woman, damaged some wall photos when she tore them down and threw them into a corner with the double tape against the photo side, that cost me over $400 to repair, and an Italian dropped a cement bench and cracked it, another loss from that, and the German Jamaican woman made such a hellish mess of things in one room that it cost me days of additional work . She had also lied about where she was from, and flying in to Miami, when she was already living here for some time. I later found out from prescriptions she left behind and cards with her prior address on them and we went to verify this all. That is when I started to mandate that the volunteer send me a copy of the documents of travel and I D.
It is up to you to ask for and to send photos, no surprise is the best surprise. Gina Rosa Miami
Me and my friend really wanted to do volunteering and stumbled upon workaway. We almost did not sign up as found this thread before and got quite put off. However we still signed up and so far it has been great! We have had loads of replies and its all very easy to do. We havent actually done the volunteering yet but so far everything has worked really well so don't be scared that you wont get any replies and be put off like we almost were!
For all those that are still thinking of using the workaway site - DON'T.
The posts offered are not updated and no longer open. It is simply a money making machine for the website owner.
you can use
www.helpx.net and www.wwoof.net
Came aross this forum having googled Workaway. I am a member, 58 year old female, travel alone. I can most definitely confirm that the Workaway site is probably the best volunteer site on the net. I spent 6 months trying various volunteer sites to get to Alaska / work with husky dogs. They all ask for an up front payment of anything up to $2500 to get you a placement. After that you still have to find the flight cost etc etc. Workaway is $22 for 2 years. COME ON! As for the contributer who claimed that if you are not young..... I went on my first Workaway trip at 57. Had an amazing time in Finland with great people, all thru Workaway. Those who comment that you get a response according to what you put on your profile are dead right. If you can't sell yourself and your skills, DON'T blame the website. Look at your own method of presentation. Maybe you arent what the host is looking for. Build a bridge and get over it. Take responsibility for your own actions and shortcomings. In a very short sentence, GROW UP.
We have been using volunteers from WorkaWay for a year this past May with mostly wonderful success. I have made some lifetime friends , had many laughs, and been given so much help with our project, as well as daily help that is much needed now that I am 75 years old, my children all grown and gone, and my husband working away from our home city . He gets home only a few days a month and I would be lost without the help of the WorkAWayers who have come my way. I chose those who seem to best fit in with what we are doing here, with our work project. I answer every contact that I get though. Most of the volunteers have been honest, dedicated to helping, and happy to have such a great deal on saving the cost of hotel, apartment, and some meals also. I wish this program had existed when I was younger and traveling, I'd have taken advantage of it for certain. One thing for sure, this is a real program, with real people, and real travelers, and it is not a scam, the opposite. This site has its creator involved with how it is doing and who is doing what. I kind of wish the hosts were required to send in some type of personal verification when listing, like a copy of their I D, with and address, etc , drivers license, and / or passport, and that is what I do require including personal photos , before I will confirm anybody. Work A Way has literally saved the day for me and been amazing company and help both. Most of my volunteers have given way beyond the minimum and we have responded to that ourselves. We have taken a volunteer to a resort condo at Disney for 2 weeks and gotten a weeks tickets at Disney, taken them on trips to Key West and camping in the Florida Keys, given rides downtown to events, and gotten free passes to some area attractions also. The Latins have a great saying, '' One hand washes the other, and Both Hands wash the Face.'' ''Un mano lava la otra y dos la cara. ''
I've joined this website especially to comment on this thread, as I've had both positive and negative experiences!
I have just got home from four months in Spain volunteering at various hostels through Workaway, and it's been the most amazing time of my life, and I wouldn't have had the experience were it not for Workaway. I found it was easier to actually be quite unorganised and contact hosts while I was out there/ a couple of days before so that they know you are near-by and can turn up ASAP if a volunteer they were going to have drops out. I ended up in some quite random places but that's what made it exciting.
However, the summer before I attempted to do the same and did not get a single reply from any host (my profile was exactly the same as it was this year). I emailed the owners of the website as I think when you pay for something it shouldn't be so hit and miss. I was met with the reply that everyone else has had, that maybe my profile/photos are the problem . Also that it is incredibly rare for hosts not to reply. During my time in Spain I met an awful lot of Workawayers and every single one had had the same problem and had had a really low response rate so I think that's a real issue. It can't be too hard to do what Airbnb do and create an automatic response from hosts when they don't want you/are full. Whilst working in hostel receptions I saw the sheer amount of requests they get and it is hard to get back to every single one so Workaway need to help them out more. Also they need to filter out who is still an active host as loads of them obviously don't check their mail anymore.
So in conclusion, I have had the time of my life this summer thanks to Workaway but if they charge what they do, I really think they need to provide more of a service, it's not fair to just fire off an email saying our profiles are the problem, because that's obviously not the case, adapt more of an Airbnb model!
Work a Way states clearly that they simply provide the means for host to meet volunteer. The fee is to maintain the web site to do this, and they have a clear disclaimer also for everything.
Perhaps the host you want is simply not available, or who knows ? I have been a Host now since May 2012 , over a year, and normally have many more requests than I could hope to accommodate. Many of course are not suitable for our project for a variety of reasons, so I can not invite them, but there is a serious difficulty that I continue to encounter.
The work a wayers seem to regard this as not important, not a serious commitment on their part. They agree to 2 months, stay only 1 month and leave with perhaps a days notice. One thing if the arrangement is not working out , that is a different thing, but many just leave because they are bored, have no idea of what a work ethic is, what a commitment is, and think this is some sort of unimportant game to play. We are a private home so I take seriously who I invite here to stay and chose perhaps one person or two over dozens, that I turn down. Then to have that one person crap out on their commitment to stay with us, we are left without the help we need to count on, and the others who have been turned away have also lost out on their chance to come to our area.
I personally wish that Work a Way would incorporate some mention of honoring the commitment to the Hosts except in serious circumstances and not leave early without notice. That is not fair to the Host nor to the other work a way volunteers. Since beginning this, we have had the most outstanding work a way helpers, an English girl, an English guy, one French guy, and one Japanese girl ,all of whom stayed to the ultimate day, 3 and also 4 months, that they promised, and they plan to return. We have had many more who just were here a few days or so, then left because their'' plans changed '', , what ever that means, or they had been looking for something else ,somewhere else, and did not inform us.
Right now, I have had a French guy cancel for a 6 month stay with us that he confirmed long ago, months ago, starting now, and I have turned down so many others for this time, that I can't begin to remember. I have found, as a host , that most of the work a way helpers have no sense of honor to fulfill their commitment to stay, that they themselves agree to. As a host, I always wonder if I should over book , like the airlines do, to make sure we have the help we need when we need it. Much of our needs are house and pet sitting. Simply that. With no one here, we really are stuck. I am good at qualifying the requests, getting better all the time, but I have found no way to really know who may likely crap out on the commitment to come and / or to stay. If I am missing something, I wish some one would tell me.
Since this is an unwritten mutual agreement, I have no way nor any right to insist that a helper stay. Going both ways on this, the helper is free to leave at any time and any day and without notice. Common courtesy does demand some notice though and I see a lack of common courtesy and consideration all too often. The helpers have a ''me first, me last, and me always'' attitude . With notable exceptions as I mentioned. I hope Work a Way will make a statement to the effect regarding this issue.
I signed up as a host and I have received fake requests.