Want to see the world while improving your professional skills? Maybe you want to spend time making a positive impact, or you’re thinking of taking a gap year without the gap in your resume. We compiled the top seven sites that help you to travel while exchanging your skills for places to stay, so you can start planning your next big adventure.
Perhaps the most popular accommodations-volunteer exchange site, with an incredible 24,000 different places to live and work. Workaway allows travelers to work an agreed-upon number of hours in exchange for a place to stay and food. The opportunities vary but usually cover volunteering in a hostel, on a farm, or teaching English.
Working Traveller focuses on solving the problem of returning to your home country after traveling and having a gap on your resume. Through their portal, your profile will receive references from every single place you work for. So instead of returning home with a gap, you return home with references from all over the world. Getting paid to travel and being well-equipped for your career when you return home? That’s what puts Working Traveller on our list.
Pioneers of the term, “Experteering”, MovingWorlds matches professionals with volunteer opportunities around the world. All of their projects are sourced based on the traveler’s skills, preferences, and expertise level; in addition to their personalized matchmaking service for premium members. Their focus is on organizations that create a social impact, and the opportunities usually include lodging and food for the “experteer”.
Prepare yourself for wanderlust. Worldpackers will show you how many places all over the world will host you for free in exchange for your skills. Travelers can search by skills, locations, and also by which type of experience they would like to have (i.e. City Lights, Social Impact, or Beachside). If you’re looking at volunteering with your family, check out these Tips for Family Volunteer Vacations.
So maybe you don’t have time to see all the local attractions and volunteer, but you still want to make an impact. Visit.org has a platform for connecting travelers to culturally-immersive, impactful activities that are provided by social organizations. This allows visitors to have an out-of-the-ordinary adventure while still having a positive local impact.
Wwoof (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) link volunteers with organic farmers all over the world. The farms provide lodging and the volunteers provide work. While the trend is not new (beginning with people in England staying on farms for just the weekend), it has picked up traction with the upward trends of cheap travel and organic farming.
Love the startup life but aren’t ready to plant your feet? Connecting freelancers to startups, Gigrove takes the entrepreneurial spirit nomadic. Help a startup and get a place to stay; it’s a win-win. For more inspiration, these 6 Incredible Volunteer Abroad Trips are not to be missed!