Making Money | How you can save money using workaway for travel

Making Money | How you can save money using workaway for travel

Looking for ways to travel longer for less money using workaway for travel? I traveled in Guatemala for 8 months and my total accommodation bill came to less than $100. The $100 was for nights in a hostel in between Workways. My total is on average $10 a day. In one month, I spent only $315 on “living expenses”.  As someone without a fat saving account and a limited monthly income using Workaway was a lifesaver!


So how does workaway work?

  • First things first, you need to sign up and pay a small fee. Don’t worry about the fee, it is 100% worth it.
  • Next, you need to complete the profile as best you can. Make sure you add some nice images and don’t forget to spell check! Some Workaways can be very competitive so make sure your profile is showing you in the best light.
  • Once you are all set up you can begin searching.
  • I normally search by country I’m going to and then look over all of the available Workaway places there. If you are looking for a particular type of job then you can narrow down your search.
  • Make a quick list of things that are important to you. For example, if you need good wifi and prefer your own room, you will need to check this. My first Workaway there was no wifi in our accommodation and there was 3 of us sharing a very small room. Don’t just go on what the profile says either, email and ask questions about the accommodation and things on your list.
  • When you find opportunities you like the look of you can save them in a list. I normally do through quickly and save all the ones I like the look of, then I go back later and look through each one in more detail.
  • Once you have narrowed down your list, start emailing the hosts. Remember to ask questions about the work, accommodation and anything else not clear from the profile.

Workaways vary drastically! I have stayed in some pretty awful places with easy work and lovely people. I have also stayed in some nice places with not so nice people and really challenging work.

Some of my Workaway highlights:

I spent a week in a Guatemalan Cooking School

Working for an adventure tour company Ox Expeditions in Guatemala. I was supposed to stay for 2 weeks…I ended up there for 2 months! And I got to climb the three main volcanos there for FREE as part of my job.

Volunteering for OX Expeditions I got to do some pretty cool stuff!

What is generally included with Workaway:

  • Accommodation – This is the main pull for me because you will normally be accommodated in a house you also get access to a kitchen. Once I even had access to a washing machine! That saved me about $10 a week on laundry!
  • Food – sometimes you may get lucky and get food. I personally always look out for these ones!
  • WiFi – This is a dealbreaker for me! I need to have access to wifi so I can work my normal job alongside my volunteering. At one place I was staying the wifi was broken and it cost me over $50 that week in coffee/ drinks at a local coffee shop, that’s a lot out of my budget!

What Workaway hosts normally expect from you:

The normal working day is 4-5 hours a day. Make sure you double check if it’s 5-7 days a week…some expect 7! That said if there are 4 volunteers and only one person needs to be there then you are generally left to work it out between you. The hosts don’t mind so long as the work is done. For example, if I wanted to take a few days off I would offer to cover extra shifts so my fellow volunteers could take time off too.

Why Workaway is amazing:

  • Save food and accommodation money to spend on other things, like scuba diving and salsa lessons
  • Meet other travelers
  • Sometimes you earn extra money through tips
  • Meet and work with local people
  • The work is often really interesting
  • Great way to build your CV – especially for those travelers on a gap year but my first few Teaching English as a Foreign Language jobs were volunteer positions I got through Workaway
  • I’ve also met some of the most incredible friends through volunteering together who I’ve ended up traveling to other places with. For me, this is probably the biggest highlight.

Why Workaway is not a good idea

  • If you don’t like slumming it a bit – OK so if your idea of traveling is 5* hotels and fancy meals each night, this is not for you. As I said before I have stayed in some pretty nasty places and some amazing ones. You never really know until you get there!
  • You don’t want to commit to working 4-5 hours a day during your trip
  • If you don’t like people – most of the Workaway jobs have some kind of customer service focus unless you are building or gardening, so if you aren’t really a people person this probably isn’t for you.

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Looking for ways to travel for less? I have been travelling Guatemala for over 2 months now and my total accommodation bill comes to less than $30. The $30 was for 3 nights in a hostel in between Workways. My total is on average $10 a day. So in one month, I have spent only $315 on “living expenses”. As someone without a fat saving account and a limited monthly income using Workaway has been a lifesaver!

Are You Traveling soon?

Be sure to check Skyscanner for the best flight deals.

I never travel anywhere without Travel Insurance. If you are looking for insurance be sure to check World Nomads first.

This post was proofread by Grammarly




  1. July 2, 2017 / 12:33 pm

    Thank you for such a good passage discussed. I really have a great time understanding it.

  2. July 2, 2017 / 12:42 pm

    You gave tremendous positive points there. I did a search on the topic and found most peoples will agree with your blog.

  3. Sala
    August 6, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Hi Claire! just discovered your blog and am loving it, as I am planning to quit my job and head to Guatemala for some time this November. I am currently in Detroit. Thank you for sharing about workaway – i plan to register, do most of the listing require Spanish proficiency? I currently speak none, but plan to learn there, want to make sure I am qualified before I pay the fee!

    • August 6, 2018 / 12:29 pm

      Hey Sala! Amazing. You will LOVE Guatemala! I’ll be passing through in October so I’ll just miss you :-). The answer is no. I did a workaway with OX Expeditions and they were actually able to get me a great discount on classes at one of the best Spanish schools in Antigua. I don’t remember seeing any that required me to speak Spanish.

      • sala
        August 6, 2018 / 10:54 pm

        thanks so much! I have their listing bookmarked :). I arrive now too early to start reaching out to hosts?

        • August 7, 2018 / 1:45 pm

          November is pretty quiet so it’s probably a little early. Reach out though and they will almost certainly tell you to get in touch just before you arrive. This is because people change their plans all the time so as a host you never believe someone is going to come unless they are actually there haha. In all honestly, even if you don’t find anywhere before you go. Just turn up and walk around asking in the hostels, I guarantee you will find something. They are always in need!

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