Volunteering abroad can be a great opportunity to travel the world for cheap and also be immersed in the places you’re visiting. In this post, we’ll explore Worldpackers, an organization that can help you find volunteer opportunities worldwide!
Have you ever wanted to travel the world and do more than just sightseeing? Volunteer-work programs may be an awesome option for you!
We've previously reviewed WWOOF and Go Overseas, two major volunteer and travel agencies that aims to help travelers make meaningful travel possible. But what about another platform popular amongst digital nomads and backpackers?
Whether you're a student taking a gap year, a digital nomad, or want to make your backpacking trip more meaningful, you may be interested in using Worldpackers! Curious if Worldpackers might be a good fit for your next trip? Read on for everything you need to know about them!
What is Worldpackers?
Worldpackers s an online site and community that lets travelers worldwide search for suitable volunteer opportunitiesdescribes themselves as a "community based on collaboration." Their goal is to connect travelers with hosts around the world to give travelers a way to exchange their skills for accommodation and to have a different kind of travel experience.
All opportunities are on a volunteer basis. Worldpackers offers volunteer collaboration opportunities with schools, NGOs, hostels, and more.
How does it work?
To participate in any Worldpackers volunteer opportunities, you first need to become a member. If you are on the fence about it, you can browse current volunteer opportunities on Worldpackers without buying a membership. You can sort opportunities by country, duration and when you'd like to volunteer.
If having lodging accommodations are important to you, you can filter opportunities to ensure your host includes that.
If you find an opportunity that interests you, you must purchase a Worldpackers membership. As a member, you can contact hosts and take courses through Worldpackers Academy. If the host thinks you'll be a good fit, they'll pre-approve you, and you can move forward with confirming your trip!
It's important to note that not every host will accept you, so you have to be open-minded when applying for opportunities.
For digital nomads, you'll be able to see the living situation (private room vs. shared room) and how many days off you get to ensure it works with your remote work schedule.
Who is Worldpackers for?
Worldpackers experiences are designed for anyone wanting to volunteer abroad, whether they have loads of experience or are brand new. As remote work becomes more popular, these experiences are perfect for digital nomads.
Whether you're traveling from place to place and working from co-work spaces like Outsite, or partaking in a program like Hacker Paradise, you might want to spend your downtime volunteering. Getting a Worldpackers membership will grant you access to their hosts local to where you're staying and give you some fulfilling experiences to do when you aren't working.
If you're a digital nomad and wondering how Worldpackers might work for you, check out their digital nomad page on their blog!
How much does it cost?
To access Worldpackers' volunteer opportunities, it is required for users to be a member. For solo travelers, a membership plan will cost you $49 for one year. This cost includes access to all the Worldpackers hosts, insurance that will cover up to three nights of accommodation, support, and opportunities to earn money through Worldpackers Programs.
If you want to travel with a friend or partner, you'll want to get a "couples/friends" membership. This allows you to apply and participate in volunteer opportunities together. This plan costs $59 for one year.
In addition to the membership fee, you are also responsible for any documentation you may need to participate in your volunteer experience and any associated costs such as flights or accommodation.
Worldpackers vs. Workaway
If you've been looking for volunteer opportunities abroad, you might have come across Workaway before, in addition to Worldpackers. How do you know which one is a better fit for you? Let's look at comparing the two organizations!
Both organizations offer work exchange in the form of volunteer opportunities, but there are a few key differences. Worldpackers only has verified hosts for you to choose from, whereas Workaway cannot verify all their hosts. Worldpackers also has more support options and offers insurance, which Workaway doesn't.
That being said, Workaway tends to have more opportunities across the world, with more volunteer opportunities in Europe than Worldpackers offers. This is mainly because Workaway has been around for longer, but Worldpackers is slowly catching up!
Additionally, when it comes to the maximum number of hours a host can request you work, Worldpackers has a higher maximum than Workaway. Where Workaway will allow up to 25 hours a week, Worldpackers hosts can require up to 32 hours of work a week.
If you're a digital nomad looking to use Worldpackers, the maximum number of hours of volunteering is something you should double-check. Especially if you're juggling a remote job with the volunteer experience!
One key benefit to using Worldpackers to find volunteer opportunities is their position reviews. Whenever you find a host or experience that interests you, you'll be able to see reviews written by former volunteers. These range from excellent 5 star reviews to volunteers rating experiences lowly due to various factors. You can use these reviews to help guide your decision on whether to take on an opportunity or not.
Is Worldpackers legit and safe?
Whenever you participate in any kind of program abroad, safety can be a concern. Worldpackers is not only a legitimate website for volunteer opportunities, but it also has several measures in place to ensure volunteer safety.
All hosts are verified prior to posting volunteer opportunities, and host behavior is monitored by the Worldpackers host team to ensure that volunteers have good experiences. You also enter into agreements with the host to decide on things like compensation, hours you'll be working, and other details.
You always speak with hosts before being accepted for an experience, so you can come prepared with any questions for them and get a vibe from them in that interview.
r/Worldpackers: Worldpackers Reddit
In addition to their program reviews, and dedicated support team, it can sometimes be reassuring to engage directly with people who have taken advantage of Worldpackers opportunities. You can find a sub dedicated to Worldpackers on Reddit and scroll through that to read frequently asked questions or even ask your own!
For more helpful Reddit subs if you’re a digital nomad be sure to check out our blog post here!
Is Worldpackers worth it?
If you’re looking to find volunteer opportunities around the world, Worldpackers is definitely a company to explore using!
While there is a membership fee associated, you’ll have access to genuine, verified hosts and a wide range of opportunities perfect for digital nomads, people taking gap years, or people looking for a fulfilling way to spend a summer.
If you're still on the fence, be sure to check out our reviews on other Digital Nomad platforms so that you can compare the different exchange programs and see whether Worldpackers is still for you!
Our rating: 4.4/5
- Verified hosts
- Reviews from previous travelers
- Insurance is included in membership
- Opportunities explain in details what’s expected of volunteers
- Reasonable annual membership fee
- Higher limit of working hours
- Not an even spread of opportunities across countries
Ready to volunteer?
Whether you decide to try out Worldpackers for your next adventure, or decide to give it a go later on, it’s a great site to try a new form of traveling. Regardless of how you decide to travel for your next trip, be sure to use Pilot for all your travel planning!
Pilot is your brand-new travel planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere. Make the planning experience more fun by collaborating with your travel buddies! Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features!
Did we mention that it's completely free? Try it out now!