Before starting this trip around the world, the idea had been larvae in my mind to make a trip around Europe, traveling in a van and being a nomad, but without a solid project. They were just undated desires. Among other things there was something that slowed me down and I’ve seen is the most recurrent argument of most people I talk to and dream of starting a trip similar to what I am doing at the moment: the lack of budget. I don’t criticize it, I just expose a reality. Of course it takes money, but true is also, that much less than we believe. Sacrifices must be made, I will not deny it, but they are well worth it, to be able to enjoy a life in movement and quasi freedom.
In this article I will tell as I have been advancing the world on a low budget during the, almost, last three years, crossing forty countries; As I have been able to travel almost 70,000 miles by land, sea and air-by airplane the less-and, I will try to inspire you so that, perhaps, you can make your dream of traveling a reality and how? Helping as a volunteer to get help.
So, when I thought about going around Europe in the van, I thought traveling was what I knew until then, I mean: traveling overnight in hotels and eating in restaurants, coupled with the payment of the fuel to roll. If I know that is a contradiction: traveling in a van gives you enough freedom to move without limit and also use it as a caravan, so some of those expenses were not necessary, but my mind did not think but I could not do it for lack of diner Or enough and created non-existent barriers.
At that time I was not going through the head if you want, use the couch-surfing, you know, houses that open to travelers around the world for a few nights in exchange for, for example, cooking for hosts or bring a small gift; So even less, I could have thought that there were volunteers.
There are several websites that help you get in touch with the hosts and I will list and make a little comment to know and find what most suits you. On most pages the volunteers have to pay a membership fee to get in touch with the hosts and have more information about them. Perhaps this is why I have not all tried and I have limited to the best suited to my possibilities, but in these, I am worth making that small investment.
Usually in volunteers they ask you to work about five hours a day, five days a week, but it is not a fixed rule and you have to adapt to the needs of volunteering. and normally, in return, the hosts offer you the food and the accommodation, also an Internet connection if available, excursions around the environment to know better the area where you are living and even a vehicle (motorbike, car or bike) that you They can lend to move you. To me also some hosts helped me to continue on the way palindrome the shuttle to the next city I had planned on the tour, but they were the exception that confirms the rule.
Websites to volunteer
The webs that I know, I used and recommend are:
Workaway and HELPX: The two most variety of jobs offered in farms, houses, schools, Buddhist temples, hostels and hotels, B or boats. The first was in which I discharged before leaving and in the second I did the six months of traveling. There were two reasons to make this decision, the first was that many hosts of Workaway did not answer the emails sent and the second, which added more options where to be able to go also in HELPX. You will see that some hosts agree on both, but for example in Helpx you often find your phone and make contact more personal. In Workaway the membership is for one year and you pay 29US$; In HELPX it’s for two years and you pay €19. In the first you can also register as a couple and pay 38US$.
Findacrew: I met her when she was in Australia thanks to another volunteer she had met in Indonesia and when she knew my project to navigate to follow my trip, she recommended it to me. Create your profile and look for what you want to see if you are lucky that a boss answers you and enter your plans. It is paid if you want to have much more information about the boat or the owner, planned tours, etc, although I use it without the Premium membership and I have not gone wrong. You have several options to be a Premium member: one month (€52), Ninety Days (€104), six months (€187), one year (€291), Lifetime (€687) or you can check your profile by €14. I am currently in a sailboat running part of the Pacific and my work is to cook and clean. When we sail also I do guards and little by little I am learning to navigate and carry the boat. Here there are no schedules, you are available 24 h, but living on the sailboat does not matter and there is also plenty of free time.
Crewbay: At the moment I have only an open profile, but no experience to tell. I met her thanks to a volunteer who agreed with me on the sailboat I got through Findacrew. Everything here is free and you also find larger boats, not just sailboats or catamarans.
Trusted House sitters to take care of homes, children and pets. I don’t know her very well, so I can’t tell you much, but she looks good. You can pay a monthly fee of 9,92US$ or annual 119US$ to become a member. They have a team that investigates you to make you a creditor of the five stars that give confidence to the hosts and more chances to be accepted your application.
Something that also I emphasize of the volunteers is that I have been able to meet other travelers like me, who in the future have helped me to find places or even I have opened the doors of their houses, to be there simply as guest, or also by throwing a hand. As this network grows, you will see how getting other volunteers is easier on your own, without having to resort to the aforementioned web pages.
So if one day you thought about making a trip, no time limit, but limited budget; Or perhaps, to know a distant country and immerse yourself in the local life, also fair of money, the option of the volunteers opens to you a real possibility, in which you enjoy: learning, helping, knowing and gaining incredible and rewarding experiences for your life.
I hope I have inspired you and discover a new way of traveling. And as I always say in my blog, at the end of my articles pure life!