Many people are trying to get away from their own countries and travel abroad to experience new culture and cities. This may seem very exciting as you embark on this new adventure but comes with many risks. You need to make sure you have enough cash saved to be able to experience this type of travel. If you do not have the money for your travel, then maybe you are thinking of potentially getting a job while you are abroad.

Workaway Review: Top Reasons Why Is Not Recommended?

This job could help you with paying for your accommodation, food, travel, and much more. It seems there are a lot of companies willing to help out people by giving them accommodation abroad and in return, they expect you to work for them. Some companies are really good with payment, but others expect you to work for free. How exactly is this beneficial for you though? How can you still explore the city and have fun when you are not getting paid?

The only thing that is being covered for you is your accommodation. Is it worth it to do this if you can’t actually enjoy yourself and see the city you have moved to? Seems a bit pointless if you ask me! Don’t get me wrong, you may already have money saved up, and that’s no issue at all. But, some people don’t, and really heavily rely on a job going abroad.

Companies which usually provide you with accommodation when working for them, are mainly hotels and hostels. They are always busy and constantly need staff. Are they exploiting their temporary staff? Should they be paying more? Should they be giving less work to these people? We will review Workaway program and look at people traveling abroad to work for accommodation. Is this deal worth for budget travelers or it’s a modern slavery?

What Does Working for Accommodation Mean?

This is a type of travel where you contact a host in a different county who will offer you a room (accommodation) in return for doing jobs for them. It is ideal for people who want to stay in a different country long-term but do not want the hassle of paying for accommodation, as this can be quite expensive.

They provide you with accommodation if you do certain jobs a few hours a week. The rest of the time you are able to do whatever you want. It seems very inviting. But most of these places pay you nothing because they feel they are doing enough by giving you a place to live. Some places would pay below minimum which is still not enough if you consider the fact that you will need food, you will need to travel, buy new clothes, and much more.

You are basically a volunteer. You volunteer your services for free accommodation. There are hosts all across the world who are constantly looking for people who can do various jobs for a few weeks or months. You would work roughly around 20 to 25 hours a week, and the rest of the time is your free time to do whatever you want.

How Does it Work?

Internet is your friend on this subject if you want to find this type of arrangement and Workaway is the famous website to get it done. Firstly, you need to decide where you want to go, for how long, and what type of work you can do. Bear in mind, no experience is needed for these jobs as you will get trained when you get there.

When you have decided where you want to go and for how long, you then just do a simple online search to see if there are any hosts that you are looking for staff currently. You get in touch with them, discuss all details with them, and then book your flights. Check in our guide the best websites to pick cheap flights fares to enjoy traveling on budget.

Once you have arrived, you are given specific hours that you will be working and taught the tasks that you will need to carry out. As mentioned previously, no experience is usually needed for these jobs. You are not staying forever; it is usually for a few weeks or months. The host will provide you with a room where you can stay for the duration of your trip, free of charge.

It is free to an extent, as technically you will be working to pay off the fact that you got given a room to sleep in. Make sure to discuss hours of work prior to accepting the job, as you still want some free time to go travelling and sightseeing around the city. Make sure you also discuss what else is included in this arrangement.

Most places do not pay for your food, travel, and whatever else you may need. They only pay for the room. Make sure you bring extra cash with you for everything else, otherwise it will be a massive struggle for you. After the trip is finished, you go home. You do not owe anything to the host as your duties have been paid off.

What Kind of Work Could I be doing Through Workaway?

There are various jobs you could be doing on your work exchange. Main sectors include:

  • Hotels
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Building
  • Restoration
  • Gardening
  • Teaching a language
  • Tourist guiding
  • Kitchen work
  • Childcare
  • Maintenance
  • Cleaning
  • Farm work

There are many more but these are the main types that would be done on a work exchange. Most of the jobs you do not need experience in as you could be cleaning dishes, watching kids, being a tourist guide, or doing some gardening.

In most cases, if the job is a bit difficult, there will be training provided. In regard to childcare, you could be a live-in childminder. In these cases, you would be fed and have a room all to yourself in exchange for looking after children during work hours. You could have the evenings free.

This is the easier of the jobs. Others include you spending a full day cleaning a house or an office building, doing some maintenance work, or washing dishes all day or night. These are much more difficult and require a lot more effort.

What is Not Included in This Deal?

Putting it simply, apart from accommodation and the odd meal, nothing else is included. You have to look after your own transport at all times. Nobody is going to pay you extra to go out at night or go out for dinner. That is entirely on you.

You will not be getting an actual wage, which is what a lot of people have an issue with. You could be doing a very stressful, complicated job most of the time, but only have your accommodation looked after and not receive any type of wage afterwards. This can be tough on a lot of people, as you start feeling like you are being used to a certain degree. It does not seem worth it at times.

7 Key Reasons Why Workaway Is Not Recommended?

As with the benefits, there are also disadvantages of these types of programs. Not everything will be as perfect as you imagine. Not all hosts are honest in the amount of work you will be doing either. So let us have a look at some disadvantages.

1.No Personal Space

No space to yourself. You are living with your hosts and you are constantly together. You are moving in with people you do not know. For most, this can be quite uncomfortable. They will see everything you do, same as you are seeing all that they do day in and day out.

You are spending countless hours with the same people which can be quite uncomfortable, especially if their English is not the best. There is little space for yourself so that you can be comfortable on your own. It is not a hotel room that you are staying in. You cannot get away for some peace and quiet, as this is your home now.

2.Limited Freedom

They say that working for accommodation is great because you will have so much freedom after doing whatever work you have to do. This is not the case! Most hosts do not realise that there is a 20 to 25 hours work limit. They expect you to do more work for them.

This is quite hard to say no to because you are living in their house. If you are childminding during the day and make plans to go out during the evening, your hosts could spring last-minute plans they made and ask you to look after the kids. It is hard to say no in these situations because they are providing you with accommodation.

You feel like you have to say yes and do it because you may get kicked out. Some of the hosts require quite intense manual labour which may leave you completely burned out at the end of the day and wanting nothing else but sleep.

This is not a holiday, you do not have that much freedom to do whatever you want. You are there to carry out a job in return for accommodation. You may get lucky and get a really nice host, but not in all cases. Some places specifically look for people doing this so that they do not have to pay them and use them for as many hours as they need. This can get too much for any human being.

3.No Real Culture Exchange

When you go on a holiday you actually enjoy learning about the culture of the country. On a work exchange, you have little time to get used to the drastic culture change as you are pretty much just thrown into it on day one.

You are living with people who have lived in the country since birth. Getting used to their culture and manners can be overwhelming. It can be too much for some to handle and they end up becoming depressed during their stay as they do not know how to deal with all this.

4.No Pay

This is the toughest part. Some feel that they are working and travelling for free, but this is not the case when you are not getting paid and have no money to do anything. You are stuck in the house then with no freedom to travel because you are not getting paid.

If you are planning on saving during your travels, this is not possible. You are a volunteer, you do not get paid a wage. The only thing that is covered is your room and possibly some food from time to time. But again, because you are living in someone’s house and they feed you, you feel like you must repay them, and so when they ask you to work more hours, you feel like you can’t say no.

You need to have other savings which you can use for travelling and exploring because you will not be getting this from your host. This is crucial to keep in mind because there is nothing worse than going abroad thinking you are going to be living your best life, when in reality you will be stuck in a foreign house, working all the time, and never being able to leave… Stop believing the fake facts about Workoway from paid advertisers and influencers ( He become a business model for his owners not a volunteering platform )

5.Low Quality Food

Some hosts offer meals as well as accommodation. This is not the case for all. They may only offer 1 meal a day, and the rest you will have to source yourself. This is not good for you if you are not getting paid for your work. How exactly can you pay for your own food without any money?

This means you need to have savings in place before travelling, otherwise you will be severely underfed and will lose a significant amount of weight. Along with working a full day this can lead to all kinds of mental and health problems. Don’t trust the hosts friendly calls and chatting beocus more in your studiescause in reality you are just a permanent worker on low budget not a true friend, so please focus more in your studies & job rather then being exploited by others.

6.Less Friends

Because most of the hosts are in very rural areas, such as villages that are hours away from the city, there is very little chance of you making new friends. This type of work will mean that you are only communicating with your hosts on a daily basis.

The house can be located miles away from a neighbour leaving you extremely secluded and far away from civilisation. This can be quite hard on some people that are not used to being alone. If you are expecting on making a ton of friends with this experience, then forget it. Your only friends will be your hosts. Online websites are the best ways to make friends in your new home-stay, so use it wisely and meet good people.

With the hours you will be working and the distance you will have to travel, there is practically no time or desire to travel that far out into the city to meet new people. You will be out of energy and the fact that you will not be getting paid does not help things.


How safe do you actually feel with travelling to a different country, to a place you have never been, and living with people you have never met. The internet is a scary place where anyone can be on the other side of the screen.

You really do not know what you are getting into when going abroad to work for accommodation. Is it safe being in the middle of nowhere? Not when you are on a budget and don’t have the money to make a quick escape. Apart from this, you are also sharing a house with these people. That can be daunting in itself.

Why Working for Accommodation Equal a Modern Slavery?

From all the above you can see that working for accommodation is a bit like slavery. When you arrive, you feel grateful for the opportunity but soon realise it is not all it seems to be. You will be made to work long hours, sometimes with hard manual labour, and you will not be getting paid or have as much freedom as you thought you would.

It is hard to say no to your employer when they are providing you with accommodation. It is as if they have that over your head. If you do not do the work, they ask you to do then you could be asked to leave.

This type of work uses foreigners who think they are going on a holiday with a bit of labour on the side. They exploit them to get what they want with very little in return. Most people fall for this and say that they will never do something like that again. Mainly this is because they feel used and mentally drained.

You are not getting paid and could be stuck with the hardest work which makes it slavery. Working for accommodation is modern-day slavery because it targets people who want to go travelling on a budget and still explore. They know that these people do not have as much money, so they offer them free accommodation for only a few hours work a week.

Once you arrive you could easily be working 40 hours a week or 12-hour days. You can’t say anything because you feel like you owe them. It is the worst type of slavery as you feel trapped and cannot leave until your time with them is up.

This type of programme is not for the easy-going, quiet people. It is for the types that can stand up for themselves and say no! These hosts will do everything they can to get as much out of you as they can.

Not paying people is slavery. Great that they are giving you accommodation, but if you are working for them more than the required amount, you should be getting paid as this was not included in the description when you agreed on it originally.


This is why working for accommodation is modern slavery. People are not being paid for the amount of hours or the work they do. They are being used and exploited for the benefit of the host. They can’t leave because they are in an agreement and their return flights are booked for a few weeks or months ahead. They feel pressured into doing more because they feel that they owe the host something. You are a slave in a foreign country to a host that is a complete stranger, and exploring the city seems like the impossible.

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