worldpackers how it works

Volunteer Internationally with Worldpackers

Let me tell you how I did some volunteer work in Italy (2019) and France (2022) with free accomodation and food and having the best time of my life like a volunteer

This article is ideal for you who is looking for international or national volunteer opportunities in the fields of social and environmental work, work exchange, permaculture, ecovillas, NGOs and more.

I will tell you how was my experience with the platform Worldpackers, which is a website where you can apply for volunteer work abroad in more than 180 countries, paying a annual membership of U$ 49 or U$99. We will get there later. 

But, first, if you want to secure a U$ 10 discount and a free registration and start browsing the thousands of opportunities, click this link and activate the promo code ALENO or just insert it in the checkout. You can register free and only pay if you decide to start applying to experiences.

Now that you have registered, you can check my review in video or reading the article below:

Worldpackers How it Works

My name is Aleno Oliveira, traveller, internet entrepreneur, and teacher and I’d like to present you the plataform Worldpackers, which I personally have used to travel to Italy and would definitely recommend!

What will we see in this in-depth review?
  • I will try to be as deep as possible so that you have all the information you need to embark on your first adventure.
  • What is Worldpackers?
  • Benefits of using Worldpackers
  • Worldpackers how it works
  • How to use the Worldpackers platform in a smart way?
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Become a Verified Member
  • Worldpackers Plans Solo Trips x Packs
  • Fill Out Your Profile and Start Sending Volunteer Applications
  • How to increase your chances of being accepted?
  • It’s time to fly away!
  • Other benefits of using Worldpackers
worldpackers brasil 2019

What is Worldpackers? Worldpackers how it works 

First let’s define what Worldpackers is.

Have you ever dreamed of traveling around the world, but are you limited by your financial situation? Or do you want to experience something other than just going on a typical backpacker route and seeing sights?

Everyone thinks traveling is expensive.

Well, there is some truth to that.

It is expensive if you act like a typical tourist, paying expensive lodgings, eating in places for tourists and doing things … of tourists.

Try going out in your city. You’ll see how expensive it is.

On the other hand, if you are a volunteer, the game turns, and traveling becomes very cheap.

Fortunately, we live in the Internet Age, apps, smartphones and technology, enabling the birth of incredible platforms such as Worldpackers, which will enable you to find hosts willing to give you free accommodation and provide food within a few clicks.

Worldpackers is a collaborative platform that connects you with hosts from around the world, allowing you to swap your skills with accommodation and food.

You can use Worldpackers to:

  • Save money on your trip;
  • Have an immersion in the local culture;
  • Develop new skills.
  • Experience new realities.

You can use Worldpackers on your vacation, backpacking or even taking a gap year.

In other words, instead of buying that expensive tourist package on a tourism agency, you can live Worldpackers’s experience for 2 – 4 or more weeks.

Are you tired of your work and routine and want to take a break? Schedule 3 – 6 – 12 months off on a sabbatical. You may have great insights during your trip.

There are hostels. hostels, NGOs, family, communities and ecological projects that are willing to receive your help as a volunteer in exchange for free lodging, food and other benefits. There are more than one million travelers and hosts from 170 countries that are part of the community!

While there are more typical volunteer projects such as teaching English or helping to build infrastructure in developing countries, there are many things that you may not even have considered, which could directly attract your passions.

Other examples of Worldpackers’s exchanges include:

  • Meditate and help build a digital strategy for a monastery outside Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Learn to make a ferocious caipirinha in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Help with social media and live in a quaint B & B outside Rome, Italy.
  • Live and surf on Awera Island, Indonesia.
  • Teach English to children in rural Tanzania.
  • Stay for free and help in a hostel in northern New Zealand.
  • Help with site maintenance while living in Tenerife, Spain
  • When you navigate through the site, you will see the endless possibilities of adventure and volunteer experiences you can experience. Difficult to filter.

Benefits of using Worldpackers

There are several benefits to using Worldpackers when traveling. In fact, I’m sure you can think of a lot more than we listed in this Worldpackers’s review. Here are some of the top reasons to consider signing up!

Become fluent in another language

Being in another country, in direct contact with natives, you will have the best language course you could ever find in the world. Of course, the ideal is that you already go with some load of vocabulary and knowledge of the language.

There you will – quickly – loosen your tongue and evolve in your fluency in everyday life.

In my first experience in Italy, three weeks were enough to take a turn in my Italian after two years of studying alone with apps and the Internet.

Save money

You will spend much less than on a traditional trip, since you will not pay for lodging and meals (total or partial). This will already give you enough oxygen to allocate your resources in airfare, transfers and safe travel, making your trip much cheaper.

Learning new skills

If you have already wanted to develop certain skills, volunteering through Worldpackers is a great way to do this. Regardless of the work, there will be new requirements that will make you do new activities, especially if you choose to work with social projects and ecological projects.

Your life skills will be much broader as well as your worldview.

I also advise you to do activities outside your area of ​​expertise to make the experience more enriching.

Immerse in the local culture

Most Worldpackers hosts are natives to the areas where volunteering opportunities are offered, which will provide you with a fantastic chance to connect with the local culture.

Believe me, the experience of staying at a place’s home is TOTALLY different from staying in a hotel room where you will just chat with the receptionist, tour guides and other tourists.

Tell your future employers that you are a citizen of the world.

Do not worry about spending time outside the country. Put in your resume that you have experience abroad, know how to handle different cultures, is independent and flexible, able to travel for the company, and communicate well in the other languages ​​you speak.

Certainly, they are intangible assets in your portfolio of skills will be enriched with such an experience and your resume will become more attractive. Who knows, maybe you change your career completely! You never know how you will return from a trip.

Worldpackers how it works

Now that you are already excited about spending time outside the country, let’s take a step-by-step look at how you can start your international journey now through volunteering.

The Worldpackers platform runs through a $ 49 annual subscription, from which you can send an endless number of volunteer application worldwide.

After becoming a verified member, you can submit work requests for 12 months from the date of confirmation of your payment.

As I said, you can use the worldpackers coupon code promo code ALENO at the checkout and have a $ 10 discount on the annual subscription.

Even without paying, you can already seek the opportunities that appeal to you. You just have to register freely.

How to use the Worldpackers platform in an intelligent way?

One of the great differentials of Worldpackers is the filters applicable in the search for the destination, type of volunteer work, skills, types of hosts, duration of the trip … that the platform allows to use, facilitating to look for opportunities that are within its criteria.

Please note that all hosts are verified and need to add a significant amount of detail and information to your profile to ensure that you know exactly what you are agreeing with.

This includes things like how many hours per week you should work and what type of accommodation and / or meals are provided. You can read the reviews of other travelers who volunteered to give you a better idea of what your experience would be like.

After becoming a verified member, you can even talk to other travelers.

In this topic, you will see each of them.

Destination – Where to go?

The first filter you can use is your DESTINATION.

Where do you want to go? There are opportunities in all regions of Planet Earth.

Incredible or too incredible? Make an unpretentious search there just to get your mouth watering with so many possibilities to travel.

You can do some travel planning for a few years.

Among the possibilities are:

  • Latin America
  • South America
  • Asia
  • South Asia
  • Europe
  • Africa
  • North America
  • Western Europe
  • Southeast Asia

Types of Voluntary Work – Work Exchange, Social Impact and Ecological Projects

There are three main groups of volunteer work: Work Exchange, Social Impact and Ecological Projects.

In the exchange of work, you will exchange your skills for hosting (and perhaps food), such as cleaning, organizing, digital marketing, guest entertainment, among many others

In social impact, you will work directly with NGOs, Schools and Social Projects that need the most varied skills to maintain.

In eco-projects, you will soil your hands with soil and fertilizer in ecovillage, farms and permaculture projects.

Top Hosts – Has my host already received other volunteers?

On the Top Hosts tab, you can filter by Top Host or Potential Host.

Top Hosts are those who have a lot of experience in receiving Worldpackers and with good ratings. Potential Host is new to the platform.

Do not cling to the first ones only. You can have great surprises with the new hosts. The important thing is to talk well before you go and align expectations, as we’ll see later.


Availability – When do you want to go?

In the availability tab, you can filter for when you are looking for new opportunities. If there is 1 month, 2, 3 months or immediately, selecting the “Last Hour” option.

If you’re on a longer trip, the “Last Minute” option is great for finding new hosts willing to receive you right away.


How do you want to help?

Soon, on the “How do you want to help” tab, you can select the following options:

  • Receive & Assist guests
  • Communication & Marketing
  • Entertain & entertain guests
  • Reform & Decorate
  • Teach & Share
  • Community work
  • Caring for nature
  • Kitchen & Bar
  • Website & SEO Improvements
  • Homework


The Skill’s tab is more specific than the previous filter.

Here you can filter the opportunities based on the skills you want to offer.

  • Gardening
  •  Crop and Harvest Aid
  •  Bartender
  •  General repairs
  •  Reception
  •  Administration
  •  Web developer
  •  Social media
  •  Teaching Languages
  •  Painting & Decorating
  •  Housework
  •  Cleaning Help
  •  Organize Events and Parties
  •  Local Guide
  •  Social work
  •  Photography
  •  Music
  •  Arts
  •  Preparing Meals
  •  Kitchen helper
  •  Video production
  •  Teaching Sports
  •  Night shift
  •  Child care
  •  Animal Care
  •  Write content

Later, we will analyze the criteria that should be analyzed in each volunteer opportunity.

Volunteer Opportunities

Now that you have made the filters and have several opportunities at your disposal, you will analyze each proposal from the following fields:

  • Exchange: In this field, you will understand the general volunteer proposal and get to know a little of your host
  • How do you help: here you will see how many hours of work will be required, what kind of skill
  • What you get: a very important point, because it will be precisely the exchange. Here you will see what kind of accommodation will be available to you (shared room, four private, tent …), how many meals, laundry, etc.
  • Requirements: what minimum requirements you must meet to apply.
  • What is not included: Passes, travel insurance, transportation and visa – standard elements.

It is very important, very much, that you talk a lot with the host before you go and align your expectations. Keep in mind what type of accommodation you will have and how many meals will be available.

In social or ecological projects, it is possible to charge a small daily fee to maintain volunteers’ space. Nothing astronomical.

Become a Verified Member

If you’ve found some opportunities that you like, it’s time to become a verified member.

Use the ALENO code at the checkout and get a $ 10 discount on your annual subscription.

Once you’ve confirmed your payment, you’ll be able to send host applications around the world.

My advice is that you immediately make your subscription and start sending applications.

Such a journey requires planning. So, the sooner you have the acceptance of your host (s) the better. I put it in the plural because nothing prevents you from doing two, three, four consecutive experiments.

Airline tickets will also be cheaper if you buy three to six months in advance.

Worldpackers Plans Solo/Couple-Friends Trips x Packs

The Worldpackers Plans are divided into two possibilities: Solo (you alone) or as Couple/Friends (if you are travelling with someone else)

The main difference between the Trips and the Pack Plans is the insurance and the video lessons in the Worldpackers Academy.

In the Trips Plan, if you don’t get along with your host, Worldpackers will refund you up to $49 for emergency accomodation. In the Packs, that amount goes up to U$ 199.

Moreover the Worldpackers Academy has hundreds of video lessons of other travelers who will teach you digital marketing, social media, how to travel cheap, making a living while traveling as a lifestyle and many more.

In the Packs Plan, you will also get discounts in Hostelpass, Booking, Babbel, Yesim and Stasher. 

For Couples/Friends, the Trips Plan costs U$ 59/year and the Pack Plan, U$ 119.

Considering that a hostel bed in Europe nowadays costs between U$ 25-U$50, it is easily a no-brainer. It’s very cheap.

Fill Out Your Profile and Start Sending Volunteer Applications

Now that you’ve officially become a Verified Member Worldpackers, it’s time to fill out your profile.

Be sure to fill out your profile with as much information as possible to increase your chances of finding a volunteer position. Once the profile is filled out, you can start sending messages to the organizers and organize your first volunteer experience!

Some other tips to ensure you find a place is to try to write detailed and personalized messages for each host, explaining why you want to volunteer instead and expanding your search to include multiple cities or destinations and not just a specific area.

How to increase your chances of being accepted?

One of the biggest mistakes many travelers make is to make copy and paste applications for all hosts.

Put yourself in the place of the host and detail as much as possible as you can help him.

Read the profile, see your needs, see how you can help, maybe suggest other blind spots that your host may not even consider.

For example, if you work with digital marketing, suggest making your Facebook pages, Instagram, making videos and photos, organizing events.

Seek new possibilities and use your own experiences and skills.

Make sure your host really sees you as a great help.

Of course, you will have many moments of leisure while traveling, but you will not be on vacation either.

Keep that in mind.

It’s time to fly!

With your confirmed volunteer experience, it’s time to buy your ticket, take a vacation from work (if needed) and start scheduling.

You can use the Worldpackers ALENO promotional code at checkout and have a $ 10 discount (approximately $ 45).

Other benefits of using Worldpackers

Aside from providing a great platform to find work exchange and volunteering opportunities, Worldpackers also provide a number of benefits to travelers who use their platform.

Worldpackers Insurance

You have the option to request Worldpackers Insurance after finding a hosting position. Although this is not a substitute for a good travel insurance policy, this provides an extra guarantee if something goes wrong. 

If there is a problem with the host, he will try to find another host nearby or, if you can not, pay for accommodation for up to 3 nights so you have time to redo your plans.

I recommend YES that you take out travel insurance with good medical coverage. Medical costs abroad are extraordinarily expensive, and if something happens to you, you will not want to have to sell a kidney to treat yourself.

I once cut my finger in the US and took 4 stitches. Medical costs were more than $ 1,200. Another friend had to plaster his leg, and the insurance covered more than 2.000 euros medical expenses.

As the saying goes, insurance has died of old age.

Other opportunities to make extra money

Before you leave on your trip, you can sign up to become one of Worldpackers’ travel experts, which will give you the opportunity to earn some extra income while on the road. Opportunities include writing articles for the Worldpackers website, creating videos of your experience and providing support to other travelers. This can result in a good additional income so that you can travel more after the exchange of work or when volunteering is completed.

Worldpackers Support

After confirming a volunteer opportunity, you will have access to the Worldpackers support team before, during and after your trip. While the support team is available to anyone interested in Worldpackers, it prioritizes verified members and those who have a hosting opportunity so you can be sure that you will receive a quick response if you need to contact them.

I hope this guide has helped you to make your first volunteer experience around the world.

You can share this article with your friends via WhatsApp or Facebook or Instagram.

Remember to use the ALENO code at the time of your annual subscription.

My best regards,
Aleno Oliveira