This past year we’ve used Workaway and WWOOF. They are both amazing organizations with great concepts, but there are a few differences to consider when choosing which to use.
Willing Workers on Organic Farms is definitely more geared towards people who want to work with their hands and experience organic farming. While a lot of Workaway hosts are also on WWOOF, most of the WWOOF hosts specialize in a certain type of farming and need help harvesting, preparing, weeding, planting etc. This is very rewarding and educational and I’d recommend it for anyone interested in improving their green thumb. See my post on WWOOF: What & Why.
The downside to WWOOF is that you need to buy a year pass for each country you want to contact hosts in. So if you want to go on a trip to Italy, France and Spain, you would have to pay the $30 fee for each country separately because they’re all run independently. The websites are also less developed and don’t have an internal messaging option to help keep your requests organized. If you do use WWOOF, make sure to message extensively or even skype with your future host before going. Since it doesn’t have a rating system, it’s not as clear what kind of host they are and what kind of WWOOFer they prefer. See my post about writing emails to WWOOF hosts to get some ideas on questions you should ask before going.
See our experiences with WWOOF here:
All WWOOF experiences
Host #1: Vegetable Greenhouse in Italian Medieval town (Tuscania, Italy)
Host #2: Pruning, Labeling and Wine Tasting Events at Wine Castle Potentino (Seggiano, Italy)
Host #3: Pruning, Wine Education and Biodynamic Farming (Gattaia, Italy)
Host #4: Random Tasks, Short trip (Mondragone, Italy)
Workaway has the same concept as WWOOF but has other projects outside of organic farming. There are a lot of other volunteer options like hostels, language teaching, child care, bed and breakfasts etc.
If you want to travel and aren’t specifically looking to improve your farming skills, I think Workaway is a better option.
A major advantage for using Workaway is that the website is worldwide and has beautiful profiles with ratings and pictures for hosts and workawayers. They also have a message center in their website which makes it a lot easier to keep track of your conversations with hosts versus using email. The fee is only about $30 per year for access to all the hosts globally which makes it easier to plan multi-national trips. See my post on: 10 Reasons Why Workaway is My Favorite Way to Travel
See our experiences with Workaway here:
All Workaway Experiences
Host #1: Restaurant in the French Pyrenees (Cauterets, France)
Host #2: British Family in French Medieval Town (Uzes, France)
Host #3: British Dalmation and Pony Family in French Countryside (Pouy, France)
Host #4: Family with Treehouse Bed & Breakfast in Switzerland (Ogens, Switzerland)
Obviously the clear winner is made out to be Workaway, but I do love WWOOF. Most of our WWOOF hosts aren’t on Workaway so we wouldn’t have had the experiences we did with them without WWOOF. However, I would only recommend WWOOF to people who are interested in organic farming and want to center their trip around that. So in general, I think Workaway is organized much better, has more options and is more cost-effective.
Do you have any experiences with WWOOF or Workaway? Comment below!
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