Do you want to travel the world but worry you don’t have enough money? In this post you will find a way on how to reduce the costs of accommodation and eating to zero. Sounds like a utopia? No, it’s WWOOF.
In the following paragraphs I will show you how to start WWOOFing
What is the WWOOF?
WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms, (WWOOF) is part of a worldwide movement connecting visitors with organic farmers. The main aim of WWOOF is provide a way for people to learn about organic food, agriculture, and sustainable ways of living.
Pros of WWOOFing:
- as wwoof is around the world it gives you the ability to travel around the world for cheap little money
- in most cases you don’t need to pay for food and accommodation
- it gives you an opportunity to meet different people and gain new experience
- it gives you an opportunity to gain knowledge about organic farming
Cons of WWOOFing:
- “There is no such thing as a free lunch” – Life on the farm isn’t easy. You have to get up early and do real work. Aside from feeding and planting, you may end up doing physically demanding tasks.
How to start WWOOFing?
If you want to start WWOOFing the first step is to join a WWOOF organization. There is no international WWOOF membership, so you’ll have to find the WWOOF organization in your country destination and apply for membership. In most cases you will not be allowed to apply if you are under 18, but there are some exceptions like US.
To have a full access you need to pay for an annual membership. The cost varies depending on each country, but in most cases it is around $30.
Once you applied and paid for membership you will access to that country’s list of smallholdings, gardens and organic farms. Here you can choose a farm, check the host’s review, contact a host farm and arrange for their stay and the type of volunteer work the will do.
There are two types of jobs in this world, those you receive a paycheck for your work and those who’s compensation is other than monetary.
There is no one rule when it comes to the number of hours you have to work and the time you stay in the farm.
Usually, you will be asked to work between 4 to 6 hours a day. The time you stay in the farm will have been negotiated prior to your arrival and will be between you and your host.
How much does WWOOF cost?
For most WWOOFing destinations accommodation and food are covered though, but keep in mind that each place is different. Depending on the type and amount of work required some will only provide you with accommodation and only basic breakfast and maybe dinner.
Considering above you need to ensure your budget fot the following:
- subscription fee to WWOOF in the country or countries you are visiting,
- all travel expenses – including, travel to WWOOF country and travel to/from between host farms
Is it safe to travel with WWOOF?
Generally it is safe to travel with WWOOF, but you need to keep in mind that you will be on a farm with strangers, so you always be prepared before you go to farm. Here some tips:
Always have a backup plan in case something doesn’t feel right and you have to leave early.
Check the host’s reviews. If you can’t find any reviews, ask them if you can contact a previous helper for a reference
Ask questions, get lots of details. Find out what you want, what the host wants, e.g.:
- What are the host’s expectations?
- What type of work you will be doing?
- Is a certain number of hours required per week?
- Will there be other WWOOFers at the same time you are going?