During a RoadTrip it is sometimes pleasant to sit for a few days or more and have access to a shower, a good bed and hot meals. However it costs money and when you travel it is not always easy. So you may have heard of Helpx, Workaway or Woofing, it’s the same principle, only, those are three different websites. The principle is simple to be housed and fed in exchange for a certain number of working hours per day. But then how to to search for a Helpx and how to proceed.
Where to find ads?
First step to go to the Helpx website is to create an account. It is very important to fill in your profile completely and with truthful information, this gives you more chance of success in your quest for a host. Above all don’t worry the hosts are tolerant and know that not all of us have knowledge and experience in their field. In addition in most of the cases they love to share their knowledge and know-how.
And now place for research.
Finding a host on the Helpx site is fairly easy. You can apply several filters to your Helpx search such as the region, if you want to have your organic experience or if you want to be in contact with cows. It is up to you to know where you will be most comfortable and what your limits are. Indeed it is very important that you know yourself before carrying out your research. So you and your interlocutors will save time and you will be able to thus appreciate this moment of exchange without fear or painful moment.
The time of the first contact.
Your search for Helpx has been successful, you have found an attractive ad that suits you. Take action, send a message to your possible host introducing yourself. Explain your expectations, what you can bring them and on what dates you are available. Also specify if it’s dates are fixed and if you own a vehicle.
The hosts can answer during the day or take a little more time so plan to contact in advance to be sure to find your happiness. However, some people do not want to plan ahead and will ask you to contact them two weeks in advance, while others will be booked two months in advance.
Essential information to get and give in advance.
It is well seen to plan certain details of your exchange in advance, certain surprises are not appreciated either by you or by your host.
How are you going to get to their address, did you need them to pick you up at the nearest bus stop or do you have to manage? Some people will not be able to access this request.
Do you have special needs: single room, meals, allergies … Do you need access to a refrigerator (insulin …) some people do not have.
What are their expectations in terms of working hours, working period, is it possible to work longer on certain days to have a day off? Do you need specific equipment? ….
The questions are many and we don’t always think about them but taking stock can greatly increase your chances of success in this adventure.
Please respect your interlocutors and warn them if something unexpected prevents you from fulfilling your part of the contract or simply prevents you from going there.
A cordial and respectful exchange will open many doors for you. Also think that every bad action can close the doors of opportunity, either for you or for the Helpx community.
I thank you in advance.
Certain rules apply wherever you are:
- Waste must be placed in a bin;
- Good hygiene improves relationships and makes your stay pleasant for everyone;
- A smile brightens up a day;
- Respect the privacy of your hosts, we are not in an “Escape game”;
- Punctuality is a highly appreciated quality.
Unfortunately, if I allow myself to write them, it is because there are people for whom it is not natural. Also do not hesitate to ask your hosts what is appreciated in their culture and what is not, you will see them light up just because you are interested and think of them.
Following these few guidelines will help you greatly when you are going to search for a Helpx.
You can leave at any time
Previously I was talking about the duties of the helper but the host also has his share in the success of your exchange and if you feel bad somewhere you can leave, protect yourself.
In rare cases hosts abuse the system. They ask you to work very hard, during long hours or do not provide accommodation with the minimum hygiene required. Set limits and inform your hosts, if they don’t respect them, go, don’t make yourself sick.
I heard a story about a host who provided a very dirty caravan where rats lived as accommodation. He answered to the helpers that it was their job to clean up. They agreed that it was their workload for the day but the host refused considering that it was not work. In the end they left the place and they were right.
Another very rare case, assaults, I only heard the story of sexual harassment. However, always notify someone of your itinerary and provide them with the contact details and the name of your host. Finally, if you see the slightest sign that your host does not respect you, immediately leave the premises.
In conclusion, looking for a Helpx can be scary but I wish you to make the most of this exchange, it is for me wonderful moments and stay safe.
If you want to know more about how it goes once it happens, it’s here.
As always if you have any questions I am at your disposal. I would love to hear about your experiences, what was your worst and best Helpx?