What is WWOOFing?

WWOOFing in rice fields of Hokkaido, Japan There are many ways to reduce your budget while travelling and it's up to you which you choose. They all have their positives and their negatives. One way you can REALLY reduce your travel costs, and basically travel for FREE is to include WWOOFing (or another similar program) in your trip.

WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms. Basically you volunteer to help out on a farm for a few hours per day and in return they provide you with free food and accommodation. So if you combine this with hitchhiking, you don't pay for food, accommodation, or transportation, you literally have no basic travelling expenses! This is how I travelled Japan, one of the most expensive countries in the world on less than €100 PER MONTH!

Ok, it might not sound like much of a holiday, you do have to do some work but let me tell you; this trip was one of the best 3 months of my life! Definitely more fun than the expensive 2 week "vacation" I had in the Philippines before I knew how to budget travel!

Baby calf WOOFing in Yamanashi Japan It's not just limited to farms, there are all kinds of places you can volunteer from schools, self sufficient eco villages and even vineyards(and yes I also got free wine there as well as food ;)). I had so many amazing experiences I could write a book! I helped a cow to give birth, I drove a bulldozer like a rally car, I went fishing from the top of a waterfall which could only be reached by climbing down a mountain, I helped a vet perform operations, and I met such amazing people everywhere I went. Of course every place is different, most of the people really make an effort to show you a good time and are extremely welcoming. Of course there are some people who mostly just want to take advantage of cheap labour, but if that is the case you can quickly make your excuses and move on to another place.

Bulldozer in Yamanashi Japan So how can you volunteer in a place like this? The easiest way is to sign up for an organization such as WWOOF, there seems to be many of them in all different countries and I'm not even sure if they are connected to each other, but they have a database of farms that are looking for workers and also provide you with support etc. for a one time or yearly membership fee. You can also just ask online, or on the couchsurfing groups. This is completely free and you are more likely to find somewhere you will really enjoy if someone who has been there is recommending it to you.

Please comment bellow if you have any questions, also if you have any experience volunteering like this PLEASE SHARE THEM, it really helps to encourage others to leave their comfort zone and give it a try 🙂

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Posted in Tips & Advice
2 comments on “What is WWOOFing?
  1. Tanya Lew says:

    Wow, it seems so wonderful! I want to try that in the future ~.

  2. I also recommend signing up for a membership with Helpx or workaway. You have to pay for WWOOF for each country, but the other sites are good around the world and have more than farming opportunities. The farm we volunteered with in Thailand was on all three websites, too.

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