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Welcome to Help Exchange, an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&B, inns, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation (board and lodging).
This scheme is primarily provided as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers who wish to have the opportunity during their travels abroad, of staying with local people and gaining some practical experience. The typical arrangement is for the helper to work an average of 4 hours per day and in return receive free accommodation and meals for their efforts. This time range can vary considerably. Some hosts may require just 2 hours per day for accommodation only, provide and cook your own food. Others may expect 6 hours per day in return for excellent meals, own room and sometimes other benefits such as free Internet, horse riding, kayaking, bikes, local sight seeing trips, yoga lessons or English tuition etc. Some will give weekends off. Some offer help 8 hours one day then take next day off. Times may vary due to the type of tasks being done and the type of accommodation and meals being offered etc. Each host operates differently so it's matter of making a suitable arrangement between host and helper. Helpers will often live with the host family and be expected to join in and offer a helping hand with day-to-day activities. Therefore the success of this partnership will depend on mutual co-operation.
Volunteer helpers wishing to use this service are required to sign up. There are two levels of helper membership, Free and Premier. Premier membership costs a nominal 15 euros for 2 years and includes many additional features and benefits such as being to able to contact all hosts, read all host reviews and much more. Helpers can browse this site for hosts and when they find a host they would like to stay with they can contact them direct and make arrangements to stay. When a helper finds a host they would like to stay with they can contact them direct and make arrangements to stay. We advise both helpers and hosts to ask plenty of questions about each other in order to establish expectations from both parties. Helpers should never turn up without prior arrangement. Basic host listings can still be browsed without registering by signing in as a 'Guest'. Registered helpers can also opt to provide a self description for hosts to view who may then wish to invite the helper to stay with them. We advise helpers to include any skills or experience they may have such as gardening, farming, agriculture, permaculture, fruit picking, trade skills like building, carpentry or landscaping, sail boat crewing, working with animals, ability to care for and ride horses. Helpers can also look for a travel companion, see 'Companions' link above. These optional extras can be utilised either at the time of registering or at anytime when the helper is signed in.
Hosts wishing to add a free listing inviting helpers to stay will need to click on their country network shown above and select 'Sign me up' under the Host Sign In box. This will open the host registration form, which can be filled in then submitted to the HelpX database. Registered hosts can update their details as often as they like and in doing so keeping their listing near the top of their network directory as hosts are ordered by most recently updated first. Registered hosts are also able to view helper details and in a reversal of roles can invite helpers to stay with them rather than just wait for helpers to contact them.
To enter this site click on one of the country network links shown above. This will then take you to the sign in page with separate helper and host sign in boxes and 'Sign me up' form links. The 'Guest' sign in link will also be found on the sign in page.
HelpX not helpex, operates in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe including England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Finland, Bulgaria and many other European countries. Help Exchange has now also launched a new network called International to cover world countries not included in the main networks. This network includes places such as Hawaii, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Japan, Korea and South Africa. Help Exchange is a great way for budget backpacking travellers, vacation gap year program students and anyone looking for internships or eco green alternative lifestyle projects, to get to know the country and its people they are visiting.