HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, farmstays, hobby farms, lifestyle blocks, homestays, ranches, lodges, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation. HelpX is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers, who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience. In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 4 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts.
This time range can vary considerably depending on the tasks at hand and the host’s preferences. Some hosts may require just 2 hours per day for accommodation only, and ask you to provide and cook your own food.
Others may expect 6 hours per day in return for meals, your own room and sometimes other benefits such as free Internet use, horse riding, kayaking, bikes, local sight-seeing trips, yoga or English lessons, etc. Some will give weekends off, while others might allow you to put in 8 hours one day and later take a full day off. Helpers often live with the host family and are expected to join in and offer a helping hand with day-to-day activities.
Volunteer helpers are required to register for one of two levels of membership, Free or Premier. Helpers must upgrade to Premier membership to take full advantage of all HelpX has to offer. Premier membership costs 20 Euros for 2 years and allows the helper to contact all hosts and read all host reviews. Premier helpers can browse this site and contact hosts directly to see about making arrangements to stay.
Hosts wishing to add a free listing inviting helpers to stay will need to register. Registered hosts may update their details as often as they like and view helper profiles.
We advise both helpers and hosts to ask plenty of questions about each other in order to establish expectations from each party. Helpers should never turn up without prior arrangement.
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 in their profile any skills or experience they may have, such as gardening, farming, agriculture, permaculture, fruit-picking; trade skills such as building, carpentry, landscaping, sail boat crewing; working with animals or an ability to care for and ride horses. Helpers can also look for travel companions.
HelpX (not helpex), operates worldwide including in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe including France.