Hi! My name is Leopold, and I’m the creator of Hippohelp, a platform connecting hosts with travellers willing to work in exchange for food and accommodation.
Today I’ll introduce what Hippohelp is, write about some interesting hosts on the platform, and include a few tips on how you can get the most out of the platform. Lets get started!
Hippohelp is a website where you’ll find volunteer opportunities from across the globe. After you’ve logged in you will be directed to a map-based interface where you can find hosts by scouting for “hostmarkers” indicating their positions.
Once you click on a marker you’ll be given information such as the amount of hours per day you are expected to be working, what the accommodation arrangements are like, and a few pictures. From there on you can contact the host by sending a direct message, or save the marker as a favourite.
Another thing you can use Hippohelp for is finding travel buddies by looking out for orange “travelmarkers” scattered around the map. A great way of finding new friends and someone to share a ride with!
A family of four in a small Greece village are looking for helpers. They live a simple life close to the natural world and need help with various tasks depending on the seasons. Some of the tasks might include harvesting fruit and vegetables, collecting firewood, harvesting olives and pruning the olive orchard and fruit trees.
At this permaculture site you will experience life in the Ecuadorian rain forest while learning how to live in a sustainable way. You will be asked to stay for 3 or 6 months and help out with various permaculture projects. In return for your help you will get 24/7 ecuadorian Spanish language practice, training on how to drive a permaculture farm and a lot more.
This is a wonderful B&B located in Sandspit, New Zealand. The owners are seeking two hippohelpers to assist with the B&B activities and gardening over the winter season. 4 hours per day, 7 days a week is expected for accommodation and three meals per day.
At your time off you will be able to explore one of the most popular countries for backpackers around the world!
While you can start scouting for hosts the very moment you log in it’s important to have a few things in mind before starting hippohelping. So here’s a few tips on how to become a happy hippohelper!
While hippohelp will help you with saving on your travels by greatly reducing your costs it’s important to remember that Hippohelping is a lot more than just working in exchange for food and accommodation.
Most people host helpers since they are interested in learning about new cultures and making new friends. The cultural exchange aspect is very important when Hipphelping around the world, so try to not be to shy and you will soon have friends from across the globe!
Some hosts are only looking for free workers and nothing more. While this is okay if the helper is not interested in anything else than a free place to stay this mindset often result in a bad experience for the helper. As mentioned above, the cultural aspect of hippohelping is very important, and if your host is going to treat you like nothing more than a number then you will likely not be happy with your stay.
Before booking your stay it’s very important that you and the host talk things through in advance. Make sure that both of you have the same expectations from the start and that you are comfortable with the person at the other end.
A few good questions to ask in advance might be:
Many hosts are people not very used to computers, and they are often also living without an internet connection. Apart from that they are usually very busy maintaining their property and managing current volunteers.
What this means is that they might not frequently check their inbox for new messages, and when they do they might be overwhelmed by helping requests from travellers.
So expect to wait a while for the host to reply to you, and don’t be too annoyed if you only receive a few replies despite sending out a lot of messages.
Since many hosts live in rough conditions far away from civilisation it’s important to be prepared to work hard and deal with the conditions at the hosts place.
As mentioned above, many hosts don’t have internet at all, and many also live in places not accessible by car or other vehicles. So before booking a stay with a host living off the grid, make sure that you’re comfortable with walking long distances and not post frequent updates on social media!
I hope this introduction was of good use to you who are interested in working and travelling. Hope to see you on Hippohelp soon!