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I started volunteering three weeks into my travels, and I’ve been doing so ever since. Finding great hosts or projects with Workaway or Worldpackers can be extremely rewarding, but there can also be pitfalls, and there are definitely a few things you should know before you jump into volunteering.

Why You Should Volunteer When You Travel

Giving back to the community is a fantastic way to travel, although not all volunteer jobs directly relate to the community. Obviously, if you’re taking a short vacation, you probably won’t want to spend your time making beds in a hostel (although there’s no reason why you can’t), but if you’re planning to travel for an extended period (like a gap year), volunteering absolutely should play a part in your plans.

The world is built on an honest exchange of goods and services, and only the very immoral try to get through life getting everything for free (such as a criminal who steals the possessions of another). When you travel, contributing to the local economy is vital for the livelihood of many towns, cities and even entire countries – something to remember when you’re on an all-inclusive cruise or tour. But money isn’t the only form of payment.

All over the world, there are conditions that need to be bettered. Many volunteer jobs relate directly to improving those conditions, whether it’s helping in farms that feed locals, building a sustainable community, contributing to a holistic center or yoga studio, teaching English to better communication skills, etc.

Volunteering abroad certainly has its benefits. Aside from the feeling of a job well done and satisfaction for giving back to the local community, volunteer jobs provide lodging and most of them will also give you one to three square meals a day. Even if you’re not on a budget, this is a great way to make your money last, which allows you to travel even longer. Sure, you’ll have to sacrifice some of your vacation time to help, but is training horses on a farm in Sweden or teaching kids sustainability and English in a Tanzanian school really that bad?

Helga with Horses

The Different Types of Volunteer Jobs

There are several types of volunteering around the world. Worldpackers lists the following categories on its website:

  • Hostel
  • Home Stay
  • Camping
  • Guest House
  • Holistic Center
  • Surf Camp
  • NGO
  • School
  • Community
  • Eco Village
  • Farm
  • Permaculture Project

Workaway has similar categories; two not listed above are “boat” and “animal welfare.”

House Sitting

The easiest jobs are homestays, which you can also find on Trusted House Sitters. All you have to do is look after one or more animals in exchange for a place to stay. Food is rarely provided, although I’ve had some amazing hosts that provided literally everything I needed for my stay (food, SIM card, a vehicle with fuel and insurance, etc). The biggest house sit I did was on the Isle of Skye with a dog, two cats, four ducks and eight chickens, all the while keeping a 4-bedroom B&B clean and tidy in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

Hospitality

Hostels, camping and guesthouse jobs have a very wide range of duties. You might be making beds and cleaning toilets, holding reception, running pub crawls, staying up for the nightshift, or even designing the website (as I did at my hostel in Malaysia). Some places only have you working a couple hours a day, while others go for the full five (or more) hours. Breakfast is often included, although it might only be bread and butter. If you get really lucky, you’ll receive all three meals, but that’s pretty rare at hostels.

Selfie Cleaning at the Code Court Pod Hostel

Communities and Retreats

Holistic centers (like yoga retreats), community projects, and surf camps are just pure fun. Most of them have just as many locals attending as they have travelers, and your help is extremely appreciated, especially if you’re trained in the skills needed at the center.

Social Work

NGOs, schools, eco-villages, farms and permaculture projects are the most varied of volunteer jobs, and so are the conditions they come with. You might be teaching English or other skills to kids or adults, helping single mothers organize their lives, building community gardens or shelters…the list goes on. Some of these have amazing accommodations and three square meals a day, while others are in very underdeveloped corners of the world with almost no amenities (but usually still three meals a day and a place to sleep, either privately or communally).

Workaway or Worldpackers

There are several volunteering websites to choose from – Workaway, Worldpackers, HelpX, WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms), Hippohelp, Volunteer Base, etc. Each has its own pros and cons. I’ve personally used Workaway and Worldpackers, although many of my hosts have also been registered on the other platforms. Especially with hostels, you can find the same ones available on every volunteer website.

Hippohelp and Volunteer Base

Hippohelp and Volunteer Base are the two free platforms to use. From what I’ve heard, the host lists are shorter, the platforms are simpler, and the support isn’t as great, but that doesn’t mean they are bad websites to find hosts on. I haven’t used either myself, so I can’t really rate them.

WWOOFing

WWOOFing doesn’t currently have a single international database and requires that you apply for each individual country you plan to visit. Nearly every country except (sadly) about half of Africa has a website, which you can access through the main WWOOF website. Yearly memberships range from about $10 to $50 per country, with discounts for joint memberships and local citizens.

Workaway Summary

Currently, the sign-up fee for Workaway is $42 per year (when I first signed up in 2015, it was about $20 for two years!). There are over 40,000 hosts in 170+ countries around the world, although not all of them are active, many are hostels, and plenty aren’t worth applying for. I’ve found Workaway reviews can be inaccurate and misleading in some cases, though the feedback system has been improved over the years. The biggest struggle I had with Workaway was getting hosts to respond – I’m not the only one who has sent out numerous responses and not heard back on any.

Worldpackers Summary

Worldpackers is currently $49 for 12 months, but you can claim a $20 discount with the promo code SKYETRAVELS. Some of the reasons I prefer Worldpackers over Workaway are they have a stronger screening process for hosts to ensure their values are high, they follow up on job requests and the hosts have a time limit to respond, reviews are backed up by experts who can chat with you and give specific details on the host, and – best of all – there’s Worldpacker’s insurance. If something goes terribly wrong with your host that you can’t sort out and there are no other options, Worldpackers will find another host for you or put you up in a hostel for three days in the same city. The one disadvantage I found with Worldpackers is they don’t limit the number of hours to 25 (like Workaway does) and some hosts take advantage of this.

HelpX

I once said I was going to try out HelpX after my subscription for Workaway expired, but then I moved to Worldpackers. HelpX is very similar to Workaway or Worldpackers, but since I haven’t used them personally, I can’t give my own opinion.

My personal recommendation would be to sign up for Workaway or Worldpackers, although I’ve come to prefer Worldpackers for the reasons listed above. Other than WWOOFing, Workaway is the oldest of the volunteer platforms and has the biggest database of hosts (over 40,000 in 2020). Worldpackers began more recently in Brazil and quickly spread internationally. As they are newer, I think they paid better attention to what did and didn’t work on older platforms, and have a better system in general.

Finding Hosts

There are a lot of small factors to pay attention to when looking for a good host.

Do They Respond?

Workaway and Worldpackers will both tell you the chance of the host responding, and how long they usually take to write back. I tend to filter out hosts who respond to less than 50% of requests, or who take more than a week to respond. Workaway also tells you when the host was last active on the site, which is also a good metric on whether they will respond soon or not.

Where Are They Located?

Just because a host is in the country or city you want to visit doesn’t mean they are in a good location. Then again, sometimes getting out into the countryside and off the beaten path is a great way to spend your vacation or volunteering experience. I’ve had several hosts that were more than an hour away from the closest city, and in almost every instance, the hosts were more than happy to pick me up from the city or airport.

Snowy Countryside Around Sjuntorp

If your host is far from civilization, pay attention to public transportation, where your closest shops are, if you can get rides into town with your host, etc.

What Work Are They Expecting?

It’s great to use volunteering to learn new skills, develop responsibility, and get out of your comfort zone. Pay attention to what tasks are expected of you, what skills you’ll need for the tasks, and how many hours a week you’ll be working. On Workaway, hosts are supposed to limit the amount of work to 25 hours a week, but there are several who exceed this (especially if you’re working at a farm or full-time project).

There are two sides to volunteering – one is helping out the local community, and the other is getting room and board to help support your travels. When there is a great purpose (like setting up a school or creating a sustainability farm), hours don’t really matter. On the other hand, working in a hostel for 30 hours a week for a bed valued at $10 a night when 120 hours a month far exceeds the value of that bed in almost any country is unjust on the part of the hostel.

How Many People Are They Hosting?

The number of guests they can host at one time can make a big difference. If you’re traveling with a partner or a friend, you’ll need a place accepting couples or joint accounts. Having other volunteers with you will also help with camaraderie, especially in remote locations but also at hostels. It also ties into the point above with a hostel that uses volunteers instead of paid staff to get their work done.

What Are the Conditions?

Perhaps the most important factor when choosing a host is what the conditions will be like. As a volunteer, sometimes we have to get dirty and tackle things we don’t enjoy, but as a traveler, we want to enjoy our trip. Staying in a house with no heating, hot water, internet or proper food during the winter (as I did in France) isn’t exactly how you want to spend your vacation. On the other hand, no host in their right mind would let you just relax the whole day without fulfilling your duties. Pay attention when the host says there’s no running water, you’ll be sleeping in a tent, or only vegan meals are accepted in the house (if you’re an omnivore). If those don’t fit your fancy, then look for a different host, or be willing to go outside your comfort zone.

Heb Hostel Treehouse

What Do the Reviews Say?

Finally, it’s a good idea to look at the reviews, if there are any for that host. Unfortunately, Workaway doesn’t post a negative review on their website (there will be a note that a negative review exists, but you can’t ever read it). Also, I learned the hard way that hosts can have reviews from people that never actually volunteered for them. Some hosts will even put the pressure on to leave a positive review when they didn’t warrant it. Just remember that the vast majority of the reviews are accurate and positive, and they will give you a very good idea of what to expect.

Visas Needed for Volunteering

Thankfully, most countries don’t require that you have a visa to volunteer. Some countries have requirements (such as working under 20 hours a week as a volunteer). But there are a handful of countries that do require that you have a work visa even if you’re just volunteering and not getting paid. Be sure to check the laws of the country you want to volunteer in. Neither Workaway nor Worldpackers provides this information on their site, but you can find it with a quick Google search.

For example, UK law states the following: “A visitor may undertake incidental volunteering, provided it lasts no more than 30 days in total and is for a charity that is registered with either the Charity Commission for England and Wales; the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland; or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.” That applies to anyone entering the UK on a visa-less entry, such as US citizens. If you hold an EU passport, you’re legally allowed to work or volunteer in the UK.

Selfie with British Citizenship

Advantages of Volunteering

Getting Room and Board When You Travel

It would be a lie to say a free bed and meals aren’t a huge benefit in your travels. Truthfully, using Workaway or Worldpackers doesn’t provide you with a “free” bed. You have to work for your room and board, which is what makes this such a great system. I’m a firm believer in spending less to travel more. Volunteering makes that a reality with a place to stay. If you can find a host that will provide three meals a day, even better. Food can be quite expensive too (such as in the Netherlands) and not having that expenditure is a huge boon. Having said that, I purchased nearly all my food at the two volunteer jobs I had in the Netherlands.

Giving Back to the Community

While what you get out of something is good, a higher level of motivation is what others get out of it. Please, please, please don’t go volunteering only for what you get out of it unless it’s the satisfaction of helping others. The whole point I’m trying to make is that volunteering is focusing on giving back to the local community and keeping in your exchange when you travel.

Working in hostels is a lot of fun, but I would recommend aiming for the community and social work projects. One of my favorite and most rewarding jobs was working with an NGO in Thailand to teach nursing skills to a team of teenagers from Myanmar so they could bring vitally needed medicine to their villages.

Selfie with TEFL Class in Chiang Mai

Making New Connections

One of the reasons I love volunteering is the connections you make around the world, both with hosts and other volunteers. If you choose to work in a hostel, you’ll also get to meet all kinds of travelers, and you’re very likely to find friends for life (as I’ve done dozens of times). Also, if you’re in a relationship, volunteering together on a farm or in an eco-project is a great bonding experience!

Learning the Local Culture and Customs

Depending on the volunteer job you find, you might have a chance to really delve into the local culture. Most likely, your hosts will show you around the local area, perhaps bring you out to a party or gathering, teach you some of the language, etc – all of which I’ve experienced with my hosts. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get some cooking lessons in the local cuisine.

One of the best ways to get to know the local customs and learn the ropes is to stay with a local family and assimilate through full immersion. It’s always good to know things like not giving a thumbs up in certain Middle Eastern countries (the same as the middle finger in the West), or asking for a cookie in Hungary (kuki is Hungarian for “willie” or “weenie”).

Maybe Getting the Local Cuisine

You might not get cooking lessons, but at least you’ll be able to eat the local food. If you’re working in a hostel, you’ll probably have to get the food yourself. For most other jobs, you should be provided with two or three meals, usually of the local cuisine. I’ve tried some of the best dishes around the world at different Workaway or Worldpacker jobs. Just make sure to pay attention to the dietary restrictions or lack thereof with your hosts – omnivorous, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, etc.

Pitfalls of Volunteering

Unfair Exchange

As mentioned above, the biggest problem with Workaway or Worldpackers is the balance of services. Some hosts are expecting 25 or more hours a week without providing meals, have no amenities in the house (heating, hot water, internet, etc), have squalid living conditions, etc. There’s also the minority of volunteers who just want to be pampered, shun their responsibilities, and simply receive their free room and board without putting in the work.

Workaway limits to 25 hours a week, and there are some countries that limit volunteering to 20 hours, but I think a good practice for hosts is to look a the value of the hours of work they’re demanding and provide an equivalent amount of lodging and food to the volunteer, based on the minimum wage of their country. If 7 nights of lodging isn’t worth 25 hours of work, they should provide three square meals or lower the hours. On the other hand, volunteers need to really pull their weight and work for their room and board, just like they would do at any other job (or better, considering the moral standards of some employees these days).

Undesirable Conditions

Going along with unfair exchange is poor or squalid conditions – rooms that haven’t been cleaned, leftover food, etc. I’ve seen much and heard stories of worse. If a host isn’t maintaining their end of the bargain (decent room and board), you kinda have the right to move on. Of course, there are some projects such as those in underdeveloped countries where you would normally expect to find simpler conditions.

Falsified Profiles

Just as there are a small handful of volunteers who try to take advantage of the system to just get free room and board, there are a few hosts who falsify their profile or are just there for free work. It might be the conditions offered, the work expected, the number of hours demanded, etc. I certainly had a red flag on my second Workaway when the first thing my host said when we met was that she would have to censor my feedback when I left. It only took a few hours to discover why she would say that.

Limited Movement

I’m no stranger to volunteer locations that seriously restrict your movement. Many hosts live far out in the boonies where public transportation doesn’t reach, or only rarely comes around. Often, you’ll be at the mercy of your host’s travel into town to get supplies. It’s always a good idea to check this before you arrive, and bring the necessary supplies with you. You might not be able to explore the area around the job, depending on the circumstances, but many hosts will try to make arrangements for you (providing a bike, etc). If you want more flexibility, go for the hostels.

Some of My Favorite Volunteering Experiences

Landscaping and Building Boats Near Cinque Terre, Italy

The third volunteer job I did in my travels was definitely one of my favorites. Near the small village of Sarzana, itself only half an hour away by train from the famed Cinque Terre coast of Italy, I spent two weeks repairing the manor house after a flood, working on landscaping and helping to build RIBs (rigid inflatable boats) which was the family business.

I had a room to myself in the “house” where the hosts lived – it was actually the old horse stables beautifully converted into several living quarters; you couldn’t tell they had originally been stables. The elderly mother cooked divine Italian food for every meal, and the hosts were fantastically friendly. I had days off for exploring Cinque Terre or riding the bicycle out to the nearby beach. It was hard, heavy work, which I quite enjoyed as I love to exercise.

Clearing the Trees for Workaway

Working on a Horsemanship Farm in Sjuntorp, Sweden

Perhaps one of the most remote Workaways I did was on a farm in Sjuntorp, Sweden, five hours away from Stockholm and an hour away from Gothenburg – the closest big city. For five weeks, I helped in the stables and with various projects around the house, as well as taking care of the young daughter. I had my own room, (mostly) vegetarian meals, another great volunteer to spend time with, and a gorgeous countryside I got to see shift from white to green as winter changed to spring.

I was often expected to work more than 5 hours a day, but then I was given a few days off when the hosts were out of town (other than the daily tasks taking care of the horses).

Designing a Campground in Riga, Latvia

One host I wish I could have spent longer at (but I’d already booked my flights) was at a small campground in the Latvian countryside about an hour away from the capital. I had all kinds of interesting tasks during my week there: making a sandbox for kids to play in, installing a trellis for grapes to grow on, and constructing Adirondack chairs (I had to look up what those were before building them).

I arrived just after the season was over, so there weren’t any guests staying at the campground, but the location was rented out for a couple of parties. I wish I could have stayed in one of the three floating bungalows available for guests. We had some wonderful barbecues, and I was also able to teach myself slacklining with the set-up they had.

Designing a Hostel’s Website in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The easiest job I’ve done was developing a website for a hostel in Kuala Lumpur. I went to the hostel to help in reception and the bar, but when the owner found out that I developed websites, he quickly reassigned me. Only thing is, he was constantly busy with other business ventures. While I hit every deadline he set for my tasks, it would often be two or three days later that I received the next assignment. Thankfully, I was still able to complete most of the website in the two weeks I was there despite very little direction. I also had one of my favorite cafes in my travels to work in each day.

House Sitting on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

While I didn’t land the job through Workaway or Worldpackers, I have to mention my house sitting on the Isle of Skye, as it’s possible to find this kind of job on the volunteer websites. The Isle of Skye is my favorite place in the world, and getting to live there for six weeks while taking the dog out to my favorite spots on the island was a dream come true. In total, I took care of a dog, two cats, four ducks and eight chickens. There wasn’t a lot of internet and sometimes I had to hitchhike to get food, but it will always be remembered as some of the best weeks of my travels!

Selfie with Housesit Dog at Old Man of Storr

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Workaway or Worldpackers Pin

Further Reading

I believe that giving back in your travels is a huge plus, and I’ll always spend a few months out of every year doing volunteer jobs. Here are some more articles that cover volunteering, the pros and cons, and some of the experiences I’ve had.

I’ve been volunteering since my second week of traveling, but I only recently found Worldpackers. I think it’s necessary that I write a Worldpackers review since, in my opinion, they’re so much better than Workaway, the earlier platform I had been using.

Worldpackers was started in February 2014 by a team down in Brazil and has already grown to over a million volunteers worldwide. It’s true that many of the hosts on Workaway also list their project or hostel on Worldpackers, but there are some significant differences between the platforms.

Sign up for Worldpackers now with code SKYETRAVELS and get $10 off (20%) a year’s membership, plus an additional three months free! Click here!

Focus on Community and Eco-Projects

Many people automatically think of hostels or farms when they consider volunteering, but there are so many other possibilities. My first volunteer job back in 2015 was helping to retrofit an antique chest with an internal support chest, cleaning, cooking and teaching English to my host’s daughter. My second and third volunteer jobs both included renovations at a farm. I didn’t work at a hostel until six months of volunteering around Europe had passed (and that one was truly amazing in Tirana, Albania).

Hostels are fun and almost always allow you to connect to more people than other volunteer options. Then again, helping with an eco-project, volunteering at a charity school, grooming horses on a farm in Sweden or assisting at a wellness center is far more fulfilling than making beds or managing a game of beer pong.

Worldpackers puts a lot of attention on community projects, eco-projects and social impact. There are hundreds of these kinds of hosts all around the world, such as helping in a school or NGO, setting up a community garden, working at a holistic retreat, or building a self-sustaining village. Plenty of hostel positions are available too, but I’d say the other jobs are far better if you want to get the most out of volunteering.

Selfie with TEFL Class in Chiang Mai

An Online Group of Experts

In the short time I’ve used them, I’ve found Worldpackers to be a far better community than Workaway. While you do have the option of contacting previous volunteers in Workaway to find out about their experience, this is encouraged on Worldpackers, and dozens of individuals have been designated as experts. You can go to these experts for knowledge about hosts, advice for your volunteering or anything else related to the platform.

Worldpackers also has a community blog with dozens of articles giving advice on how to volunteer, travel, stay safe, maintain a budget, etc. Not that you can’t come to my blog too for travel advice, but they have some really good articles to get you started with your volunteering.

Better Communication with Hosts

As a note, there is a possibility that Workaway has changed since I used them in this regard, but in the two years that I used Workaway, it was very rare that I would receive replies from hosts. Worldpackers does something similar to Couchsurfing. They give what percentage of inquiries the hosts respond to, and how long it takes them to respond. This way, you can filter out the hosts that aren’t going to get back to you, or at least not count on them if you’re in a hurry to make your plans.

Worldpackers Insurance

There isn’t a volunteer site out there that offers travel insurance, but Worldpackers does have their own form of insurance. If you run into a genuinely horrible experience with a host, Worldpackers will put you up at a local hostel and help you with arrangements to get to a better host. I only had one truly horrible volunteer experience in France where I would have used this. Most jobs tend to be fantastic, but it’s good to know that the platform has your back.

Clearing the Trees for Workaway in Sarzana

Honest Reviews

The biggest beef I have with Workaway is that they won’t display a negative review for a host or volunteer, thus negating the purpose of the review system. Worldpackers understands the importance of an accurate review, whether positive or negative. Although they are a newer system than Workaway and thus don’t have as many reviews, the reviews are all there to let you know what to expect.

Better yet, Worldpacker reviews have a rating system for different aspects of the host. Instead of just a five-star review, you can see the hosts’ rating for the staff, hours and tasks, the site (hostel, eco-farm, etc.), and learning and fun.

Downsides to Worldpackers

I consider Worldpackers a better system than Workaway, but it’s still not a perfect system. As this is an honest Worldpackers review, here are a couple points where I think the platform could be improved.

No Limit to Volunteer Hours

My first problem with Worldpackers is that they don’t have a limit to how many hours you have to work at the volunteer job. In my list of ways that Workaway could be improved, I mention how some hosts are just looking for free labor, putting their exchange on par with that of a criminal (taking something without giving back). I’ve spent nearly my entire life volunteering and I’m all for the system, but I still believe that the exchange should be balanced. Why volunteer for 40 hours a week while living in a shared dorm when you could apply for a work visa and work the same shift while earning 10 times the value of that shared dorm?

Mucking the Yard for Workaway

Many of the hosts on Worldpackers require the usual 20-25 hours a week of volunteer hours, and some require less, but there are a handful that require more…a lot more. For the sake of all the honest hosts out there that want to keep a fair exchange with their volunteers and hire staff when required, avoid any host that demands you work more than 25 hours a week, unless the value is truly worth it, or it’s something you’re just really passionate about.

As a note, all hosts are interviewed by Worldpackers to ensure their values are up to standards, and that they’re not just looking for free labor. To be fair, the hosts that were requiring more than 25 hours were those running schools, farms or other activities where you were really expected to participate full time, and they always came with three square meals along with several other benefits. So while I still think many of these positions should be paid, WOrldpackers does a lot to uphold their standards.

Fewer Hosts (Except in South America)

The one advantage of Workaway is that they have the most hosts. Workaway started in 2002, and they’ve garnered over 40,000 hosts all around the world to choose from. However, as Worldpackers originated in Brazil, they have the lion’s share of the hosts in South America.

Sadly, neither Workaway or Worldpackers allows you to search for hosts on a map. To my knowledge, the only platform that allows you to do that is Hippohelp, but they also have the fewest available hosts.

Limited Review Length

One oddity I found with Worldpackers reviews is that they have a maximum character length, and it isn’t many. While they display all their reviews, you can only write so many words. I don’t know what the exact character limit is, but when it comes to giving an accurate review of a host, you shouldn’t have to squeeze it into a couple hundred words.

Sign up for WorldPackers Now

The price for a Worldpackers membership is $49 a year (€44). That’s a bit more than the $40 (€36) that Workaway charges, but if you click directly on this link to sign up, you can get a $10 discount, bringing the cost to only $39, plus an additional three months free! Join now!

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Worldpackers Review Pin

Further Reading

I believe that giving back in your travels is a huge plus, and I’ll always spend a few months out of every year doing volunteer jobs. Here are some more articles that cover volunteering, the pros and cons, and some of the experiences I’ve had.

My Workaways in Scotland helping at different hostels have been some of my favorite volunteer jobs around the world. There have been a couple of rather interesting experiences, but overall it’s been a joy to volunteer in my favorite country.

Why Do I Volunteer to Work in Hostels?

Workaway isn’t always a fair exchange between hosts and volunteers. When you consider the maximum 100 hours a month that you could be working for a host and the minimum wage for that city, you’ll quickly see that you would be making two to three times the value of your room and board if you were at a paid job. Then again, some volunteers really take advantage of their hosts, whether by eating a fortune worth of food, not working hard, etc.

With hostels, you rarely get three square meals a day with your bed in a shared room. Although the price of hostels in a city might be expensive in general, a bed in a dorm is rarely the equivalent of 25 hours a week at minimum wage. Most hostels recognize this and often require 10-20 hours a week of work in exchange for the bed, plus a meal or two.

I think one of the best advantages with working in a hostel is avoiding the hassle of finding another place to stay and getting all the legal documentation to get paid (I have an advantage in Europe as a UK citizen). Additionally, I’ve spent the better part of my life living in dorm rooms, and thus I’m more than happy to share a room for a few weeks from time to time in my travels.

Malones Hostel

My first Workaway in Scotland was at Malones Hostel in Edinburgh. The hostel has long since closed and the pub it was connected to has moved to a different location, but my six weeks there will always remain a pleasurable experience in my memory. Sure, there were a couple ups and downs, but overall I’d say we made a pretty good team.

As with any Workaway that has several volunteers, they tend to cycle through quite a bit. Malones was no different. I saw several volunteers come and go while I was there, although it wasn’t as erratic as I thought it would be. Edinburgh tends to have a high turnover rate generally in its businesses.

Malones was a smallish hostel with only about 40 beds. We had four volunteers who helped with reception, cleaning and the night shift. The night shift wasn’t covered in the volunteer hours, but it only entailed keeping the phone by the bed and getting up to handle any late-night inquiries. The irony was that, when I arrived, I was told no one ever called for the night shift. Well, I didn’t have a night shift in those six weeks when I didn’t have to handle something or several somethings in the middle of the night.

With such a small hostel, there really wasn’t a lot of work. There might be as many as 20 beds checking out that had to be made, and there were only a couple bathrooms. The reception shift was similarly easy with a minimal number of check-ins, and the manager took care of most of those. We set up breakfast at 7 a.m., took it down at 10, and otherwise took responsibility for the various little actions in the hostel.

Malones Hostel Kitchen

The biggest disadvantage to Malones is that it was stag and hen party friendly (bachelor and bachelorette parties to Americans). On one occasion, a group of football players left the hostel in such a state of destruction, it took hours to clean up. Aside from the various fluids and filth left all around, they also managed to completely break one of the metal bunk beds. When I mentioned the state of affairs to the manager, she only commented that she had seen worse.

Malones Bathroom after Stag Party

The Code Court Pod Hostel

My month volunteering at the Code Court Hostel could only be considered as a best-case scenario. The hostel was significantly bigger than Malones; in fact, it’s the largest I’ve worked in with over 200 beds! As far as hostels go, it’s hard to consider it as a hostel. Built into the original courthouse of Old Town Edinburgh next to St. Giles Cathedral, it’s far easier to consider it as a boutique hotel, except that it mostly has pod beds (although there are also a dozen private rooms too). The decor is left over from the courthouse, complete with the original iron bar doors in the hallways, wood-paneled courtroom and even the prisoner’s writing on the walls in the service stairwell.

Code Court Pod Hostel Dorm Room

I got to help during the Fringe, Edinburgh’s busiest time of the year. The hostel was fully booked every weekend, and quite full the rest of the week. I worked with the cleaning team, and consistently found additional functions to make the work run even smoother and faster. It was rather heartwarming each time I’d come back from my couple days off to have the whole cleaning team welcoming me back and stating things just didn’t run the same without me there.

That leads me to the best part about working at Code Court – the team! It’s such a rare treat to gel that smoothly with every other member of the team. From the general manager and owner on down, every person at the hostel is friendly, responsible, respectful and just a ton of fun. Every other volunteer they found to work at the hostel did a really good job, and it was sad to see any of them leave (a couple had family emergencies or last-minute jobs come up).

The managers made sure that there was a very fair exchange with the volunteers. We each had our own pod and locker, use of the kitchen and laundry, and a full breakfast provided. The breakfast improved throughout the month (I started working virtually the day after the hostel opened). The core of the breakfast was the American-style waffles that guests could make themselves with a three-step grill. Cereals, ham and cheese, fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs and beans, several different toppings for the waffles, juice, coffee, tea…the list goes on.

At first, we were working five days a week and were told to end off early a few times when our tasks were finished ahead of schedule. This was then changed to four days a week, which I consider is the right number of hours for a Workaway where you get a great place to sleep and one or two meals each day, but not all three meals.

Of all the Workaway and volunteer jobs I’ve had around the world, especially those working at hosels, the Code Court Pod Hostel was definitely the best!

Click here to book a night at the Code Court Hostel!

Other Great Workaways in Scotland

My other volunteer work around Scotland has actually been through Trusted House Sitters. These have been in Dundee and on the Isle of Skye where I had the ultimate delight of watching animals (two dogs in Dundee, and a dog, two cats, four ducks and eight chickens on the Isle of Skye). I love animals and housesitting is one of my favorite ways to travel, but there are other Workaways in Scotland I would love to work at. One is on the Isle of Skye and has actually been voted as one of the best hostels in the whole UK. The only disadvantage of working on the Isle of Skye is that the internet sucks. It’s a hard compromise when the whole island is so drop-dead gorgeous.

Dundee Trusted House Sitters View

There are also plenty of other volunteer jobs around Scotland that aren’t working in hostels. Families are looking for help on their farm, assistance with raising young kids, building an eco-friendly house, etc. Some of them can be a little remote (or really in the middle of nowhere, such as in the Outer Hebrides or Orkney Islands), and the Isle of Skye isn’t the only part of Scotland that has rubbish internet. But it’s Scotland after all; the best country in the world. Between the food, friendliness, fantastic scenery and frugal flights, it just makes the perfect package.

Switching to WorldPackers

Now that I’ve been harping on Workaway, I should probably point out that I’m actually not a fan of the platform. The Workaway reviews are too-easily misleading, volunteers and hosts both have problems with maintaining their end of the exchange, there’s absolutely no support system, etc. Recently, I’ve found the perfect alternative. Worldpackers is a volunteer platform that offers everything Workaway does, plus everything Workaway doesn’t. Worldpackers screens all their hosts and focuses on quality over quantity. They also offer a way better support system for the volunteers, even going so far as to offer a place to stay away from a host if things go bad, and then setting up an alternative volunteer location.

They focus a lot more on social impact and eco projects, which instantly grabbed my interest when I saw it. They already have hosts all over the world, and over 1.5 million volunteers (so you need to join quick and get ahead of the competition).

Click here to join Worldpackers or use SKYETRAVELS to get a $10 discount to your membership!

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Workaways in Scotland Pin

Further Reading

I believe that giving back in your travels is a huge plus, and I’ll always spend a few months out of every year doing volunteer jobs. Here are some more articles that cover volunteering, the pro’s and cons, and some of the experiences I’ve had.

It’s been well over four years since my first Workaway experience in Brussels, but it was the next one – my Workaway in France – that will forever live in my memory as an example of just how bad a volunteer job can get.

After I left, I wrote a basic story about my time in Touzac, France, but I never really got into the details about the Workaway. I didn’t want there to be any bad blood between the host and I. However, we all have a responsibility to accurately review hosts, services and products that we are familiar with. I’m not the only one to have written a negative review for Workaway in France host at the time, but unfortunately Workaway refuses to publish specifics for negative feedback – one of the biggest failures I see in their system. Well, here are the specifics.

Please forgive the lack of images in this article. I failed to take photos of any of the volunteer work or living conditions during my stay there. It was a few months into my travels before I got the hang of taking pictures.

A Workaway in France in the Middle of Nowhere

The first disadvantage of my Workaway in France was getting there. The village was called Touzac, located in the Midi-Pyrénées of western France. To get there from my Workaway in Brussels, I had a bus to Paris, another to Toulouse, a train to Cahors, and then a bus that dropped me off on the highway a couple miles from Touzac. All told, I spent nearly $60 on all the transportation to get there over 29 hours. The bus from Cahors to Touzac only ran once or twice a day, making the village extremely isolated.

Touzac had (and still has) only a single pub (run by the Workaway hosts) and a beauty salon. The closest corner market was a 4.5-mile hike along the highway, although that one was only open a couple hours a day on select days of the week with their schedule only posted on their window – not online. Otherwise, it was a 7.5-mile walk in the other direction to a decent supermarket.

Censoring the Feedback

After the bus dropped me off on the side of the highway, I waited a good half an hour before my host arrived. She pulled up in her Jeep and the first words out of her mouth were “Hello, I’m Simone. I’ll need to vet your feedback before you leave.” That was my first massive red flag. Granted, she’d only had a couple volunteers before me, but it really made me wonder what she was doing that would make her want to hide an accurate report of the Workaway when I left. It wasn’t long before I found out firsthand.

A Dishonest Profile

What caught my attention on their profile was the landscaping work they needed. They said they were laying a new path in their garden, trimming the bushes, etc. I’d had landscaping experience in the past and was excited to get back into it. The profile also mentioned accommodations in the big chateau on the property, home-cooked meals, etc. It only took a few minutes to ascertain that the profile had almost no validity.

Upon arrival, I was brought directly to the pub, given a paintbrush and told my first job would be painting. At that time, I had only been on the road for five weeks and I was very limited in the number of clothes I had. I reluctantly mentioned that I didn’t have any clothes for painting. The response I received was “Tough luck, that’s your job today.” As a comparison, the very next Workaway I had was near Cinque Terre in Italy. When I arrived there for a similar landscaping job, they also said my first task would be painting. Before I could even open my mouth to comment on my clothes, they quickly added that they had a jumper for me to use! But that’s part of the next story.

In the week and a half I stayed at my Workaway in France, it was only on my last two days when I finally received any landscaping tasks, and that was only after I specifically requested them. I’d had a rather uncomfortable confrontation with Simone in regards to my work in the pub. I’d mentioned that it had taken the entire day for my photos to upload, and she’d interpreted this to mean I’d spent the entire day on the computer trying to upload the photos, a fact contradicted by the other two volunteers who saw me working my allotted hours while my laptop sat in the corner desperately trying to connect to the pitiful WiFi connection.

Wretched Living Conditions

If the working conditions were bad, the living conditions were abysmal. Yes, all three volunteers received separate bedrooms in the big chateau on their property while Simone and her family stayed in the guesthouse out back. What wasn’t mentioned in the profile was that the main house had no heating, electricity, WiFi, etc. For two hours a day, Simone would turn on the water heater. This gave us enough warm water for about five minutes of usage. It was up to us to decide if we wanted to have a shower every three days, or just take a two-minute shower, with the third person guaranteed to end off freezing. Oh, and this was in February with sub-zero temperatures at night.

As to the food, we were given home-cooked food a couple times, but in the form of leftovers from their own table. More often than not, a couple ingredients were left out for us and we were expected to creatively combine them into some semblance of a meal. That worked for only a couple days, at which point another volunteer and I borrowed their two bicycles and rode the 7.5 miles to the Carrefour market. Unfortunately, the other volunteer had a defective bicycle and he was pitched to the concrete with some pretty bad injuries when the seat broke off beneath him on the ride back.

Drunk and Stoned Hosts

Perhaps what I took the most umbrage to at my Workaway in France was that Simone and her husband spent the entire time inebriated or stoned. Simone was a raging alcoholic and her husband was a pothead. Now, I’m not really against people who drink or smoke; it’s just a part of our culture I tolerate despite my total aversion to partaking myself. On the other hand, when the negative effects affect me directly, things get heated. It was a bit pitiful to watch Simone walk directly into the wall three times and fall down the stairs once, but I took offence when she got vicious toward me for not staying up with her and the others until 3 a.m. getting drunk and high. Unsurprising, there have been two other times when I had problems with my Workaway where I refused to get drunk with them. It’s no secret that I’m not a big drinker.

The worst experience during volunteering was on the last day. I was eating my last bowl of cereal from my trip to the supermarket when Simone’s daughter came into the main house with her boyfriend. She saw me eating and commented that she was hungry and there was no food at her house. I’d seen their kitchen and knew this to be false, but I kindly mentioned that perhaps her mom could pick her up some more food. She retorted that she didn’t want that food and stormed out. A couple minutes later, I received a call from an enraged Simone. She was furious that I hadn’t turned my cereal over to her daughter. Shocked, I pointed out that this was the last of my food I’d picked up on my own. Simone maintained that I should have given the cereal to her daughter anyway “since we were all a family there” and she would have reimbursed me. I had to refrain from pointing out how illogical that was.

How to Avoid Bad Workaway Hosts

I certainly don’t want to paint Workaway as a negative site. It’s true that some hosts exploit the free labor with a very imbalanced exchange for their guests, while other volunteers take advantage of their hosts in a deplorable way. In the two dozen or so Workaway experiences I’ve participated in over the years, a couple were more negative than positive, and this horrible Workaway in France was certainly an exception to the usual fun, esprit de corps and mutual cooperation I’ve experienced with most of my hosts.

It is an unavoidable fact that Workaway reviews can be dishonest, falsified, hidden, etc. This makes it hard to select a good host or volunteer. As I’m always inclined to trust everyone, I’m happy to stay with a host with few or no reviews. However, I wouldn’t recommend this to be on the safe side. The first thing I would say is to trust your instincts. If you see anything in the profile that makes you uncertain or wary, just move on to the next listing. If you want, you can always contact previous volunteers and see what they say about a host.

Don’t forget to do your research and read the fine print. If a host says you need to have your own vehicle, you’re probably going to be in a very isolated location without access to stores or other services. Make sure you clarify any living conditions if they’re not explicitly stated in the profile. Ask about meals, the condition of the room, etc. I’ve heard some horror stories by other volunteers about how they had to live in sordid hovels or go malnourished with no way to leave until the host would drive them back to civilization. Of course, my own Workaway in France was a good example of this, even though the rose-tinted profile made it hard to think anything should be questioned.

Finally, always have a backup plan. Don’t be afraid to leave if things go sour, you feel unsafe or insecure, or agreements aren’t kept. I’m a huge proponent of one’s own code of honor, and I believe you should never desert a group to which you owe your support. At the same time, you can’t let others put you down, threaten or harm you, or suppress your goals. If that group is detrimental to your survival, you don’t owe them anything. It’s not just your responsibility but your duty and honor to yourself to move on. The bottom line is to maintain your own integrity.

If you’ve had a good or bad Workaway experience, feel free to leave it in the comments below.

Switching to WorldPackers

Now that I’ve been harping on Workaway, I should probably point out that I’m actually not a fan of the platform. The Workaway reviews are too-easily misleading, volunteers and hosts both have problems with maintaining their end of the exchange, there’s absolutely no support system, etc. Recently, I’ve found the perfect alternative. Worldpackers is a volunteer platform that offers everything Workaway does, plus everything Workaway doesn’t. Worldpackers screens all their hosts and focuses on quality over quantity. They also offer a way better support system for the volunteers, even going so far as to offer a place to stay away from a host if things go bad, and then set-up at alternative volunteer location.

They focus a lot more on social impact and eco projects, which instantly grabbed my interest when I saw it. They already have hosts all over the world, and over 1.5 million volunteers (so you need to join quick and get ahead of the competition).

Click here to join Worldpackers and use SKYETRAVELS to get a $20 discount to your membership!

Further Reading

Despite this negative story, I still love volunteering. I believe that giving back in your travels is a huge plus, and I’ll always spend a few months out of every year doing volunteer jobs. Here are some more articles that cover Workaway, the pro’s and cons, and some of the experiences I’ve had.

Kuala Lumpur was one of the last countries I visited in 2015. I went for two weeks to help at a hostel as a volunteer through Workaway. After my fast-paced travels through Europe in the summer, it’s been nice to slow down in SE Asia and take my time in cities. Somehow my two weeks in Kuala Lumpur still went by too fast.

[button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/skyetravels/albums/72157662522964915″ icon=”fa-flickr” target=”true”]Photos of Kuala Lumpur[/button]

It’s been a while since I wrote a post on how to visit a city on a budget. It almost seems redundant to do so for the dirt-cheap countries of SE Asia, not to mention practically every blogger has beaten me to it. Then again, Kuala Lumpur seems to be one of the most expensive cities in SE Asia, with the exception of Singapore (but I haven’t been there yet). So trips for budget travel here are actually really important.

Please note: This article was originally written after my two weeks in Kuala Lumpur at the end of 2015. I have updated it in 2019 to include information and changes I learned about after my most recent visit to the city this year.

Transportation

If you fly into Kuala Lumpur, you will arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The cheapest way from KLIA to the city center is by Skybus or Star Star Tours. Skybus takes you to KL Sentral which is toward the southwest end of town (near the botanical gardens), while Star Tours takes you to Pudo Sentral (closer to the center of town). You can book in advance or purchase tickets on the 1st floor of the airport just before the exit. At the counter, the ticket was 11 (now 12) Malaysian ringgit (RM), which is about $3. If you really want to save fifteen minutes, you can also get the train for 55 RM ($19), but that’s not for the budget traveler.

Once you’re in the city, your cheapest conveyances are buses, trains, subway and light rails (trams). They will get you almost anywhere in the city. Most tickets are around 2 RM ($0.50). I was told by several people to never use a taxi for safety and budget reasons. I didn’t take one so I can’t confirm the validity of the advice, but I can still pass it along. I did have some friends in town using Uber which seemed workable, but not as cheap as the trams. The only problem is the public transportation stops around 11:30 p.m. Uber is your cheapest option after that. Update: In April 2018, Grab bought out Uber. The setup is the same but the prices are a bit higher it seems.

Kuala Lumpur Train Station

The train line runs along the western side of town. You probably won’t have to use it much within the city, unless you’re going to the Batu Caves. You can take the train to the Batu Caves from any of the stations within the city. The line is clearly labeled “Batu Caves.” For traveling around the rest of Malaysia, trains are an option but a little more expensive than buses (although faster and sometimes more comfortable).

If you don’t choose accommodations in the center of town, you’ll want to use the light rail system to stick to a budget when going to and from your hotel or hostel. If you want to see the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers (Petronas Towers), take the light rail Red Line to the KLCC stop. You’ll arrive underground and then can follow the signs to come up inside the towers themselves. It’s a little confusing and you might have to ask for directions.

Petronas Tower Mall

Accommodations

There are around 50 hostels in KL for the budget traveler. The cheapest is as little as $3 (the Natalia Guesthouse Pasar Seni). I stayed at the Original Backpackers Travellers Inn for a day and it wasn’t bad (but it’s now closed). You certainly got what you paid for. As a budget traveler, I’m [usually] fine with simple accommodations.

The rest of the time, I stayed at the Travel Hub Hostel which has some really nice studio-style rooms with loft beds. My stay there was free as I designed their website in exchange for my bed, which I set up through Workaway. Otherwise, the rooms are about $11 a night if you pay when you arrive, or you can click on the links on this page to use Agoda and find deals as low as $4 per night. Most of the hostels are located in the Old Town section of KL, southwest of the new towers, and are within walking distance of the Perdana Botanical Gardens, Chinatown, Little India and the city center. Some, like the Travel Hub, have rooftop bars with fantastic views of the towers in the city center.

View from the Attic Bar

Update: During my most recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, I stayed at the Dorms KL Hostel near the city center. For only $6 a night on Agoda, they’re a great budget option with tons of beds, really friendly staff, great facilities, a terrace bar and a streetside cafe selling delicious Malaysian-Indian food. The security is good, the cleaning is great; I’d highly recommend them if you’re traveling to Kuala Lumpur on a budget.

Dorms KL Hostel

Food

From the day I arrived in KL, I was sampling as many different types of local dishes as I could get…and stomach. Some of the street food seemed a little more “crude” than Thailand, and more than once I opted to eat in a cheap restaurant in lieu of at a food cart.

There is a pretty wide range of prices when it comes to restaurants and cafes in Kuala Lumpur. It’s possible to find a meal for as little as $2 (which is still more expensive than other nearby countries), but other restaurants have no qualms against charging you $20 for a similar meal. As a general rule, try to find establishments with simple seating and no waiters in tuxes.

On the first day, I had rendang ayam with teh tarik. Ayam means chicken, and rendang is a type of sweet curry common in the Malay region. Teh Tarik, the national drink of Malaysia, is tea made with condensed milk (similar to Thailand but with less sugar and a Lipton black tea flavor instead of the Thai black tea). The cost, including the tea, was $2.50!

Rendang Meal

The next meal I had was nasi lemak ayam, which is spicy fried chicken with sambal (spicy curry paste), rice, boiled or fried egg, cucumber, peanuts and dried anchovies. For the drink, I had iced cham, which is an interesting combination of tea and coffee; Malaysians know how to get the best of both worlds. Again, the meal came to about $2.50.

Nasi Lemak Ayam

Other than Malaysian food, I had several other cuisines in town. One local took me to a Moroccan restaurant called Restoran Marakesh where I had lamb couscous. Another day, I ate lamb curry at Kader Restaurant in Little India. Can you tell I like lamb? Indian food was actually a common meal for me, especially when a big one could be purchased for less than 8 RM ($2). (On my second visit to Kuala Lumpur, nearly every meal I had was Indian cuisine, and only once was the bill over $5.) It’s hard to find a meal for more than $5 unless you go to the really fancy, tourist restaurants. Similar to Thailand, it’s fairly simple to just walk down the street and point to the street vendors’ food to order something. Chinatown is a perfect place for that.

Indian Lunch with Lamb Curry

My favorite cafe/restaurant turned out to be right around the corner from my hostel in Chinatown: The Palm Cafe. This Chinese cafe had a lot of their own dishes, but also served Malaysian, American and even Italian food. All of it was surprisingly good…even the Western food. The best part of the restaurant was that it was really cool inside and the internet was great (and free) which meant I spent a significant amount of time there working on my blog. When you visit, be sure to try the mango and honeydew melon smoothies. I can honestly say the honeydew one was the best smoothies I’ve ever had.

Update: During my trip in 2019, I found two more excellent restaurants which were definitely budget friendly. The first was TJ’s, serving Indian-Malaysian cuisine. Despite the owners insisting the food is Indian, the dishes all have a Malaysian twist. It’s not fine dining, but the meals are cheap and filling. The cafe is located just a street away from the famous Food Street and underneath the Dorms KL hostel where I stayed during my recent trip.

Butter Chicken at Indian Cafe in KL

The second restaurant I would recommend from my recent visit (not that it could be called a restaurant) is Halab Gate. The Dorms KL hostel manager showed me this hole in the wall that serves shawarma…and only shawarma. There are different sizes, the smallest of which is only $1.25 and still big enough for a meal. As mentioned above, some of the street vendors can be a bit questionable, but others are some of the best places to eat in Kuala Lumpur on a budget.

Halab Gate Shawarma

Attractions

Kuala Lumpur has plenty of attractions to keep you busy for weeks, but not all of them are budget friendly. In a magazine I write for, I recently published a list of free attractions in Kuala Lumpur. If you do happen to have a larger budget, check out this article on a two-day itinerary of Kuala Lumpur which includes some other paid activities in town.

By far, my favorite attraction in Kuala Lumpur is the Batu Caves. Not long ago, the locals built a large temple complex within the caves. This has since become the most famous Hindu shrine outside of India. Update: In 2018, the location was given a facelift with a rainbow-colored paint job. The best part is that the caves are free to enter, although there are a couple attractions and museums there which you can visit for a nominal fee. Read my full article on the Batu Caves for everything you need to know before you visit.

Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur

Of course, what’s nice about Kuala Lumpur is it’s centrally located in Malaysia. By bus, several other good cities are just a few hours away. Singapore is to the south, Penang to the north and Malacca only a couple hours away on the coast. Bus tickets can be as cheap as $10 one way, and $15 round trip. The next time I visit, I definitely want to make an excursion to Singapore.

Basically, Kuala Lumpur is not the kind of city you can visit in a day or two. Well, you could, but you’d be missing out on a whole lot. When you go, set aside at least a fortnight (14 days), take a couple tours to other cities in Malaysia and maybe even plan for some shopping. Oh, one more thing – bring sunscreen and your umbrella. In my two weeks there, it rained every day but one and the temperature never dropped below 77°F, even at night. After all, it’s only 3 degrees north of the equator.

Safety

A final note on Kuala Lumpur is on safety. This town had the highest number of locals I met who had been the victim of a crime. Between robberies and attacks, the city was not portrayed to be that safe. Nothing happened to me personally which made my stay more adventurous, but I also took special care that I didn’t carry anything on me that could be stolen when I walked around town. Just follow the usual safety rules, like not going through empty parking lots or dark alleys, keep your valuables secured or locked up at the hostel, etc. and you should be fine.

Panorama of South Kuala Lumpur

Summary

On my first visit to Kuala Lumpur, through utilizing Workaway and avoiding all the paid attractions, I managed to keep my budget for the two weeks down to about $100 ($50 each week). By delivering a few massages at the hostel and finishing a project to write articles for a new urban challenges app in Bangkok, I walked away from the country with more than I arrived with (the first time I did that in my first year of traveling).

If you want to stick to a tight budget in Kuala Lumpur, I believe you can manage for as little as $15 a day, finding a hostel for as little as $5 through Agoda and $10 for food, transport, etc. If you want to visit with a bit more comfort, you could still keep the daily budget down to $50, sleeping in a decent hotel, eating in restaurants and going to some of the paid attractions. Or you could utilize Workaway, Couchsurfing and other sites to get the budget down to $7 a day in a pinch.

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Kuala Lumpur on a Budget

Further Reading

Planning to visit Kuala Lumpur or other cities in Malaysia? Here are some other articles you might like which will help you with your travels.

Here’s some extra reading to save hundreds on your next vacation or stage of your journey.