Getting Free Accommodation: My Workaway in San Jose, Costa Rica

Workaway.  An easy way to experience the culture, community and language of the place you want to go. Not to mention, a free bed, and near instantaneous travel family. When I found the site, I immediately began to type in the names of cities I wanted to visit and countries I had never been. I paid the $30 registration fee (it’s good for a year!) and started perusing the site see what would pique my interests.

I found one Workaway in Coffs Harbour, Australia, and another one in San Jose, Costa Rica. Each Workaway job and location is different. I knew I wanted to work in hostels, so I searched specifically for postings needing volunteers to help in hostels.

In Coffs Harbour, I volunteered for about two hours a day with 3 or 4 other travelers. We were responsible for cleaning the hostel. After only two hours in the mornings, we were finished with our work and were able to explore the areas around us. This was perfect, as the hostel was close to beaches and hiking trails. We worked everyday, and the hours were somewhat flexible. We shared rooms with the guests, and we were able to blend in.

Here, in San Jose, the Workaway is different. First and foremost, I am at Aldea Hostel in San Jose. This hostel has a restaurant and bar: The Corner Pizzeria. There are four volunteers and we share a dorm together. We have our own bathroom facilities, and our own space. We work about six hours four consecutive days a week. Our first two days, we work the night shift, and therefore we don’t need to be back until 3 or 4 pm.  Our last two days we work the morning shift. Our hostel is attached to a restaurant and we are able to work there at night; whereas, during the day, we clean the hostel and make beds.

I’m a big fan of the schedule I have in San Jose. The three consecutive days off are able to be used to explore new places in Costa Rica. The hostel is only a twenty minute walk to the bus station and San Jose is centrally located. The Workaway at Aldea is different: working is actually a lot of fun, and the staff are friendly.  I’m really enjoying my time here, and it feels like I have a home base here in Costa Rica.

Although I do have to pay for the accommodation I need when I take my weekend trips, (so far, I’ve been to Tamarindo, and La Fortuna– keep an eye out for these upcoming posts!) I can choose to stay in San Jose on my days off and my accommodation is included. I get a thirty percent discount on the food and drinks in the restaurant, and there’s a kitchen I share with the guests. This Workaway has been a great experience so far, and I highly recommend it.



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