Avoid these 6 most common difficulties for new hosts at Worldpackers
We’ve put together the most common setbacks in the beginning of the host’s journey in this article to help you not to repeat these errors.
It is important that you are well prepared to receive the volunteer on your property, and this goes far beyond having a bed available when they get there. Fulfilling everything that has been offered on your Worldpackers profile, providing good training and infrastructure to the traveler, and being prepared to live with people from different cultures are keys to a successful collaborative experience.
- Hours and Days
Look at the hours that you asked for in your profile and plan the tasks for your volunteers around them. Remember that the volunteers will be on your property to give you a helping hand, and not as substitutes for a fixed staff.
In addition, the traveler has free time to get to know the city, the surroundings and the local culture. So be flexible whenever possible and always pay attention to what was agreed upon with the volunteer through the platform. The same applies to days off.
When planning the tasks for the traveler, check which skills you selected on your profile. The worldpacker will arrive at your property ready to perform the activities you both agreed on through the platform, and failure to do so could disrupt the experience for both of you. We know that some plans change half way through and it’s very important that you be transparent and understanding with the volunteer.
- What you offer
A lot of volunteers choose a position because of the extras that are offered - like breakfast, laundry and discounts - and are prepared to receive them. It may seem simple, but an unforeseen expense could weigh heavily on the worldpacker’s wallet and could turn into a major problem for the experience. So, only select on your profile what you are really able to provide. In case of something extra that has exceptions (like offering breakfast only on days when the traveler helps you), always make this info clear in the Description of the job.
Prepare the spaces the traveler will be staying in: make them clean, comfortable and in appropriate conditions (safety, temperature, adequate light and ventilation). You can let them know after the volunteer gets there, that they will be responsible for cleaning the space and for letting you know if anything is wrong with the set up.
Add photos of the volunteer accommodations in your Photo Gallery, and make the condition of the spaces clear, including shared spaces, in the Description of your property. This helps you align expectations from the very beginning.
Don’t forget that above all else, what matters is the experience. So make sure you and your team/family are prepared to welcome the traveler. Remember that people have different cultures and habits and that empathy is the key to a good coexistence.
To guarantee a positive experience for both sides, it’s essential that you and your volunteers talk a lot and be transparent, friendly and polite to one another. Feedback sessions can help avoid problems during the exchange.
If something goes wrong, never take an aggressive stance: try to understand the other side and, if things are still not resolved, talk to our Support team to get important tips on how to take action on the problem.
- Training & Planning
Many problems during the experience happen for lack of clarity in the explanation of the tasks and activities to the travelers. So plan the volunteer’s tasks in advance and in the most detailed way possible. You can rely on spreadsheets, checklists or any other tool that helps you get organized.
On the worldpacker’s first day at your property, give them complete training: explain all the planned activities very well, teach how the necessary tools work, show them around the property and give all the necessary information so that he/she can do the tasks with peace of mind.