Find places to exchange your skills for accommodation at Worldpackers!


Worldpackers is an online community that connects travelers and hosts. According to Eric, a co-founder of Worldpackers, “Worldpackers is a community based on collaboration and honest relationships that make travel more accessible to those seeking a profound cultural experience.” Through an online platform, they “connect travelers looking to exchange their skills for accommodation with incredible hosts from all around the world.” They believe that “travelling changes people and people will change the world.” Worldpackers aims to help travelers and hosts save money, learn new languages, share knowledge and space, understand different cultures and make life-long friendships. Worldpackers has its presence in over 96 countries already. Users, mostly 20 to 30 years old, who use similar websites that promote volunteer programs, are potential members of the Worldpackers community.

The Journey

“Fed up with normal life as an auditor in Sao Paula, Brazil,” Eric Faria went around in the US “to learn English and have new experiences”. He found himself at a hostel in San Diego, California that uses travelers as volunteers for their staff-work and in exchange provide them accommodation. After working as a housekeeper, a tour guide, to name a couple of things he did, he then became a host himself by helping to find “The International Travelers House”, a hostel chain based in California whose staff was entirely composed of volunteers.

Eric then met Riq, a “really good friend” from Brazil who had been travelling for four years, trying to find places where he could exchange his skills for accommodation. Riq joined as a volunteer at the hostel in California. Eric and Riq then decided to make traveling more accessible not just for themselves, but for “anyone in the world.” Recalling the journey, Eric says that Riq and he lived in a van in California for three months. Then they moved to Sao Paulo where they had to sleep on air mattresses for another 3 months. The first version of the website, made by an Indian firm, was designed in an excel spreadsheet. The websites that were initially designed crashed when Worldpackers gained media attention in Brazil. João Machini, a software engineer with work experience in some of the largest marketplaces, joined them to help them make use of technology efficiently. João is currently the CTO and co-founder of Worldpackers. Today, Worldpackers has a 12 member team and has 10 ambassadors around the world.

How do they monetize?

Worldpackers charges a fee of 50 dollars for each trip a user confirms on the platform. If a user doesn’t travel, he doesn’t have to pay. One can write and receive reviews, recommendations and endorsements from hosts. There are plans to charge hosts who require premium features. StartupDope readers can avail a discount of 20%. Offer lasts till 30th April. The Promo code to be used is “StartupDope”.

Do visit their website –

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