How HelpStay reviews work for hosts and volunteer helpers


If you google the term HelpStay, you’ll find that one of the most popular searches related to HelpStay is helpstay reviews. Although HelpStay reviews are helpful in making a decision to travel to a host, they’re not the be all and end all.

Research by Dr. Simester’s 2014 study referenced in the NY Times tells us ‘Very few people write reviews. It’s about 1.5 percent, or 15 people out of 1,000’ and asks “Should we be relying on these people if we’re part of the other 985?”

There are more important checks to undertake when it comes to selecting a suitable project to visit.

For starters, the majority of stays on HelpStay have no reviews. This does not mean that these great projects should be avoided. It simply means that these projects haven’t been visited by a helper or if they have, they haven’t got around to leaving feedback.

In our free eBook, Volunteering Abroad? How to make the most of your experience, Margherita tells us ‘Keep in mind that just because a review isn’t negative, doesn’t mean it’s positive. Hence, if you decide to go anyway, expect surprises’.

Where can I read reviews

You can find and view HelpStay reviews in the following ways.

  1. By scrolling towards the end of the host project page e.g see project Intern in Tuscany – Learn the Wine Tourism Business (Italy)
  2. Use the search facility and filter your search to display only Stays with reviews.
  3. Access HelpStay on a desktop and scroll to the homepage bottom where you’ll see a random sample of genuine reviews by volunteer helpers.
Screenshot of HelpStay reviews on desktop homepage
(Screenshot of reviews on desktop homepage)

HelpStay Reviews – Before you go

Before making a decision to travel, we always recommend that both helper and host have many conversations. Get to know each other – that’s what we say.

At least one of these chats should be via phone. This way both parties get to know what is expected of each other. During the call, both parties can raise their hopes, concerns and fears. This way helpers can get a genuine idea what will meet them on arrival and understand the duties expected of the position.

Additionally, If you need more assurance, you’ll find that good hosts when requested will happily put you in contact with past helpers who stayed with them. By reaching out to past helpers directly, you’ll get a very good idea of what the stay will entail.

HelpStay Reviews: How to interpret reviews

When you’re browsing hosts, look through their reviews! If there aren’t any, Google the people or the business/organization where you’re considering volunteering.

As soon as you find information from previous volunteers or customers, read it carefully. If they sound dull or too general be suspicious.

A lot of people think it’s rude to leave bad feedback so they’ll often be vague and say things like, “Nice guy, nice place, thank you so much.” For that reason, you need to read between the lines.

Schedule a call with the potential host

And record it if you can. This might seem like a disrespectful invasion of one’s privacy but as a helper you’re most likely not getting any contract and this means no guarantees whatsoever. It is risky already.

There are free apps to record your calls directly on your smartphone such as Call Recorder and often free tools already installed on your smart device.

As a result, the recording can be handy when you’re lost with no cell service and you need to remember phone numbers or any information. If the call is months before volunteering, you could probably forget some details.

During the call ask any and all of your lingering questions and also the things you do know already. Confirm claims and don’t spare on questions. Above all, the conditions must be clear for both parties.

The conditions between host and volunteer need to be crystal clear. If you have special requirements, such as a food intolerances or asthma, make sure your host knows this information. Speak about the work schedule, the amount of hours expected, accommodation, facilities. Ask how you’re going to get fed. Are you cooking for yourself or are you eating together? Are they paying for all of the food? Is it three full meals a day? These are things you’ll definitely want to know.

How do I leave feedback for a host

Where the stay is booked using the HelpStay booking system, then on completion of the stay, the helper will receive an email notification with a link where they can write feedback for a host.

If the stay has not been booked through the HelpStay booking system, please contact us directly with the project title and the dates of your stay. We’ll respond with an email including a link where you can leave feedback for the host.

How do I leave feedback for a helper

First, the helper must leave feedback.

When their feedback is published, the host in turn can leave feedback. The host will receive an email notifying them that they’ve received feedback.

To reciprocate feedback for a helper, first log into the HelpStay dashboard. When logged in, navigate to the bottom of your host listing where you’ll see the helper feedback. There, you’ll see a link where you can write feedback for the helper.

If you as a host would like us to reach out to a helper requesting their feedback for you, please contact us directly with the helper name, email address and the dates of their stay. We’ll email the helper directly and include a link where they can leave feedback for you.

HelpStay Reviews: Keeping safe

The purpose of this information is to be as transparent and as open as possible. We want you to have an enjoyable and safe trip.

However, when travelling you need to keep your wits about you, you have to be aware and alert. Leave nothing to chance – always complete your own independent checks.

Travelling using a platform such as HelpStay is for grown ups. To avoid falling prey to scammers and unscrupulous individuals, you need to take extra care.

Leave nothing to chance and if you have any doubts about the sincerity or intentions of a host before or during your trip, contact us for help.