What is this?  HelpX or POF?

Following my exciting booking of the flight on Saturday, I have thrown myself full steam ahead into booking and organising (if possible even more than I already was!).  Yesterday I emailed my first host on the HelpX website (more info about HelpX later).  It was an easy choice as they were the farm that I kept going back to and instinctively feel are the right ones for me.  Writing to them was nerve wracking – I had no idea what to say and went with what seemed like an incredibly cheesy message about how I liked their profile and that this is the first time I have done this.  This is where things began to feel like Plenty Of Fish.  I was nervous about what to say, kept reading and rereading my message and as soon as I pressed send, I felt excitement with a large side helping of nerves.  The anticipation and desire for a response is something I can only describe as similar to online dating!  I had a quick reply saying that they would look at my profile and get back to me.  A few hours later, I had an email saying they would love to host me, can pick me up from the airport and just need copies of some insurance type documents.  I felt butterflies and excitement in my stomach when I got the reply.  They sound soooo lovely and I hope that my expectations are not too high – I cannot wait to get there!

Insurance – I got my insurance today.  This seems to be a minefield and I had previously got quotes from what seemed like an endless stream of different companies.  How much luggage cover do I need? What activities will I be doing?  How much am I prepared to pay?  I eventually settled on a policy with Holiday Safe.  There are so many options to consider with each company.  I went with the Worldwide Long Stay option – this gives me £1,000 baggage cover, £500 electronics cover, working holiday, volunteering and medical emergency cover (plus lots of other boring stuff that seemed necessary!).  I added on the Level 3 Activity Cover – this seems to cover me for all sorts of weird and wonderful things that I have never even considered doing, but it is great to know I am covered if I want to!  So, for £282, I seem to be covered for everything EXCEPT competitve or contact sport, undergound work or two storeys above ground or heavy (25kg) lifting work.  Oh, and I also declared my ITBS which didnt add any extra costs! Win.

HelpX – Given that my primary reason for visiting Canada if I dont get an IEC Visa will be to be a tourist, as I understand it, I can volunteer as a secondary activity for up to four weeks per placement.  This is as long as the placement is not making profit from my work there.  This work can be in return for bed and board, so I should be okay for a while with no income with my spending money saved before I go, as long as I save enough money to buy a flight back out of Canada for when the time comes.  Wow, writing that, I already feel sad about leaving and I havent even left yet!!

I think that this is definitely enough excitement for one night!  Just need to wait for payday to give some of my money to people for boring stuff that I have to do to rent out my house.  Researching Canada stuff is much more fun…..!


5 thoughts on “What is this?  HelpX or POF?

  1. I also got my insurance through Holiday Safe as they were number 1 in the Which? report and they seemed to be the cheapest that covered everything!

    I’m here on a tourist visa (for now) – is there any limit on the hours you can volunteer? As you said it has to be a secondary activity if you don’t have a work visa…


    • Ah thats good to hear, i hadnt seen the which report. As far as i kno there isnt a volunteer limit but you cant be taking a job and cant be making profit…. Most seem to be 4-6 hrs a day. I cant wait to see all the cheesy tourist stuff but also really excited about seeing the contrast between home farm and canada 🙂


      • Thanks, I don’t think I want to be working for free for more than a few days a week anyway 🙂 There sure is a lot of things to do, but it’s freezing right now!


  2. Hi there,

    My name is Amber and I am the Brand Manager for Holidaysafe.

    I just spotted your blog and wanted to say thank you for choosing Holidaysafe to insure you trip.

    I hope you have a fantastic time, and if you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Kind regards,



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