Recently News.com.au posted an article titled “How we spent four months in Europe with free meals and accommodation”.
But this is nothing new. Both couples and solo travelers are doing this every day. How? By using a variety of different websites and being flexible with their time. Accommodation makes up a large percentage of your travel budget, and by decreasing or eliminating this cost, you’ll be able to travel for much longer. Here are some ways that you can also get free accommodation around the world.
The couple in this article used Workaway, and this is a great program if you don’t mind helping out your hosts in exchange for food and accommodation. This is an awesome way to travel around Europe, and after you pay 22 euros for a single person, or 29 euros for a couple and you’re registered for two years. You then spend a few hours each day working for the family, with the rest of your time free, and best of all, your food and accommodation is taken care of.
Workers do everything from childcare, cleaning, and cooking, to building, working in the garden, and odd jobs around the house. It’s a great opportunity to live with locals and a perfect way to travel if you haven’t saved up much money.
Two similar websites are Helpexchange and Wwoof. Helpexchange is great for Europe and especially Southeast Asia, while Wwoof has a ton of opportunities for Australia and New Zealand.
This is a well-known way to save on accommodation around the world. Basically you register on the couchsurfing website, make some friends, and look for hosts in whichever city you’re visiting next. Hosts will indicate the space they have available-eg a couch, room, or even the house if they’re out of town, and you can message them to see if you can stay.
The good thing about the couchsurfing community is people will write reviews about both hosts and surfers, so you can get an idea about the type of person you’ll be staying with before you arrive.
The couchsurfing community also has regular meetups, so even if you have you accommodation sorted and just want to meet other travelers, you can go along to the weekly dinner or meet for a drink at a local pub.
Want the whole house to yourself? Check out MindMyHouse, a site that matches homeowners with prospective house sitters. After paying a $20 registration fee you can browse houses and reach out to homeowners.
House sitters are responsible with keeping the house tidy and maintained, and often looking after pets. MindMyHouse keeps everything black and white, with contracts so each party knows what they are responsible for. To be picked as a house sitter, make sure you keep your profile updated and full of plenty of information about yourself.
Have you used any of these services before?