Want to travel the world seeking adventure? Relax on the Caribbean coast? Stay at a beautiful villa in France? Experience the magnificent Chinese Culture? Of course you do! The only problem is how to fund your adventures when paying for hotels and hostels can add up quickly. Lucky for you, there’s lots of ways to stay around the world for free or very cheaply. Here are 8 proven ways to stay abroad for free!
1. COUCH SURFING
CouchSurfing.com is is 100% free to join and provides free accommodation. More importantly, it is also an awesome way to meet locals and make life long friends. If you’re the type of person who believes “a stranger is just a friend that you haven’t met,” then this is the website for you! It is based on references, so you can check to see if other people enjoyed the host that you’re going to stay with before you get there. And if you want to test it before staying at anyone’s house, CouchSurfing.com has lots of free events all over the world that you can check out.
Want to gain an exotic work experience on the road, while reaping the benefits of free accommodation? If yes, you should look into work-for-stay options like Workaway.info. You can browse through a large range of different jobs ranging from a dairy farmer in Turkey, to organic farming in India, to joining a sailing crew off the coast of Panama. With such an incredible range of jobs, you will surely find something worthwhile! Look carefully at what they are offering, and put forth your skills! Most places expect you to stay for roughly a month, but it varies depending on the job. You can sign up by yourself or in a pair.
3. HOUSE SITTING
If you want a bit more privacy while embarking on cultural endeavours, then you should take a look at house sitting sites like MindMyHouse.com. From websites like these, you can find a beautiful house to look after just about anywhere in the world! A lot of times they’ll ask you to do small day-to-day things such as bringing in the mail, which is a small price to pay for the comfort of enjoying a house to yourself in the country of your choosing. If you’re a pet lover, there are also many houses that are asking you take care of their dogs and cats for them! This is a great way to set up a free home base for yourself while you take day trips to surrounding areas.
4. BECOMING AN AU PAIR
Being an au pair is the ideal way to experience the culture through the eyes of a local. You get adopted into the family as an older sibling to the family’s children. You usually get paid an allowance while getting free accommodation. You can be an au pair anywhere from Rome, Italy to Sydney, Australia. So if you’ve ever enjoyed babysitting, or have been drawn to the irresistible cuteness of kids, then you should definitely look into being an au pair. A good site to check out is AuPairWorld.com. In a lot of the main cities, there is usually a large group of Au Pairs that you can meet up with- so you’ll be able to make friends in no time. The hardest part about being an au pair is saying goodbye to the kids after the contract is up.
5. WORKING AT A HOSTEL
If you’re a backpacker looking to make heaps of friends from all over the world, then working at a hostel is the best option for you! Many hostels are looking to hire backpackers as receptionists or bartenders. Not only will you be able to bond with all your backpacker co-workers but you’ll also be able to meet all the travelers passing through. You can either find a hostel job on WorkAway.info or you can just show up to any popular backpacker city and look around at hostels and ask if anyone’s hiring!
WWOOF, often referred to as ‘wwoofing,’ stands for World Wide Opportunities For Organic Farming. So if that doesn’t give an accurate understanding of the program, then allow me to further explain what it means. It means that you’ll be working alongside other cool travelers like yourself on a organic farm, which will not only help the farmer but it will also help the environment! This method of free accommodation is a great way to go traveling and come home feeling rewarded that you’ve done your part to better the world while on the road. Check out wwoof.net for opportunities.
7. FREE HOTELS USING POINTS
If you’re the type who’s constantly on the go, either flying from point A to point B every couple weeks, or constantly staying in hotels, then you can rack up lots of points that you can later redeem for free accommodation! There are hundreds of loyalty programs that exist that are looking to give you points, you just need to understand how to use the system. Websites such as TravelAddicts.net will give you a how to guide on how to enter the world of ‘travel hacking.’ This will require a commitment but if you do enough research, you will be staying in nice hotels for free or for a small price. And the more hotels that you stay in, the more you’ll be able to stay for free!
8. FIND FRIENDS!
The final option is simple, but always effective. Go out there and make friends on the road! Everyone is willing to help out a traveler! If you’re a social butterfly who can make friends whenever and wherever, accept the generosity of others. The more that you travel, the more you meet people from all over the world. You will start to make connections in every country and in every continent, who would look forward to seeing you and sharing their culture with you. It’s also good to go to places where you already have friends or family. You get to travel and also get to see an old family member you haven’t seen in years. It’s a win-win!
The bottom line is that traveling doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think it will be. If you do your research, you can find a type of budget traveling that will work for any type of traveler! Whether you’re an introvert who wants the house to yourself or if you’re the party animal who will be behind the bar of the wildest hostel in the city, there’s a type of budget travel that will work for you!
Share you own budget travel tips with our readers in the comments below.
By We Are Travel Girls Contributor Gail Armor
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