8 Ways to Find Free Accommodation While Traveling
No More Excuses — This Makes Travel Totally Doable!
So your dreams of traveling the world are big, but your travel budget is small? Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to stay in amazing places all over the world, without having to spend a penny? Well, there are. Here are some free accommodation ideas to get you started.
1. House Sitting
When people go on vacation for a while and don’t want to leave their home empty and vulnerable to burglars, they look for a house sitter who can look after their home while they’re gone. There are many house sitting websites where you can connect with people from all over the world and find fantastic places to stay — from homes to apartments to villas on the beach.
In exchange for this free stay your responsibilities will be keeping the house clean and secure, watering the plants and feeding and caring for any pets.
WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms and it is a worldwide network of farms where you can offer your labor in exchange for free room and board. Usually you will work three to four hours per day and you will receive food (usually delicious home cooked farm fare!) and a place to sleep.
You might be feeding chickens, milking goats, picking fruit, tending crops, chopping wood or anything else that needs to be done on the farm — so be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get dirty.
This is an excellent way to experience what rural life is like in your destination. Plus if you’re looking to travel for free, this is a great place to start!
While the WWOOFing website is focused almost exclusively on farms, Workaway is a network that allows you to find a range of opportunities all over the world to get free accommodation in exchange for work. You might find yourself building a house, volunteering at an orphanage, working at a monkey rescue center or teaching at a school — so take a look to find a job that fits your skills and experience.
Couchsurfing is a beautiful and inspiring social network where people all over the world welcome travelers to stay in their homes for free. Create a profile on the website and you will be able to seek out people who live in your destination city and are willing to let you stay on their couch or in their spare room for free.
You can also welcome travelers into your home to pay it forward, but it’s not necessary. It’s a wonderful way to connect with locals and get a better insight into the city.
5. Crew on a Boat
Sailing boats are always looking for crew and working on the boat usually means that you will get free passage – and perhaps even some pay. This option requires a little bit of sailing experience and knowledge, but even beginner sailors can offer a lot of help on the vessel.
This might not be the option for you if you get seasick easily!
6. House Swap
If you own a home, you could consider swapping it with someone else so that you can each stay for free in each other’s hometown. There are many house swap websites out there and they offer you the chance to find someone else to trade homes with for a week, a month or more. As a general rule, taking advantage of the sharing economy is a great way to save money and get better service.
7. Working in a Hostel
Hostels are great places for backpackers on a budget to stay. Besides being a cheap accommodation option, they offer a fun and social atmosphere, a kitchen, and often a lot of activities.
If you want to stay in a hostel for free, many will allow you to work in exchange for your stay. You might be checking people into the hostel at reception, cleaning the bathrooms and the rooms or even painting a mural on the wall – it depends on your skills and what the hostel needs.
8. Use Hotel Points
Many hotels will have sign up bonuses when you use their special credit cards, so take a look into these programs to see how you can use them for free stays in hotels. For example, when you sign up for the Chase Marriot Premier Visa you will receive 50,000 points and a free night at the hotel. When you sign up for the Chase Hyatt Visa card you will receive two free nights.
More generally, there are rewards credit cards that also enable you to collect points on all travel-related expenses. While it may take a little longer to save up for a flight, you should be able to rack up enough points for a stay at a hotel fairly quickly.
These are just a few of the ways you can stay in amazing locations all over the world without having to pay a thing. With options like this available, your travel possibilities don’t have to be limited by your budget!