5 ways to get free accommodation

Yes, you are reading it well, free accommodation! And what is more, they will not only not affect your pocket, but all of them will also let you spend original and, probably, unforgettable experiences. If you like getting away from ordinary things and you are interested in traveling cheap, this is your post!

1. WORKAWAY

Workaway is one of the best ways of getting free accommodation. This magnificent online platform (https://www.workaway.info/en) has the mission of building a community of travelers who really want to travel and contribute to the places they go. So, thanks to the list of thousands of hosts from all over the world who are registered, workawayers (this is how they call to travelers) can contact them to transmit their interest in living the Workaway experience.

Briefly explained, you can get free accommodation and meals in exchange for providing your help in many different aspects. There are some hosts who are even willing to pay you for your service. Despite these benefits, among many others, I would like to place special emphasis on the importance of doing Workaway due to the desire to help others.

Source: https://www.workaway.info/en

Once you have clear where you want to go and/or what kind of help you want/can offer, the next steps to follow are:

  1. Go into https://www.workaway.info/en  and fill the following table:
Source: https://www.workaway.info/en

2. Start looking for the hosts that meet your requirements. The following information is available in their profiles: description, availability, cultural exchange and learning opportunities, spoken languages, photos, evaluation and comments from other workawayers, etc. That is to say, all the information you need to be able to make up your mind.

3. Next, as soon as you know when you want to travel and who you want to contact with, it is time to register. In order to be part of the Workaway community it is necessary to pay an annual fee, which varies depending on whether you are going to live the experience alone or accompanied.

Source: https://www.workaway.info/en

4. Once the fee is paid, it is the moment to develop your profile. Write a short description about yourself, explain the type of help you are willing to offer, inform about the skills you have and the languages ​​you speak, etc. The more information you provide, the better. This way you will be able to let the hosts know you better and increase the chances to be accepted.

5. When you consider that your profile is complete, it is time to contact the hosts. Transmit your interest in living the Workaway experience with them, as well as specify in which dates you would like to go, among other possible information that you consider appropriate to comment on.

Remember that before registering you can see all the profiles, but not contact them. On the other hand, when you have already paid the fee and are registered, the contact option becomes activated.

6. Wait for your request to be answered and accepted.

Important to note that many hosts require a minimum stay. In most cases, you will have to “work” for few hours a day and the rest of the time you will be free to do whatever you want, among many other options, you will have the chance to travel and visit the surroundings of the place where you are staying.

Personally, I had the great opportunity to do Workaway for the first time in summer 2019. Without a doubt, it was such an enriching experience that I keep with much affection. You can read more about it in the following post:

2. WWOOF

Source: https://wwoof.net 

WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms, (WWOOF) is part of a worldwide movement linking visitors with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange thereby helping to build a sustainable global community.

The Aims of WWOOF are to provide individuals from all around the world the opportunity:

  • to get first-hand experience of organic farming & gardening and to lend a helping hand wherever needed;
  • to get into the countryside and experience live with locals;
  • to help the organic movement, which is often labour intensive and does not rely on artificial fertilizers & pesticides;
  • to make contact with other people in the organic movement;
  • to have a wonderful enriching experience;
  • to have a cultural exchange with locals.

So, if you are willing and motivated to provide your help in this area, here you have a wonderful opportunity that, besides this, will allow you to travel and spend almost no money at all.

Source: https://wwoof.net

All the information about the countries where you can live this experience is provided on its website (https://wwoof.net). It is not necessary to go very far away, but for those who like to travel, it is a very good option to contribute to the movement, learn and also save money by getting free accommodation or meals. As in the previous case, you will be able to visit the surroundings during your free hours.

The steps that must be followed to be part of this wonderful community are the following ones:

  1. Decide which country you want to go to and look for the available hosts.

  2. As soon as you find some interesting ones, it’s time to sign up. In this case, an annual fee of € 20 must be paid in case of registering individually or € 36 if done together with another person.

  3. Contact the host and explain why and when you would like to join.

  4. As soon as you are accepted, it is time to travel and enjoy the WWOOFING experience!

In case you are not interested in being part of this movement, I encourage you to investigate on your own about the importance of sustainable development and eating organic products. Both aspects imply greater health on a personal level, and greater care for the wonderful world we live in.

3. COUCHSURFING

Couchsurfing (https://www.couchsurfing.comis a global community of 14 million people in more than 200.000 cities that connects travelers to a global network of people willing to offer free accommodation. It’s as simple as registering, completing your profile and searching and writing to hosts to see if they might host you.

In January 2020, I had the opportunity to live my first Couchsurfer experience with a friend in Tel Aviv. We stayed two nights with a lovely couple who offered us a room at their home. After having personally experienced it and having spoken with other friends who had also been Couchsurfers before, here I share my opinion about the positive and not that positive facts of living this:

PROS

CONS

Source: https://www.couchsurfing.com

4. HOUSESITTING

I suppose you have heard about a babysitter, right? Well so if we change “baby” for “house”, housesitting arises, which effectively means taking care of houses while their owners are away. Normally, in addition to the house, it also involves taking care of their dogs, cats and/or other pets that stay in.

I certainly think it is an act of extreme trust on the part of the owners, but there are many people who do it and in the last few years it has become very popular.

It is important to point out that houses must be cleaned, if they have a garden it must be maintained and, above all, you will have to take wonderful care of the animals. Then you will wonder, and when do I have time to travel? It is true that this alternative may involve more responsibility and less free time than others, but it will allow you to live like a local and, in addition, if you are lucky, the owners will lend you their car so that you can make getaways around.

It is an exchange for what you neither get paid nor pay. Even so, to be able to contact the owners of the houses, you will have to register on a website that will ask you to pay for a fee. This will allow you to do housesitting unlimited for a year. Some of these pages are:

5. AU PAIR

Who is an Au Pair? According to AuPairWorld, an Au pair is a young person between the ages of 18 and 30, single and without children, who travels to a foreign country for a defined period of time to live with a host family.

As an au pair you will take on a role as a member of the family and help your host family with childcare and light housework. In return, your will receive free room and board plus pocket moneyIn addition, this experience will allow you to travel around, make new friends, learn a new language, improve your curriculum and many other benefits that will contribute to have such an enriching and unforgettable experience.

I have never been an Au Pair, but I know some people who have taken advantage of this opportunity and they totally recommend it. Despite this, I must also say that you have to hit the right family, otherwise, it can become a real nightmare, although I believe and hope that this happens on few occasions.

The best known and most reliable page to carry out the procedure to become an Au Pair is https://www.aupairworld.com/en . Once there, these are the steps you will have to follow:

Source: https://www.aupairworld.com/en

Entering the web you will find more detailed information about the stages of the process, as well as answers to questions that you may have right now.

So, here you have these fantastic ways of getting free accommodation. Without a doubt, there are many different alternatives to travel according to the conditions and the preferences that each one has. I hope I have opened you unknown doors or encouraged you to go for some of them that you may have previously heard about.

Besides this, in case you know any other options which are not in the list and that you consider to be interesting, I encourage you to share it in comments. Both myself and other blog readers will surely appreciate it.

Do not hesitate to write any messages or doubts in comments and/or directly to travelwithlorens@gmail.com . I will be so happy to read them and be of any help to you. Greetings dear travelers!

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