Traveling on a Budget - How to save BIG on accommodation!
One of the main things to consider while traveling is where you are going to stay.
It's hard being completely alone in a new area, with nowhere to stay and only expensive hotels or airbnbs available.
If you’re staying long term in a foreign country, then you can look into renting a place of your own. Unfortunately, that often means signing a lease for a fixed term, leaving you with a lot less flexibility with your traveling. Plus, they almost always charge for a deposit or downpayment and coming up with that cash while traveling is near impossible.
Thankfully, there are lots of hacks to minimizing or eliminating your accommodation cost while traveling.
1. Become a WWOOFER
WWOOFing stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It is a service that matches people looking for work on farms with farmers who are looking for labor. The main key to this is you have to be willing to actually work. Don’t worry, it’s not slave labour. WWOOFing allows you to find families who are looking for someone to help them for four to five hours a day. In return, they provide accommodation, food, and share some of the local culture with you.
Some of the jobs you might be doing:
Painting and decorating
Helping someone learn English
Building and construction work
In order to become a WWOOFer, you need to sign up for the national organization in the country you want. Annual membership usually costs around $30 USD per country. You don’t need any previous experience in farming to do this, just a desire to work.
These are two sights we have used to find wwoofing opportunities:
As you can imagine, WWOOF and WorkAway open endless opportunities for places to stay on your trip. If you make your way around the world visiting a selection of the 100+ countries that participate in WWOOF, you can save tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year. You can also learn skills, absorb languages, and make friends.
2. House + Pet Sitting
House sitting and pet sitting usually requires A LOT less manual labour than WWOOFing. You get to look after incredible homes, for FREE. Plus, play with pets all day. Sounds like a dream job right? Imagine you got to travel all over the world and you didn’t have to pay a cent for accommodation the whole time. You get to live in beautiful homes and truly experience the area like a local, getting off the beaten track. You will have lots of money left over to spend exploring and the only thing intruding on your incredible experience is a cute fluffy friend like a cat or dog. There are tens of thousands of homeowners around the world looking for someone to stay in their house and keep an eye on things while they’re away. The best thing about House Sitting for me was the money saved. Depending on which house sitting agency you use there will be a small up front fee to get house sitting jobs. After that you can live entirely rent free. The best two agencies we have found are:
Try House + Pet Sitting and never pay for accommodation while traveling again! Stop getting ripped off by overpriced accommodation and have money left over to spend on your travels.
Sign up for free and start planning your trip! There's something for everyone!
Couch-surfing is a global online community for backpackers, expats, students, families and just about everybody! The basic idea is to get free accommodation all over the world but it goes deeper than that, ultimately couch-surfing is an exchange of ideas and cultures.
When somebody hosts you they often show you parts of their country you would never otherwise find. CouchSurfing is free to join and surfers do not pay hosts however most surfers will make their host dinner or buy them a drink where possible. There are good CouchSurfing reviews and bad CouchSurfing reviews plastered all over the internet, we recommend joining up to discover this amazing community for yourself.
Some tips to help you stay safe while CouchSurfing:
Read all the reviews. Look for subtle hints from a reviewer who doesn’t want to just call the person out on being weird, but instead hints that they had problems.
Message back and forth with the person about what they have planned while you’re there and make sure you like the same activities or you’ll feel trapped.
Sign Up early. People won’t let you stay unless you have been on the website a while or you won’t seem safe to them.
Click here to join CouchSurfing, it's completely FREE.