How to get free accommodation when you travel

No doubt that travelling is one of the best ways to enrich our life. Through travel, we will be exposed to different cultures, meet people from all walks of life, learn something new and most importantly, it allows us to understand ourselves better.

But the sad truth, travelling is never free.

One of the expenses that will eat up our travelling budget would be on accommodation. Depending on your travel style, it can be really cheap if you choose to stay the budget way in places like guesthouse and backpackers hostel. Regardless of how cheap it can go in comparison to 4 or 5-star hotel, accommodation will still eat up a huge portion of your budget in the long run.

Through the advancement of technology and the concept of a borderless world, there are a number of ways you can actually get free accommodation. That is right. FREE! Next time you travel, try these out.

Couchsurfing

The concept of Couchsurfing is pretty straightforward following the concept of hospitality exchange. You get a free accommodation from your host in the country you are travelling to. But bear in mind that the accommodation is usually very basic. Expect to sleep on the couch, a mattress on the floor and usually bed sharing with your host. There are also host that provides you with your own room.

The goal of Couchsurfing is not exactly just giving out free accommodation but on cultural exchange. It helps to bridge the gap between locals in the country you are visiting with travelers who would want to get to know the country and culture more. So do bear in mind that if you are only looking for free accommodation with no interest in getting to know the locals, Couchsurfing is definitely not for you. Most locals opening up their home to you don’t like it if you are using it like a hotel room; some degree of interaction and cultural exchange is expected.

In terms of safety, you are able to read up on the references left by other surfers to get to know the host better. So is couchsurf for you? If you are someone that love to get to know the locals, explore new cultures and will be okay with not having privacy in your living space, then couchsurf will be for you. One of the best part of this platform is that is connects you to the authenticity of what the country has to offer.

Sign Up Here: Couchsurfing

Volunteering/Helping out

When I first heard of this concept, I find it rather interesting and tried it myself. The accommodation is not exactly free. Though you don’t actually pay physical cash for it, you pay by volunteering your time there helping out in return for accommodation. I actually love this concept as you are able to learn something while you volunteer. Some of the common volunteering opportunities are teaching and helping out in an organic farm.

Similar to couchsurfing, the accommodation offered will be very basic as it a volunteering opportunity. There is still an element of volunteerism. Getting a free accommodation through volunteering will be one of the best way to pick up a new skill and at the same time, contribute back the society.

One of the best platform I would recommend is Workaway You are able to browse through a list of projects available. A detailed information along with reviews from other workawayers can be seen from the host profile. If you are interested in the project, all you need to do is simply connect with them and get a mutual agreement on the date and time of arrival. Most host would prefer if you are able to stay for more than a week. However, there are also other project that are pretty flexible in terms of the duration of stay.

Sign Up Here: Workaway

House Carer 

 

If you are someone that value some privacy and are planning to stay over at somewhere for a longer period of time, volunteering and Couchsurfing may not be appealing. Couchsurfing requires you constantly interact with your local hosts. House Carer is definitely my favorite among all. Though I love the thought of meeting people while I travel, house carer accommodation opportunity is definitely one of the best option. You do not only get your privacy, but also get the comfort for staying over a period of time.

Here how it works, house owner will list in the platform regarding a vacancy for a house sitter and you (house sitter) can search for house to house sit in the location you are travelling to. It’s a win-win situation. The house owner get someone to take care of their house and in return, you get a free accommodation. The commitment you need really depends on the house owner itself, which is usually come into consensus through a discussion on the platform.

It would be advisable to check on the tasks which you are required to help out on. Usually general work like cleaning the house, feeding their pet and etc. House carer is definitely one of the best option as it gives you the freedom to explore around and getting a good accommodation to live in for free.

Check out the platform here.

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