Find Free Accommodation Anywhere in The World
I know it probably sounds crazy. Like how can you possible stay for free around the world? But honestly it’s 100% possible. I have spoken to so many people who think I must be loaded to be doing what I do. But the truth is I’m not. I built a business that would work for me and that means I don’t want to work all the hours in the world.
I am in the process of launching a new business that will make me much more money for much less time but at the moment, as a freelancer I am earning around the same as I was in the UK. Not loads, enough to live well on in a less developed country, or to live in a similar country to the UK just about ok. If you know how to travel smart.
I did a post a while back about cheap travel. But this one I just wanted to focus on FREE accommodation. Places you can stay and not spend a penny. Pretty amazing and some of the best experiences I have had.
This may sound obvious but who do you know that lives in another country? I am super lucky to have family and friends all over the world and when I travel and plan my trips, I generally plan to go to places where I have someone I can stay with. Even if not for the full duration at least for part of the time. This way I can save money or stay totally free.
There are also lots of ways to meet new people from all over the world. We have the internet which is an amazing thing and since I started talking about my journey online I have made so many friends who are like minded. When I am in their local area I get offered a place to stay and often plan trips to ensure we get to meet in real life. The bigger your network, the more friends you have, the more opportunities to stay with people all over the world.
Below – Family and friends in Atlanta, Georgia
If you have read any of my other blogs you will know how I sing the praises of Workaway. It’s an amazing website where you can find people who need help with something. You do this “work” for them in return for board and food. So if you are travelling on a budget it’s an amazing way to save money. No rent and no food costs for the whole time you are there. That is of course unless you want to buy specific things that they don’t buy.
I have had 3 workaway experiences so far and 2 were amazing! One wasn’t so great, you can read about it here but the other two have been amazing and I now feel like I have families all over the world.
The work is extreemely varied and you can do anything from housework and childcare to DIY and Gardening to Marketing and Graphic Design. It totally depends on the family or the person and their needs. I have 2 more Workaways planned for the last 2 months of this year, one in New Zealand and on in The Blue Mountains near Sydney and I can’t wait! Highly recommend Workaway as the first option for free accommodation worldwide.
Below – My Madrid Family from Workaway.
World Schooling Groups
Now this ties in with the first thing I said about your network. There are so many families out there now who are worldschooling and travelling. There are groups on Facebook where you can connect with these familes and even get hosted. This could be as a free guest or sometimes at a very cheap price, it just depends on the circumstances. I have now stayed in 3 worldschooling families houses. These families are amazing, doing things differently and my kind of people. If you want to meet really cool, interesting, unique travelling families then try out the World School House Swap / Sit / Rent or Worldschooling Couchsurfing groups on Facebook.
Below – Austin Texas with my worldschooling host Melanie
Below – Los Angeles with my worldschooling host family
Below – Hawaii with my worldschooling host Katherine
So this is something I hadn’t tried until very recently. On my way back from Hervey Bay to Sydney in Australia I needed to spend a night in Maryborough in order to catch an early lift. Instead of booking an AirBnB for the night I decided to try couchsurfing. I had been on the site for months but never managed to find anything that fit whilst in the US.
The site is basically people who offer travellers a bed for the night. This might be an actual couch or it could be a spare room. It could be for one night or a few, I’m not sure it really works as a long term arrangement but I have only used it once so I am not 100% sure. I generally look for women and families as I feel this is safer. I also look for people with lots of reviews and verifications. I found a guy who had 67 reviews, lived with his wife and son and messaged him.
It turned out to be a great experience. Not only did he offer us a bed for the night, he picked us up from the bus station and his wife cooked us an amazing Cambodian dinner. We talked all evening about travel and our journey and experiences and then went to bed in their spare room which had a single bed and an air bed. All totally free. It was really cool and I would recommend it to anyone.
I am yet to find a house sitting gig that fits with me but I know many travellers who go all over just doing this. There are lots of website where you can find them, just type into Google and have a look.
House sitting is something people often want when they are going away for a long period of time and are worried about the security of their property. Or if they have pets. If you are an animal lover then there are tonnes of pet sitting gigs.
Finally if you still have your home base (unlike me as I have no actual house to swap) then you can do house swapping. There is a great group on Facebook where worldschoolers do this. I talked about this in the worldschooling families paragraph. However, I am sure there are many other ways to find these kinds of arrangement. I just had a quick Google and found this site HomeExchange.com check it out. Some people do this for long term arrangements or you could look at just doing it for a holiday. Save on paying for accommodation.