Top 5 Ways to Get Free Accommodation while Traveling

| March 26, 2016 | Reply

free accomodationAs a keen budget traveler, I’m always looking to cut costs wherever I can. Saving money when it comes to accommodation is a big one here, so finding ways to get a free night’s stay is essential if you haven’t got a huge holiday budget. Here are my top 5 ways to score a free bed anywhere in the world.

Camping

It might sound obvious, but it’s often overlooked. I never leave for any travel adventure without a tent and neither should you! From national parks, to people’s back gardens, showgrounds and community land, pitching your tent across the globe is a sure-fire way to score a free night’ sleep.

Nowadays, there are many lightweight tents available on the market, which are small, easy to assemble and designed to be carried or attached to a pack. Check out the Mountainsmith Morrison, which is an ultralight model, or the Snugpak Ionosphere, which is compact and incredibly fast to assemble, both come recommended.

Couch Surfing

I’m sure many of you will have heard of this brilliant online network that connects travelers, looking for somewhere to lay their heads, with locals, who have free mattresses, couches, bedrooms or floors. I’ve used this network all over the world and can’t rate it highly enough.

It’s also led to me make some great friendships and to visit places I never would have gone without a personal recommendation. Simply visit the couchsurfing website, create a profile and off you go. It’s simple, easy and free!

Wwoofing

Wwoofing stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms and is a global enterprise designed to match travelers look for work with hosts who need jobs doing. Work is completed on a voluntary basis, but food and accommodation is provided in exchange.

For only 4 hours work then, you can get a roof over our head and plenty to eat! Wwoofing networks are run independently within countries, so the level of service and availability varies depending where you are in the globe.

Nevertheless, I’ve used the scheme successfully in Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. Memberships fees can apply, but they are minimal and you get to access a whole country’s worth of free accommodation, so it’s worth it!

HelpEx

Like Wwoofing, but less geared solely towards farm work, Helpex matches people who need jobs doing with travelers who can help. Again volunteer work in exchange for somewhere to stay, Helpex lets you rest and eat for free as you meet locals and travel in a great example of cultural exchange.

I like Helpex as the spectrum of worker is broader than Wwoofing and often you can end up doing some cool stuff on sailing boats, in bed and breakfasts or on butterfly farms! I’m not kidding!

House sitting

Sweeping the budget travel realm by storm is house sitting, which is the latest arm of the burgeoning share economy and a great way to score accommodation for free when you travel. There are multiple websites you can sign up to either register a house that needs sitting or an interest as a sitter.

Recommended examples include. Again a global network, House sitting is an increasing popular way to get free accommodation around and particularly suits slower, more long-term travelers. Home Exchange is also another sharing economy example of free accommodation while traveling.

You need to own your house for this one, but technically you can swap it with somewhere else across the other side of the world if you’re both looking to holiday at the same time. I recommend signing up to the Home Exchange website if you’re interested in this one.

There is a small annual fee, but it’s incredibly cheap compared to the network of potential holiday homes you can get access to anywhere in the world. It also guaranteed safety. I’m yet to try House sitting or Exchanging, but I’m very excited about doing so in the future.

So there you have it, my top 5 ways to get free accommodation while traveling. Well, what are you waiting for?!

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Category: Travel Tips

About the Author ()

Samantha is a seasoned traveler, taking the first backpacking trip around Africa straight out of school. Samantha has found plenty of travel equipment along the way that makes travel so much easier.

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