It is no secret that international travel is on the rise. But, accommodation is often one of the biggest costs of travel. Did you know that many places offer free accommodation for travellers. Some of them even cover your food costs too!
Here are 10 places that offer free accomodation for travellers.
1.FREE Places to Stay- Hospitality Exchanges
There is a network of hospitality exchanges that connect travelers with locals who sometimes offer a spare room, a couch, food and even a chance to be shown around by someone who knows the area- all for FREE.
The hosts are looking to meet new people, learn from new cultures, and practice a new language.
Is it safe?
Yes. * You have to complete a thorough profile where you have to provide references. Most sites will have a feedback system, so you can read up on the testimonies of other travelers and their experience with the host.
Here is a list of places that offer a place to stay for free:
*Women Wandering Beyond does not guarantee the safety of any traveler. It up to you to take the necessary precautions for your safety.
Vet each host profile, read the testimonials, tell your friends and family where you are going and the address you are staying at when you arrive.
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When people go on vacation, they normally worry about their houses being broken into. They also pay a lot of money to send their pets to a cattery or a dog kennel.
Housesitting comes in to connect responsible travellers and homeowners who are on vacation. It is also a type of free accomodation for travellers.
You normally need to take care of the house, water the plants and feed their pets. Sometimes they don’t have pets, it depends on the listing.
What do you need to do?
Set up a profile with references and start searching for houses in the area of your choice. To increase your chance of being selected, read the listing properly and match your application to it.
E.g.; I love gardening and would love to give your pet cat, Suki, lots of snuggles in the evening.
Many homeowners are prepared to offer their homes for free in return for the peace of mind that their home and pets are being looked after.
You can find a place to stay for free using this list:
- Mind My House
- The Caretaker Gazette
3. FREE Meditation Retreats
If you want to relax and try something a bit different, there are Vipassana Medication Centers all around the world. Accommodation and food are all FREE.
According to their website ‘Courses are run solely on a donation basis. There are no charges for the course, not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from those who have completed a 10-day course, experienced the benefits of Vipassana, and wish to give others the same opportunity. Neither the Teacher nor the assistant teachers receive remuneration; they and those who organize the course volunteer their time.’
There is a center in Spain and New Zealand, but if you want to travel elsewhere, just google + ‘Vipassana Meditation + country. For example, I googled Vipassana Meditation Peru and their website came up.
Tip-The spaces get booked up pretty quick so make sure you plan your trip in advance and apply as soon as you can.
4. FREE Yoga Retreats
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a yoga pro and don’t mind helping out during your travels, there are lots of yoga retreats who will offer free accommodation for travellers.
Two such examples are:
- Blueosa– You teach yoga classes, they provide food, accommodation, and transport
- Yoga Trade– Provides a listing of accommodation opportunities in return for yoga classes
If you already have your own place, you can offer a swap with a house abroad. You fill in your profile, search for a house in the location you want to visit, contact the hosts and organize an exchange.
A few examples of home exchanges are:
6. Free Accommodation on a Boat
If you fancy helping out on a boat and traveling through the sea, this is the perfect opportunity to do it for free! Captains around the world need a helping hand on deck.
Do I need to be an expert sailor?
Not necessarily. Some have arrangements where you just need to help out with the daily tasks of living on a boat. If you show some initiative and an eagerness to learn, a few might take you on with no experience.
Start your search for free accommodation on boats here:
7. Free accommodation for Travellers in Return for Talking
You can receive free accommodation abroad by practicing your language with the locals.
Local hosts offer food and free accommodation for travellers, in return for the opportunity to practice and improve their language skills. This is also a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Two sites that offer this are:
8. Stay at a Monastery
If you want to try something a bit different, you can try staying at a monastery. Some monasteries will charge a minimal fee or are donation-based, but if you are lucky, some may offer you a place to stay for free.
You need to respect their rules and curfews but it’s a great opportunity to stay somewhere free and let’s be honest – how many people can say they have stayed the night in a monastery?
You can check out a few monasteries on this list:
If you like the outdoors and fresh air and don’t mind a bit of manual labor, farm stays are perfect for you!
You help out with tasks around the farm and in return, they offer you free accommodation and food.
10.Free Accommodation in Exchange for Work
Work exchanges are a great way for you to see the world and immerse yourself in the culture, without having to pay accommodation costs.
You can help out in coffee shops, hostels, skiing, teaching- you name it!
Here are a few places that offer free housing in exchange for work:
Traveling doesn’t need to be expensive, don’t let accommodation costs put you off
Do you know any other ways to get cheap accommodation? Please share it with us below!