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5 Realistic Ways to Get Cheap or Free Accommodation While Traveling

Housing can take up a huge chunk of your travel budget. Here are some of the best ways you can get free accommodation while traveling!

Traveling abroad is a fantastic way to enhance your perspective, foster independence, and develop cultural adaptability skills. However, it can be costly depending on your destination and the length of time you are traveling.

Not only can accommodation costs deplete your travel funds, but it can also be stressful trying to find the perfect place to stay. However, there are many different ways you can minimize costs by getting free accommodation while traveling.

Can I travel abroad while getting free accommodation?

Yes! But it’s important to keep in mind that no one is just going to give you a set of keys for no good reason. There’s always a catch, but fortunately, the catch might be one that will make your travels even more immersive and experiential. Here are some of the various ways to travel abroad without the worry of paying for accommodation.

Read More: Cheapest Places to Live and Work Abroad

1. Volunteer abroad

While volunteering abroad often requires some form of payment, it is generally an effective way to see the world and gain practical experience without having to worry about paying rent.

Volunteering projects that require that you pay a program fee often use a portion of that money for many things such as organizing your accommodation, food, and transportation. This means that your basic needs, including a place to stay, are taken care of before you even arrive.

In addition to providing help and assisting with community initiatives, you’ll be welcomed by the local population with open arms. Some of the best volunteering abroad programs in the world are in the following fields:

Finding the right program can be done by applying directly on program websites, or you can search and apply right here on Go Overseas!

Read more: How to Volunteer Abroad For Free

2. Au Pair and live with a host family

Finnish neighborhood

Au pairing is an excellent way to gain work experience abroad while benefiting from free accommodation. Meaning “equal to” in French, as an au pair you will stay with a host who treats you like one of the family. In return, you will help them by providing childcare and a cultural exchange. In addition to free accommodation, au pairs generally receive a monthly stipend and meals.

You can au pair in many countries around the world, with the most popular being Germany, Australia, Canada, and Sweden. It is a great opportunity to foster a connection with a family abroad which can make your travels more meaningful. Your host family can provide you with a wealth of insight into the cultural landscape of the country you’re living in.

After you have chosen a country, you can create a profile on an au pair agency platform which will match you with hosts abroad, or you can apply directly to positions before interviewing for them. You can search for great au pair programs right here on GO!

Read more: 5 Reasons You Should Au Pair Abroad

3. Do a work exchange

Doing a work exchange abroad is a great way to gain practical experience useful across many different industries while also benefiting from free accommodation, which can make traveling much more sustainable.

Industries with a lot of entry-level opportunities include agriculture and hospitality, and you can often stay at the same facilities you’re working at, eliminating the commuting aspect. Working on a farm through WWOOF or in a hostel are particularly in-demand options for travelers, especially in countries that are popular among tourists.

Read more: Live and Work Abroad in 10 Cheap Countries for Under $1,300 a Month

4. Teach English abroad

Teaching abroad

As an English teacher abroad, you will be highly valuable to the local community. These valued teachers are also sometimes provided with free accommodation for their efforts within the community.

Schools in some countries provide free housing or a housing allowance to teachers. In Asia, countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea typically offer free accommodation or housing subsidies to teachers. In the Middle East, countries like Qatar and the UAE offer similar benefits. In Europe, free accommodation is less frequent but may be included among teaching benefits in specific schools.

Many countries make fantastic TEFL locations due to their high demand for English teachers, salary, benefits, and disparate cultures. Depending on the country, you will need a bachelor’s degree, TEFL certificate, and native-level proficiency to teach English abroad.

You can find many jobs using TEFL providers here on Go Overseas who will assist you throughout the process, or you can apply directly to job vacancies at schools abroad. Your school will then provide sponsorship or assistance for you throughout your visa process.

Read more: What are the Requirements to Teaching English Abroad

5. Become a house sitter

House sitting is in high demand for busy homeowners who have something in their home that requires a caretaker. Whether the homeowners need their plants watered, their pets fed (and their bellies scratched), or simply someone keeping an eye on their prized possessions, hiring a house sitter can help them worry less about their homes.

Typically, homeowners will share their needs online on platforms such as Trusted House Sitters or Workaway. There, as a prospective house sitter, you can search for jobs and filter what you want to do and where. So, if you want to house sit but do not want to be responsible for looking after someone’s Golden Retriever, you can filter by jobs that don’t include minding the family pet.


Travel abroad without worrying about accommodation!

It is no secret that paying for accommodation can take up a large chunk (if not most) of your budget. However, as you’ve seen there are ways of traveling the world without having to worry about paying for housing. Although it’s important not to exploit these positions to gain free accommodation, they are effective options for getting free accommodation while traveling!