I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve been traveling full-time for the past decade and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve paid for accommodations.
I’m a 59-year-old American woman who likes cushy digs. They don’t need to be fancy, but I no longer trek down the hall to a shared bathroom. Here are my top tips for securing free accommodations:
1. Volunteer For An Immersive English-Language Program
Spend a week chatting with Europeans who need to polish their English skills. You don’t need any training in teaching English, and you’ll receive free accommodations and meals at quirky locations. I spent one of the most fun weeks I’ve ever had at a gorgeous hotel in Aranjuez, Spain, helping Spaniards perfect their English. I was so moved by how hard they worked!
Upside: Great networking, not just among the Spaniards, but among the other volunteers who hailed from around the world.
Downside: It’s not a free ride. I worked hard that week, with days starting at 9 a.m. for conversational breakfasts and stretching into the evenings for group exercises.
Check Out: “The Rich Rewards Of Volunteering Abroad As An English Immersion Facilitator” by fellow TravelAwaits writer Penny Zibula. It includes company-specific recommendations!
Note: Some of these programs require an administration fee.
2. Care For Someone’s Pets
My go-to choice for no-cost accommodations is pet sitting, where I care for someone else’s home and pets while they travel. I’ve housesat in 19 countries during the last decade — from Mexico to Mozambique, from South Korea