I receive a lot of questions about sustainable solo travel through this blog. The question I get asked the most is:
How can I find free accommodation jobs?
By far one of the most important and most achievable travel budget tricks is to slim down your accommodation costs whilst on the road. Hostel prices can vary greatly, and you can pay anything up to €40 for a bed in a dorm room when festival season hits, which is often the time tourist cities get the busiest! There are a number of free accommodation options available. However whilst hanging with the locals is both informative and fun, websites such as Couchsurfing tend to be short term opportunities.
If like me you prefer to experience a culture or a new town for a longer time period, then finding yourself a free accommodation job can be the best option. An extended stay in a destination gives you the time to experience the town as a local would, getting to know the elderly lady behind the counter at the corner store and spending time with new friends at the local bar. Staying in hostels or rentals for an extended time however is costly, and can really impact your budget, whereas free accommodation jobs offer less stress on your bank balance and the opportunity to make your destination home… for a little while at least. So back to the question in hand! Below I’ve offered and reviewed the online sources I use to search for free accommodation jobs!
No surprises here from The Hostel Girl! Hostels everywhere are always looking for the opportunity to hire volunteer workers to make their beds and work on reception. A free bed, usually in a separate staff dorm, is given in exchange for anything from 2-5 hours work and the longer you can stay the better! The following links below are great for finding work in hostels in exchange for a free bed:
Bed & Breakfasts, farms, renovation projects, sustainable environmental projects, and families in need of a nanny offer a wealth of free accommodation jobs to travellers willing to lend a helping hand for a few hours a day. The websites below offer a wide range of opportunities for you to lower your accommodation budget through helping out on horse ranches, picking the toddlers up from day care, doing up a cute little cottage in the south of France, etc! The choices are endless and there are opportunities listed worldwide!
Yes – this is a real job!! Often there can be hidden jobs such as dog-walking or feeding the cat, but the general need of homeowners is to leave their home in the trusted hands of a traveller rather than leave it unoccupied for a few weeks or months. Often the people requiring house sitters will have friends in the area to pop in and meet you, so you’ll have plenty of people to meet whilst spending a bit of down time any where in the world! And let’s face it… it’s a bit more luxurious than resting your head in a top bunk of the staff dorm at the hostel. This one is also great for couples or friends travelling together.
Note: I recently heard from James at trustedhousesitters.com – and he is a lovely man! So give them a try first!
For those of you that love children – au pairing can be a great way to spend a few hours a day and get free accommodation jobs! Whilst sites I’ve already mentioned in the Odd Jobs section can be a great way of finding casual nanny work, there are also other specific listing sites which I’ve included below. Take it in to account that families may require CRB checks before employment, so if you already have one make it clear on your application!
If none of the above appeals to you, I find searching listing sites for ‘free accommodation’ or ‘accommodation included’ when searching for jobs brings up a wealth of jobs you may not have thought would exist. Keep an open mind and you could be setting off to your next destination with a job and lodging already supplied!
Have you snagged yourself a free accommodation job through another resource? Let me know in the comments and I’ll include it in this post!
Lots of love,
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