TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
Use These Apps to Stay for Free While Traveling
20 April 2017
“Travel is the only think you can buy, that makes you richer.”
I couldn’t agree more. Travel makes you question the ordinary, opens your mind to new experiences, and sets your heart on fire. In my opinion, travel is the most valuable education.
And still, most people say that the single largest thing that holds them back from traveling is not having enough money. Luckily, I’m here to prove to you that you don’t need to have a lot of money to travel. Here are some apps and websites that I’ve personally used to hack my travel and save big on accommodations. They’re not what you might expect:
Workaway is a platform that facilitates cultural work exchange between travelers, language learners or culture seekers who can stay with 1000s of families or individuals around the world! As a workawayer, you can volunteer and offer you skills in exchange for free room and board. Volunteers typically work 5 hours a day 5 days a week but the details can totally vary from host to host. As a workawayer, you can get to do things you could only dream about! Help take care of huskies in Finnish Lapland.
How it works:
- You register and set up a profile on Workaway and list your skill, interests, pictures, anything that a potential host may find interesting.
- Browse over 27942 hosts in 155 countries to discover amazing opportunities.
- Contact the hosts you are interested in visiting.
- Message back and forth, connect over a phone call or skype to go over the details.
- Be on your way to a new adventure!
The only cost for Workaway is a $30/2 years membership fee to be able to browse contact hosts. When you only pay for the travel, Workaway is an affortable way to help long term travelers same money along the way. I’ve met Workawayers who have traveled multiple years in a row by hopping between hosts all over the world!
In my experience with Workaway, I lived and volunteered in a hostel on a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico for a month in January 2016. The most rewarding thing about Workaway is the people you meet along the way. It’s an amazing feeling to help people and learn form them. My trip was the most humbling and amazing experience. It was totally out of my comfort zone but those are the experiences that help us learn and grow.
As with anything where you are staying with people you don’t know, always take measures to stay safe. Travel with a friend, read reviews, and most importantly trust your gut! Workaway can be the most amazing way to travel on a budget but you will discover so much more that you can’t even imagine.
WWOOF stands for World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers. WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community.
Same concept as Workaway, but only focused on organic farms around the world. If your passion combines love for fresh, organic, sustainable food and travel, this one is for you! Volunteer on a farm in exchange for room and board and learn how farming shapes local communities world wide!
Pay $40 for a membership to be able to browse and contact hosts and cover your travel expenses. This is another great way to travel long term or maybe take a trip without breaking the bank.
Live on a vineyard in the French county side.
Help pick olives in Italy.
Or, it you’re like me, tend to 36 adorable alpacas on a small farm in Buffalo, NY. Volunteering with WWOOF was an amazing way for me to take a trip and learn something entirely different from what I’m used to. I learned about Community Supported Agriculture, how to bake homemade sourdough bread, harvest zucchinis, I even put on a bee suit and saw how a beehive functions!
This one is perhaps the most known platform among travelers. It’s exacty what it sounds like, crash on stranger’s couch around the world. Except often strangers turn into great friends and travel companions.
Couchsurfing is a social network and a vibrant travel community of over 14 million locals and travelers. It is a platform for members to stay as a guest at someone’s home, host travelers, meet other members, or join an event.
How it works:
It’s free to join and make a profile, however for an additional fee, you can become a verified member and receive a postcard with a code to verify your address. This boosts credibility, since counchsurfing is a peer to peer hosting platform.
- Browse members around the world and request to stay in their home.
- Can’t travel? Host travelers in your own home and have the world come to you!
- Don’t feel comfortable staying with someone? Use couchsurfing to find locals in a city and invite them for a coffee to learn more about their culture.
Couchsurfing is a self selecting community, so if you are into travel and like meeting curious, open minded people who share your sense of wanderlust, these are your types of people.
While traveling across Eastern Europe with for 5 months, Chris and I used couchsurfing many times to connect with locals and other travelers, and often hanging out with couchsurfer’s were some of our favorite experiences!
And you can certainly use this app to travel cheaply. We met one traveler who has travelled for 3 consecutive months, using couchsurfing to hack his accommodations and he spent a grand total of….$900 on everything! Three months of traveling for $900! If that’s not motivation to get out and travel, I don’t know what is.
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