Okay so today’s blog is about how I am actually going to do this.
Today we will look at my first priority, I want to travel without spending any money on accommodation, this may be an unrealistic expectation but it is what I want.
So with that in mind I started researching “travelling overseas without spending any money on accommodation”. You would be surprised at how many websites and blogs there are on this topic. They don’t all jump out at you in the first web search but they are there if you dig a little. Well actually if you dig a lot, but the point is they are there for anyone to find. I will give you a bit of a rundown on the ones that I have found and how they each accommodate you (no pun intended).
World Packers was the first one I found and it was like I had discovered the meaning of life, I was so excited. I thought I was the only person who had made this amazing discovery and then when I dug a bit deeper, I realised I was the last person to find out. The concept of World Packer is, backpacker accommodation around the world that you can apply to work for your accommodation and sometimes a meal and laundry. There are many different ways to do this depending on your experience and time. Some want you to stay for a couple of weeks, some would be happy for you to stay a year.
The work ranges from bar work to front of house to cleaning with some entertaining and tour guiding thrown in for good measure. You may have experience but if you don’t some are happy to train you. Let’s face it though how hard is it to clean a few toilets and make a few beds, if it comes with fee accommodation.
There is an annual fee that applies that gives you access to all the backpackers that are available. You can however look at all these backpacker’s opportunities, without paying the fee upfront so you can get an idea of what you are signing up for.
From there I found another one that is along similar lines Work Away is the same concept however it works with family’s, individuals or organizations. It is aimed at budget travellers wishing to enhance language and or cultural learning. It has obviously got different and varied opportunities for work from babysitting to teaching English and even farming.
Woofing is agreed upon work for your accommodation and usually meals, however this is only within the organic growers around the world. It is farm work and all that goes with that, animal husbandry, fencing and planting etc. However be aware that Woofing is set up within each individually country around the world. So if you plan on going to Germany for example don’t join the Australian Woofing website. There is an international website for Woofing that will tell you every country involved in Woofing. http://wwoofinternational.org/
Then of course there is the tried and tested House Swapping and if you don’t have a house to swap like me House Sitting. Swapping is self-explanatory you swap your house for theirs for an agreed length of time. This may also give you a pet to look after and access to a car, depending on the owners situation.
Sitting is only different in that the owner is going away and you are going to stay in their home while they are off on holidays or whatever. Again there may be a furry friend to care for and a car to use. There are numerous websites and they all come with varying degrees of security checks and annual fees. My best advice is to trust in google, read reviews look for forums on each one. Ask your friends also they may have used some of these or know someone how has.
The next couple of options cross over into two categories, accommodation and non-paid /paid work. These are Crewing a Boat and Au Pair work, so let’s start with Boat crewing there is a Mooloolaba website that you can find a boat looking for crew members to travel from point A to point B. There are also boat crew needed to do day tripping work in a constant location. Obviously if you are traveling from point A to point B the accommodation comes with the job. It is agreed on application if you are paid for the hours you work or if you are a non-paid workers or even if you are to share in the costs of the trip. On the website they will tell you how long they wish you to stay with the crew, the destination, what kind of boat it is and if you need any experience and a few other housekeeping bits, there is of course the annual fee.
Au Pair work is caring for someone else’s children while they are either at home or away at work. You usually live in the family home and have agreed upon days and hours of work, sometimes with an on-call option or date night option for the parents. This job is usually reserved for 18-30 year old ladies, however that is not always the case and sometimes gender is not an issue. Experience is preferred but again not always essential. There is usually a small wage that goes with this position but you must remember it is only small. You will not save much money doing this, but it will stop you from spending your own existing savings. Meals usually come with the position, you essentially become a member of the family for the length of your stay. There are numerous website covering this one, there are even some agencies dedicated to getting you work.
Lastly I am going to buy a very lightweight tent that I can use in an emergency situation when I run out of options, for whatever reason. I will try what is called wild camping which is free, tucked away from prying eyes camping. Or will stay at free camp sites when possible or if pushed will pay for a sight.
At this point I will point out that I have not used any of these websites and have not joined any of them yet. That is something that I will wait and do closer to the time of my departure. Then I will choose which and when to join them at appropriate times. There is not point spending money for example on Boat Crewing if I don’t intend to do it in the next 12 months.