7 trips where you’ll pay next to nothing for accommodation

You don’t always need lots of money to venture to new places.

One of the most expensive parts about travelling is typically what you’ll spend on accommodation.

To reduce or even eliminate your lodging costs, we’ve pulled together seven ideas that could open you up to a world of possibilities.

1. Bunk with mates or relatives

If you have friends and family that live interstate, overseas or places you haven’t been before, get in touch and see if they have a room free at their place at a time when you’re both available.

It’ll give you a chance to catch up as well as having an in-house tour guide who can show you the sites, the local attractions, the hidden gems, not to mention the best places to eat.

2. House-sit your way around the globe

Minding someone’s place for free can be a win-win for all parties involved, particularly when the homeowner has pets or various odd jobs that need attending to, which can often be the case.

If you can’t find anyone in your immediate network, you could pay a small subscription fee to register your profile on a relevant house-sitting website like HouseCarers or TrustedHousesitters.

3. Swap accommodation

It’s simple—you go to theirs, they come to yours and it’s free. Another bonus is size doesn’t matter. You can swap your apartment for a beach house in Mexico or even a small studio in New York City.

A few websites where you can check out places to stay and create an online profile for a monthly fee include Love Home Swap and HomeExchange.

4. Volunteer your skills overseas

Getting involved in a humanitarian, environmental or wildlife project abroad is another way you can see the world, offer your services and play a part in something you’re likely to never forget.

Such expeditions will come with varying price tags, but depending on the program you choose there will be a variety of inclusions which may involve flights, meals, accommodation and cultural activities.

Whatever you choose, like most things it’s a good idea to do your research and read the fine print. Websites you may want to check out include International Volunteer HQ and Projects Abroad.

5. Barter your time and hard work

If volunteering isn’t your thing, but you’re open to a working holiday and taking a position where you exchange your services for free or cheap food and accommodation, there’s something for you too.

The types of positions and industries you can work in vary a lot—think fruit picker in outback Australia, bartender in Ireland, tourist operative in a Canadian ski resort.

The amount of hours you work will differ, so again it’s worth doing your research and seeing what’s available. Look at websites like Global Work and Travel and Willing Workers On Organic Farms.

6. Have a stay-at-home vacation

A holiday in your own hood could open you up to possibilities you previously didn’t have time for, or knew existed. It may involve local attractions, coastal walks, a road trip, camping—anything you don’t do day-to-day. The point is breaking away from your usual routine.

Other things to consider

Remember that not everything that’s fun and life changing comes with an unrealistic price tag. And, with 211,000 Australian travellers taking 12 months to pay off their holiday credit card debt1, hopefully some of these money-saving travel ideas have given you some food for thought.