How To Score Free Accommodation When You Travel?

Imagine this: The world has millions of people with full of adventurous souls, traveling, exploring and discovering new and exciting things to do to certain places. And, many of these souls are doing it solo. Solo backpacking is very rewarding and the experience alone is very much fulfilling.

Backpacking is one of the most cheapest ways to take a trip to certain destinations. In uncertain economic environment, you're in good hands when you adopt the mindset of a backpacker. They teach us about packing an ultra-light bag to finding affordable food and accommodations.

This time, let me share with you some ways on how to score a free accommodation when you travel.

Get hosted by locals through CouchSurfing

Trust me, there are many people who are willing to host visitors for few days for free in their homes. It may sound unreal but sleeping on your host's couches, sofas, spare beds or air mattresses has been one of the most useful ways to travel. And, if you're lucky, you might end up sleeping in their spare room! 

CouchSurfing is very much popular here in the Philippines. In fact, most of my friends has CouchSurfing accounts and they've attested how wonderful this hospitality exchange network is.

I understand about your safety concerns. Generally, use your common sense and then follow these steps to avoid bad experience while hosting or is being hosted.
  • Read the user's detailed profile very carefully.
  • Do not entertain users with blank profiles. That's not a good sign.
  • Check the references left by other hosts and guests.
  • Chat with them. Then, have a look at their Facebook or Instagram accounts. You might find some surprising mutual friends!

Aside from CouchSurfing, here are other several hospitality exchange networks you might consider: BeWelcome, Warm Showers (for cyclists, bike tourists), and Trustroots.

Housesitting and Petsitting

Housesitting and petsitting at people's houses while they're away is another way to find free accommodation. Housesitting is generally free. The house owner needs someone to take care of their house while they're away or on a holiday.

TrustedHousesitters is probably the most popular website offering such services. However, when I checked their website and specifically searched for housesitters and petsitters here in the Philippines, the results showed nothing.

Other websites offering the same service include MindMyHouse, House Carers, and Nomador.

Work and Skills Opportunities

Just in case CouchSurfing and Housesitting isn't for you, this might be your last option. There's a wide range of opportunities to exchange your work and skills for a place to stay while on travel.

You can work on farms, hostels and restaurants for few hours in exchange of free accommodation every night. It may also include using your skills from building a website to teaching a language.

WWOOF (Willing Worker On Organic Farm) is the most popular website for such services here in the Philippines. You can stay to a certain destination, help the farm owner for few hours and in exchange, you get an accommodation for free. 

The Happy House Farm, located in Rosario, La Union, offers such services. According to their website, they've hosted over 200 WWOOF work exchange volunteers over the last two years.

Aside from WWOOF, other websites to look for work exchange opportunities are WorkAway, HelpX, Worldpackers, HippoHelp, and TalkTalkbnb.

Scoring a free accommodation isn't just about free accommodation. Being hosted by a stranger makes travel a lot more fun as you meet new friends along the way and you'll get a chance to know more about the local life.

As with hospitality exchange, please show your gratitude to people hosting you. Invite your hosts to a restaurant, buy them chocolates or get them a personalized gift. If you're on a tight budget, help them around the house, cook food, share your skills or simply offer to host them when they visit your place.


How To Score Free Accommodation When You Travel?

Imagine this: The world has millions of people with full of adventurous souls, traveling, exploring and discovering new and exciting things...