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5 Sites Like Workaway That Can Help You Travel for Free

5 Sites Like Workaway That Can Help You Travel for Free

Would you travel more if money wasn’t the issue? In this article, I will review how you can travel for free by using sites like Workaway and Trusted Housesitters.

Well, almost free, because just breathing air costs money! While living your best life and meeting new people around the world. You will learn about work exchanges and different travel jobs that you can do that will allow you to travel for free (or nearly free).

I have been living abroad for the past 8 years.

I’m originally from Los Angeles, California, and even though I’m already settled in my ‘big girl career’ in Germany, I originally started traveling on a tight budget like so many other people.

I used to teach English in China and I worked countless odd jobs, which gave me the opportunity to essentially travel for free or on an extreme budget. If I could do it, so can you! 

Why You Should Say YES To Traveling

Human beings are meant for so much more than just working a 9-5 in the same 5 square miles they were born in until the very end. There is an entire world out there waiting for you to explore.

You will see incredible places, meet new people and face your deepest fears, doing things you once could have never imagined doing. Traveling will open you up to new cultures, new tastes, and new languages.

You will eat mind-blowing local food, have meaningful interactions with locals, and you will see that there are people all over living their best life with much MUCH less than you do. You will come back (or not!) a changed person.  

How Can You Travel For Free Using Sites like Workaway

While it’s very hard to avoid any costs when traveling (especially flights and transportation costs), it’s 100% possible to travel cheap or almost travel for free.

If you are not too picky and you are not scared of a bit of hard work in a foreign country, you will find many opportunities. It may not be something you will do for the rest of your life, but it will be a valuable experience.

And who knows?…perhaps you will end up working in the Tourism & Hospitality industry in the future thanks to the experience you gained while working abroad for a hostel or as an au pair, etc. 

Let’s get into it.

I‘ve lived abroad for many years and love helping others find work abroad and figure out their “Move Abroad Plan.” Check out my class below to get you started ASAP!

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1. Work Exchanges Like Trusted Housesitters

Also known as “voluntourism,” a work exchange is when you exchange your abilities/time for accommodation, food, and other perks.

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In a work exchange, you find a host who is looking for a specific kind of help or service and you lend them a hand for a specific number of hours per week. Be sure to establish what those hours are early on so expectations are set up front. 

Trusted Housesitters is a site where you can stay at someone’s house while they are away in exchange for watching their house or sometimes their pet. It’s a great way to travel the world for free!

Work exchange experience is a great way to give back and participate in local communities while having your accommodation and food (in most cases) provided.

It’s also an excellent way to travel for free, explore a new area and meet new people without having to worry about finding a place to stay. Some hosts even offer a small salary or tips when you help out in hostels or restaurants.

There are so many different types of work exchanges available around the world that everyone can find something to do. 

Most common include helping out in hostels, restaurants, farms, small construction work, teaching a foreign language to a local community, house or pet-sitting, etc. 

One of the most popular platforms with a huge variety of opportunities is WorkAway. Their mission is to build a sharing community of global travelers who want to see the world and give back to the places they visit.

All hosts are carefully reviewed before accepting volunteers, and the cost to sign up for the platform is €39 per year, which means that you can apply to as many places as you want during 12 months. 

Visa requirements vary depending on the country you are traveling to and where you come from. Always be sure to check if it’s legal to do a work exchange program before traveling as hosts do not sponsor volunteer/working visas.

Other platforms that you can use:

Worldpackers ($49 per year)
HelpX (€20 for 2 years)  

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2. WWOOFing and Farm Work

WWOOF aka World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a platform that allows you to work on a farm in exchange for free accommodation and food.

Similar to WorkAway, WWOOF aims to promote cultural and educational exchange while building a global community conscious of ecological farming.

WWOOFers help daily on the farm and spend time with their hosts learning about the local culture and organic food while having the chance to travel for free. 

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The cost to sign up on the platform is 20 GBP and the membership is valid for a year.

3. Working On a Yacht

If you are a sea lover who would like to see beautiful and/or tropical places, and you are not afraid of hard work, then working on a yacht might be something for you.

Keep in mind that you need to mentally prepare yourself to spend 24/7 with your coworkers and live where you work for days.

There are many types of work you can do, most common is becoming a waiter, bartender, chef, casino crew, or housekeeping.

This type of work usually pays well and allows you to save a lot of money because you generally don’t have time to spend it (yes, you often work 6-7 days a week) and meals are typically included.

A career in yachting can be an exciting, rewarding, and wonderful opportunity to travel for free, see the world and explore new horizons. Wherever there is water, there is a potential for you to go. 

Every employer is different so contracts may vary from a few months to a year or two. You are often required to get a basic safety certification before you can start working as well. 

Visa requirements vary when it comes to working at sea.

You might need to obtain specific visas depending on the region (eg. a non-American crew member will need a visa to enter the US waters), but if you have a proper working contract, your employer should be able to help or take care of this for you.

You can find yacht job vacancies on sites like YACrew and BlueWaterYachting.

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4. Become an Au Pair

An Au Pair is typically a young person who exchanges their time for accommodation with a host family. Typical responsibilities include taking care of young children and helping out with household chores.

This is a great option for those who have never been abroad before, people who want to learn and practice a foreign language, or for anyone who loves kids and wants to have an adventure of a lifetime. 

While there is no real salary for being an au pair, the host family typically provides you with accommodation, meals, and some pocket money. Sometimes they even cover your flight ticket.

It’s not uncommon for host families to bring their Au Pairs on summer and winter trips as well. It’s a great way to travel for free in more ways than one. 

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Whether you need a visa or not depends on where you come from and where you would like to go. It’s important to check that early enough as some visa applications can take more than 1-2 months to process. or AuPairWorld are great sites that can provide you with a lot of useful information. 

5. Teach English Abroad

I left for China to teach English at 22 and I will never regret my decision. My work paid for my accommodation, gave me a reasonable salary, and paid for some food so I was able to dedicate a big part of my salary to traveling.

It’s safe to say that I was almost able to travel for free.

You can make pretty good money teaching English abroad and all you need is the ability to speak English fluently (if you are not a native English speaker) and a TEFL certification (or some other form of certification depending on where you would like to go).

English Teachers are in high demand all over the world, especially in Asia, and many companies offer generous packages that might rival contracts in your home country.

It’s also worth checking out companies/websites that allow you to teach virtually so that you can spend more time traveling. 

For the best international teaching jobs and opportunities, visit websites like GoOverseas or GoAbroad. If you want to work and live in another country legally, you will most likely need a visa.

Teaching programs will usually help you get one or do most of the paperwork for you. 

Why Exchanging Work for Travel is Good

Exchanging work for travel is a great way to have a more authentic experience in a foreign country. There is always something new to learn, something new to see, and someone new to meet.

Hopefully, while you’re there you will learn a new language, master a new skill and take something meaningful back to your home country that you can share with others.

If you really want to travel, don’t let anything stop you. While you certainly need some money saved, remember that there are several ways to travel for free! 

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