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11 ways to live RENT FREE while traveling the world

Accommodation is one of the most expensive parts of traveling but there are many ways to travel the world and live rent free! Work exchange opportunities offer a fantastic way to extend your travels affordably while gaining valuable skills and experiences. Whether it's volunteering on organic farms, teaching English abroad, or working in hostels, there are numerous opportunities worldwide to trade your skills for lodging. It's a win-win situation that allows you to explore new destinations, connect with local communities, and develop new skills along the way—all while keeping your travel costs low.

1. Become an Au pair

If you enjoy working with children, becoming an Au Pair might be an ideal opportunity for you! As an Au Pair, you can live abroad with a host family, providing childcare in exchange for accommodation, meals, and a weekly stipend. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in a new language and culture. You can find Au Pair opportunities through platforms like, where you apply directly with families. Alternatively, there are companies like Scotia Personnel Ltd. that offer assistance with finding host families, organizing visas, and guiding you through the entire process.

Pro tip: Once you’ve secured your Au Pair position, be sure to search for Au Pair Facebook groups in your destination. These groups are the best way to connect and meet other Au Pairs in the area!

2. Become a Pet Sitter

My all time favorite way to travel for free is via this platform has global house and pet sitting opportunities all over the world. You pay a fee for an annual membership and gain access to listings all over the world. This is one of my main way I kept costs down while traveling to over 24 countries as a pet sitter and I've now completed over 44 Housesits! Check out my how to guide on becoming a petsitter and use my link for a discount on your membership!

3. Volunteer

Volunteering in exchange for room and board is great for budget travelers and those looking for unique cultural experiences. Workaway and Worldpackers (most recommended) are platforms that connect travelers with hosts around the world who offer accommodations and meals in exchange for a few hours of work each day. This can include tasks like gardening, childcare, language practice, or helping with projects. It's a great way to travel affordably, immerse yourself in local culture, and contribute to meaningful projects or initiatives. However, it's essential to research and communicate with hosts to ensure a good fit for both parties.

Similar sites:

4. Seasonal Work

Seasonal work offers a unique opportunity to travel, work, and receive free accommodation. Explore positions at ski resorts, national parks, and beyond, ranging from hospitality to ski/surf instructors. Many of these roles come with room and board, enabling you to save while experiencing top global destinations. Visit and and to discover available listings.

5. Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a hospitality exchange and social networking platform that connects travelers with locals who are willing to offer free accommodations. It's based on the idea of cultural exchange and building connections between people from different backgrounds. Travelers can search for hosts in their destination city and request to stay with them for a short period. In return, guests often engage in cultural exchange, share experiences, and sometimes contribute in small ways like cooking a meal or helping out around the house. Couchsurfing is popular among budget travelers seeking authentic experiences and meaningful connections while exploring new places.

Other websites like couchsurfing: BeWelcome and Staydu

6. Artist residency

This one is for my creative types! An artist residency is a great opportunity for painters, illustrators, writers, musicians, and pretty much any creative discipline live and work with other artists in destinations all over the world.

Artist In residence program at Proyecto Ace in Buenos Aires, Argentina

These residencies often provide artists with the opportunity to work in a new country or cultural setting, allowing for cross-cultural exchange and collaboration. International Artist Residencies typically offer studio space, accommodation, and sometimes stipends or grants to support the artists during their stay. They can vary in duration from a few weeks to several months, and they may focus on specific artistic disciplines or themes and some culminate in a gallery exhibition or presentation. Overall, International Artist Residencies provide artists with the chance to explore new perspectives, engage with diverse communities, and develop their artistic practice on a global scale. Check out for artist residencies around the world!

7. Wwoof

WWOOF, which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, is a network that connects volunteers with organic farms around the world. In exchange for a few hours of work each day, volunteers receive food (Farm to table meals!), accommodation, and the opportunity to learn about organic farming practices and sustainable living.

Staying on a llama farm in Bellingham, Washington!

WWOOFing provides a unique way for travelers to experience local cultures, gain practical skills, and contribute to the organic farming movement. Volunteers can choose from a wide range of farms and destinations, making it a flexible and rewarding way to travel on a budget while supporting sustainable agriculture. You can also learn traditional land skills and visit places off the beaten path. Sign up and check out listings at pay the $25 annual membership due and gain access to their database of hosts. Every arrangement is different but in general you can expect to work 20-30 hours a week in exchange for a place to stay and meals. Be sure to read reviews and the entire description and reach out to hosts to see what their expectations are.

8. Yachtlife

Often referred to as "Yacht jobs," and "Yacht crew," Working on yachts is an exciting adventure that lets you travel the world while being part of a tight-knit crew in a luxurious setting. Whether you're helping guests enjoy their time onboard, navigating the seas as a captain, or crafting delicious meals as a chef, there's a role for everyone. Plus, you get to explore stunning destinations, make lifelong friendships, and enjoy unique experiences along the way. The hours are long and the work is hard but this unique job boasts free room and board and competitive pay. Read all about how to get started here.

9. House Swap

House swapping, also known as home exchange, is a fantastic way to travel affordably and immerse yourself in new destinations like a local. It's simple: you list your home on a house swapping website, like Home Exchange, browse listings in your desired vacation spot, and find someone willing to swap homes with you for a set period. During the exchange, you get to stay in their home while they stay in yours. It's a win-win situation that eliminates accommodation costs and allows you to experience different cultures firsthand. Plus, you'll enjoy the comfort and convenience of a real home away from home. So now you can have you're own Cameron Diaz moment like in The Holiday.

10. Language exchange

What better way to immerse yourself in a new culture than a language exchange? There are many programs that allow you to stay with a host family for free in exchange for language lessons. Whether you connect with an individual directly through a platform like TalkTalkBnB, scroll through individual listings on HelpStay or go though a location specific site like Speak English in Italy there are many ways to find the right language exchange for you!

More Language sites:

11. Host a sister

"Host a Sister" is a wonderful community-driven initiative designed to create a safe and supportive space for female travelers. It's like having a friendly local friend wherever you go! Hosts, often other women, open their doors to offer accommodation, advice, and companionship to fellow female travelers. The concept is similar to Couchsurfing but with a focus on promoting female empowerment and creating a network of support for women travelers. It's a great way to connect, share experiences, and build friendships while exploring new places. There are also house swap opportunities! Check out the Facebook page for more info.

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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Hi! I’m Rachel, a Florida native, who left home in search of big adventures. I've traveled to 24 countries in 4 years and I'm here to share my best tips and travel hacks with you!

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