Here are three ways budget travelers get their accommodation for free


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As the demand for travel continues to rise, the cost of hotels and other accommodations rises sharply. This is bad news for budget travelers looking to stretch their dollar as far as possible.

The demand for cheap accommodation in the US is increasing. In April of this year, there was an 18% increase in demand for affordable and short-term rental options.

A woman sitting on the balcony of an apartment overlooking the sea

But with a little innovation and out-of-the-box thinking, it is possible to travel the world, whether for pleasure or as a digital nomad. without spending a penny in hotels

Travelers are becoming more creative when it comes to saving money to continue financing their adventures.

Here are three ways budget travelers can secure free accommodation:

Care homes

Some homeowners do not like to leave their property vacant when they take their vacation. Second home owners are also aware of the risks involved in leaving their property vacant for an extended period of time.

Enter the house keeper: someone who stays on the property, making sure the property looks occupied by turning on the lights occasionally and using the house in general.

man watering plants

Some house sitters are also asked to do delicate tasks, such as making sure plants are watered or light cleaning.

In return, you can stay in a new place without paying a penny for a hotel. This is a particularly attractive proposition in big cities like New York or Tokyo, where accommodation costs can be ridiculously expensive.

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A woman sitting by an apartment window.

While the cost of your hosting is free, you may need to pay a fee to sign up and join a house sitting website. You are encouraged to do this rather than pursue home care opportunities on your own, as you will be better protected from a personal safety perspective.

There are plenty of home sitting websites available. The best of these is the Paris-based website Nomador, which has a large international community. A three-month membership to the site costs $79, but you can sign up for free to decide if house-sitting is the right option for you.

Pet sitting

If you enjoy spending time with animals, pet sitting in exchange for boarding is another great way to travel the world for free.

Just like housekeeping, you are staying in someone else’s house. But instead of focusing on taking care of your property, your focus would be taking care of your pets.

A woman sat on the sofa with two dogs and a cat.

Walking the dogs, changing the litter trays, and of course making sure the pets are given food and water would be your main requirements. Outside of these tasks, you would be free to spend your time exploring your vacation destination.

The demand for pet sitters is high because the cost of caring for animals can be prohibitive for many pet owners. Many more would simply prefer their beloved pets to stay at home, rather than caged in a cattery or kennel.

It’s a win-win situation for animal-loving budget travelers.

Portrait of happy woman with her dog at home

UK-based TrustedHousesitters is one of the world’s largest pet-sitting websites, charging its members an annual membership fee of $169. A small price to pay for unlimited access to free hosting.

home exchanges

If you want to travel without the work of housework or dog care, you might as well consider trading your own home with someone else. Think ‘The holidays’but without Cameron Diaz and Jude Law!

The concept of home exchange is not new, but it is growing in popularity as economic restrictions force some travelers to seek affordable accommodation.

The interior of a rental apartment

You can exchange your own house or apartment with another person, giving you the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world.

This means your home won’t sit empty while you travel, which can be very beneficial, but it does mean you’ll have to be content with someone else staying and using your home.

There are a large number of home exchange websites available to choose from.

Young woman enjoying the view from an apartment in Paris, France

An example is Intervac Home Exchange. With this site, money does not change hands between exchangers, so you can get free hosting anywhere in the world. You can test the site with a 21-day free trial, after which the annual membership fee is $115.

The American company HomeExchange is also worth exploring. They have already seen their membership levels increase by 77% this year, which means there are more exchange properties available than ever before.

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