“Let’s make this the most expensive trip we can!” Said no one ever. No matter your travel style, we all want our money to last as long as possible when we’re on the road. Whether you're a budget backpacker or simply trying to keep it cheap, we need to let you in on a secret…or 8!
These are the 8 ways you can use Workaway to save money - not just for the free digs! While free accommodation is always a bonus, the Workaway platform can help you learn a new language, find the best hidden gems and even find a new job…all for free!
Let's get the obvious out the way first - free accommodation. Accommodation is probably the most expensive part of travelling and it can take up a huge chunk of your budget even if you're staying in hostels.
Once you join Workaway you have access to over 50,000 opportunities in 170 countries, with accommodation ranging from yurts to yachts, hammocks to housesitting
(more on that in a minute.) Best of all, the Workaway joining fee for an entire year is less than the cost of a typical hotel room for one night! This means you could stay in epic accommodations all over the world for free, saving you some serious cash.
On the topic of accommodation, did you know that Workaway offers housesitting too? Not only will this save you money on accommodation but house sitting can save you money in other ways too.
For those not in the know, house sitting is when you stay in a host's home but without the host. In exchange for free accommodation, you're in charge of looking after the home and most of the time this includes pets too.
If you are a digital nomad
or even just working remotely, house-sitting is a great way to save money on the road
. It means you won't have to pay for a co-working space or try to work in a noisy hostel or cafe but instead can enjoy a peaceful home away from home without the bills or rent
. Using our search options, you can filter to find house sitting options as well as those that are digital nomad friendly.
House-sitting also allows you to save money in other ways as you'll have access to a kitchen so you can prepare food instead of dine out and you'll have access to WiFi and laundry facilities for free
. Unsure whether to try housesitting or stick to volunteering? Check out our detailed house sitting vs volunteering guide
that compares the two.
The Bonus of Meals & Transport
After accommodation the biggest chunk of your budget will probably go on food and transport. Again, this is another way Workaway can help save you money.
Most hosts offer three meals a day in exchange for your time and skills. Not only is this an amazing way to cut costs, but more importantly it means you can try incredible local food or even learn how to cook it yourself. Staying with a host will also mean you have access to kitchen facilities to save on dining out, or better yet - why not cook one of your favourite dishes from home to treat your host?
I have also had hosts who have shared their car, bikes and even bought us train tickets to explore the local area
. While free transport is most definitely a bonus, it is something that the majority of hosts we've stayed with have offered in some way. Whether it's picking you up from the airport, giving lifts into town or indeed giving you a car for a day or two of sightseeing - every free journey helps when you're travelling on a budget
Find a New Job
Many of us travel to escape the mundane 9-5 jobs, but did you know travelling can actually help you discover your career path? More specifically, Workaway can!
Confused? Well, according to research, around 40% of undergraduate students in the US alone, dropout of college and universities every year. Imagine if you could test drive your subject or location first before making the huge financial step to work or study in that area? Think of the money you’d save if you realised it wasn’t (or was) for you before you started! With Workaway you can test drive a wealth of career options, subjects and projects before committing to the cost of a degree or relocating.
As volunteer experience will boost your CV this can also give you major bargaining power with job offers
. Usually companies offer a higher salary to those with "experience", and what better experience than volunteering all over the world?! One of the best ways to do this is to use the skills you want (or know potential employers are looking for) as keywords in our search box when trying to find a host
Find a Travel Buddy
When travelling solo many of us pay for group tours, pub crawls or hostels in the hope of finding a travel buddy or two. While these are excellent ways of finding friends on the road
, these cost money.
Luckily Workaway offers many ways to find a travel buddy that won't cost a penny
. This includes our Workawayers nearby
function as well as our find a travel buddy feature
. While finding like-minded people without paying for a pub crawl hangover to find them is great, having buddies for certain parts of your trip can also save you money.
You can hire a car or campervan together as well as split fuel costs and drive time. You can take it in turns to buy food and cook for each other to save on groceries. You can even swap or borrow clothes and travel gear to save you buying new. Furthermore, it's a huge benefit having connections all over the world as it means more couches to crash on in the future!
Learning a new language can open a world of possibilities both in terms of travel but also in terms of employment and networking. It's an incredible skill to have, but for that reason language courses and tutors can be expensive.
One of the best ways to learn a language
is total immersion, and one of the best ways to do that is Workaway! By living, eating and volunteering alongside locals you'll pick up the language far quicker than any online course, app or book could ever teach you.
You can even begin your language lessons before your trip begins
, which will get you fluent in no time. This is because our find a language partner
feature means you can be paired with someone who matches your personality, hobbies and interests. As it feels more like chatting to a friend rather than a formal classroom environment, many people find it a more successful and relaxed way to learn. Not to mention, it's free!
Local Tour Guide
Whether it's the highlights or hidden gems, sightseeing can be expensive. Even more so if you're travelling solo so need to figure out transport, food and entry fees on your own.
As an alternative to the tourist hotspots, why not see the area through a local's eyes? Most Workaway hosts love playing tour guide! They're proud to share their local area and culture so will be more than happy to share their secret spots with you that are off the tourist trail.
Not only will this save you from getting ripped off from overpriced tours, but it will provide you with memories that money can't buy. From where to find the best coffee, to the hikes you can't miss - only locals know this kind of information and thanks to Workaway, they'll spill their secrets with you.
While the focus of this post is on saving money, have you considered making money on the road too? Many people don't realise that there are Workaway hosts that offer paid projects. In exchange for your time and skills, the host offers accommodation as well as a stipend.
Usually paid positions involve childcare, hospitality or I.T, but there are many others too. Keep an eye for the “paid position” banner on the host's profile pic as well as the paid icon in the search results. Then by mixing up both paid and volunteer roles you can save even more money as you travel.
While it's fun to think of ways to save money using Workaway, we hope most of all our platform teaches you the importance of those moments that money can’t buy. Conversations with strangers, a free home cooked meal, a comfortable bed - these are all available thanks to the kindness of strangers. Using Workaway as part of your adventures won’t just save you money, but it will showcase how epic humans can be. Soon you’ll realise travel isn’t about counting the pennies, but about counting your blessings, and those priceless moments are just a click away!