When you read the title of this blog post, you probably thought "yeah, okay, she's insane." Honestly, I didn't know about volunteering for accommodation until a few months ago. I didn't understand how it worked or what was involved but now that I've gained some more insight and I am doing it myself, it's a great way to save money during your travels and get free accommodation (which we all know is amazing). This short, but sweet, guide will give you a better understanding of how to get free travel accommodation and where to start.
There are quite a few ways that you can volunteer in order to get free accommodation during your travels these being: volunteer in a hostel, exchange work for accommodation (i.e. on a farm, etc), projects, etc.
Most hostels could use the help and assistance with a variety of tasks, all you have to do is reach out and ask. I will put below a list of websites and things that could help you in your search for working at a hostel and hostels that may be participating in volunteer exchange for accommodation. I am currently working at the Fort William Backpackers Hostel in Fort William, Scotland. I reached out to them in August just to see if they need assistance and it went from there.
So, if you are considering on visiting Europe but don't want to spend a lot or are on a very strict budget - I highly recommend volunteering a few hours at a hostel in exchange for accommodation. Most hostels do between 2-4 hours of work for a bed and you can stay as long as you like and volunteer because they do actually need the help.
Some of the websites below are a little outdated, but it doesn't hurt to contact the hostels directly and just ask what their volunteer policies are.
- 347 Hostels & Guest Hostels Open to Volunteering
- Hostel Jobs
- YHA Volunteering
- Jobs in Scottish Hostels
A few of the websites listed you have to pay to be a part of but I've met several people who have gone through these websites and say they are completely worth it. So maybe check them out and see what works best for you and your own situation!
I will go on to say that this is the cheapest way to travel throughout Europe because of how many hostels there are. The opportunities are endless and I fully believe that you should never have to pay for accommodation again if you are willing to do a little work for it. If you are thinking of staying in one place for quite a while, it's worth the research to see if you can volunteer at a hostel or do work in exchange for stay, etc.. If you are currently searching for hostels to stay at during your travels, try reaching out to them to see if they accept volunteers - you never know, they could say yes and there is your free accommodation!
Have you ever volunteered in a hostel? Share your experience with us below!
Let's be social!