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5 Ways to Get Free Accommodation When You Travel

BY Aisha Preece

Updated 06 Dec 2019

The end of the year is nearing, and your boss says you have to clear your annual leave. You start googling all the great places you can travel to, but when you look for accommodation, everything is so expensive! Conlanfirm you will go bankrupt.
So how now, brown cow?
Don’t worry, here are five ways you can get free accommodation when you travel.

What's covered in this article?


1. Accommodation to Borak-Borak

Believe it or not, thousands of people in the world want to learn your language. The best way to learn a language is to practice, so there are hosts around the world who offer your accommodation (and sometimes food) for FREE in return for the privilege of chatting with you.
Here is the best part:
Because you are Malaysian and you read Loanstreet, you probably speak English, as well as other languages like Malay ke, Cantonese ke, Tamil ke, Kadazan-Dusun ke … which means your accommodation options just opened up!
Walao eh!

If you are interested in getting free accommodation and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and chat away to your hosts, here are two websites you can use:

2. House Sitting

House sitting sites connect homeowners going on holiday with responsible travellers who don’t mind watering their plants, feeding their pets and staying for free!
How do you get started? 
Set up a profile and start searching for houses in the area of your choice. To increase your chance of being selected, don’t just cincai your request. Try and tailor your request to the listing.
For example, if they have a big garden and pets, you can say: ‘I love gardening and also have my cats. So, I would love to stroke and feed, Sooki, your fluffy cat.’

Many homeowners are prepared to offer their homes for free in return for the peace of mind that their home and pets are being looked after.
You can find a place to stay for free using this list:

3. FREE Meditation Retreat

If you want to try something a bit different and also relaxing, you can try a 10-day silent meditation at any Vipassana Meditation Centre. Accommodation and food are all FREE. 
Why is it free ah? Confirm ah? No hidden charges ah?

According to their website ‘Courses are run solely on a donation basis. There are no charges for the course, not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from those who have completed a 10-day course, experienced the benefits of Vipassana, and wish to give others the same opportunity. Neither the Teacher nor the assistant teachers receive remuneration; they and those who organise the courses volunteer their time.


4. FREE Yoga Retreats

If you enjoy yoga and you don’t mind teaching others how to stretch, there are lots of yoga retreats who will offer you free accommodation in return for helping out.
Sounds like work…

Not necessarily. You can agree to help out a few hours a day, then explore the new area in your free time! It’s up to you to negotiate a schedule that suits you.
Two such examples are:
  • Yoga Trade - Provides a listing of accommodation opportunities in return for yoga classes 
  • Blueosa - You teach yoga classes, they provide food, accommodation and transport 

5. House Swapping

You know how you pay to rent an apartment or a house on Airbnb when you go on holiday… now you can rent for FREE, if you are willing to let the host stay in your house in return - also known as a house exchange.

They stay at your house and you stay at theirs! Wahh, senang right?

Here's what you have to do. Fill in your profile, search for a house in the location you want to visit, contact the hosts and organise an exchange. 
A few examples of home exchanges are:  TIP: If you want to have a lot of options to house-swap when you travel, you must fill in your profile properly. Include lots of extra detail such as if it’s close to tourist attractions or transport links, facilities nearby and plenty of good pictures. 

Orait, there you have it - 5 ways you can get free accommodation when you travel so you can save or spend your monies on more important things in life like... food. Yes!
Also, if you are looking for some great travel credit cards that allow you to convert your reward points into air miles so you can save money or gain rewards on travels, here are a few we recommended - Best Travel Credit Cards.

Alternatively, if you want to be rewarded for travel with great air miles and travel insurance coverage you can have a read through 6 Credit Cards That Gives You Better Air Miles.
Safe travels!
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About the Author

Aisha Preece


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