16 awesome places worldwide to get free accommodation in exchange for work

Looking for cheap places to travel in 2018? Check out our selection of places to get room and board around the world that include nature, beaches, big cities, culture… all of it!


Oct 10, 2018

Jornalista e passarinho! Viajar, conhecer novas culturas e me conectar com novas pessoas e experiências é o que me move!

 map with free accommodation options worldwide

The willingness to get to know new places is not lacking for many people. The problem is when willingness comes up against a tight budget and increasingly high prices of tickets, lodging, and food.

With this in mind, this article has some options where you can stay for free around the world and will help you to make trips that are way more inexpensive.

Want to know how to stay for free around the world? The solution to your problems is a work exchange.

It goes like this: tons of hostels, NGOs, ecological projects and family homestays are looking for volunteers to exchange hours of work for accommodation. For just a few hours each day you are guaranteed free accommodation, new friends and a different way of getting to know your destination. The length of stay, amount of work hours you’ll help with each week, and what meals will be provided are all set up before the trip!

Check out the list of 16 incredible places where you can get accommodation for free:

 1. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and also the most populous city there, so it is considered the financial, historical, and cultural center of the country. Tourism in the city is very popular and includes palaces, temples and museums, as well as popular shopping areas. 

The Fu House Hostel is in the center of the city, but in a quiet neighborhood with easy access to transportation. The available position at this charming hostel is in reception and the tasks are simple: check guests in and out, check the cleaning and prepare breakfast.  

If you're traveling to this beautiful land, we definitely recommend looking out for more information about local tours and activities. Thailand will definitely be one of a kind in your travel list. 

Hostel with free accommodation in exchange for work in Bangkok, Thailand

2. Cancun, Mexico

One of the main tourist attractions in Mexico, Cancun lies on a peninsula on the coast of the state of Quintana Roo. The city became famous for its paradise-like beaches of fine sand and a crystalline blue sea.

In addition to this, the ruins, vegetation, weather, parks and extensive marine life also attract many tourists.

Packed thanks to the city atmosphere, the Mezcal Hostel is for those that like to party.

The position is helping with the general operation of the hostel and giving attention to the guests, which provides you the opportunity to meet people from all over the world! 

 Hostel with free accommodation in exchange for work in Cancun, Mexico

3. Budapest, Hungary

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is the capital and most populous city in Hungary. Know by all for its charm, restaurants, cafes, bars and parties, the city is worth the visit by every type of traveler.

The Budapest Budget Hostel is a host that receives a lot of volunteers! The position currently available is to help the lead receptionist in the afternoons, performing the tasks of receiving guests, answering questions and keeping an eye on everything that’s happening in the hostel. 

 Hostel in Budapest for those who are looking for free accommodation all over the world

4. La Serena, Chile

La Serena is part of the Elqui province in Chile. It’s the second oldest city in the country and exhibits historic architecture of city squares and stone churches, coming from the Neocolonial era. The city also boasts beautiful beaches that attract many tourists during the summer. 

The Elqui Valley is known for astronomical observatories and for being a mystical destination. The Hostel Cosmo Elqui is building a new hostel in the area and needs help with carpentry, construction and painting. During free days, its possible to use the facilities already built in La Serena.

 One of the places for free lodging around the world is La Serena, in Chile.

5. Makuyu, Kenya

Kenya is a country full of beautiful natural landscapes and animal diversity that attracts many tourists interested in getting to know the African Savanna. However, the country still suffers from various socio economic problems and needs humanitarian support.

The Makuyu Education Initiative (MEI) is an NGO set up in the village of Makuyu and aims to help needy children escape malnutrition and other obstacles, providing healthcare, nutritional meals and private classes.

The NGO seeks volunteers that are interested in taking photos and producing videos to raise funds, helping with children’s health screenings or preparing nutritional meals. If you can help in other ways, they are open to new ideas!

 Free accommodation in exchange for work can be an opportunity to do social project in Kenya.

6. Battambang, Cambodia

Battambang is one of largest cities in Cambodia and has a special charm for being a riverside community and still preserving their colonial architecture.

Cambodia is a Buddhist country and 95% of the population follows the religion, making it famous among travelers for the beautiful temples that reside there. However, it is a country marked by past conflicts and the population is still suffering from the remnants. Although the current government tries to improve socio economic aspects, all help is welcome.

One option to help the children of the country is the English School & Construction Project NGO. It was created by a Cambodian teacher with many years of experience to help raise the level of education for children.

The NGO is currently seeking volunteers to help the local teachers teach English to young people!

 Social project that offers free accommodation in exchange for work  in Cambodia

7. Facatativá, Colombia

Facatativá is a city that sits a few kilometers outside Bogota, the capital of Colombia, and is famous for the Piedras del Tunjo Archeological Park that has large rock formations that were once the bottom of a lake.

In this small city, there is a group of missionary friends that work helping children and young people. The activities are playful, spiritual, eco-friendly and very varied.

They are seeking volunteers to help with the kids as well as take some photos. 

 Project of missionaries in Colombia, for those who seek accommodation in exchange for work

8. Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of Nepal and together with two sister cities that form the valley of Kathmandu, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is a well known destination to climbers for its proximity to the Himalayan Mountain Range where Mount Everest is located.

Hindu temples and Buddhist statues also attract many tourists to the country.

Despite the captivating cultural riches, the poverty that touches the country is remarkable when walking the streets of Kathmandu.

In the face of this situation, a local project was created called Children Home Nepal, where women, children and the general community receive help.

The project currently helps 11 children that live there and they need volunteers to teach English or basic computer skills, help with household chores, share love, smiles, sing, dance and cheer them up! 

 A free accommodation in exchange option in Kathmandu, Nepal

9. Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Brazil

Alto Paraíso de Goiás is one of the most mystical and beautiful destinations in Brazil. The city sits in the Chapada dos Veadeiros, a beautiful national park filled with canyons, plateaus, waterfalls, rivers and natural pools.

At the entrance of the park is the small and charming village of São Jorge. There is a personnel building there called the Capim Estrela, a place for therapeutic and experiential accommodation, very close to nature.

The project is seeking volunteers that want to help in the final stages of bio-construction, seedling planting, landscaping, internal organization, maintenance service, and cleaning.

Locals like to say Brazil a continent itself. This tropical country is an amazing place full of natural beauties and multicultural cities where you can do some of the best tours in the world. If you're planning to spend some time there, you can check out reviews on all Brazil tours to make up your mind.

 A free accommodation in exchange for work option is a ecological project in Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Brazil

10. Parma, Italy

Known for culinary tourism, Parma is just one more Italian city full to the brim with charm and culture. Besides the famous prosciutto and parmesan, the region also displays traces of the ancient time of its construction, in 1500 B.C. with theaters, churches and museums well worth the visit!

In this small city, the Eudokia farming community staff are setting up the Agri-Mountain Renewable Energy Park and seek volunteers for eco-construction with wood, gardening, tree planting, greenhouse cultivation, and cultural and culinary activities. 

In Italy, an agricultural community offers free accommodation in exchange for work

11. La Fortuna, Costa Rica

The small and touristic city of La Fortuna is located at the bottom of one of the most famous volcanoes in Costa Rica, the Arenal. The city is home for travelers who want to get up close and personal with an active volcano.

Waterfalls, thermal baths and adventure activities like rafting, ziplining and volcanic hikes are also some attractions.

The eco-hostel Rancho Margot is a very interesting project that offers classes to guests and student programs to anyone around the world that wants to know more about sustainability.

They are looking for volunteers to help the eco project in general ways.

 For those who are looking for free accommodation in exchange for work, an ecological project in Costa Rica offers opportunities.

12. Montpellier, France

With a very young population, full of French and foreign university students, Montpellier is a famous city in the south of France. It is the city that has grown the most in the country in the last 25 years.

The Michelin starred chefs, dance festivals, music, theater, street art, painting and photography exhibitions make up the charm of the city.

A few kilometers from there, there is a collective of travelers working to maintain a sustainable community.

The Cat Farm offers a unique opportunity to learn new skills, show your talents, make lifelong friends and build a masterpiece together. They are currently seeking volunteers for gardening and permaculture. 

A collective of travelers in Montpellier seeks volunteer travelers for free accommodation in exchange for work

13. Calamuchita, Argentina

Argentina is the second largest country in South America and is well traveled by tourists from all over the world, mainly by Brazilians.

Calamuchita is a small city located in the Calamuchita Valley, a region known for beautiful lakes and landscapes. The city is known for its mountain views, European architecture and unforgettable cuisine.

In the valley is a small family looking for volunteers to help with an eco-construction project. The tasks are maintenance, gardening and construction and they are always open to new ideas that help contribute to the project! 

 Helping in a family home in Argentina is an option for those who seek accommodation in exchange for work

14. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Located in the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the second largest city in the country. It is considered the spiritual capital for having almost 300 temples in the region.

With a different climate from bustling Bangkok and with no beaches, the city receives a great number of tourists that want to see the immense wall that surrounds the city, the beautiful scenery, restaurants and the relaxed atmosphere.

One Turkish-Thai family has just moved to the mountains of Chiang Mai and is building a self-sufficient community. For this, they are seeking help with organic planting, design and construction.

 A family in Chiang Mai, Thailand, needs the help of those who seek accommodation in exchange for work

15. Santa Cruz, United States

Do you know the typical sunny California city? Santa Cruz is one of those. With the famous boardwalk and roller coasters, the city attracts all types of tourists. In addition to this, it is well known for the surf and skate culture and attracts many people from these tribes.

If you are interested in spending some time in California, a couple is accepting volunteers in their house. In exchange for a few hours of work, in tasks like house cleaning, garden care and handyman jobs, you can enjoy the city in a more local and inexpensive way. 

The couple accepts help at home to those interested in accommodation in exchange for work

16. Bacharach, Germany

On the banks of the Renos River is an enchanting city called Bacharach, considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With little medieval houses, the city has a large number of historic buildings to visit and is an attraction for those that like the feeling of traveling back in time.

For those that love kids, a couple is offering a stay in their own home to the volunteer that wants to care for their two children. The only requirement they have is that you speak English with the kids. Besides that, they will also take you on family trips to get to know a little more of Germany!

 For those seeking free accommodation in exchange for work, the family in the German city seeks help with children.

As you can see, there are very many opportunities to stay for free around the world and many places to get to know in a more economical way. Just get on Worldpackers, choose an opportunity that best fits your profile and get going!


Oct 10, 2018

Jornalista e passarinho! Viajar, conhecer novas culturas e me conectar com novas pessoas e experiências é o que me move!

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