How to travel for free: Part 2

work exchange opportunities

Yesterday I covered the important things to know about free travel. Make sure you read that first before diving into the job listings at sites I’ve listed below.

Now, on to the main event:

Work at a yoga studio or retreat center

Roles: Yoga teacher, chef, marketer, manager, front desk staff, spa jobs, hospitality jobs
Job description: Whether you’ve already got professional yoga skills or not, there are yoga jobs out there for you. For most jobs, though, you must have an interest in yoga and an ongoing practice to be considered, as these employers are intent upon maintaining the integrity of their yoga community. Yoga teachers without a lot of time to take off can often find opportunities to lead retreats for free, too.
What’s covered: Usually lodging and unlimited yoga classes are covered, often food is included, and you may receive discounts on amenities like spa treatments.
Paid: Sometimes. May be unpaid, salaried, hourly, or commission-based (e.g. per head or per service)
Find jobs: Yoga Trade (membership required to view job details), YogaTravelJobs (membership required to apply to jobs through the site)


Volunteer for a charity

Roles: Teacher (classroom), manual laborer, marketer, some misc. specialized jobs (e.g. research, scuba diving, operating vehicles, etc.)
Job description: This is one of the best ways for short-term travelers to hit the road for free or cheap (while making an impact, of course). Jobs can vary from working with animals to completing underwater cleanups to teaching or digging wells in rural villages.
What’s included: Usually lodging and food
Paid: No. You may have to pay in order to cover the charity’s costs.
Find jobs: Go Overseas



Roles: House-sitter, Pet-sitter
Job description: The name says it all. Through these sites, sitters connect with homeowners who are looking for someone to care for their home. Most of the time these jobs include pet-care responsibilities. This is one of our favorite ways to see the world for free, and we’ve had great experiences.
What’s included: Lodging (along with whatever amenities the homeowner may have, such as laundry, wifi, cable, etc.)
Paid: No.
Find jobs: TrustedHousesitters (There are others, but this is the only one we’ve tried, so it’s what we recommend.)


Volunteer for a business or individual

Roles: Teacher (classroom), teacher (sports/skills, e.g. surfing, scuba, yoga, etc.) manual laborer, marketer, nanny/au pair, English language practice, hospitality jobs, artist, musician
Job description: If you’ve got a month or more to put down roots in one spot, there are plenty of jobs for friendly folks to work hostel front desks or do manual labor, like farm work. There are also some more specialized opportunities out there, like taking care of kids, teaching in a school, or helping a brand build a website; this can be a great way to keep your resume fresh while abroad. Some hostels will even accept short-term travelers who are artists or musicians passing through for a week or less.
What’s included: Usually lodging and sometimes food.
Paid: No.
Find jobs: Workaway, Helpstay, WWOOF, Au Pair World


Work at a dive shop or dive resort

Roles: Dive instructor, dive shop staff
Job description: If you’re considering making diving your career, an internship abroad is a great way to get started. You’ll usually pay for your training upfront, but may have the opportunity to stay on afterward for pay.
What’s included: Varies.
Paid: Varies. If you are completing a certification, you will usually have to pay to cover your costs. If you are already a certified dive instructor, you may work in exchange for lodging and food and/or you may be paid.
Find jobs: If you’re looking for a certification and internship program, I recommend choosing a destination, then researching the local shops through PADI (or your dive training program of choice).


Work on a yacht during Yacht Week

Roles: Skipper, hostess
Job description: If you’ve been dying to try Yacht Week, but you’ll never have the funds, why not tag along on someone else’s dream vacation? Those with sailing experience can train to be skippers, while ladies (yes, I believe it is really only women allowed) can act as hostesses who provide meals, do some light cleanup, and generally keep guests happy and entertained. Note: A high tolerance for very drunk people is required.
What’s included: Lodging and food.
Paid: Yes, you’ll be paid in tips, but you’ll have to pay for training first.
Find jobs: Yacht Week


Teach English overseas

Jobs: Teacher
Job description: When you teach English abroad long-term, you work just like any other classroom teacher would — Monday-Friday during school hours, typically with pretty generous holidays. Liking kids is helpful here!
What’s included: Sometimes lodging
Paid: Yes. You will need to pay for and complete a certification like TEFL.
Find jobs: TeachAway, Go Overseas


Know of other ways to travel for free? Let us know in the comments!


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