4 Oct 2015
What if we told you it was possible to get away without having to sell a vital organ on the black market?
Switcheroo – home exchange
House swaps popped up long before the interwebs, but world-wide connectivity has seen the idea blossom. There is a home swap site for almost any niche group, particularly throughout Europe. For those wanting to stay closer to home there are sites such as House Swap Holidays or Aussie House Swap. Of course the one hurdle is finding a mansion-dweller who’s happy to switch their lavish lifestyle to stay in ‘quaint, cozy’ quarters with your flatmates. If a full home exchange isn’t for you, don’t forget airbnb is always an option.
If your need to hug a fluffy, four-legged companion is as great as your need to holiday, house-sitting is the gig for you. There are a pile of sites littered across the internet hooking up house sitters and sittees. Most people on the search for a house-sitter are offering up their home for free in exchange for pet sitting, garden watering or just someone to keep that ‘lived in’ feeling strong while they’re gallivanting around the globe. Sites like housesitters.com.au also cater for professional house sitters who charge for their services by taking up ‘undesirable’ assignments (usually short-term or last minute). Most sites have a registration fee, but who can put a price on the opportunity to stay rent free by the beach while cuddling an adorable ball of fluff?
Rock out for free – volunteering at festivals
Nothing says Aussie summer quite like packing the car and heading out on a festival road trip, but it can be a very pricey affair. Cue festival volunteering. The only downside is you need to be prepared a month or two out because volunteer spots at popular festivals fill fast. Most volunteer gigs require you to be on duty for anywhere between four and eight hours a day, but in return you get free entry and sometimes free camping as well. And if that wasn’t good enough you also get the chance to see the fetival behind-the-scenes, make new friends, and it’s also a great addition to your resume. Check out the website of your festival-of-choice for more information.
Becoming a WWOOFer is as awesome as it sounds. The fun acronym, which stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms, puts travellers and would-be farm hands in touch with organic farmers all over the world. In exchange for a few hours’ work a day you get free accommodation and food and get the opportunity to pick up some skills and mingle with locals in exotic locations. Plus you get to tell everyone you’re a farmer and everyone loves farmers. Fact. Check it out at www.wwoof.net/.
Sleeping under the stars
There is nothing quite like pitching a tent in the bush. If you’ve got the gear and the inclination, check out national parks websites to find the place that best suits your budget and level of luxury (some sites have hot showers and toilets, and others are more ‘rustic’). There are beautiful spots for as little as $4 a night. And really, is there anything better than watching the sun sink over the horizon while cradling a cold drink and thinking about how thrifty you are? No, there is not.
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