Or almost free..
Housing or travel accommodations is one of the biggest issues when people travel long term, and it shouldn’t have to be. In my humble opinion the problem is lack of planning. When you plan a bit ahead you will be able to get what you want at the budget that you want.
When I ask tourist, travelers and plain old vagabonds about accommodations, I get a myriad of options and preferences. And of course there is nothing wrong about it, its just a matter of taste and likes. And this leads to budget. For example, If you ask me ask me about my camping preferences I will tell you about budget travel, camping sites that are more likely to be cheap or no cost and almost no gear needed (I like primitive camping). Now, if you ask my wife, then you get a totally different answer, her idea of camping is to stay at La Quinta hotels, and that is as rough as it gets – LOL. Nothing wrong with La Quinta, is just that we had different opinions and preferences about the same activity and there is a difference in budget expenses as well.
But in all seriousness in this article I want to cover a few options that exist, and this just doesn’t apply to long term travel, it applies to lifestyle. What kind of lifestyle do you want. Another very viable point is that you can change your preferences at any given time, from rough in it, to 5 Star accommodations and in between! For the sake of this article I am not going to cover the obvious which is staying at hotels (we will cover that on future articles).
Let’s touch on lifestyle first. Do you like to stay alone? Do you like to be around people? Do you like sharing living accommodations with others? Do you like to volunteer? Do you like home sitting? I know it is a bunch of questions, but that is precisely my point. It all comes down to your plans. For example, you may want to camp out in Colorado for a week or two, then you want to take a train or take a road trip to Seattle, Washington and stay at a boat house for a month, the go to Thailand and Woof? You see! There is a plethora of options and budgets. Accommodations is one of the biggest expenses of full-time travel. The second biggest expense is transportation, but we will discuss that in another article.
So let’s start with camping, you may want to rough it like I do and pay $0 for that just find one national park or preserve that will allow you to stay for free. Colorado as well as in many parts of the world there are many areas where you could stay free. Here is a link for you to research http://freecampsites.net/. Another option is to stay at a Koa. This type of accommodation has more facilities but it has an expense added to it. Here is the site http://koa.com/.
You see! My point is that you can perform the same activity and based on how you plan, it can cost you as little as NOTHING!
Now lets talk about the boat house in Seattle, Washington. Well if I go to craiglist.org or any of the rental sites and look for a rental of a furnish boat house the going rate is around $1,000 to $2,400 a month, again depending on amenities- check it out http://seattlehouseboatrentals.com/rentals.htm. Now, you can also stay for FREE! You can do Boat House Sitting.
Actually it doesn’t have to be a boat house you can stay on homes and even castles in Europe and all over the world- free by doing house sitting. House-Sitting involves taking care of somebody else’s home (and possibly pets) in their absence. Gigs can last from a few days to a few years, and the amenities and duties involved varies. Yes! you will need to do a little work but in exchange you are staying for free, get it! Here is an link to an awesome article written by Nora Dunn – Professional Hobo on house sitting.
Now let’s go to Thailand and Woof! You maybe asking, what the heck is Woof or Woofing? It is actually WWOOF and stands for “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms” and it is no secret that a lot of people are taking an interest in these types of activities nowadays. It involves volunteering but It is an awesome experience. There are also many WWOOF organizations dedicated to helping those who want to become volunteers and learn all the skills and secrets required to work on an actual organic farm. For more info on woofing here is a link http://woofing.info/
I hope that I spark your curiosity about the many possibilities on long term travel accommodations and the budget possibilities. The more money you save on having a place to stay and travel, the more financially sustainable your travels will be.
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