One of the more interesting ways to involve yourself in frugal travel is the practice of WWOOFing. I learned about the WWOOF movement from a good online friend of mine. He uses it as a way to stay for free as he travels.
Basically, WWOOFing is about staying with organic farmers, or other business owners, and volunteering to do work for them. Many of the operations are relatively small, and usually have some sort of cause attached, whether it’s sustainability, or some other value. My friend even stayed at an animal sanctuary for a couple of weeks.
In exchange for a certain number of hours that you work each day, you receive a free place to stay — and often meals. With a membership fee, you get access to a database of participants around the world, as well as access to web sites that include reviews of different hosts. You can go WWOOFing in about 99 countries, so that provides you with many opportunities.
Who is WWOOFing For?
While you do have to pay for your expenses in getting to the country of your choice, once you are there, you can arrange to stay in various locations fairly cheaply. As long as you are willing to do some work each day, you can receive a place to sleep, and food to eat, and then go exploring when you aren’t working.
For those who are interested in meeting new people, and don’t mind roughing it a little bit, WWOOFing can be a fun way to travel. You can stay in one location for a couple of weeks before moving on to another location. This works best if you are planning a trip to last at least a month. You can save money on lodging and food, and have more money to do other things. Plus, it can reduce the overall cost of a vacation, since you won’t have to worry staying in hotels or buying food.
While WWOOFing can be a very frugal and interesting way to travel, though, it might not be ideal for everyone. If you are particular about your personal space, and wary of meeting new people in such close circumstances, it might not be ideal for you. Additionally, it might not be appropriate if you have young children that need constant supervision. WWOOFing isn’t exactly the most family friendly activity out there, although there are some instances where children are allowed.
If you are single, or if you have a partner as adventurous as you are, it might make sense to try WWOOFing. It’s a cheap way to get in some traveling, and it can really help you learn more about a frugal lifestyle. Indeed, the nomadic nature of WWOOFing can be a great introduction to a minimalist type lifestyle, since you really can’t take a lot with you if you are going to be traveling about.
Carefully consider your options. If you want to save money on travel, you can do so — and maybe even help make the world a better place in the process.