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Ooh, it's a perpetual dream on the bucket list of many, isn't it? Travelling the wonderful world! Frolicking through foreign terrain!
Of course, it's a goal that's often flung into the 'Too Ludicrously Expensive To Ever Actually Accomplish' basket, but oh, fear not, because international sightseeing absolutely needn't be exorbitant. Here's four easy-peasy suggestions for exploring the planet... cheaply, freely, and most of all, BRILLIANTLY!
Let's examine one opportunity (as featured here), shall we? Okay!
Meet this sweet-sounding Romanian/Jamaican couple from Bedfordshire, England. Seeking a friendly female to act as a live-in babysitter to their two children (with no experience necessary), they're offering rent-free accommodation (in England... ENGLAND!), and ''pocket money'' of 500 GBP per month, in exchange for 30-35 hours of your time and care each week. A-m-a-z-i-n-g!
Psst! Would you like to hear something appalling? My last phone bill was *insert dramatic heart thump here* $652. Terrible, huh?! Uh huh, especially when you consider that for almost the same price, I could've been NEPAL-in' for two months! (Get it? Appalling? Nepal-in'?! Oh, I slay myself with my own lameness!)
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) aims to provide volunteer travellers with quality, flexible and safe volunteering placements in developing countries, and with two month programmes starting from as little as $770 (all meals and accommodation included), they're surely an affordable way to tip-toe through West Asia!
At House Sit World, they'll place your details on their website listing the areas you're interested in, dates you're available and your comments as to why a home owner should trust you to look after their valued possessions, home, garden and pets while they're away. Home owners then search their pages for someone who meets their needs and is available in their area during the time they are away, contact the suitable sitters and once references are checked, make mutually acceptable arrangements.
Help Exchange (Help X) is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats (!) who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation. In a typical arrangement, you'll work an average of 4 hours per day, and receive free accommodation and meals for your efforts. SCORE!
Which countries are you itching to visit? Would you ever consider volunteering? I'll let you in on a little not-so-secret: I completely intend to take the plunge this year!