Traveling around the world is a dream that people often hold their whole lives. They make promises that they’ll travel when they retire because then they’ll have time and money. Or, they say they’ll start saving a little bit now and maybe they can knock off something on their bucketlist in a few years. The excuses are endless for why people don’t travel, but the number one thing on the list that holds people back is money. However, it doesn’t have to be. If you don’t care for the over-the-top luxurious travel, there are plenty of options for cheap travel. Believe it or not, traveling could be cheaper than staying at home (specifically if you live in New York City…but, I digress).

Options like the ones below allow you to work in exchange for housing and oftentimes food as well, hence the name work exchange. These options help you immerse into the culture, but still give free time to explore the must-see sights of the city. These cheaper travel options can also help you extend your travels to much longer than one or two weeks. You get to become a local, understand the community, and make new friends. Working and traveling is the most fulfilling experience you can get, and it happens to be one of the cheapest experiences too.


WWOOF stands for “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.” The website links potential volunteers to organic farms in nearly every country across the world. In exchange for 4 or 5 hours of working on a farm, with animals, and other activities, the farm provides you food, a place to sleep, and typically a welcoming group of friends and family in a new country. This experience is ideal for anyone trying to escape the constraints and business of the city. The rural traveling option helps you explore the smaller towns that surround the major cities. Sometimes, you can find a farm that is still in day-trip distance of major cities so you can explore them on the weekends.


This is very similar to WWOOFing. Workaway connects you to potential hosts, and there are farming opportunities here as well. There is more variety in the types of work you can do through Workaway though. You could volunteer at a guesthouse in Brazil, renovating a summerhouse in the United Kingdom, or help teach English in Madrid. The options are endless, but this website is the resource to help you find what works for you.

Escape Normal Jobs

This website has more variety of job options, and some of them might pay you. Each option has different volunteer costs as far as what they will give you in return for work, but many will give you free housing if you work a certain amount of hours. There are a range of options from volunteering at national parks to being a seasonal cook.

Have you ever done work exchange?


Sydney Pereira is a student at New York University trying to change the world while simultaneously making enough money to travel when she's not studying or writing. She's also an athlete, music-lover, and avid news reader. When she's not exploring NYC, fresh flowers from the farmer's market and a cup of hot tea on a lazy Saturday are equally fulfilling.


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