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How to Get Free Short Term Housing

Updated on October 10, 2015

Free short term housing can be found in a number of ways. Yes I'm serious, you can find housing free around the world, it is possible. These options are usually intended for people staying overseas for several months. You wouldn't choose these for a one or two week vacation.

House Sitting

House sitting is a situation where a person or family is leaving their house for a long time. Usually they leave for a few weeks or months.

Why Would They Let Me Stay Free?

Home owners don't want to pay for expensive security, so they will hire someone to watch their house for them. You've now become a security guard just by being in their home.

Why Would I want to Do This?

If you like to travel on a shoe string budget, this is one of many options. It costs you nothing, except for the time and patience spent finding the homeowner.

So How Do I Find the Home Owners?

I'm glad you asked. and are two of the most popular matching sites for house watching.

Pet Sitting

It's the same idea as house sitting, except your also responsible for their cat, dog, bird, or whatever pet they have.

Some popular sites include and


World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms.

Ok What the hell does that mean? For a small one time fee of about $30, you can get a list of farmers that will feed you and house you in exchange for free housing. Several of my friends have done this happily and successfully.

Typically you work a four hour day and pick fruit or do other farm type work. There are farmers around the world looking for helpers.

Why Would You Want to Do This?

If you're seeking a more immersive overseas experience, this is a good choice. You meet the locals, learn some of the language, and enjoy the long term delights of international travel. You could stay with a host, but it will usually cost you at least $400 a month, for example on

Some popular sites include and

Language Homestay

The final good choice is to arrange to stay with a host family in exchange for teaching them English. This again is an immersive environment, not for tourists staying a week or two.

You'll stay with a host family, usually teaching their kids English for 15 hours a week. The typical arrangement lasts for 1-3 months. After 3 months your tourist visa would run out anyway.

One of the most popular sites is, or


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    • Happy Moment profile image

      James 2 years ago from The Eastern Bypass

      I never thought that getting a house in a foreign country was that easy. Thanks for the information.