It’s been 3 months since you left home to go find yourself in some not-very-secret havens of Southeast Asia and so far ‘yourself’ seems to be either a) high on the beach, b) petting an elephant, c) mixing well with
this dude named Mike locals or d) doing all of the above. Anyway. You’d like to extend your stay because you feel like this is only the beginning of your journey – or whatever Yogi Tea quote you told your disapproving mum. The only problem is that you’ve drunken away all your savings and have no clue how to afford extending your stay. Here is your answer! Check out those 5 ways you can stay abroad almost for free and hide from the real World for a while longer.
Workaway is an online platform that connects hosts to travelers worldwide. In exchange for approx 5 hours a day 5 times a week, you’ll be hosted and fed. Work varies a lot from farming to nannying and sometimes working at hostels. There are also some sketchy offers like dudes who want you to share their studio and help them build their social media consultancy startup – whatever that means. Please remember to bring your fuckboy radar abroad.
Cost: 35 USD per year.
My advice: Pay extra attention to the other travelers’ comments to know what to expect in terms of hours, location, work’s physical intensity, drama, etc. Also, try different kinds of projects before you finally decide that you hate the outdoors (ugh) and watching tiny humans (ugh²).
WWOOF stands for World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s basically the same thing as Workaway but only in organic farms. Duh. The good thing is that you won’t be breathing or touching (too many) unhealthy chemicals like you could on a regular farm. #ILostALungIn2019
Cost: 0 – 72 USD per year per country. Each national WOOF organization will demand that you pay a membership fee.
My advice: It’s limited to farming so you need to make sure you’re into that. The tasks are usually physically demanding and working during spring and summertime can be complicated if you have allergies. Not saying it’s not for princesses, just that you should be prepared to whine a lot.
#3 Working at a hostel
Some independent hostels hire travelers to work, usually at the front desk, in exchange for a bed and sometimes food. You’ll be expected to work around 3 shifts per week for at least 3 weeks in general – the time for the Manager to train you. Ok, 4 weeks then.
Working in a hostel also means talking to people A LOT, which includes telling drunk 20-something to stop smoking / yelling / having sex in the communal areas at 3 am. It’s a good use of all that pettiness you didn’t know what to do with (LOL) but it might also make you hate the human race more than you already did.
Cost: 0 USD but you’ll probably pay for most of your food.
My advice: If you stay there a few days before you decide that you wanna apply, get into small talks with the manager on every occasion so (s)he sees what an outgoing, responsible employee you could be. Also, talk to the staff to know what to expect in terms of working atmosphere. Basically just let your friendly hypocrisy shine and you’ll get the job.
#4 Au pair
What’s better than becoming the newest member of a big, loving family in exchange for caring for their kids? Literally ANYTHING. Anything in the World. But maybe you like stepping on Lego’s and being called ‘funny poopy-head’ on a daily basis so you do you.
As an Au pair, you will work mainly in the morning and after school from Monday to Friday and get your own room, food and a small weekly allowance. Work usually involves cooking, helping with homework, playing, bathing and dying from boredom in the suburbs. Also, it might be hard to get hired if you’re a man but if you can keep small demons from crashing a house and your soul, I’m sure you have the strength to overthrown this sexist society. Go get ’em!
Cost: 0 USD. Subscribe for free to an online agency such as aupair.com, aupairworld.com, europairservices.com or even kangorooaupair.com – not kidding.
My advice: Make sure to discuss and put on paper the chores and work conditions beforehand so you don’t end up being the nanny/maid/personal chef/Cinderella. This happens a lot since there’s ‘always something to do in a house’ and the nicest people can turn into shady OCD despots once the front door is closed. Be helpful and flexible but stick to your contract if you feel abused.
#5 Working Holiday Visa
Some countries allow young foreigners to get a temporary open work permit for a year or two. This means that you could apply to any job and finally achieve your dream of
running a freak show in Argentina waitressing in Melbourne. It won’t necessarily be a possibility in your current location but you might only be a border away from a participating country. Google ‘working holiday visa for + your nationality’ to find out whose economy your laziness is gonna ruin.
Cost: 0 – 300 USD, depending on the country. Don’t pay for one of those expensive admin services that will apply in your name since the procedure is pretty simple as long as you can spell your own name and address. Or maybe ask your mum.
My advice: Look up the many Facebook communities of WHV travelers currently living in the country of your choice. They’re the best resource in terms of job offers and finding roommates so you’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy. Or they might be as clueless as you but at least you’ll have new friends to act stupid with.
I hope that at least one of these options suits you and wish you the best of luck in avoiding going back to the real World!