When you think about travelling the world and exploring different counties, the first thing that might come to mind is: “I wish I could afford all that.” Well … you can! There are several ways to travel for free, or almost free, these days. In my previous blog posts I’ve told you something about cheap transportation and staying abroad for free. In this post I will tell you all I know about working abroad.
Working as an au pair can be a very cheap way to explore a different country and live like a local. As an au pair, you work as a nanny but live with the family in the same house. You will have your own room, your food will be paid for and you get some pocket money every week in return for your services as a babysitter and nanny. Every family is different so no one can really tell you what this experience for you is going to be like, but to give you a general idea I will post about my experience as an au pair in my next blog post.
The main job of an au pair is taking care of the kids while also being a temporary member of the family. This means not only making sure the kids are safe, well fed and happy but also do some household tasks like cleaning the rooms, cooking every once in a while and doing laundry and being with the family even when you’re not working.
There are several ways to find a host family.
First of all, there is Facebook. There are lots of Facebook groups – especially for capital cities – for au pair where people get in touch with each other to make new friends and where families post their requests or where au pairs that are about to leave post a message to help their family find a new au pair. There are not a lot of requests for au pairs on Facebook but you might be lucky and find a great family there that wants you. The great thing about it is… it’s free.
Au Pair World
This way of finding a host family is also free! It is how I found my family and it was really easy and all went very fast. If you go to http://www.aupairworld.com you can sign up to the website and start creating your profile by uploading photo’s, reviews from previous jobs, by writing something about yourself and filling in your preferences. You can put down how many kids you max. want to take care of, in what countries you would like to become an au pair, whether you have a drivers licence or not, if you want to do some light housework, when you would like to start and how long you would like to stay. When you are done making your profile families can send you messages and you can contact families yourself as well.
When you don’t really know what you are getting yourself into you might feel safer becoming an au pair via an organisation. The great thing about using an organisation is that they’ve got your back and will help you out when anything goes wrong. So when you don’t feel safe or are not happy with your family, they will help you find a new one. But the thing with organisations is…. they can cost a lot of money. There are organisations who will easily ask you to pay 300 pounds just for them to find you a family. And if you do this you don’t even have a guaranty that you will get a decent pay and that the family will treat you right.
So make sure that when using an organisation you will not:
- Just accept any family they offer you
There are some organisations that will give you your money back when you stay for a certain amount of months and don’t ask a lot of money in the first place – around 30 pounds – but will provide you with the same help when you need it. So keep an eye out for these organisations when looking for one.
International English Teacher
If you have a passion for teaching but don’t want to be stuck teaching in the same city at the same school for the rest of your life but really want to go and explore the world, coming an international English teacher might be the ideal job for you!
An international English teacher is a teacher who will teach students English without being able to speak their language (properly). To learn this skill you will need some education which you can acquire at TEFL.
After about a month or three – depends on where you study and how often per week you go to class – you will get a worldwide approved certificate with which you can teach English. Some countries do require or prefer their international English teachers to also have a bachelor’s degree but, don’t let not having one scare you off. You might not be able to get a job as easy as someone who does have a bachelor’s degree but you will definitely find work.
Other ways to work abroad is volunteering. Working as a volunteer can give you a great feeling and will be highly appreciated. There are several organisations that can help you find volunteer work abroad but these – again – might ask a lot of money, way more than they should. It might look like the easiest way but when you do a little more research online you will see that it can be loads and loads cheaper. 
For example by using HelpStay. This website has volunteer work in every branch to offer. It’s very easy to use, just make a profile, search for your ideal volunteer work in any country you would like to go too and send a message. In exchange for your work, you will get free accommodation and food throughout your entire stay. You will, however, have to pay for your flight and visa yourself in most cases. Find out how to get a cheap flight by reading my previous blog post about Cheap Transportation.
Working in Hostels, Bars, etc
Apart from the ways I mentioned above, there are, of course, more ways to work abroad. Think of working at a hostel, hotel, at a bar or barbershop. In some of these cases it might be possible to start without any prior experience or degree and maybe you even get free accommodation and food in return or make enough money to pay for those things yourself.
Don’t be afraid to explore these possibilities and explore the world!
Enjoy your travels!