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Affordable Travel Opportunities

At an ENRICH at UUCSC program on October 20, UUCSC member Gail Burchard spoke about inexpensive travel opportunities. Gail, who is a former flight attendant and an experienced international traveler, discussed some of the organizations that connect international travelers with budget accommodations, temporary or part-time jobs in exchange for food and lodging, or service opportunities. Some of the opportunities she discussed are listed here:

Workaway.info (www.Workaway.info) is a website that connects budget travelers with individuals, families, or organizations who are willing to provide food and lodging in exchange for a few hours of work per day.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (www.wwoof.net) connects volunteers with organic farms and growers around the world. In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodations and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. It was founded in England in 1971. There are now more than 50 WWOOF groups worldwide.

Women Welcome Women World Wide ( www.WomenWelcomeWomen.org.uk ) is an international nonprofit organization based in the United Kingdom with 2,182 members in 74 countries. Members correspond with one another, visit each others’ countries, and attend organized gatherings. The suggested donation to join is about $56 (£37) and the suggested annual fee is about $41 (£27). 

Friendship Force International (http://catalog.thefriendshipforce.org/) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1977 with 400 chartered clubs that offer travel and service programs in 70 countries. It has more than 18,000 members worldwide. Members can host international visitors or travel and stay with hosts abroad.

Granny Aupair (https://www.granny-aupair.com/en/family/home) is an international service based in Germany that offers aupair, companion, and house-sitter positions to women over 50. A three-month membership costs about $66.00 (€ 59.90).

Couchsurfing (www.couchsurfing.com) is a service that connects members to a global community of travelers. You can use Couchsurfing to find a place to stay or share your home and hometown with travelers.

Air B&B (www.AirB&B.com) is an on-line marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world. Founded in 2008, Air B&B now offers listings in more than 190 countries.

Warm Showers (https://www.warmshowers.org) is a free worldwide hospitality exchange for cyclists. People who are willing to host touring cyclists sign up and provide their contact information. It has 68,000 active members and 43,000 hosts around the world. It is run by a nonprofit corporation. The website is operated by volunteers.

Servas International is a nonprofit federation of national Servas groups that comprise a network of hosts and travelers. Its purpose is to help build world peace, goodwill and understanding by providing opportunities for personal contacts among people of different cultures, backgrounds and nationalities. Membership in United States Servas (http://www.usservas.org/) costs less than $100 annually.