Free Accommodation in Melbourne

You may be surprised to learn that there are a number of ways you can get free or almost free accommodation in Melbourne.


Photo by SERED.4K on Flickr.  http://www.flickr.com


These are couchsurfing, house-sitting and house swapping.


House Sitting

House sitting commonly involves free lodging in exchange for looking after the owners animals while they're on holiday but sometimes house owners like people staying just to deter burglars and involves no actual tasks......

You need to be very lucky to get a fairly long term house sitting role in a location you'd choose in Melbourne though.

I haven’t actually done this myself so can’t recommend an individual company as good but some of the more well known companies are www.aussiehousesitters.com.au, www.mindahome.com.au and www.happyhousesitters.com.au


House Swapping

Now while house swapping sounds a serious commitment, there’s no need to be worried apparently.......

It’s been going on for years with a lot of house swapping websites around.

I read an article once which explained it as a bit like internet dating for your home!....

Before you agree to swap with anyone you chat with them over the internet and/or telephone and swap photos......

Once you’re happy that everything seems ok you don’t feel you're swapping with a stranger.......

And it’s far more comfortable than staying in an anonymous hotel room.......

Again I don’t know any sites to recommend from personal experience but some of the more popular websites are www.lovehomeswap.com, www.homeexchange.com and www.homeforexchange.com.


(This method is the almost free accommodation in Melbourne method as the website membership costs are often in the region of $60 a year - not too expensive for the benefit involved though).


Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing would be my preferred route at the moment if I didn't have my wife and two kids in tow! It's far easier to arrange than house sitting and house swapping......

The most popular couchsurfing website is www.couchsurfing.com......


Photo from ecin at Flickr. www.flickr.com


Basically someone is happy for you to stay at their house for an agreed period as they find other peoples company interesting and by doing this they can also earn ‘brownie’ points making it easier for them to stay in peoples’ homes in other countries/cities for free........


Photo from cs.belgium at Flickr  (www.flickr.com)

Couchsurfing.com apparently have 5 million members in 97000 cities and there are over 12,000 in Melbourne.

It’s considered a fairly safe way to travel as long as you stay with people who’ve been hosting for a while. They are easy to find as hosts get feedback from everyone who stays at their place.........

.........So you can read all the comments and also the members profile to choose someone you think would be a good host.


Most places I've seen on the website look far better than that photo at the top of the page by the way!!


The main tip is to always offer some help around the house and to be available to socialise with the host, after all, not only do you get free accommodation in Melbourne but you also get to see the city through the eyes of a local which is far better than relying on a guidebook....

......Just don’t forget to tell the host about my website so they can benefit too from you staying over!!

 

Cheap Accommodation

Now if you'd just prefer a normal hotel room, while I obviously can’t find free hotel rooms for you, I could point you in the direction of some cheaper hostels and hotels to try......

........But better than that, I’ve found a  website that often gets you much better discounted deals than the fixed rates the cheaper hotels would charge if you called them direct......

My advice is to use Hostelbookers.com.

I’ve used them before so can recommend them.  They do cheaper hotels in Melbourne as well as hostels and they don’t charge booking fees.




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