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Is it possible to be a respectful freeloader?
Posted April 24th, 2012 - 1:09 pm from Heerhugowaard, Netherlands
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Posted April 24th, 2012 - 3:30 pm from New York, United States
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Posted April 25th, 2012 - 11:04 pm by from Heerhugowaard, Netherlands (Permalink)
Thank you for mentioning WOOF. It sounds like a good idea. If there are more ideas like these I would love to know.

Posted April 29th, 2012 - 11:22 pm by from Napa, United States (Permalink)
I also recommend WWOOFing. Many of my WWOOFers are "homeless" and figuring out what is going on in their lives. There are many types of WWOOFing situations, some are really long term stays and some offer some monetary possibilities as well. I have had wwwoofers here who had paying jobs as well. Just make sure you do your research and make sure the farms you pick are right for you.

Posted April 30th, 2012 - 12:18 am by from Halblech, Germany (Permalink)
WWOOFing is a good option, and if farm work doesn't feel like your thing there are also other similar sites, helpx.net and workaway.info for example.

There are also CouchSurfers who are more or less permanent travellers and don't have a home. I have hosted a few and had good time with all of them. So it is not unthinkable to surf from couch to couch for even a longer time. Actually it can work quite well if you're willing to meet a lot of people and move often.

Longer stays are more tricky. Hosts may be too polite to kick you out or even hint that you should leave. There's a risk of becoming a burden without realizing it yourself.

Personally I like honest and open communication. You should ask your hosts to honestly say when you're staying too long - and be also prepared to really leave at that point (even if you don't have another host waiting for you). In the Netherlands people are perhaps direct enough that this could work. All your belongings should fit in a backpack so that you can easily pack and go when needed, and you should be prepared to occasionally pay for a hostel or spend a night outside.

While surfing and keeping eyes open, some interesting opportunities to have a free or cheap place to stay might also come up. Someone might need you to take care of their garden or pets while being away - and give their flat or house to you for that time. There are even websites dedicated to that, for example mindmyhouse.com.

Especially in shared flats people are often moving in and out, going traveling or something else, and a room might be available to rent for a couple of months. If you're interested in that, try to find hosts where many people (e.g. students) are sharing a flat. Even if they don't have a free room and cannot take you for a longer time they might know someone who can. Some bigger cities have even an extra group for offering and searching for short term rentals.

Arto

Posted April 30th, 2012 - 5:58 am by from Heerhugowaard, Netherlands (Permalink)
Wow, thanks for all the info, this is really helping me a lot!

Posted May 18th, 2012 - 4:47 pm from Albuquerque, United States
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Posted July 30th, 2012 - 5:30 pm from Amsterdam, Netherlands
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