Top Menu

Travelling without spending money: working as a photographer

Travelling without spending money

I’ve been on the road for almost eight months now and I haven’t spent a lot of money, because I’m working my way around. I know it’s different than just travelling, but I like it. I stay longer at places and really get to know a country. I’ve always combined travelling with working; mostly photography and journalism. This time I added yoga and videography and now I know it’s doable: travelling without spending money. How I do it? Here is my top 5.

Ask around

It sounds simple, but there is a lot of work and there are a lot of places you can get your stay and your meals in exchange for work. I’ll list a few organisations/sites below, but what works for me best, is just to ask around. I worked for four months at La Mariposa; after having a chat with the owner. I made a little calculation after three months and found out that I had put in almost 15.000 US dollars worth of work. – The price Mariposa would have paid if they had hired me as a freelancer. – Sleeping in the office (that’s where my bed was) and eating there I had cost Mariposa not even a thousand dollars. So it turned out pretty beneficial for them having me.

When I was in Australia a lot of hostels offered backpackers a free stay if they helped out cleaning. At this moment I’m working at Pure Yoga, Health, Adventure in Granada (Nicaragua) in exchange for food and stay. Teaching yoga classes and workshops. Also by just asking.

February next year I’ll be giving a Yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC) in Budapest; a paid job. Pleuni van Hulten – a special friend of mine – gave Yoga Budapest my name when they were looking for yoga instructors who are able to give a TTC. is a cool organisation. They bring volunteers and businesses together. I always get happy by just looking at their website. There are so many incredible projects, companies and people offering all kinds of jobs: gardening, cooking, building, cleaning, managing hostels, restaurants, teaching English, yoga, giving massages. I already have a big list of all the places I want to go. The general rule is: you work 4 to 5 hours a day and you get your food and stay.

I just finished a project through This time I was staying in Concepcion San Isidro, just outside of San Jose, Costa Rica. I was teaching a private yoga class, doing some massage therapy and building the website Every day I worked about 2 to 3 hours and in return I stayed in a beautiful little holiday villa; complete with kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room and I could use the office to do yoga and could use the amazing meditation garden every day.

An organisation I’ve used a lot is Wwoof: Willing Workers On Organic Farms. I’ve used it when I was travelling through Australia and a few years later when I travelled around New Zealand. I ended up on an amazing farm in Darwin River, taking care of chickens, pigs and cows and doing some cooking. I ended up with a strange hippie family, where we (I was there with Stefan; a German backpacker) really had to urge the owner to get to work. He would get out of bed, smoke a joint and then wanted to sit down up until lunch. After lunch he would smoke a joint again, play some djembe and then sit down again up until dinner. If it was up to him, we actually didn’t work at all; just smoked and hang around.

In New Zealand Mickey (my former girlfriend) and I worked at Avalon; a beautiful resort in the North of New Zealand. Being both photographers the owners asked us to make a photo series of their property and bungalows and make a slide show out of it, which they could use for promotion.

An organisation a friend of mine is using is Roughly there are two options: you work as a volunteer in a field you normally are not use to work in or you work in a field you are very experienced in. In the last case it involves paid jobs. The payment is often local wages.

Help Exchange

Another friend of mine is using Help Exchange. It works the same as Workaway. She got some good jobs out of it.


Travelling is freedom. Working your way around the world still is work, but for me it feels more free as having a regular job at home. The projects are mostly limited in time. Limited enough not to get bored or irritated. At the same time long enough to really bond with co-workers and the place I’m staying at. I don’t feel I’m rushing through a country. I really get to know a city, place, country, get to know the people and at the same time I’m travelling without spending money, which means I’ll be on the road for a long, long time.

Update: There is a new player on the market: HippoHelp. I haven’t tried it out yet. Maybe you can give it a go.  If you do, let me know how it was.

2 Responses to Travelling without spending money

  1. Avatar
    anne marie van kersbergen 18 June 2015 at 16:00 #

    Heey that’s funny. In about 5 days i am travelling to france and work as a workawayer! First time and big step forward for me. Xx anne marie vK

  2. Avatar
    John Kraijenbrink 18 June 2015 at 20:13 #

    Cool! I hope you enjoy working through Workaway as much as I did. Good thing is: there are a lot of projects. You can always switch.
    Have fun. I hope to see you when you’re back in the Netherlands.

Private: yoga courses

Ready to start with yoga? Do you want to get more flexible? Finally get rid of back pain and / or stress? Or do you think yoga is something for you? Whatever your reason is, we have the yoga courses for you.

Yoga courses for beginners

yoga courses

yoga courses

This Yoga beginners course guides you through the first steps on your yoga mat. The course consists of seven video classes and an introduction video. The classes are between 35 and 45 minutes. The course is designed to give you the best start to yoga you can imagine.

The course only costs 6,95 euros, because we want to help as many people as we can to start with yoga.

You’ll find this course in our webshop.

Thai Yoga massage tutorial

thai yoga massage tutorial

Thai Yoga Massage

A Thai yoga massage is a beautiful gift to give and to receive. With our Thai Yoga massage video tutorial you will be able to give this gift. This tutorial will guide you step-by-step through a relaxing massage. This tutorial consists of two video of half an hour: one massage for the front of the body, one for the back of the body.

Thai yoga massage is practiced with clothes on.

We love Thai yoga massage. To let as many people as we can experience it, we only ask 5 euros for this tutorial.

You’ll find this tutorial in our webshop.