These days there are plenty of opportunities to work for your room and board.
It could be on a farm, for a lodge or on an environmental project. It's potentially a great way to save on accommodation and immerse yourself in the local area, but you may need to plan a fair way in advance as there are fewer opportunities for families than there are for singles of couples.
We haven't done this yet and have heard mixed reviews from families who have. Some have loved their experiences, but others have experienced hosts who expected a great deal of work and provided very little time off.
Be sure to do your homework and ask lots of questions.
1. help exchange (helpx)
This is an online listing of host organic and non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats where people invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
World wide opportunities on organic farms. Links volunteers with organic farms and growers. The largest number are in Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
Workawayers are typically interested in cultural exchange and learning, and will help out for a few hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation, with visits lasting anywhere from a few days to a few months.
Another contact platform for hosts and helpers, with farms, householders, art retreat centres, eco-villages, backpacker hostels, surf lodges, vineyards, ranches and schools that are looking for a few hours of honest help and offer accommodation and meals in exchange
5. The 7 interchange
Another site that lists free and low-cost volunteer opportunities abroad at schools, orphanages, wildlife reserves, natural parks and sustainable living initiatives - that is, projects with a social or environmental goal that could use some help.