My best friend and I would like to help spread the message that you can travel Europe, for an extended period of time, on a cheap budget if you are willing to give a helping hand.
We left for our 9 month trip this past September and just returned early June. By using "Work" Exchange programs, we basically avoided paying for food or a place to rest our head, for the entire trip. We would stay with locals in each country, being able to first hand see what is is like to live with the Swiss, Danish, French, Spanish, etc., while saving money, and "working" about 20 hours per week with the family and whatever they needed done.
We did not attend an undergraduate program that offered a study abroad program, so we created our own trip, that was entirely different than any travel abroad program.
We made apple juice fresh, pick to press, in Denmark, took care of domestic needs in Switzerland, Olive farm in Spain, Hotel renovation in Greece, and even worked for Stephen McPhilemy in Ireland (whom does tours for Rick Steves in Dingle Ireland)! Just to name a few places that we stayed.
Technically we were not working, since we did not receive money, which meant no work visa's needed. We left continental Europe and stayed out for 90 days in the middle of the trip in order to follow Schengen laws and it worked out just fine.
We are here to spread the news that traveling for cheap, having real interactions with real Europeans, and traveling for an extended period of time, all can be done through Work Exchange programs!