For many people, the thought of just dropping everything and going traveling sounds amazing. Problem is, most trips require a bit of money and if your travel account is empty, you probably figure you’re stuck staying home. In reality though, for the determined travel lover, there are dozens of ways to start traveling today – for Free! It sounds crazy but it is true. Below, check out a few of the many ways you could be traveling the world without spending any money and in some cases making money.
Get a Job
Wait, weren’t we talking about quitting your job and traveling? Well, if you live in the real world, that might not be a realistic option. Instead, pay your bills and get travel perks by switching to a job that offers travel benefits. These come in all shapes and forms. You might be able to land a teaching job in China, with school holidays off to explore even further. If you work for a large corporation, you might be able to land a position in a new office across the globe or even a remote work option that lets you clock in online from that beach in Thailand you were dreaming about. Working in the tourism industry is often your best bet with jobs like private yacht deckhand or group tour guide.
Exchange Labor for Room and Board
If you aren’t able to score a “real job” with travel benefits, you might be able to arrange a less formal option. Wwoofing is a program that allows you to volunteer on farms from France to Ecuador in exchange for a bed and all your meals. Many hostels will let you trade work for a dorm bed, by having you run the front desk or help with cleaning. Many non-profit organizations welcome volunteers with dorm like accommodations and meals in exchange for help. In most cases like this, you can negotiate a few days off a week to explore the country you are in a bit further.
Stay With Locals for Free
If you aren’t interested in necessarily working on your travels, there are still options for a free bed for the night thanks to the kindness of people across the globe. Maybe there is a friend of a friend who might let you crash on their couch in Prague. If not, try hospitality exchange websites like Couchsurfing or Global Freeloaders. With these sites you can often score a place to sleep and meet interesting locals who offer up their space in the hopes of cultural exchange and to promote the idea of international kindness. More formal homestays can also be arranged, especially if you are still in school.
Have a Local’s House All to Yourself
If you’re the type who really likes their own space, no problem. Check out home exchange sites where you can swap your house with another homeowner in the country you are hoping to visit. Another option is to find a house-sitting opportunity where you get to stay in someone’s house for free in exchange for looking after the place while they are gone.
Getting There For Free
But wait… now that you know you can stay for free, how do you get to the places you want to explore? Look into travel hacking to score free flights by collecting airline miles, consider hitchhiking or for a safer version car-sharing sites, and just always be open to opportunities that might come your way. Traveling for free is often just a chance of luck for someone in the right place at the right time who is willing to take on the adventure.