The cost of travel can be very expensive and off-putting but it doesn’t have to be. With these ideas, you can travel without paying by thinking creatively and making minor sacrifices.
Flying out to another country and staying in a luxury hotel for a week can strain your bank account but there are other ways to see the world. As long as you’re willing to think creatively, and make a few sacrifices, you can travel without paying or paying far less than you might expect. Here’s how!
Rent Out Your House
With the advent of room share sites like Airbnb, it’s easier than ever for anybody to rent out their house for a good rate and you can use it as a way of funding your travel. If you don’t mind a stranger staying in your house for a week while you’re away, you can usually get enough money together to fund your own trip abroad. There are also lots of house swap sites where people can list their homes and find people to swap with for the week. It gives you both the opportunity to go away for the week without either of you having to pay for accommodation. You’ve just got to remember that these people are complete strangers so don’t just go handing over your keys to anybody. Make sure that you’re checking these candidates thoroughly before agreeing to swap and find websites that are legitimate when you’re looking for people to swap with.
As well as renting out your house or swapping with somebody else, you could also try house sitting. When people are away and they don’t want to leave their place unattended, they’ll advertise online for somebody to stay there. It’s the perfect option for somebody that wants to travel for nothing, just don’t forget to do any of the stuff that they ask you to do like watering the plants of taking their dog for a walk.
Another way of saving the accommodation costs of travel and having a different experience is camping. People are often put off camping because they think it means getting soaking wet in a tent and being uncomfortable for the whole of your holiday. Fortunately, the technology in camping equipment has come on a long way and you can get a pretty comfortable camping experience if you’re willing to invest in some decent stuff. Look at camping cookware reviews and find a good stove and you’ll be able to cook nice food while you camp. Getting a good tent is obviously vital and it might cost you a few hundred dollars but that’s a one time investment that allows you to travel for basically nothing for years to come. You can even get portable showers that heat the water for you so, although it’s not exactly a 5 star hotel, you can camp relatively comfortably and save yourself a lot of money.
Hitchhiking is a bit of a contentious issue because a lot of people will tell you that it’s too dangerous and you should never do it, but that’s not strictly true. Our neighbors of all ages on the North Shore of Kauai routinely hitchhiked, and if we were going their way, we routinely picked up hitchhikers.
Trying to pick up a ride on a deserted road in the middle of the night when nobody else is around is a very bad idea and you could find yourself in a dangerous situation. However, if you do it right, hitchhiking is a great way to save yourself a lot of money. If you go onto Hitchwiki, you can find great information on the best spots all around the world to pick up a lift, as well as advice on how to do it safely. Make sure that you’re only hitchhiking during the day and you’re getting picked up from public areas where there are a lot of people around. Places like service stations or buy car parks are your best option.
If you’re still leery about hitchhiking, look into deals from a trusted car hire online platform and self-drive.
If you want to take an extended trip then you’ll need a good chunk of money. You could either save up a lot before you go, or you can make your way there on the cheap and then find some casual work to keep you going while you’re out there. There are all sorts of things you can do without the need for much training or experience like fruit picking or working at a bar. If you want something a little more stable you could look at becoming an au pair. Just remember that you’re trying to travel so don’t work so many hours that you don’t have time to explore the country. Make sure that you’re aware of all of the employment laws and you’ve got the necessary visas to work out there, otherwise, your trip might end up being cut short.
This is a bit of a shot in the dark but it’s still worth doing if you want to travel for free. There are countless competitions that offer a vacation as the prize so the more you enter, the more likely you are to get a free trip. Just remember, you need to find the ones that are free to enter, otherwise, you’ll be wasting loads of money and you’ll be less likely to afford travel. Don’t put all of your eggs in that basket because it isn’t likely to come off but it’s worth a try if it’s free.
When people are moving across the country they’ll often get a flight and have the car delivered to them so they don’t need to deal with the long car journey. If you don’t mind doing that drive, you could get free travel. It won’t be to another country but it’s a good way of going away somewhere for a long weekend without having to pay for it. Look around for adverts and get in touch with car rental firms that might need some vehicles moving. All of the fuel costs will be covered for you so it’s a free trip. As long as you don’t mind driving long distance it’s perfect for cheap travel.
Volunteering is a great way to give something back and make your trips a little more meaningful but it’s also a brilliant way to get your costs covered for free. There are so many great volunteering opportunities all over the world. Most of the time you’ll have to pay a bit of money towards the cost of getting out there, but once you’re there you won’t have to pay for your accommodation or general living costs. Organizations will usually expect you to commit to at least a year, if not longer so if you aren’t prepared to do that, don’t bother signing up in the first place.
You could also use fundraising as a way of traveling. It’s fairly common for people to do things like climbing mountains etc. and raise money in donations that will cover the cost of going out there, with the rest being given as a donation to charity. This method isn’t without controversy. Some people object to the impression of piggybacking on charity to pay for their own vacations but when this is done right, you’re still raising some money for a good cause and getting a free trip while you’re at it.
Next time you’re feeling disappointed about not being able to afford to travel, don’t despair. Many potential vagabonds can make it easier to afford travel if they use even one of these simple tricks for traveling for free. There will still be costs associated with travel, of course, but saving money on transportation and accommodations can mean a significant amount in the travel budget for other things.