Travel Around The World For Free?
Is it possible? Sounds too good to be true right? Most people don’t travel because of the belief that it’s too expensive and they can’t afford it. What if I told you it’s actually cheap and even possibly free to do? What if I told you, you can even get paid to travel or make money while traveling?
I’ve met enough people during my travels who are probably more broke than you are and they do travel free. These guys have visited more countries than all years I’ve been on this planet. I truly believe that if travel is something you really want, you will go to the lengths it takes to achieve it. If travel is a life you want then all your resources, labors, and pains, should be dedicated towards that goal.
Do your planning and preparations now. Sell all the shit you don’t need. Get rid of it. Donate it. Throw it away. Put it in storage. Things you own, end up owning you. These “things” are the Kryptonite to your Superman. It’s just stuff. You can’t take with you to heaven or to the streets and alleyways in Paris.
You should do everything to get you ready for a life of travel. If you wait around and just think about it, it will become an empty dream. Make a mental note if you have to. It’s better to plan your trip within the next month or two to get you to commit to it. Drop everything, the partying, the spending, and work on your trip. There’s no reason to wait around.
A good way to start is to write a list of destinations you want to travel to. But also leave room for destinations you’ll hear about in your travels. Part of traveling is the uncertainty and spontaneity. If you plan on traveling solo the better, planning the logistics should be easy. Don’t put it off, act now and plan now.
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If you’re a trust fund kid or have a lot of money saved up, you have no excuses, get that plane ticket and go. If you have a flexible telecommute job what are you waiting for? You can join other through Remote Year, which is a cool program that pairs you up with a bunch of other telecommute peeps to form a community where you travel and work at the same time. But for the rest of us, lay folks, we ain’t got no dinero. I have outlined some creative ways to travel with little to no money.
BUT TRAVEL WITHOUT MONEY?
Yes, it’s very possible. I once picked up a hitchhiker in Monaco. A Slovenian dude who looked like he belonged in the Baroque era with a Van Dyke beard and short Capri pants. We had an interesting conversation on the way to Barcelona where I was dropping him off. He has been traveling throughout Europe for the past 5 years and still going. He was doing odd jobs like picking grapes seasonally in the French wine country and other random gigs.
He told me he used to have a well-paying job as an attorney defending the mafia and other criminals in Eastern Europe. Eventually, he grew a conscience and left that life to travel instead. He mentioned he was squatting at an abandoned house in the islands of Tenerife in Spain. During the summer months, he was scrounging for food that restaurants throw away (dumpster diving more or less). He said he’s been to over 50 countries earning only 600 Euros a year!
While his lifestyle might be a little too extreme for me and you. It shows that traveling for little to no money is achievable if you’re creative.
Ways you can travel the world for free
1 – FREE ACCOMMODATION
By now you’ve probably already heard of CouchSurfing. It’s part of the growing concept of hospitality exchange (accommodation sharing) where people, usually travelers, offer or seek accommodation in exchange for volunteer work.
I was going to skip Paris altogether during my Euro Trip. But I received a few invitations to CouchSurf in Paris! I stayed for a week and had a blast. My host was very gracious and generous. I had a room to myself, allowed to come and go as I please and was even given various tours throughout the city for free. The host worked for the tourism board.
Given the stigma and fear of safety from staying at stranger’s home, it is wholly up to you to make the correct judgment. It’s to your benefit to fully research where you’re staying. Couchsurfing works on the premises of community ratings.
This will all be visible in the member profiles. There are references you can check and a vouching system. It’s still up to you to make the right judgment call, trust your gut instinct. I can tell you from personal experience that Couchsurfing has been nothing but a positive experience for me.
Hey, what could be better than getting shit for free? Here’s a place where freeloading is encouraged. Like to take advantage of the hospitality and generosity of others? This place is for you. It’s like Couchsurfing but with a more direct and blunt approach. No spiel about cultural exchange or enriching lives, just a place to crash.
Mind my House is a matching service that connects house sitters and homeowners around the world. House sitters can get paid as much as $20/hour. Homeowners join for free while house sitters pay a membership fee ($20 a year). From there the service will hook the homeowner with the house sitter with various legal forms and such sorted out.
“You stay in my house while I stay in yours.” It’s that simple. Home Exchange boasts over 50,000+ listings internationally. The premier international home exchange and home swap service.
Housecarers is another house sitting website with a global following. They give a secure environment where homeowners can find a reliable house sitter. The sitters can find their accommodation and make a few bucks.
2 – HOW TO GET AROUND FOR FREE
This is still the best way to get around. Don’t be shy. Go and meet people. Get from point A to point B, free. While hitchhiking in the U.S. has gotten a bad wrap, hitchhiking in Europe is safe. There are WIKI sites dedicated to it.
Roadsharing is a carpooling service for commuters that also offer free car sharing and hitchhiking services. This is a great way to save money by splitting costs between riders.
3 – VOLUNTEER OR WORK ABROAD
To sustain long-term travel, you need income. If you have a location independent job, great. Short of that, I’ve listed a few areas you can explore to work overseas.
Travel is an escape. You can escape from the rat race. Escape from the cubicle walls. And even escape from your boring job. Escape the City is a cool concept. It aims to help you escape the terrible corporate job that you’ve been agonizing over for years. Afterall, Confucious once said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
WorldHelpLink provides a platform for you to find opportunities to volunteer, work, teach, intern, learn, and do more abroad.
Workaway.info seeks to promote fair exchange between budget travelers or individuals looking for work, volunteer, or other activities. You’ll volunteer 4-5 hours of your day for free food and accommodation, with projects lasting anywhere from several days to several months.
This program allows you to travel cheaply and stay for free while making a difference. You can put your existing skills to good use, or try something new and learn a new skill along the way.
Helpx is like a Craigslist of work exchange. They provide listings of host organic farms (like WWOOF), non-organic farms, Bed & Breakfasts, lodges, homestays, ranches, hostels, and sailing boats, who invite travelers to stay with them short-term in accommodation and food.
WWOOF stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms – it’s a platform to find work opportunities at an organic farm. Work at a farm, see the world, get free accommodation. Find a country-specific WWOOF program as there is no centralized place where you can apply.
Au contraire, be an Au Pair
Au pair is like a domestic assistant from a foreign country. They would work for and live as part of a host family. It’s not for me personally, but I’ve met a few travelers in Spain who has had this arrangement. Again, as native English speaker, it will be to your advantage as some family would hire you as an Au Pair to interact with their children (improving their English).
Work on a Cruise Ship
Few jobs can boast traveling around the world while increasing your savings account. Working on a cruise ship is one those few that can. I prefer to be pillagin’ and sailin’ aboard my ship, the Black Pearl. But hey, a pirate’s life is not for everyone. Maybe you can find yourself aboard a cruise ship. There are a lot of resources out on the web that can help you land these jobs.
I can tell you from my travels that English is a highly sought after commodity. It is, the international language for business and as a native speaker, you can use this to your advantage. Teaching need not be a long-term commitment. I used a program called Angloville in Poland that only lasted for a week getting me free accommodation and food during my stay. I know somebody who’s teaching English in South Korea and he could pocket at least 1k a month after all his living expenses.
You can even teach English online at Cambly – Cambly pays you $10 an hour for teaching online! Combine with this with a workaway project in your spare time and you got it made.
Become Tour Guide
Again, being an English speaker has its advantage. It can also land you a job as a tour guide. I spent an entire summer as a Docent at Point Reyes National Seashore once. I’m not sure how that’s related to this, but somehow I felt like I was a glorified tour guide for the Tule Elks and the Park. I rather enjoyed it, so what’s to say you won’t enjoy being a tour guide? Paid travel at least!
Date Mary-Jane in California
I’m talking about Marijuana. It’s legal now in most states in the United States, especially Calfornia. Trimming Marijuana in Humboldt County in Norcal is a lucrative business where weed is grown. You can make over a thousand dollars a day if you’re fast and good at trimming.
5 – CROWDFUND YOUR TRIP
Crowdfunding seems to be the thing nowadays. Just look up some of the successful projects taken off from Kickstarter. Own it, live it, accept it, crowdfunding is legit.
This is a new platform for raising funds for your trip. They take 6% of each contribution made. If you have a trip that will offer value to someone, perhaps they’d be happy to support your venture.
GoFundMe is another site where you can raise funds for your travel. I have a friend who raised money to help her out for her volunteer endeavor for the Peace Corps. Believe it or not, there are people traveling around the world because other people paid for it. I know somebody who raised money for his adventure travel around the world. In return, he offered an Ebook with his photography and memoirs.
|MY PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR!|
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If you want to write a book or make a documentary. Whatever offers value then maybe there are people out there who want to offer money for your venture. Money is just an exchange mechanism. If you offer something valuable to somebody else and they have money, they will probably barter with you. Hey, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard somebody says they want to live vicariously through somebody else because they can’t themselves.
6 – FREELANCE OR WORK REMOTELY
Interview Candidates at Eteki
Have a technical expertise? Interview candidates at Eteki and make a few bucks on the go. You’ll need Skye and decent internet connection.
Catch a freelance gig at UpWork
Got any technical skills? You can get a few gigs at UpWork. This is currently how I supplement my income during my travels.
Freelance at Fiverr
You can offer nearly any services on Fiverr. The trick is to provide excellent service and build good feedback to keep a steady stream of customers. Once you have a good reputation and have a client base, you can basically be positioned anywhere around the world.
Become a Freelance Writer
Journalism is still around and there’s always a need for new writers. Most journalism jobs nowadays are freelance. The barrier to entry might be a little tough but if you’re up for it. You can get as much as 25 cents a word depending on experience. Check out Freelance writing jobs HERE.
Realistically, if you’re just starting out, you’re not going to get a steady income from a travel blog. Just read this. But since, you’re traveling anyways and maybe have the time and determination you might just be able to make it work. Don’t hold your breath, though, there are better options for achieving free travel like becoming a virtual assistant or any of the online gigs above. This is more for a long-term investment. Travel long enough and put enough time to your travel blog and it will eventually start paying you to travel around the world for free.
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7 – EARN AND USE YOUR AIRLINE POINTS
Get free airline tickets to travel around the world. If you haven’t heard or down know about earning miles through credit cards, you should do your research now. I racked up nearly half a dozen around the world ticket for free through my daily everyday spending. The trick is to open credit cards with high bonus miles/points.
For example, I opened a Chase Bank Visa that was offering 60k miles after I spend $3,000 on qualifying purchases within 90 days of account opening. Since I can pay my rent with a credit card and have normal expenses like gas and groceries I can pay through a credit card, it’s very easy to meet the $3k spend over three months. 60k points/miles is enough for an economy round trip to Europe!
If you can do any combination above during your travels, you should be able to travel the world for free. For example, if you do a work away project you’re typically volunteering for 4 hours a day. In turn, accommodation and sometimes food is provided. For the spare time you have, you can teach English at Cambly or do some work at Fiverr for extra income. Getting from place to place, you can hitchhike and Couchsurf along the way.
WANT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD FOR FREE?