Travel Tips

10 WAYS TO TRAVEL FOR FREE – AND EVEN GET PAID FOR IT

Yes, it is possible to travel around the world on an empty wallet. Here is what you can do …

1. House Swap

Inspired by the Cameron Diaz/Kate Winslet movie The Holiday, this option requires for you to have a house (that you are willing to trust a stranger to live in!). But if you do have a house you are willing to put up, there are many websites out their that provide ways to advertise your home and find another to swap with. We recommend checking out homeexhange.com.

2. House Sit

Free accommodation for watering plants, walking dogs and attending to light errands sounds pretty darn good if you ask me. Believe it or not, homeowners from around the world are looking for house sitters! You would be surprised as to how many people are doing it, with multiple established websites out there. One we recommend is mindmyhouse.com, it is $20 per year to sign up, but there are some amazing house sitting opportunities available on their site. We love the idea of not only living rent free, but being able to spend time in one place for a longer time than you would of been able to if you had to pay for accommodation.

3. Couchsurf

CouchSurfing is a website providing a platform for traveller to “surf” on couches by staying as a guest at a host’s home. You will get a night or two for free, plus get to experience a new place with a local. The site allows you to read reviews from past guests so you can get a feel for the person and their home before contacting them.

couchsurfer1

(source)

4. Jump on the Car Pool Wagon

We love the idea of car pooling and BlaBlaCar is a great way to do this. The idea is that people share expenses and travel by land. You simply enter in your departure and arrival points, it looks for drivers offering rides going that way, get in touch  with the driver and your on your way. Again, this website has a rating system so you can read past reviews on the drivers.

5.  WWOOF it

World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is an international network of organic farmers who offer opportunities for volunteers to join them in exchange for free housing and food. Workdays average five to six hours and once your shift is over you are free to explore your new home town.

6. Get Paid to Ski

Ski resorts seem to always be looking for people to hire from all over the world to fill positions – from ski lift operators to hotel and restaurant staff. You can literally get paid to ski by taking part in seasonal work at mountain ski resorts.

Ski

(source)

7. Like a Challenge?

If you are the type of person who would welcome the challenge of climbing Everest for charity, this one is for you. Lately a lot of travel companies have been getting on board with people seeking challenges, all in the name of charity. You do the climb (or any adventure of your choice), and raise the sponsors, they take care of the rest! If you are interested a good start would be to check out Global Adventure Challenges, Across the Divide and Charity Treks.

8. Find a Host Family and Become an Au Pair

If you are like myself and love working with young children, there are families who are looking for Au Pairs to help take care of their children. There are a number of companies out their that help connect host families with potential Au Pairs. This is something we would consider you do if you are looking for an opportunity to be immersed in a family of that culture and get to see the ins and outs of every day life. It allows for you to see a portrait of life in another country that you would often never get to experience.

9. Teach English Abroad

Teaching offers the opportunity to go almost anywhere in the world, and was a large factor in my decision to complete a teaching degree. It is also undoubtedly one of the most rewarding options for travellers. Not only will you be immersed by a new culture and meet plenty of like-minded people also teaching abroad, most expenses are covered and many schools even pay you on top of this. Most opportunities require that instructors are TEFL certified which does requires some coursework.

10. Why not become an Instructor?

If you have a skill, why not us it? Are you a pro surfer? An amazing rock climber? A fanatic diver? Why not put those skills to good use and teach people from around the world whilst doing what you love.

Are there any tips you know of to help others travel for free?

Stephen and Jess signoff

READ NEXT: HOW TO AFFORD A LIFE OF TRAVEL

This post was inspired by Adrift Anywhere’s – “15 Free Ways (Or Even Get-Paid) To Travel That Will Enrich Your Life”.

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  • I just came across your website and it gave me a friendly feeling right from the beginning. I really enjoyed the article. Easy to follow and well-documented. I have a friend who also used couchsurfing, woofing and hitchhiking and he travelled for about 5 years. Amazing how all these experiences transform you and broaden your horizons.

    • Aww that’s so nice thank you so much for your kind words. Sorry it took so long to reply to this (we have been super busy with organizing things). We hope you can stick around 🙂

  • Fantastic list. I had never heard of charity challenges before, but I can see that becoming a big deal and wonderful opportunity for adventerous travelers. I haven’t tried any of these ideas yet. Hopefully by the time I am thirty I will have tried the majority!

    • They are great aren’t they? Do let us know when you have tried some!

  • I’ve also never heard of the charity challenges! So far I’ve taught ESL and couchsurfed, but I’m looking to do a lot more cheap travel this year.
    Great list! You’ve covered all the basics and thrown in a few lesser-known opportunities too!

    • Two is a pretty good effort on the list! Cheap travel is the best kind of travel!

  • I’ve done couchsurfing in europe, and it was one of the best experiences!

    • Oh fantastic! Sounds like a great way to see Europe.

  • We actively do so many of these things so we can travel full time. We love housesitting (we are housesitting in Portugal in a week) and BlaBlaCar is such an affordable way to get around some parts of Europe. We also meet lots of people that are dive instructors etc, some of our friends left the cold of England to run a resort in Belize – now that’s the life!

    • Great to hear that you are utilising them! We are trying to organize some housesitting at the moment – fingers crossed it works 🙂

  • Katie McGrain

    Nice list of actual doable ways to travel for free or very minimally. I am currently teaching English in Korea and will give housesitting a go when my time here has ended!

    • Sounds great – how is Korea? I assume South Korea?

  • Many great ideas. Ah, don’t you wanna try them all? Some of my free trips have also involved being an international volunteer and going to meetings or organising activities for tourists/students. Now, I’d love to try WWOOF for my next adventure! : ) Thanks for sharing! x

    • Certainly do – anything to sustain a life of travel we will try! That sounds fantastic – we really want to do volunteer work someday!

  • These are great suggestions, thank you! Even more importantly, thank you for the links! You hear about these opportunities here and there, but sometimes it’s hard to find out where you need to go in order to get started. – Joseph @ Green Global Travel

  • Scratching the map

    Great tips! 🙂 I’m now starting with my CAE exam for English and after that exam I want to get my TEFL certificate! I’m already studying to become a teacher (geography), so teaching is something I like and with English you can travel the world.

    • Sounds like you are preparing yourself to be a great independent traveller 🙂

      • Scratching the map

        Haha, thanks! I’m preparing to start travelling more often and for longer periods of time.

  • It’s a great list of ways to spend less while traveling. I’ve done many of these. Teaching English and teaching dance were my two favorite ways so far. It’s great that we can become location independent these days!

    • Oh fantastic – how was teaching english? Jess may be able to do that (as she is a primary school teacher).

  • Ah yes Cabin crew is a brilliant idea. Would love to hear stories of people who have done this and how much travel they can do in the locations they fly to.

  • We only recently heard about it (about a few months ago) and we certainly want to give it a try this year.

  • WWOOF is probably the most known one (next to couchsurfing). Ah they shouldn’t give you strange looks for wanting to try cheap ways to travel!

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