Traveling the earth doesn’t have to cost you… well, the earth. Don’t believe us? Well, check out our infographic below and then continue reading as we show how with a bit of planning, you can pretty much travel the world for FREE!
Source: Jan Meeuwesen
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Now for a little more information on what’s included in the infographic above and some further reading.
Part 1: Volunteering
If you have time to commit, then volunteering can be a great way to see the world and help out good causes at the same time. Here are 4 programs which are currently looking for volunteers.
Wwoofing – bit of a funny name, but a really cool project. Wwoof stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and provides free lodging and food, in exchange for work on an organic farm. The program currently has affiliations in 53 countries. More info: www.wwoof.org
The UN Volunteers Program – The United Nations Volunteers program has placements all over the world, with all travel expenses met and the benefits of stipends and grants. You will generally require experience in a specific field to apply for a placement. More info: www.unv.org
Join The Peace Corps – With opportunities in South America, Asia, and other global destinations, the Peace Corps offer 2 year placements, which are open to everyone, regardless of age. More info: www.peacecorps.gov
Join Volunteers For Prosperity – Short and long term volunteer placements available.
Part 2: Who Needs A Hotel?
Hotels are expensive… so why not stay in someone’s house for free! Here are some ways you can do just that…
House Sit – Look after someone’s house for them while they are away. Feed the cat, water the plants, get FREE accommodation! More info: www.mindmyhouse.com
House Swap – You stay in their house, and they stay in yours. Simple, and FREE for both parties 🙂 More info: www.homeexchange.com
Couch Surf – No surf boards involved. Get on the website and find a couch to grab some sleep on for the night. More info: www.couchsurfing.com
Freeload – It’s a bit like couch surfing, but you will also have to agree to host a guest at your own house within 6 months. More info: www.globalfreeloaders.com
Part 3: Leave Your Comfort Zone
For the brave at heart, there are plenty of opportunities to travel for free.
Organise A Group Tour – Are you good at organising and planning? Enjoy dealing with the public? If so, then you might want to try your hand at organising a tour group. More info: www.adventures-abroad.com
Join A Boat Crew – Can you cook, clean, sing? Why not join a yacht, or cruise ship and travel the world in style (while also getting paid!)
Take A Hardcore Challenge – If you are the adventurous sort, then why not combine a hardcore challenge in an adventurous location (such as climbing a mountain) while supporting a charity? More info: www.globaladventurechallenges.com
Part 4: Do Short Term Gigs
There are loads of opportunities to pick up short term and casual work while overseas. For example, you could tutor English part time, find work as an au-pair (this is good as the family will normally put you up for the duration of your stay), or even work as a fruit picker on a wine farm!
Part 5: Getting Around
Getting around while overseas doesn’t have to cost the earth.
The cheapest way to do it, is simply to hitch-hike your way from location to location, although it will certainly help if you are a little flexible with your destinations.
Check out this guide to safe hitchhiking.
Part 6: How To Fly For Free
If you want to travel any major distance, you are probably going to have to fly, which can be pretty expensive. But believe it or not, there are actually several ways you can grab yourself completely free flights!
Collect Air Miles – Use a credit card which accumulates air miles for regular purchases through the year (food shopping etc), making sure to pay it off in full each month. You’ll soon rack up a load of miles, which you can exchange for a flight. Here are some ways to collect additional air miles.
Ask For Flights As A Gift – Birthdays, Christmases etc… instead of loads of small gifts that you don’t really want (let’s be honest!), why not ask a number of family and friends to pool their money together and buy you some flights. It may even end up costing less overall than all the small gifts!
Get Bumped – It’s a little known fact that airlines tend to over-sell busy flights, on the basis that there will normally be a few passengers who simply don’t turn up. Sometimes of course this will cause them problems, so if you find yourself queuing for a really busy flight (and you’re not desperate to get to your destination there and then), it’s worth asking an air-steward if they are looking for any ‘volunteers’ to be ‘bumped’ from the flight. If they are then you could find yourself with tickets for another flight (probably with an upgrade) and a load of courtesy vouchers which you can redeem against future flights! Here’s more on how to do it.
Work For An Airline – Why not try and take a short term job with an airline a few months before you travel. Most airlines have perks for employees, including of course… FREE flights!
Part 7: Just Win It!
Ok, it might seem a long shot… but you’ve got to be ‘in it to win it’ right? And after all someone has to win! There are loads of prize draws, sweepstakes etc that give away free trips as prizes, so why not enter some and try your luck. Just don’t pay for entering as that kind of defeats the purpose!
So, that’s how to travel the world for FREE! The only question is… where will you decide to go?!
Need more?: 15 useful tips to reduce your travel cost