I’m that person on Instagram who everyone envies because I’m always uploading travel photos hashtagging different continents – From Europe to Asia to South America to the Caribbean. If I weren’t me, I’d probably be asking myself “what is this person’s job and where does she get the money to travel so much?”. The truth is, I don’t have much – I just travel on the (extremely) cheap. The good news is – so can you! Aside from landing a job as a National Geographic photographer or getting a job as a performer at a Disney Cruise, there are more things you can do to save big bucks when travelling. Read on to discover them!
Flights are quite possibly the biggest expense travellers face. Fear not – cheap flights are available, you just need to know how to find them.
There are many websites out there with a database of several airlines and they will automatically find the best prices for you. Skyscanner and Kayak are just a few examples.
Splitting up your flight is also a good idea if you don’t mind waiting a few hours at the airport. Sometimes flying to X destination and from there, flying to your preferred city can be cheaper than flying directly. So experiment with different cities and compare prices – you might end up saving a lot of money doing this!
FREE BOAT RIDE?
Totally doable if you’re willing to put in the effort. Websites such as Find A Crew help travellers land jobs at boats – paid or unpaid (depending on your skills), but the free ride and food are more than enough for those wanderlusters in search for adventures. You don’t need to have any nautical skills, some openings are for photographers, chefs, waiters, cleaners, and more.
FREE FOOD & BOARD
The biggest expense aside from the “getting there” part, the most expensive thing is the accommodation. If you have the time and energy to work a few hours a day in exchange for a room and sometimes meals as well, you can do it by finding volunteering options in websites such as HelpX, Workaway and WOOF. The jobs are varied, from farm work to working as a receptionist in a hotel. Don’t worry – many people don’t even ask you to have any skills or prior experience and they will even teach you how to get things done, so you might come home with a new skill you never thought you’d aquire! Plus, you get to interact with locals and really get to know the real place far from the tourist spots.
If you’re not too keen on working and would rather spend your vacations discovering the place you’re visiting, you can opt to couch surf at a local’s place. Couch surfing means staying at someone’s house for free in exchange for a good laugh and conversation with your host. You can find hosts in pretty much every city there is on Couchsurfing. Make sure to read your host’s references if you’re worried about your safety, to fill out your profile and to send nice, well thought out requests to your potential host.
Keen on learning more tips and tricks to travel for free/cheap? Head on to part two!
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Updated: April 15, 2015