How to Travel With No Money – In Europe & the World
If you are feeling low on cash, don’t let that hold you back from exploring the world. Travel is not reserved for the super rich and and there are many ways to travel with no money or very little at your disposal. If you want to immerse yourself in new cultures and environments there are ways to get around.
With some creativity and energy, you can navigate your way to the ends of the earth. If you look at this infographic, you will see there are many ways to travel on a small budget. As long as you stay open minded and accept the generosity of others, you should have no trouble eating and finding a place to stay. Consider following some of these budget saving tactics for your next adventure.
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1. Watch out for deals on flights
Fly smart. Seek out budget airlines for deals on flights around Europe and internationally. You will be surprised to see some of the sales they offer customers. Find tips for how to book a cheap flight here.
Check out the following airlines for a reduced flight:
Couchsurfing involves staying at a person’s house for free. There are many well-known websites where you can link up with a potential host. One great benefit of couch-surfing (along with saving lots of money) is you get to meet locals who will almost always have great travel tips and advice. Check out couchsurfing.org for more information.
3. Trade labour at a hostel
Once you arrived at your destination, speak with the hostel manager about working to earn your stay. If they are short on staff, you can usually negotiate picking up work in exchange for your room. Many websites such as hostelworld.com feature hostel jobs on their message board.
4. Take on a challenge
Many companies will help you organise a challenge or join an expedition in the name of charity. You undertake the challenge and raise sponsors and they will help you with the rest.
5. Organise a tour
If you can round up a group, most tour companies will offer you a discount. They refer to these people as “group leaders” but this does not mean you are responsible for the group during the tour. You are responsible for arranging who will be going, when you will go and where. This is an excellent option for teachers who have large groups of students.
Organise your own tour here:
6. Hitch-hike or carpool
Find someone going the same direction as you and join them. Hitch-hiking can be a perfectly safe way to get around but you should always take precaution about who you choose to travel with. If you have your own car, then you can seek out others going the same direction as you to offset the cost of fuel.
Look out for ride postings on bulletin boards at hostels to find a carpool. This will give you the opportunity to meet with someone in advance and get an idea of what they are like.
There are some great websites that help travellers link up for rides:
7. Be a house-sitter
House-sitting is a great way to stay somewhere for free. You may even find yourself staying somewhere luxurious. Keep in mind, as a house-sitter you are usually required to take care of the pets and cover some of the bills.
The best way to find your next place to sleep is to checkout popular websites for house-sitting:
8. Eat home cooked meals
Whether you cook your own or enjoy a meal cooked for you – home cooked meals are much more affordable than dining out. One way to sample the local cuisine is to sample meals prepared by locals in their own homes.
Make new friends and be open to their generosity. There are also websites that allow you to connect with local chefs. For example, Homefood.it connects you with local chefs in Italy and offers visitors a traditional meal for a £30 contribution (costs some but more authentic then cooking for yourself).
You might also enjoy these online communities aimed at helping you connect with others for a meal:
- Bookalokal.com, helping you share authentic food experiences with people anywhere in the world
- Eatwith.com, hosts share meals and welcome you into their homes
9. Teach English
Trade your English language skills in exchange for food and a place to stay. At Pueblo Engles schools in Italy and Spain you can find this for one to one and group sessions. There is also chinahomestsay.org, where you are given food and board in exchange for four hours of language lessons a week (fee is £280).
If you are looking to learn instead of teach then there is always eurolingua.com offering opportunities to stay with a family in another country to become fluent in a language. Learn French, Chinese and Dutch!
There are also these popular companies:
10. Deliver a car
Love the open road? Autodrivewawaydc.com gives you the opportunity to arrange “driveaways” where you drive someone’s car across the country and save them the expense of having it shipped. All you require is a deposit and driving license. Keep in mind, the company will only pay for one tank of fuel.
11. Find a free guide & tour
There are people who will show you around for free in many popular cities. Visit bigapplegreeter.org to find free tour guides in cities like Paris, New York, Melbourne and Buenos Aires.
12. Work for your supper
Go to Help Exchange if you are willing to put in a bit of graft for your food and accommodation. This website provides an online listing of organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, backpackers hostels and more who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them in exchange for food and accommodation. In a typical arrangement, you as the helper would work about four hours a day and receive free accommodation and meals for your efforts.
13. House swap
If you have a house up for offer, you can always advertise it on popular websites. With a registration fee, you can usually advertise your property for up to a year.
Here are some popular house swap websites:
14. Do it for charity, fund-raise & volunteer
Many university campuses offer students the opportunity to raise money for charity in a ‘Jailbreak’ challenge through student groups and societies. This is where students are encouraged to travel as far as they can without spending any money. Friends and family often sponsor you by the mile. It is not uncommon to receive sponsorship from companies, who will often support a good cause.
If you would like to support a worthy cause, you could also fund-raise to support this work. Many volunteer organizations will also help you out with flights and accommodation in return for your skills and time.
15. Crew a yacht or cruise ship
There is no better way to explore the world then from the ocean. If you are lacking in sea-faring knowledge, there are still many other skills in demand aboard a ship (culinary, mechanical, navigational, entertainment – to name a few). Crewseekers International is a good place to start, where you can browse opportunities on ships.
16. Work on a farm
Fancy getting your hands a little dirty or perhaps getting down to basics? WWOOF is a membership charity that teaches people about organic farming through hands on experience.
Through this charity, it’s easy to travel the world with no money since you are compensated with food, accommodation and stipends for your labour on farms. With a small upfront membership fee, you can connect with farms all over the world and find both long and short term work opportunities.
17. Get a travel scholarship
If you are a student, there is a lot of funding out there for students to study abroad through scholarship schemes. The UNESCO Study Abroad Guide lists study opportunities and scholarships in 129 countries. There are also many government funded programs (around three weeks in length) such as Study China.
18. Seek out travel grants
There are many organisations that exist to fund travellers. If you want to be funded by an organisation then you will need to present a clear plan and convince them that your trip is justifiable. These organisations usually value trips that will enhance personal or cultural development in places. Both the UN and UNESCO offer travel grant opportunities.
19. Enter contests
If you are really strapped for cash, there are actually a lot of travel contests available to you. Some contests include travel writing, photography film and documentary submissions where you can win cash prizes to help fund your journey.
Watch ‘How to Travel Cheaply’ from Howcast
Watch ‘How to Travel the World With Almost No Money’ from Tomislav Perko
Share your tips! Have you ever travelled with no money or very cheaply?
Have you ever went on an adventure with no money or a small budget? I would love to hear how you got around in the comments section below. Please share your experiences and advice for fellow travellers.
“I would rather own little and see the world than own the world and see little of it.” [Tweet this]