Everyone wants to travel and most people think that you have to have money to do so. It is certainly possible to travel on a very limited budget or even free of cost. There are a number of ways to travel where you want for incredibly little money – you just have to think creatively about how you can make it happen!
If you are happy to travel in ways that are not luxurious, fancy, and sometimes not even comfortable, you definitely will be able to achieve your goal of seeing some amazing places. The best combination is to travel free when you can – taking advantage of free accommodation and free transportation and enjoying each place by tapping into the numerous free activities that are available. When free is not available, then clever research and the help of some really good apps will ensure that you pay as little as possible.
Work as you travel
The perfect way to stretch funds and have some pretty amazing experiences is to plan to work as you travel.
In preparation for needing to work, you can get yourself trained as a TEFL teacher which means that you are able to teach English as a Foreign Language. You will find that there is a wide array of jobs available if you hold a TEFL certificate. Interestingly, an increasing number of teaching jobs are online which broadens your scope tremendously – think worldwide!
Help with the harvest
Grab a seasonal job as there are usually plenty when it is harvest time. In southwest France, people are always needed to help gather strawberries, plums, and grapes, and in Cyprus and other vine-growing countries, the grape harvest is huge and there is also casual work available.
Get a job in hospitality
If you are visiting countries that get very busy with a huge number of tourists, there are often openings for temporary waiting staff or bar staff. The downside is that you have probably not done either of these jobs before. If you can, get some experience before you set off on your travels, but if this is not possible, tell your prospective employers that you are enthusiastic to learn and will complete one shift without pay to learn the basics – this is always a winner!
In high season, many hotels need temporary staff to work as chambermaids, gardeners, and as children’s entertainers. All of these are great ways to boost your funds and to meet all types of people from different countries. Alternatively, you may find there are staff vacancies at a local hostel and the payment is often in the form of free food and accommodation. This is definitely the fun way to meet other travellers and get inspiration for the next leg of your journey.
There are often casual vacancies for casino workers, especially in the height of the tourist season.
Work for a local family
If you have found somewhere you really like, why not plan to stay there longer? You may be able to secure work with a local family. As well as jobs for cleaning staff and gardeners, sometimes there are vacancies for Au-pairs too. This role entails a mixture of basic housework and caring for the family’s children. The role can be hard work but it is a great way to immerse yourself in local culture and to learn the basics of a foreign language.
A life on the ocean waves
If you enjoy a life at sea, two great ways to earn some money and see some new places are either by crewing on an ocean-going yacht or working onboard a cruise ship. Working on a superyacht for a celebrity can involve long hours, but the pay is usually good and the destinations both chic and exotic. Working on the ship can be quite tiring as you will be cleaning cabins by day and probably working in the cabaret show at night – you don’t always get so much time ashore to explore either.
Look for cheap options
If you are planning your itinerary, always see if there is anyone who wants to split the cost with you – sharing accommodation or rides with others is always cheaper. When you arrive somewhere new, always chat with local people as they will always tell you which is the cheapest supermarket, where to eat cheaply and many more useful facts.
When you are looking for accommodation think hostel and Airbnb rather than a hotel! If you don’t mind big hostel dormitories they are really good value. If you enjoy camping, Campspace is great fun as you can camp on private property in tents ranging from the most basic to palatial! If you need to get from A to B always find out if there is shared transport such as a minibus taxi as this reduces the cost of any journey dramatically.
Cooking your own meals is a great way to save money and markets are usually a good source of fresh ingredients. Try to eat like a local because you will find imported goods are always expensive. If you are going to eat out, ask around for the cheapest options, seek out a transport café or enjoy some street food.
Seek out the discount passes & cards
If you are a student or under 26 years you qualify for a student pass which entitles you to big discounts. If you are travelling by train or coach, check what discounted tickets are on offer. Of course, the cheapest way to travel is to hitchhike, but this is no longer as safe as it used to be so you need to take precautions. It is also important to know that hitchhiking is illegal in some countries – so always check this out.
If you are planning to stay in a city like Athens for a few days, it is well worth buying investing in a City Tourist Pass as it gives you huge discounts on the entrance ticket to many attractions. Many cities offer several free walking tours, which is a fun way to explore all the well-known attractions.
Hopefully, our ideas have given you a sudden desire to travel and to explore our beautiful world. Our suggestions about how to travel for next to nothing, may not be the easiest or most comfortable, but they guarantee you really memorable travel memories that you will cherish forever…