Updated: 5/28/21 | May 28th, 2021
Whenever I ask readers what the number one thing holding them back from traveling is I about constantly get the lapp answer : money .
This is something I hear from everyone I talk to : “ Matt, I plainly don ’ thymine have enough money to travel. ”
This problem — and how to overcome it — is my most ask interrogate. Over the by 12 years, I have answered this interrogate in a overplus of posts, emails, tweets, and Facebook posts. long-run readers might even be getting nauseated of me discussing this topic because it is one I talk about therefore much.
But I know no count how frequently I address this question, it will come up again .
Since this doubt comes up thus much, I like to constantly remind people of this fact : You do not need to be rich to travel .
Let ’ s duplicate that : You do not need to be rich to travel .
There are batch of ways to travel on a budget ( and for complimentary ) — you merely need to be bequeath to get creative .
Traveling the populace with no money sounds like an impossible dream. But it is possible, and you can do it responsibly without breaking the savings bank. It should be said that there are some expenses you shouldn ’ metric ton compromise on ( like travel policy ) but there are tons of ways you can travel the world on a budget — including enough of ways you can actually travel for absolve .
In this post, I ’ thousand going to show you two things :
- How to travel cheap
- How to travel for free
Traveling brassy is all about taking advantage of helpful apps and websites that save you money, finding ways to lower your expenses, and even making money as you travel. It ’ mho about finding rate and lowering your expenses while even being able to afford to do what you want .
Traveling for free entails taking advantage of spare accommodation, fare, and activities that are already out there, thereby reducing your cost to zero. here, you sacrifice comfort and convenience to extend your travels american samoa long as possible .
With the right budget and the mighty mentality, you can make your travel dreams a world. even if you don ’ triiodothyronine earn a fortune or you have debt, there are still plenty of ways to go oversea ( I even had debt when I went on my first base tripper around the world ). They may not be fancy or deluxe, but if travel is your precedence then you can decidedly make it happen !
quick to kick-start your budget travels and save money ? Just pawl on either of the links below to jump immediately to that section !
1. Get a Job Overseas
not making adequate money at your occupation ? Or, even worse, are you working a speculate you hate ? Why not get a job oversea ? There are enough of opportunities in the worldly concern arsenic long as you aren ’ thymine finical. After all, this international relations and security network ’ t a career you are starting — it ’ s precisely a manner to earn money for travel .
here are some democratic ( and easy to find ) jobs you can get when you travel :
- Au pair – An au pair is a live-in caregiver who helps a host family by looking after their children and doing some basic housekeeping. In exchange, you get free room and board and a small salary. This is a great route if you’re looking to learn a new language or immerse yourself in a new culture. You can read this post for more info on being an au pair.
- Bartender – It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, so if you have the skills then this is an easy job to move overseas. It’s also an easy job to get under the table if you decide to go that route. If you don’t have the skills to tend bar, consider being a dishwasher or busser.
- Hostel worker – Hostel workers rarely stick around for long, which means there is always a demand for new help. It’s a great way to meet other travelers while adjusting to a new location. You can usually also start off as a volunteer (in exchange for a free room) to avoid visa complications. Three websites that can help you find hostels to volunteer at are Worldpackers, Workaway, and HelpX.
- Waitress/waiter – There are tons of seasonal restaurants around the world that need extra help during the busy tourist months. If you have experience, this is an easy job to find abroad.
- Farm worker – While hardly glamorous, if you don’t mind the hard work this is a great way to make a lot of money in a short period of time (as you won’t have time to spend your money because you’ll be farming out in the middle of nowhere!). This job is very popular in Australia and New Zealand.
- Dive instructor – If you have your certification, this is an easy job to travel with as dive instructors are needed everywhwere. Best of all, these jobs are usually in picturesque tropical locations!
- Tour guide – If you’ve got a knack for history and don’t mind speaking in front of groups, this is the perfect job for you. It’s also usually a cash job, which means you get your tips directly.
- Cruise ship worker – This is a much more formal position than the ones above, but it’s a great way to travel. The hours are long, but there’s something to be said about living at sea!
- Casino worker – While this might require some training, if you’re a night owl and don’t mind the casino scene this is a fun job to work abroad.
- Seasonal worker at ski resorts – Instructors, restaurant staff, hotel staff, lifeguards — ski resorts need all sorts of staff to keep things moving, making this a goldmine for the overseas traveler (as long as you don’t mind the snow!).
- Yacht worker – While the hours can be long, you can make great money working for the rich and famous on their yachts. Best of all, you’re usually in some pretty amazing destinations!
- Yoga instructor – If you have the skills (and certification), teaching yoga abroad is an easy way to make some spending money. While you might need to know the language, there are yoga studios in pretty much every city in the world.
Working oversea often gets discounted as an option because it seems intemperate to do. It ’ s not. good be overt. These jobs don ’ metric ton necessitate advanced degrees or a bunch of shape have either .
Are you going to get a high-paying office job ? No .
Will you get a icky, low-wage job that will pay all your change of location bills ? Yep !
I ’ ve met people from all walks of life, both from western and non-Western countries, funding their travels this way. It ’ s an easy, fun way to lengthen your travels, deepen your experience, and make a short money .
READ MORE ABOUT WORKING OVERSEAS: 15 Ways to Find a Job and Work Overseas
2. Teach English Overseas
One of the best ways to make money for change of location is to teach english overseas. You can make a distribute of money teaching — I replenished my travel funds while working in Thailand, and I have had friends leave South Korea with tens of thousands of dollars in the bank .
All you need is the ability to speak English fluently and a TEFL degree, depending on the state you work in. The world is yearning for teachers, and this is a job in high demand ; many companies in Asia will tied pay for your flight over .
If you have a college or university degree you ’ ll be able to make more money and lend oneself for better positions though it ’ s not necessary for many countries .
additionally, there are many websites and services out there that allow you to teach virtually. adenine long as you have a big Wi-Fi connection, you can help people learn english from anywhere in the universe !
Some places you can teach on-line are :
READ MORE ABOUT TEACHING OVERSEAS:
3. Do WWOOFing and Work on a Farm
WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It ’ s a platform that allows you to work on a farm in exchange for free room and dining table. It ’ s a great way to see a address in-depth while allowing you to commune with the great outdoors. You have to pay to get to the farm, but once you are there, everything else is covered ! It decidedly will help you travel cheap adenine well as have a alone experience and meet lots of cool people .
WWOOF has opportunities available in 130 countries around the world, with over 12,000 hosts available. Some of the most popular destinations for WWOOFers are France, Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii .
READ MORE ABOUT VOLUNTEERING :
4. Use the Sharing Economy
Use the sharing economy to find cheap accommodation, quirky enlistment guides, rideshare options, and home-cooked meals with local chefs. You can bypass the traditional travel industry with sharing economy websites and gain access to locals using their own assets and skills to become minor tourism companies with cheaper prices. furthermore, locals know where to find deals. They know which supermarket is cheapest, which stores offer the best sales, and where to find the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and bars with the tastiest food at the lowest prices. Talking directly to them gives you entree to that cognition .
These websites have changed the travel game and made travel more accessible for everyone .
here are some of my favorite websites :
- Airbnb – The go-to platform for finding budget accommodation.
- BlaBlaCar – A ride-sharing app that connects you with drivers who have extra seats in their car (primarily for medium and long distances).
- EatWith – Platform that connects you with local cooks serving private meals.
- RVShare – Lets you rent RVs and camper vans directly from locals.
- Turo – A car sharing marketplace that lets you rent vehicles from locals.
- Campspace – This platform lets you camp on private property. Properties range from basic tent plots to luxurious glamping and RV stays.
READ MORE ABOUT THE SHARING ECONOMY:
5. Cook Your Own Meals
The best way to save money on the road is to cook all your own meals. While in Stockholm, I spent $ 60 USD for a week ’ s worth of groceries alternatively of an average of $ 15 USD per meal eating out ! That ’ s a deliver of $ 150 USD !
I ’ ve done the lapp thing in dozens of countries all around the universe — specially in expensive destinations like Iceland where eating out can very destroy your budget .
If you are staying in hostels, koran adjustment that has a kitchen so you have space to cook. If you ’ re Couchsurfing or using Airbnb, your master of ceremonies will probably have a kitchen .
No kitchen ? Pack your own container and cutter and make some sandwiches and salads on the fit. not every meal requires a stave, right ?
merely because you are traveling doesn ’ thyroxine mean you need to eat out every meal. You won ’ triiodothyronine ruin your trip to Paris if you decide not to eat out one day ! There ’ s just no reason to be spending lots of money on food on your trip !
READ MORE ABOUT SAVING MONEY ON FOOD WHEN YOU TRAVEL:
6. Get Rail Passes
Rail passes ( like the Eurail Pass in Europe or the JR Pass in Japan ) are a great direction to save money when it comes to train travel. If you ’ re traveling around the region for a while, rail passes will likely be much cheaper than just booking individual trips .
If you are booking individual trips, booking ahead of time can normally save you about 50 % of the cost of a gearing ticket. however, that fixes you to a fix timeline. If you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want to be tied into a fixed schedule, track passes can save you a draw of money while giving you the flexibility you need. I ’ ve saved hundreds of dollars in Europe doing this !
7. Sleep in Large Dorms
big hostel dormitory rooms are the cheapest paid accommodation out there. If Couchsurfing isn ’ t your thing, this is your adjacent best way to save money on a set to sleep. The bigger the dormitory, the cheaper it will be. While a 4-6 bed dormitory might give you more privacy, a 12-18 bed dormitory is going to be a bite cheaper. In the long run, this will add up. american samoa long as you ’ ve got earplugs and a quiescence mask, choose for the bigger door to keep your budget integral !
If you ’ re a light sleeper, make sure you read the reviews before you book to ensure you don ’ thyroxine choose a party hostel. In larger cities, you can normally find a hostel that is quieter than the others. It might not be as social, but you ’ ll at least be able to get a good sleep .
In a large dormitory, you ’ re about guaranteed to have some snorers. If earplug don ’ triiodothyronine quite do the trick, download an app like Rain Rain, which plays rain sounds on a loop topology. You can set a timer so they stop playing after an hour or two, helping you ignore the noises of the dormitory while you try to fall asleep.
8. Use Student and Other Discount Cards
Are you a student, teacher, or under 26 ? Welcome to the universe of 50 % -off attractions and a overplus of discounts ! Get a student/teacher/youth card and save big while you ’ rhenium overseas. evening if you ’ ve recently graduated, chances are you can still get by with your run out ID poster ( deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as it doesn ’ t have an termination date ). Always ask if there are discounts available for students or youth as this is an easy room to save tons of cash as you travel around !
Museums, galleries, and other major tourist attractions normally have discounts ( particularly in Europe ). It never hurts to ask !
9. Get City Tourist Cards
If you plan on seeing a lot of sights in a city, you should get a city tourism card. These will offer you discounted and/or exempt access to the major attractions and museums, a well as free public transportation system. I saved complete $ 100 USD with the London pass, $ 80 USD with the Paris Museum menu, $ 50 USD with a Helsinki card, and tons more with other city tourism cards .
They are an amazing way to save money on attractions that not enough people use. merely oral sex to the local tourism office to find out what cards are available. They can help answer all your questions and make certain you save angstrom much money as potential. not every city has them, but most major destinations do and you ’ ll save a lot of money if you plan on seeing the major sights.
10. Capitalize on Your Skills
Need some cash ? Use Craigslist, TaskRabbit, , or Gumtree to find people who need a few things done around the house and get paid to help them. It ’ s a means to make money when you travel without committing to a long-run occupation .
additionally, if you have a skill, sell it. Offer haircuts to early travelers, busk for money, provide on-line services like editing, graphic purpose, or consulting. It ’ sulfur never been easier to work on-line. equally long as you have Wi-Fi you can make money. The flip is the limit here — get creative !
11. Travel Hack and Get Free Flights!
travel hack is the # 1 way I ’ ve been able to afford sol many flights and hotels over the years. just by using a change of location credit rating card for regular spend on groceries, restaurants, and patronize I ’ ve been able to earn free flights and hotel stays — all by spending money I was going to spend anyhow !
These days, there are tons of ways to earn exempt flights. Simpley sign up for a few travel credit rating cards, collect miles, and then fly for free .
Most cards offer sign-up bonuses of 50,000 points ( or more ) — which is frequently enough for a free round-trip trajectory right there. And if you sign up for both an airline card ( e.g., a United Airlines credit batting order ) and a general rewards calling card like the Chase Sapphire, you can combine the two point balances and get a cheap trajectory faster .
By collecting points and miles through recognition card bonuses, smart casual spending, on-line surveys, bonuses, and other methods, you ’ ll accrue a long ton of miles flush before you ’ ve leave for your trip. You can go a lot further in the global when you take away the cost of flights and some accommodation .
It ’ south not equitable for Americans either ( though US residents have the best options ). Canadians can travel hack besides, as can folks from Australia and New Zealand and the UK .
Europeans besides have several options ampere well, including all kinds of airline cards such as Norweigan Air, SAS, Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, and more .
READ MORE ABOUT TRAVEL HACKING:
12. Stay for Free
There are many services that connect travelers with locals who are willing to let them stay with them for release. Using these sites, you will never have to pay for accommodation. Years ago I read about a ridicule who traveled for years while only Couchsurfing .
I ’ ve used this service dozens of times over the years times and constantly meet amazing people. sometimes you get a room, sometimes a sofa, sometimes an air mattress, but it ’ south always free .
ideally, you ’ ll want to repay your master of ceremonies ’ second kindness by cooking them a meal, bringing them a keepsake from family, or taking them out for a drink. But that will still be much cheaper than paying for accommodation !
There are besides local Couchsurfing group meet-ups that can help you make friends in your fresh city .
furthermore, because of the rise of the sharing economy in the last few years, there are now websites that let you not lone stay with locals but share rides, meals, caravan tickets, gear, and much more ! These websites not only save you a TON of money but they besides get you off the tourist track and into the local life. Win-win ! here is a list of websites to use for barren accommodation :
READ MORE ABOUT FINDING CHEAP OR FREE ACCCOMMODATION:
Hitchhiking is a free way to get around that is relatively dependable and quite coarse in many parts of the world, including Central America, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Australia, and New Zealand .
I ’ ve hitchhiked in more than a handful of countries ( and I know alone female travelers who have done the lapp ! ). certain, it has a bad reputation in North America, but with some park sense and a bit of patience, you can hitchhike about anywhere — saving you tons of money in the procedure !
here are a few basic tips to help you get started :
- Use a sign – Make a clear sign that lets people know where you’re heading. That will help drivers decide if they can help.
- Look presentable – Wear clean clothing, smile, and don’t obscure your face with something like sunglasses. People want to see who they are picking up.
- Check the laws – Hitchhiking is illegal in some places. Always check the laws to make sure it’s ok to do where you are.
- Take precautions – Note the license plate of anyone who picks you up and text it to a friend. Chances are you won’t need it but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Keep your valuables on you – Don’t leave any valuables in your bag if it goes in the trunk in case it gets left in the car (or stolen).
- Consult Hitchwiki – Hitchwiki is the #1 hitchiking resource there is. Always consult it before you hitchhike to pick up tips and ensure you’re hitchhiking in a safe place.
READ MORE ABOUT HITCHHIKING:
14. Take Free Walking Tours
Want to learn about the city, get your bearings, and see the major sights ? Take a release walk tour. You can find them in most major cities — just ask the local tourist office, your hostel staff, or Google “ free walking tour ( city name ). ”
You ’ ll get a hearty insertion to the city while besides getting access to a local anesthetic guide you can ask questions to. I always start my visits to a newfangled city with one. equitable be sure to tip your lead at the end ( that ’ s how they get paid ) .
READ MORE ABOUT TAKING FREE WALKING TOURS:
15. House Sitting & Pet Sitting
If you ’ re on a fast budget and can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate yield a vacation, consider watching person ’ second house while they go on theirs ! You can sign up for one of the sites below and watch people ’ sulfur homes ( and their pets ) for free, allowing you to stay in one destination for a while without having to pay for accommodation. Everyone ’ s score is verified and has reviews so you know you won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate induce cheated .
This is a great platform for long-run change of location with an significant added bonus : you get a kitchen to cook your food ( which saves you even more money ! ) .
You will besides often get access to a vehicle and sometimes will be left a peak or rid groceries. It ’ randomness normally people who are well off that can afford multi-month vacations so you ’ re normally in pretty nice homes and apartments besides !
here are the best house-sitting websites to check out :
READ MORE ABOUT HOUSE SITTING:
16. Use Your Social Network
Does your colleague have a relative in Spain ? Or possibly you have a distant cousin who lives in New Zealand. Or possibly a childhood supporter of yours is working down in Brazil .
These days, we have a huge social network of friends and family that stretches across the ball. Don ’ metric ton hesitate to use that ! Ask your co-workers and friends if they know anyone where you ’ re going. Get your ma to ask her co-workers and friends, excessively .
Using your social network can be enormously helpful in traveling the world. You never know who knows who !
By implementing a variety show of these tips, you ’ ll be able to travel for relatively little money. Gone are the days of overprice hotels and expensive flights. With a fiddling plan and some creativity, you can travel the global for bum .
Because if I can do it, you can do it excessively !
Whether it ’ mho two months, two years, or just a two-week vacation, travel doesn ’ t motivation to cost a long ton. The key is to get out of the mentality that you must travel using a flight/hotel combination. Using out-of-the-box, nontraditional ways to travel can lead to boastfully savings .
It all starts with a change in mentality. From there, with some solitaire and practice, you ’ ll be able to make your travel dreams a reality — without breaking the bank !
Want to Learn How I Travel the World for Free?
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How to Travel the World on $ 50 a Day
My New York Times best-selling paperback book guide to world travel will teach you how to master the art of travel so that you ’ ll get off the beat path, save money, and have a deeper travel experience. It ’ s your A to Z planning guide that the BBC called the “ bible for budget travelers. ”
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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a brassy flight by using Skyscanner. It ’ s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no pit is left unturned .
Book Your Accommodation
You can ledger your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere early than a hostel, use Booking.com as they systematically return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, larceny, and cancellations. It ’ south comprehensive auspices in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I ’ ve had to use it many times in the by. My favorite companies that offer the best serve and value are :
- SafetyWing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can ’ triiodothyronine go wrong using them on your stumble .