How You Can Travel the World with Almost No Money
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Traveling is expensive… No wait, let me rephrase that. Traveling can be expensive!
But it certainly doesn’t have to be. Don’t let money stop you from exploring the world and pursuing your dreams.
You don’t need a lot of money to travel around the world.
All you need is courage, enthusiasm, and some creative ideas to get started. So, if you’re planning to travel, to experience adventures far and beyond, and to venture into this unknown but beautiful world, and if you’re looking for a few tips on how you can travel the world with almost no money, then keep on reading!
The plane ticket is usually the only big expense. Use skyscanner to find the cheapest flights. It compares millions of flights to find the cheapest deal, which can make a big difference on your budget.
How to Travel the World with Almost No Money: Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing is one of the greatest tools for travelers to use. It is such an A M A Z I N G and fun concept.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, go do it right now -> Couchsurfing. Sign up and everything will just sort itself out.
You want to find someone whose couch you can crash on for free? Type in the desired location and there you have it – a whole list of people who are more than happy to have you as a guest in their home.
I got tons of great and memorable experiences through Couchsurfing, and you will end up having the time of your life too! I guarantee it.
One of my most memorable Couchsurfing experiences was in New-Zealand where a friend and I ended up acting in a horror maze for charity.
We got to scare the hell out of people together with a whole bunch of other actors!
And by the end of the evening, we jumped into a Jacuzzi and called it a night with a couple of beers, relaxing and watching the stars.
Talk about one for the memory book!
Couchsurfing will provide you with free accommodation options and in most cases, you will also get free dinner or breakfast where you’re staying as people are really friendly. However, this should not be your main incentive for joining Couchsurfing.
Spent some time with your host, get to know them better. They invited you for a reason; and are interested to become friends with someone from a different country, someone strange, someone with different stories, background and goals.
So tell them about yourself, strike up a conversation and just enjoy your time together.
How to Travel the World with Almost No Money: Work Exchange
Working in exchange for accommodation and meals. Sounds fair, I absolutely think it is!
In my travel through Australia and New-Zealand, I did it quite often. It was a great way to travel around and stay somewhere for a week or two, giving me the opportunity to keep exploring and save some money while doing it. It is also a great way to encounter new cultural experiences as you will live together with a local family.
The average hours of work are between 4 and 6. After that, you are free to do whatever you want. Working hours vary from host to host and some places you might have to work less and others – a bit more.
Talk to your host about the hours of work they expect from you.
Helpx is a database of people around the world looking for volunteers to help them with a wide variety of work. It can be from painting a bathroom, to working in a kitchen, to assisting an old lady with her shopping.
Once you sign up you fill out your profile, explaining a bit about yourself and your skills. Once you’re done with that, you can start browsing and contacting hosts.
Costs: 20 euros to upgrade to be a premier helper, which lasts for 2 years worldwide for both single and double memberships.
– Work Away
Work away is based on the same concept as Helpx with a similar database of hosts. Check out both sites for more options as you can browse for free through their database.
Decide which site you like better and where you find more choices and a larger variety of hosts.
Costs: 23 Euros for 2 years or 30 euros for a couple or friends traveling and volunteering together.
How to Travel the World with Almost No Money: Travel With a Tent
Traveling with a tent? Great, then you have a free sleeping place everywhere you go.
And you don’t even have to be on a camping ground to set up your tent. Not at all. In fact, you should try to avoid those as you’ll be missing out on the feeling of adventure and a lot of amazing places.
The best places for wild camping are, of course away, far away from cities or towns. Forests, fields, national parks,.. they are all perfect spots.
If you are in a town, you can easily walk out, following the main road. After a while, you will most likely find a perfect place to set up your tent.
If however, you can’t get out of a city, try to put your tent in a park somewhere.
Be stealthy, don’t put it out in the middle of the park but a bit more towards the edge; like next to some trees close to the hedge.
Look for a good place where it is less likely for someone to spot you.
Don’t buy a flashy colorful tent.. Get one that blends with the surrounding environment. Think yellow or pink … No wait. No, of course not, go with green, brown – something that camouflages well.
There is only one, huge, but simple rule when it comes down to wild camping.
Don’t leave a trace behind.
Do not leave garbage behind! Garbage doesn’t belong in nature, nor does it belong anywhere else for that matter. Seriously, how little respect must someone have for the wonderful world that provides us with everything we need to live and thrive?
Not leaving a trace behind also means that when you are done folding up your tent you should try to cover the traces on the ground up a bit. If you have made a small campfire, break it down and put some soil on top of
Nature will simply take care of the rest in a few days.
If you can stick to that one simple rule. Then I would encourage you to go and enjoy true freedom. The world is our home.
How to Travel the World with Almost No Money: Sleep at the Airport/Train Station/Bus Station
I have slept a couple of times at an airport because of early flights and no point in paying for a hostel.
No, it is not comfortable to sleep there, but at least you are able to lie down and rest for a bit. If you have no other options, this is a good one.
Check out www.sleepinginairports.net/ for good sleeping spots in popular airports.
How to Travel the World with Almost No Money: Use Blablacar
Blablawhut? Blablacar is a car sharing website where you can find either a driver, or find a passenger to travel with you.
The whole point of car sharing is to make it both for passenger and driver more affordable by sharing the petrol cost.
How does it work? Check out this fun video by Blablacar explaining everything!
It can be a lot of fun, depending who you’re driving with or who is traveling with you. I’ve had great conversations and met some very nice people through blablacar.
How to Travel the World with Almost No Money: Hitchhike
Want to spend no money at all while on the road? Well, then there is hitchhiking! I think we all know the concept of hitchhiking? You put your thumb up and wait for someone to pick you up.
Let me give you a few tips on hitchhiking:
– Talk to the driver before getting in
This is plain common sense, but still worth to mention. When someone pulls over, don’t get in right away. Go up to the driver and ask them where they’re going and if you can tag along.
Then observe the reaction. The way the driver is acting, talking ,their body language, other passengers,..
In almost all cases, people who stop for hitchhikers are nice and helpful, seeking to help you further on with your travel. But, if you ever have a feeling that something is not quite right, politely thank them for stopping and say that you’re going in a different direction.
If you’re hitchhiking with another person discuss this beforehand to avoid awkward arguments in front of the driver. Make an agreement that if one of you doesn’t feel safe, you will respect that and wait for another next person to stop.
Don’t feel bad doing this, it’s still your own safety you have to think of.
– Take the most frequently used route
Pick a route from A to B that many drivers are likely to be taking.
– Carton and a black marker
A piece of carton with you with your destination on it will shorten the time for someone to pull over dramatically. It is easier if the driver can see early on where you’re going and decide if they want to pick you up. It increases your chances significantly. Try to write in big bold letters as for someone driving at high speed it may be difficult to make out what’s written.
– Carry an up-do-date map
You have to be able to navigate to get to your destinations right? So carry a reliable map with you, it will be one of your most valued tools when hitchhiking.
– Make eye contact with drivers
Hitchhiking means establishing a connection with the person driving by. You try to convince him/ her to stop for you, and in order to do so, eye contact is key. Make sure people can see your eyes so avoid wearing sunglasses on while hitchhiking.
– Stay positive
The fastest time it took for someone to pick me up was literally 5 minutes. The longest was 2 hours. Don’t give up! Hitchhiking can be very disheartening sometimes; even though that never bothered me. It certainly helps with the feeling of adventure :). Just stay positive and keep in mind sooner or later someone will stop for you.
One time when I was hitchhiking with a friend in Australia when a couple pulled over for us.
They picked us up but it was only for a few kilometers because they had to take another turn to get to their home.
It was fine as it brought us a few kilometers closer to our destination.
Once they dropped us off we thanked them happily and they drove away.
As happy as we were that we got closer to where we wanted to go, all of a sudden the same car pulled over again.
They rolled down the window and told us; ”jump in, we will drive you all the way to Adelaide”. We were surprised and couldn’t believe it at first. But they did and after 2 hours of driving they dropped us of in Adelaide.
They drove about 4 extra hours for us. Why? Because they wanted to help us with our travel. How amazing can people be?!
How to Travel the World with Almost No Money: Try Car Relocation
(Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada)
How about a car or a camper van for as little as 1$ per day?
The concept is; you have a fixed pick up date and a fixed drop off date to return a car from Point A to B.
If you can’t manage to drop it off in time, you will be charged for each day.
Time allowance: 3 days @ $1.00 per day = $3.00.
Up to 3 extra days: 3 days @ $75.00 per day = $225.0
The only two downsides are:
– you have a limit on days.
– You have to pay a bond. (1000$)
Definitely check it out, it is a great and fun experience for a pleasant road trip. Sometimes there are even special deals, such as free fuel allowance or a free ferry!
How to Travel the World with Almost No Money: Sleep in Hostels
I suppose most people know about hostels, but still, I will mention them. They are not free, but they can be quite cheap.
The price varies depending on location, country, number of rooms and beds and other factors.
There is a shower and a kitchen that are communal in every hostel. Cooking your own food will help you save a lot of money too.
Every hostel is different which makes it a unique experience every time. Plus, hostels are a great place to meet other travelers.
Check out my post; The Fear to Travel Alone. It could serve as motivation and encouragement if you are planning a solo trip, but still feel a bit uncertain about it. Check it out!