You like to travel, huh?! I knew it!
Then why are you sitting now in front of your computer or hunching over your smartphone reading my first blog post instead of swimming in the sea, hiking in the mountains or just visiting a new awesome city? I guess we all have a lot of excuses, but the main one is (almost every time) the money.
So now I will list you the
top 10 ways how you can travel on a low budget or even for free.
Actually, I don’t believe that you can do anything for free because there is always a price: in these cases, the price is your time and your energy. But this way, you will get even more than if you would pay with money. You will get: great adventures! I promise!
1. The first one (and my personal favorite) is hitchhiking.
This is quite a hard topic because it can be really dangerous, you have to be flexible and nice to people all the time…. but let me tell you one thing: it’s worth it! I’ve been doing it for over 3 years and had the best experiences thanks to all those wonderful people who gave me a lift.
If you want to try it, I would recommend using hichwiki.com, page where you can find almost every detail of this topic. (Also use the map where you can find good spots.)
2. Online hitchhiking.
There are many platforms where you can find a lift, I use BlablaCar most of the time. You can just sign in and see if somebody is going in the same direction where you want to go, talk to the driver and that’s it. It’s really easy and it’s almost the same as conventional hitchhiking, except you will usually have to pay a small fee to the driver for the journey.
3. Bus and train (offers).
Well, things are getting more complicated because in every country there are different offers and websites. Here I would suggest using the rome2rio.com website, where you can see all the possible routes from A to B. And it’s gonna lead you to the transportation company’s’ website.
Please, consider the overnight trains/buses as well. Probably is not the most comfortable way to travel but you can save money on accommodation.
In Europe, you can try the Flixbus, Eurolines (or National Express in the UK) and Megabus (sometimes you can book for £1). Also, I think the Interrail offer is a reallyreally good opportunity. For the train offers, use seat61.com, this is the best site to find information about trains in Europe.
4. Cheap flights.
If you want to find cheap flight tickets, then the best thing you can do, is to search, search and search. You might have some luck and you will find a cheap ticket, to where you want to go, but usually, it is not that easy.
You can find all kinda tips all over the internet about how is the best way to search for flight tickets, but I think it really depends on your patience. Here are the best sites where you can have a look or subscribe and you will get a notification every time when there is a good offer.
travelfree.info (it’s about cheap flight opportunities)
CS is getting more and more famous but not many people use it. Which is a big big mistake.
So, for those who don’t know what CS is exactly: it is an online platform where you can find hosts. If you want to go to Paris for instance, you can sign in and see who could give you a bed (or a couch) for those days for you, for free. Yeah, sounds crazy but it’s working. And very well too!… And it goes the other way around (obviously), I mean if you have a couch/a bed and nobody is using it, then host travelers! It is so amazing when you are hosting somebody!
The main reason I am using it is to meet people! I’ve met so amazing locals and I hosted crazy travelers… Big thumbs up for the person who had the idea to create CS!
Also, there are other similar communities, like:
6. (wild) Camping.
Camping can be uncomfortable or dangerous and requires a lot of energy…. but nothing is like when you sleep under the stars, or when you wake up and you see the sea right next to you. So be careful, think about where to set up your tent (especially if you are wild camping because in almost every county it is illegal), but if you find a good spot, you won’t regret it.
7. Hostels (or hotels).
In Europe, you can usually find cheap hostels, just book in advance. Usually, if you book a room of more (4, 5, 6, 8+) persons it can be cheaper, but a single or a private (2) room can be also really cheap. Advantage: you can meet amazing people, from all over the World. <3
8. Air BnB.
I don’t really have a lot of experiences with Air BnB, I only used it a few times, but it is a really good opportunity for cheap accommodation.
If you don’t know what it is: basically, it works like CS, just for money. People can offer their room/place for you to sleep, and in return, you have to pay a certain amount of money. The price can be lower than a cheap hostel, but usually it is higher.
9. Supermarket, local market or fast food.
I think this is quite obvious. If you have the possibility to cook at the place you are sleeping, it is better to buy something that you can make by yourself. The „ready meals” costs much more than the ingredients, so go, buy some pasta! 😛
Also, consider the fast food restaurants: you can find food for a really good price, quickly, usually you can use the toilet and you can charge your phone.
10. Volunteering and working abroad.
There are millions and millions of opportunities waiting for you to apply. Most of the programs are very similar: you search for a good place to go, fill out the application, go there, do what you have to (learn, play and network), travel and go home. So, if you do your research, you can go without having any money, and come back with some left over.
There are so many of them, you just have to be curious and persistent. Search for Erasmus+ programs, hostel or student works. There are a lot, you just have to find them. You can join a lot of facebook groups, but also check out these sites:
goabroad.com: on this website, you can find a loooot of opportunities abroad (scholarships, volunteer programs, internships, teaching programs and all kinda possibilities for a gap year)
abroadship.org: they are basically collecting all different kind of Erasmus+ projects (youth exchanges or training courses)… this is my personal favorite
europa.eu: this is the European Youth Portal, and here you can find the database of all the EVS programs. What is EVS? The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is the European Commission’s project that allows a young person (17–30 years) to become a volunteer in another country for a specified period, normally between 2–12 months. Everything is paid, all you have to do is to find the perfect place for yourself.
helpx.net: HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farm stays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
hosteljobs.net: It’s a site helping you find hostel jobs and opportunities to work abroad.
aupairworld.com: This. Is. Awesome. Soooo An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family’s responsibility for childcare as well as some housework and receive a monetary allowance for personal use.
anyworkanywhere.com: This service is free, the site is updated daily, and there is no need to register. Simply search for jobs and apply directly to employers for job vacancies.
volunteersbase.com: Volunteers Base is a moneyless help exchange network, it’s free and always will be! Hosts in need of help list their Projects and Volunteers interested in joining can get in touch. Projects can be almost anything: farming, building, hostels, language teaching, house-sitting, community work, arts and crafts, housekeeping, etc.
wwoof.net: WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community.
workaway.info: Workaway is a site set up to promote fair exchange between travelers (workawayers) and hosts who are families, individuals or organizations looking for help with a range of activities.
hosteltraveljobs.com: yeah, this is a website where you can find jobs at hostels worldwide.
So please don’t ever tell me that you cannot travel because you don’t have money. Yes, you will need a little bit, but if you don’t go out just for two nights to drink with your friends, you already saved enough money for a weekend trip.
But the truth is…
… that the real reason is that people are afraid, too busy or just simply too lazy to go and see the World. So do not be afraid, too busy or too lazy, because you will have time for that later. Now, go and see all those wonderful places you always wanted to go to!