Travel for Free!
Save your pennies!
For everyone who thinks that travelling has to be expensive, we hope that you will find all of the below helpful when you are trying to travel the world without breaking the budget!
7 Ways to Travel for FREE!
An online community of people from all over the world who offer their couch to fellow travellers for free - with no strings attached! Most people do it because they love meeting people or because they love their home city and want to show people around! You can either host travellers, be hosted or alternatively download the app and post in the hangout section if you would like to meet up with anyone!
Experience: I had an awesome time staying with with a Dutch girl in the Hague! It was the middle of winter and her and friend decided to go swimming at the beach while it was snowing - nearly died!! She lived in an apartment block with about 10 other people aged 25-35 years old and it felt like they were one big family!
I recently couch surfed the whole way through Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman which was an amazing experience that I would have not been able to do without the local knowledge and generosity!
This is a brilliant platform which offers people the opportunity to apply for volunteering roles all over the globe! The positions range from, working at hostels (reception, bar, building, marketing, etc), teach English in a small community, help with childcare in a family home or with gardening on a farm. Usually the host will provide free accomodation and meals for your services.
Experience: Recently, I was in Vietnam and had a couple of weeks to kill before meeting up with a friend so I applied for a few volunteering positions in Da Nang and ended up getting offered a role at a hostel. I was provided free accomodation, breakfast and a beer every evening in return for talking the walking tours (in a city which I had never been) and socialising in the evenings - it was great fun!!
Have you ever driven past a friend on the street, pulled over and asked if they needed a ride? Same - Same! One of the oldest forms of travel and a great way to meet people! To be honest, I hadn’t really done too much, just bits and bobs when I needed to go from A to B, but after spending a bit of time in the Middle East and realising how many nice people are in the world who just want to help you!
I found it easier than popping a thumb out to just stand there, smile and wave! If you have cardboard and a Texta that is a great start as you can illuminate some initial communication barriers on what your trying to do and where you want to go! It can be simple as hitching a ride to work in Greece, getting lost in the jungle in Nicragua, or people just heading the same direction as you in Iran and Jordan!
I recently hitchhiked rom Armenia to Georgia stopping at a number of lakes, villages and monasteries along the way, jumping in 4WD, vans, family cards, old bombs and even a Semi Trailer! All of the people were extremely nice and helpful, some were a little crazier than others but it was quite an adventure. I have picked up hitch hikers in Fiji but that it another story!
There are too many American Horror Stories and Missing Person Documentaries in Australia
Help X and Workaway are two very similar platforms, which the host will offer to provide free accomodation and meals for your services. Once again they requirements can range from a number of different activities or services, which help the host or community!
Experience: We were looking for something a little out of the ordinary in Sri Lanka so we applied to stay and help out at a farm in Bentota. The family was lovely and provided free accomodation and meals in return for helping them with chores, like milking the cows and buffalo, feeding the pigs, and preparing and making curd. The family also took us to see a local Ayurvedic doctor in the community which was also a really interesting experience.
WWOOFING stands for the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Although the term ‘Organic’ is in the name, its not alway imperative when hosting. Basically, it is based around helping farmers with the animals, daily chores and maintenance, in return for free food and accomodation.
Experience: My girlfriend was originally in Australia on an Italian Working Holiday Visa and spent 3 months working at a farm near the Great Ocean Road (A few hours out of Melbourne). We would help gather and milk the cows in the mornings and afternoon, then had free time to roam the forest and play with the animals on the property, which ranged from puppies and kittens to an injured baby kangaroo!
Have you ever though how a hire car gets back to its original location after you drop it off at a different location to where you picked it up? This website can let you drive the car back to its original location for free! Depending on the deal that it advertised, at worst you may get the car for a minimal fee, if your lucky - for free, or at best - they could even pay you petrol money as well! I have even seen tickets to board the Spirit of Tasmania included on a Melbourne to Hobart trip! There is only once catch, there are strict terms on the dates; you may need to drive the car from Melbourne to Brisbane within 5 days, or Adelaide to Perth between certain dates, but you cant complain when its free!
Experience: When I was at university, we were lucky enough to cross over a Melbourne to Sydney opportunity which meant that we could get to Sydney for the weekend for free and only had to pay for our flights back! Little opportunities like this are great while studying or on a budget!
GO FUND ME!
This is a crowd funding platform where you can propose a idea and the community can get behind you and donate money to your cause! Examples are; community projects (if you would like to build a house, school or toilet block, if you would like to start a business or charity, if you would like to further your education through a short course, college or education, pretty much anything under the sun that you can imagine - Even to raise money for your dream holiday!
There are people from wealthy western countries who request funding for their travels, and if they have a sufficient storey and purpose then you may spark the interest of people to fund you but in saying that, it is also great for people who are living in third world and developing countries who cannot generate the money they need to achieve their dreams, so we should not abuse this!
Experience: None! I appreciate that this is a great way to raise money for worthwhile causes and am yet to think of one that warrants requesting for someones hard earned cash, when there are much more selfless and interesting causes than what I can come up with! I would love to start a charity one day and believe that this would be a great starting point for the initially capital raising of the project!
Overall, the internet has opened up so many doors for people to travel and experience what the world has to offer! We are so extremely lucky to have these opportunities so make the most of them while you can. In recent times, I have found it harder to get responses from these platforms, solely due to abundance of people applying so make sure your storey stands out and tells the host why they should allow you to stay/help or receive your donation whether its couchsurfing, workaway, helpx, wwoofing or gofundme! Give back more than you take :)