Yes, really! In my travels across the world, I have used many different tips and tricks for traveling the world for free, (and almost free). With a little bit of online research, some confidence, and good planning, you too can travel the world for free. So what are some of the top ways to travel the world for free?
This is my absolute favorite way of seeing the world, and if you’re a pet lover, it’s a top choice. Sign up for a house sitting site such as Trusted Housesitters or Nomador and fill out your profile to begin applying for sits. The deal is, when a homeowner goes on vacation, your job as a sitter is to take care of their home and pets. It’s a fantastic deal for both parties, but it’s not just a way of getting free digs. House sitting still requires care and attention, such as daily walks with dogs, cleaning out cat litter, housekeeping duties, and generally taking care of someone’s home to keep it safe and in good condition when they return.
Couchsurfing is a great way to find stop-gap accommodation, as well as become part of an amazing community. I’ve found it to be the best option for short city breaks or late minute weekends away on a budget. Connect with a host and stay with them for free for a few nights, where you’ll not only save money, but discover parts of the city you wouldn’t in a guide book. The couchsurfing community is an incredible network of travelers, and I’ve made some great connections along the way. Take your host out for a drink or bite to eat as a way of saying thanks, as well as getting to know them!
If you are great with kids, becoming an au pair overseas can be a lucrative way to move to another country and travel for free. You will usually live with your host family, meaning free accommodation and food, in exchange for childcare five days a week, and often a little extra money on top to make up your salary. Round the clock childcare shouldn’t be considered ‘easy’ though, and you definitely need to love taking care of kids for this one. Families ultimately make the decision to find these types of professionals, from places like Go Au Pair when they need help with childcare, so it is vital that you have all of the necessary qualifications to meet their standards before you consider this career. Find a host family you get a good vibe from and enjoy weekends to yourself and explore the area!
You need a degree to teach English overseas for most places, but it can be in anything, so get applying! I spent 18 months teaching in South Korea, and while it was by no means an easy job, it was one of the best experiences of my life. For most teaching contracts in Asia, you’ll get your airfare and accommodation provided, meaning your monthly paycheck is 100% disposable income! Discover a completely new country on the other side of the world, make a group of new friends, and gain experience you’d never otherwise have.
From teaching to cooking, there are a host of jobs you can get on a ship. Again, this gig comes with accommodation and food built in, so you get to enjoy your salary on your days off on board, or disembark and explore a completely new city at each port stop along the route. I’ve known friends who have taken jobs on ships and had an incredible experience, meeting new people, living for free, and seeing new places all within one role! Travel around the world for free, ocean-style, for a unique experience – as long as you don’t get horrendously seasick!
Another one of my personal favorites is a work exchange program. Sites such as Workaway, WWOOF, and HelpEx are platforms where you can find opportunities to stay with host families in exchange for a few hours’ work a day. These opportunities can include a small family needing help with child and pet care, a BnB or hostel needing some front desk help, a farm in need of fruit pickers, or an off-grid family with an eco project. Many of these work exchange programs involve outdoor work or physical work, but it’s usually 3-5 hours, five days a week. The rest of the time is your own and you’ll get two days off a week, as well as accommodation and food provided, which you may be expected to cook for everyone once or twice a week.
I hope you found my tips for traveling the world for free useful, get in touch to let me know which is your favorite or what you’d like to try next!