How to Travel the World for Almost Free!
I have always wanted to travel the world, see the sites and experience different cultures. In fact, that's all I've ever wanted to do. And while I have done some traveling I haven't traveled nearly as much as I would like. However, the problem with this is that I have very little money and I'm not 20 or 30..OK we'll stop there! What to do, what to do, what to do?
I have discovered several ways one can go about traveling the world on the cheap. Here are a few: you can work your way around the world, couch surf,or house sit. All are viable ways to circumnavigate the globe on very little money.
Working Your Way Around the World
Working your way around the world has never been so easy. I'm sure everyone has seen the ads for English Teachers around the world. That is one route but there are also Nanny, positions, maid positions and temporary work on Kibbutzes that would also fit the bill. This method allows you to actually make money, travel on the cheap and really get to know the natives. Unlike just flying to some far off destination, staying in some overpriced hotel and visiting a thousand churches and museums, this way you actually get to know the people and experience the life in your chosen country. Here are a few websites if you are interested in this route:
- http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/work/shortterm/au_pair_jobs.shtml: (This is for younger people).
Become a Woofer!
You could work your way around the world by helping farm owners. The website is http://www.wwoof.net/. It matches up people who are willing to help out on organic farms all over the world with farmers who need the help. You will meet some interesting people and get room and board for your labor.
Write About Your Travels
There are a lot of people who enjoy reading about other people's adventures. Maybe they have a job and children or a health issue that prohibits them from taking to the road and exploring the world. They would love to read about your adventures. And, as they read about them you can make money writing about them, which in turn, will help you to continue on your own adventure. It's a win win situation.
Couch surfing involves signing up on their website:
You stay on someones couch for free and when you are able you offer your couch for someone to stay for free. Although this seems like it's mainly for the young, I don't see why the young at heart can't take advantage of it as well. This is a worldwide network so just check out the website and see if there are accommodations for your destination. The accommodations may be just a couch and a shower in the morning or sometimes they may have an extra room for you to stay in, but the price is definitely within anyone's budget..free that is, free baby! Not only will you save a ton of money but you will most definitely meet some very interesting people.
Also, a lot of people just travel to their destination and set up shop once they get there by advertising in the local paper for English students. This might work for some of you so I thought I'd at least mention it.
House-sitting Around the World
Finally, there is house-sitting. Don't have very much money, too old to run after a bunch of toddlers? Why not house-sit around the world? People do this and it seems to me a great way to travel on a limited budget. You have to register and some house-sitting may involve pet sitting as well. The advantages of this are that you will probably be able to stay more than a day or two but not as long as if you were working on a kibbutz. So you could house-sit in Germany for a week and then easily move on to Italy for two weeks. Also, you don't have to offer to put someone up later. In my opinion this might be one of the best ways for an older person to travel for very little money. Once you've done it a few times and have acquired some excellent references your set.
Here is a website for house-sitting travelers:
Getting to and from your destination without money can be a little trickier. If you can make some money via the methods described above that will help. You can also check the ride-share section of Craigslist and hope you don't run into Ted Bundy along the way. Hitchhiking is always an option but that can be dangerous as well. If I were on this adventure I would contact my church (I'm a Christian and I would feel comfortable doing this) and see if there were any members going my way, to see if I could hitch a ride with them. You also want to make sure that the word is out so that friends and relatives who are so inclined will either give you a lift or put you up for a day or two.
Make sure to pack light! Take just what you need and nothing more. If you don't start out packing light you will end up just throwing things away to lighten your load anyway.
Whatever method you decide upon I hope everyone that wants to travel can travel at some point in their lives as nothing surpasses visiting a foreign land when it comes to gaining knowledge, wisdom, understanding and best of all lifelong friends!