Most of us love to travel, to see the world and to explore new cultures and if you’re anything like me, you’ll always be on the lookout for the next place to experience.
You’ll no doubt have seen all those fluffy magazine articles that say “This girl travels the world for free”, “How this guy makes 10 zillion dollar by travelling the world” or the best ones that induce green envy, inadequacy and overall feelings of pressure in this digital age.
I often find that most of these articles are saturated in ways to make us feel inadequate… it’s a fact that beauty magazines have been doing this for decades to shill women (and more recently) men, all manner of beauty products that apparently make us better people *rolls eyes*.
Of course, nothing in this world is totally free, even if money doesn’t exchange hands it’s likely you’ll pay in other ways. You may have a billionaire aunt that is happy to foot the bill for your travels but I’m sure she’ll find other ways of making you pay – mowing the lawn, for instance. Actually, if she’s a billionaire, probably not…but you get the picture!
It’s kind of like that principle on energy we learnt in school – “Energy is neither created nor destroyed but instead converted into one form or the other” and so instead of spending lots of money or having very specific skills (which require a lot of training and hence a lot of money), there are some ways you can trade in the most basic of skills, or indeed spend time doing something you already would and instead of clearing your bank account, get to travel for free!
Before I rear off into a whole new kettle of fish, let me get back on point – which is showing you some rather cool ways to travel the world and perhaps even make a bit of money on the way!
I don’t want to suggest you should be the next Kim Kardashian and live off your Instagram (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but I do want to tell you some cool ways to travel the world without having to spend any of your hard-earned pennies.
Take a look at some of the best ways I’ve found to travel the world for free:
1.) Have a house sitting holiday 🏡
Looking after someone’s house is much easier than babysitting. No mood swings, no nagging to play Dora The Explorer and no teething! *sighs*. House sitting is becoming increasingly popular and you can request what things you’d want in return if that’s flights, food or a snuggly duvet 💤 – you can choose your terms that are best for you and the host. Services like Mind My House can be a good tool for this.
2.) Snuggle with pets 🐶
If you’re a keen animal lover and you’re looking for a little break from a day to day routine, take a look at sites like Animal Aunts, where you can look after and maintain a range of different animals when their owners need help. It’s a great service if you’re a keen horse rider, love farms or want to look after someone’s house pets. By sacrificing a little time (doing what you like), you’ll be able to travel to new places and explore other parts of the country/world that you’ve always wanted to see.
3.) Volunteer your time ⏰
Remember I mentioned about a barter, well, this is the perfect example. Companies like Diverbo, offer the option to travel to new and exciting places as long as you’re willing to volunteer a portion of your trip to travel. Each company that hosts these type of trips are slightly different, but the main ethos exists in them all. Volunteer and earn a holiday. If you have some free time, and no budget, this is a great way to see some new places.
4.) Deliver a rental car 🚙
You might have wondered what happens to all those camper vans that people drive across continents and countries? Well, they sure as heck don’t end up back on their own. If you’re already in the country, or that rich aunt, I mentioned earlier, decided on purchasing some flights for you, then take a look at companies such as Transfer Car and Auto Driveaway.
Depending on the company, you can be offered an all expenses paid trip to return the vehicle to the point of origin – in some cases, thousands of miles across the other side of the country. All you need is a driving license, a good eye for maps and an explorer’s spirit!
5.) Share your language 🗣
A good way to make the most of your own skills is to help others learn your native tongue. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a place is to be around locals and what better way to do this than by teaching a language. Language programs and TEFL assignments are run in lots of different countries and by volunteering your time (and get paid in some instances) you can actually earn yourself a holiday without spending any $$$.
6.) Make the most of loyalty rewards 💳
One other, nifty, way to travel for free is by utilising that spending you might already be doing at home. Building up loyalty points with bank accounts, Store Loyalty schemes, cash back websites and credit and or debit cards is a great way to travel for free. By grabbing a card that offers points for every purchase, you’re always making your spending work for you – after some time saving, you’ll end up with options on how to spend these – with lots offering flights, accommodation and vouchers for well-known restaurants and experiences.
8.) Share your passion ⛷
We all have different skills sets that we are passionate to share and practice. If you’re a skier, a yoga instructor, a surfer, keen hiker, or a photographer, you can actually share these skills through a type of barter service with companies and groups that require instructors. If you’re confident in something, why not share it! Sites like EA Ski help map people wanting to share their skills while still training and potentially a paid placement, too.
9.) Deliver an important item 💌
If you’re planning a holiday and want to claw back the money you’ve spent, you should consider the option to hand deliver important items for other people. Websites like Piggy Bee and other site offer the option to pair travellers with people needing to deliver items. This works well if you’re travelling to key destinations. Set your price to cover your costs – a great way to see new places!