Traveling expands the mind, but it can also take a huge bite out of your finances. Apart from airfares, you have to cover accommodation, food and more. If you’ve always dreamed of traveling the world, but couldn’t afford it, perhaps you should consider traveling the world for free.
That’s right: you actually can visit exotic locations for nothing, and sometimes, you can even get paid to do so. Of course, you will be expected to do something in return for your free stay, and in some cases, airfare isn’t covered, but it’s still an opportunity for adventure at a fraction of the cost! Check out these cool ways to travel the world on a level to zero budget basis!
Become a traveling house-sitter
Would you mind taking care of someone’s house, pool, and pets in exchange for free accommodation abroad? It usually doesn’t involve much work, and you have the place to yourself while its owners are away.
Some homeowners will even include free food and the use of a car in the deal. Sounds sweet? But where do you find such an opportunity? Try joining international house-sitting websites like TrustedHousesitters.com. You will have to pay a membership fee, but it isn’t high, and the opportunities for low-cost travel are absolutely fantastic.
Give time to a worthy cause
As a volunteer, you can get involved in farming, teaching, or other community projects in needy communities. There are various groups that hook would-be-volunteers up with worthy causes, and although you’ll work hard, you can also expect to play hard!
WOOF is an organization that places international volunteers at organic farms, so if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, the sweat of your brow can earn you the experience of a lifetime!
Visit volunteerinternational.org to find an array of jobs and destinations where you can make a difference while enjoying a fabulous holiday (when you’re not working). You may or may not earn a small amount of money, but accommodation and food are included, and you get to meet interesting people from all over the world.
Become an English Teacher
You don’t need a full teaching qualification to teach English abroad. Some organizations offer training, but most expect you to complete a TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) course before you apply.
Check what the terms of your contract will be so you can be sure what you’re letting yourself in for and check the reputation of the school you’ll be working at. Pay is relatively low, but you can visit a large number of countries, particularly in the Far East. Many schools also offer free accommodation to teachers from abroad.
Get a job on a cruise line or yacht
Imagine sailing around the world and actually being paid to do so! But be warned, you can expect to work long hours, and you won’t have much privacy. Also, it helps to have some practice, even if you’re just hoping to be a server or stewardess. But the job has its upside.
When cruise liners are in port, and when yachts are waiting for the next charter customer, you can have fun exploring exotic destinations, and sometimes, you’ll even get a chance to enjoy onboard amenities just as if you were a paying passenger.
If you have a teaching qualification, you could get a childcare job, and you might even end up on a round-the-world cruise, getting paid for your time.
Get a seasonal job
Ski resorts can’t operate all year round, and they hire staff from all over the world during the skiing season. You can be an instructor or work in hospitality for the season. Other holiday resort types also have a seasonal influx of visitors, and many of them will hire help from abroad during their peak season.
Get work at a backpackers’ hostel
Backpackers’ hostels always have an international flavor with people from around the world checking in for a stay. Many of them also have volunteer work options and even paid work options for travelers looking to stretch their budgets.
Work in reception, serve visitors in dining and bar areas and enjoy watching the vibrant and diverse mixture of guests come and go. You’ll have o put in a set amount of working hours, but the rest of the time is yours to enjoy!
Just talk to people
Imagine being paid just to talk to people? It’s not a crazy dream! Check out Diverbo, a site that offers English speakers a chance to visit Spain or other European countries as live-in English coaches. What will you do? You’ll stay in your hosts’ home, and you’ll converse with them in English. How easy is that?
People who have tried it say it’s a fun way to get a free holiday (they even pay for your flight), plus you get to make lifelong friends. You can be sure that your hosts will show you around, giving you the benefit of local knowledge during your visit.
Be in charge of an educational trip
You’ll have to get your group of students together yourself, but if you do so, you can get your journey for free. Check out EF Tours, CHA Educational Tours, or Explorica. Obviously, you will have to be a good example, and take good care of your students during the trip, but together, you can have a lot of fun!
Become a trip organizer
Do you think you could get a group of 12 people together for an overseas trip? If you can, you might be able to enjoy the same holiday for free.
YMT Vacations gives travel group leaders who sign up a group of 12 a free holiday. If you can persuade just eight people to book flights through the company, your airfare is free too.
Rediscover your cultural origins
Keeping languages and cultures alive means staying in touch with your roots. That’s why so many countries host the descendants of immigrant families for free!
Countries offering free travel to those hoping to rediscover their origins include Israel, Hungary, Armenia, Greece, and China. Check out Heritage Greece, ReConnect Hungary, Birthright Israel, Birthright Armenia and the cutely named Love Boat Study Program.
Use your nursing skills to travel
Nursing skills are always in demand. Get a short-term assignment from TravelNursing.org to see more places around the United States, and keep an eye on sites like GenevaHealth.com to see what’s available. As usual, you’ll be working hard, but your time off will be your chance to explore.
If you’re willing to study for a frail care nursing certificate, you can also earn good money while working in a foreign country. Some people even make a lifelong career of it.
Become an Au Pair
Help families with childcare and domestic tasks, get free accommodation, earn a bit of cash and see the world. You can find opportunities in the USA, Canada or Europe on greataupair.com. Check out families carefully to be sure you’ll get along, and be willing to adapt your habits to suit theirs.
Nothing’s really free, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost money!
Yes, you will work. And you need to be good with people to get by, but you can still travel the world on a shoestring budget, or even without any money to speak of if you can find the right opportunity. Bon Voyage!
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