Travel for Free: 9 Ways to Vacation for Free

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Travel for Free

No money? No problem! Traveling for free sounds too good to be true, but: there are many ways and it is often easier than you think. Here I show you 9 interesting ways to travel for free.

All options listed here require a certain level of communication skills. Before your adventure, you might want to polish your language skills and consider taking an online language course to get along on the ground!

1) Hitchhiking 

One of the most classic backpacker means of transportation is, in times of cheap airlines, somewhat out of fashion. But it’s so simple: Thumbs up, find nice drivers and get to your destination for free!

Works in many countries, but you should inform yourself thoroughly about safety and customs – in some countries it is too dangerous or even forbidden. 

2) Hand against bunk aka “sailing along”.

Sail the seas for free? That’s possible…but only if you lend a hand. Good Timo hitchhiked from Gibraltar to Brazil last year and experienced a lot.

Sailing experience or a certain basic knowledge and of course the will to help even in difficult situations are basic requirements, and you should also be good “with people can” – after all, you sometimes spend weeks together at sea.

3) On other people’s couches aka “couchsurfing

I’ve been ‘hosting’ and ‘surfing’ for almost 10 years now and especially appreciate the great community. However, it’s more than just a free place to sleep: cultural exchange, sharing of travel experiences and experiences are in the foreground.

No matter which platform you use for this: you should be open-minded, have a good command of English and maybe host guests yourself at first.

Resources: Commercial intentions or not, Couchsurfing is the largest community with more than 3 million members, others are the Hospitality Club (165,000) and BeWelcome (56,000). An experience report worth reading is “90 nights 90 beds” by fellow blogger Christine Neder.

4) House sitting

Hach! Living in a villa in Spain, sipping cocktails all day long and swimming around in the pool every now and then and all that at the expense of others?

Well…it’s not quite that simple here either. In fact there are some homeowners who like to leave their property in other hands when they are traveling – but they should not be idle and very reliable. Meanwhile there are many online platforms where you can get in touch with looking homeowners worldwide.

Resources: You can find on the leading platforms for house sitting are Trusted Housesitters and MindMyHouse.

5) House swap

If you are a homeowner yourself, wouldn’t it be a great idea to arrange a house swap with like-minded people in sunny Italy or Spain? Sounds strange, but quite a few people do it now.

A good option for the annual vacation, besides, one lives on the spot truly like a native – basic condition is of course that one builds up before a good trust relationship with the exchange partner. Ideal for families!

Resources: Here, too, there are established portals such as Home Exchange – on Youtube you can also find an interesting report from ZDF “My vacation in your house”.

6) Au Pair

Especially young girls may feel addressed here, but should not misjudge this as a mere vacation: Food, accommodation and pocket money are provided for the support of the host family.

The au pair activity brings a lot of responsibility with it: you take care of the children and often also the household. In addition to resilience, special insurance is also essential! 

Resources: In the corresponding entry on Wikipedia you can find a lot of helpful info, especially about age limits and organizations. Did you know that in Canada you can work as an au pair until you are 50?

7) Volunteer work aka “Volunteering”

Whether it is a voluntary social year or for other reasons – this way you can do good and often get a place to sleep plus meals in return.

Volunteering can be a great experience and you can learn a lot from it, especially since you will see the bigger picture and have a cultural experience that will shape you.

Resources: There are many agencies that take a lot of money for the organization. In my opinion it should cost as little as possible and not degenerate into an organized adventure trip. 

8) WWOOF – working on organic farms

The 5 letters stand for “World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms” – an organization that places volunteers on organic farms.

In exchange for room and board, you can help out on farms in 100 countries, gaining experience in organic farming and gardening, as well as experience abroad.

Resources: The best address is the official site of the organization on the international site you will find corresponding farms worldwide.

9) Online contests

You are creative and talented? Then you should consider this opportunity – there are always destinations or brands that call for participation in contests in which exactly these requirements are needed! 

The best-known example is Australia – last year, for the second time in a row, they called for applications for the “Best Job in the World”.

Resources: Here it is called eyes on! In particular, well-known brands in the travel industry, such as airlines, travel companies or the travel countries themselves, regularly organize competitions – you’re usually the first to hear about them on social networks.

As you can see, there are many ways to travel for free, yet you usually have to do something in return or push your luck. If you would rather concentrate on traveling, it is recommended to approach the matter in a more classical way:

Travel for free: Do you know more ways? I would love to enrich this article with more practical tips, can you think of anything else? Comment away and give me a thumbs up if you liked the article!

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