Did you ever ask how to travel as cheaply as possible?
When you ask someone what they would do if they won the lottery, most people would say that they would travel the world. I have good news for you. You don’t have to buy scratch cards. You can also travel cheaply, for little money or even for free.
Sure, traveling with money is always easier. But even if you have them, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to try at least some of the free travel options. Most of the time, you will collect the most intense and best experiences. Today, we bring you tips that will help you save money on a trip worldwide.
There are countless accommodation options on the go. It only depends on you which variant you choose. But if we are talking about cheaper accommodation, which will not cost you a package unnecessarily, it is worth mentioning one of the options, which is still largely unknown to many travelers, and that is the possibility of guarding the house.
The whole house for you for free? Not a problem!
The TrustedHouseSitters.com website connects homeowners around the world with travelers who are willing to look after the property for a short or longer period of time but often also pets. The owners usually have to leave them at home, while they go on holiday. So how does it work? After registering on the website, creating a profile, and writing a little about yourself, you choose the place that “House Sitter” is looking for according to the location and date. If everything goes well and the host chooses you based on your interest, you live on-site for free. Of course, it is your responsibility to take care of the property and any pets.
Have you ever considered knocking on the door of a stranger’s house and asking to sleep? It used to be quite normal among pilgrims. People in the villages at least learned from them what was new in the world, and travelers had a place to lay their heads. It may work today, but fortunately, there are ways to travel much more easily and safely.
The principle is still the same – you live with someone at home in exchange for sharing your experiences and, for example, cooking your favorite food. You will stay with one person for a maximum of a few days and continue.
Fortunately, in the age of the Internet, you can arrange everything in advance and still get a pretty clear picture of who you are going to. The best known and largest network that mediates so-called shared hospitality is couchsurfing.com. But it is not the only one. In addition, smaller alternatives – especially in smaller cities – can work much better. Try them.
And we have good news for you – in many countries, it is still true that as a traveler you have the doors of local houses open even without the internet. In Iran or Georgia, for example, hospitality is so deeply ingrained in the culture that everyone else will invite you for tea and it will rarely happen that someone will not offer you an overnight stay.
When you put common sense and intuition together, you don’t have to worry about anything more than staying at a hotel. With such close contact with the locals, however, you have a chance to take in many more interesting and unique experiences.
Sleeping in nature is one of the best ways to save on living on the go. In addition, it is often a real adventure. Accommodation under the starry sky is one of the most beautiful experiences. If you’ve never slept under the sky, try it.
In many countries, such as Scotland, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand, you can pitch your tent almost anywhere and live for free, even in bad weather – camping wildly.
If you arrive in silence at the dusk, sleep over, and leave again in the morning so that you do not have a trace left, let alone rubbish, they will tolerate such accommodation even in countries where camping outside the camps is otherwise strictly prohibited and large fines are threatened. It’s called bivouac.
A night in a hammock, which you can easily stretch between two trees, is also great.
Try the log cabins
Along the many long trekking routes, you will find the so-called “rescue cabins”, where you can sleep for free or for a voluntary contribution. This applies, for example, to Scandinavia and Scotland. Many similar objects suitable for sleeping, you can find them in most countries of the world and you can often find out in advance where they are.
But most importantly – always leave the cabin in the same or ideally better condition than it was when you arrived. For example, if you use firewood, prepare the same amount for those who come after you before you leave.
Share the space with other backpackers
If you are willing to share space with more people, hostel accommodation can be a hit for you. Staying in a hostel is usually the cheapest option of accommodation. Of course, it still depends on the location, level and service that the hostel provides. I recommend choosing the right hostel on HostelWorld.com.
I won’t advise you to hunt for food in the trash, although it’s definitely an interesting way to save not only your wallet but also Earth. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google “dumpster diving”.
Where local goes
If you like to taste local cuisine and travel is connected for you as well as for me with food, I recommend where local people like to go to eat. Avoid the center, main avenues and squares and head to the smaller alleys. Where the locals meet, where it bursts at the seams, where there is no place to sit, and where they don’t speak much English (unless you’re in an English-speaking country), then you’re in the right place. The locals not only know where to eat good food, but they also know where it will not cost the whole paycheck. Of course, it is ideal to get tips on such establishments in advance, which will certainly not be a problem if you enjoy traveling and getting to know the destination as it should.
Hostels are one of the places where you save not only on accommodation but also on food. The advantage is that most hostels provide common areas such as a living room, terrace or kitchen. You can cook in it from morning to night and save money. What we do, cooking is always cheaper than going to a restaurant. The advantage is, among other things, not only a lower price but also the opportunity to cook from the locals. At the same time, during the time spent in the kitchen, you will usually meet a bunch of other travelers. It usually doesn’t end just at dinner.
Of course, you can also have your own kitchen in an apartment or flat through Airbnb, where you can rent the whole apartment from the locals for quite decent prices.
One of the three items that will bite the largest part of the travel budget. You don’t have many opportunities to travel for free between continents (although they also exist), but you can easily get anywhere without money, especially in Europe.
There is no better way to meet a lot of interesting people during the move itself. Hitchhiking is primarily a sport and entertainment – but the money saved is a very nice bonus.
You can walk much further than you might think. Maybe the Arctic Circle. Or to Rome. Or just walk 600 kilometers around China.
Only on foot, you can notice the small details and the daily joys and sorrows of the local people. You may also get to people’s homes, discover inconspicuous places you would otherwise go unnoticed, and improve your physique.
Even on a bicycle, you can travel around a large part of the world. Apart from the bike, muscular legs, and an ideally proper map, you don’t really need much. Unlike walking, you can take more with you. Maybe a tent. You have killed two cannibal flies with one blow.
Let’s move to a completely different category. Have you ever thought that you can rent a car for free and that someone might even pay for gas? No, it’s not a communist utopia. Car rental companies, especially in the US, Canada and Australia, often need to transport cars between branches – mostly because someone rents a car in one place but returns it elsewhere.
Paying a driver to transport cars would be quite expensive, so car rental companies prefer to take a ride around travelers like you.
Among the most famous are:
Of course, how to catch cheap flights must not be missed in the end. The basic rule is that you are always looking for tickets in the anonymous window of your browser. Cookies are monsters and they remember your every step well, hence searching for the same destination repeatedly. At the same time, it is worthwhile, if you have the opportunity, not to look for tickets for the exact date. Through search engines such as Skyscanner.net, you have the option to select the cheapest date or the entire month where you can play with the numbers and search. An application that alerts you to cheap flights and searches for them for you or sets up a so-called watchdog on the ticket search engine is also a great helper.