10 Ways to Travel Cheaply

by shelbylewis /
shelbylewis's picture
Jul 17, 2013 / 0 comments

Travel can be a great treasure. It allows you to see amazing sights around the world, learn new languages, and explore different cultures. By traveling, you get to meet new people and form lifelong friendships. But unless you have an endless pocket of cash, experiencing what the world has to offer can be hard if you’re on a tight budget - or even a budget at all.  With these special tips, you can travel around the world with a mostly empty wallet. If you are lucky, you might even find a way to travel the world and make money. 

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10 Ways to Travel Cheaply

So here it is – ten ways to travel cheaply

1. Volunteer

Places all around the world are in need of volunteers. From volunteering to live on a ship and be a part of the Sea Shepard’s crew (an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization), to simply guarding endangered sea turtles’ eggs from harm, volunteer opportunities are out there. Volunteering can be a unique way to see a part of the world and also give your help for a good cause. By volunteering, you can usually stay in a particular area for a long time. When you volunteer, you are usually offered room and board.

2. Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a craze that allows you to stay in people’s homes for free. This benefits both you and the host. You are given a place to sleep, and they usually love to take you around town and show you everything their town has to offer. It is customary and courteous for the couchsurfer to cook a meal for the host. You will be gathering a vast amount of knowledge you couldn’t get from staying in a hotel. The people you stay with also benefit, because they get to learn about your culture just as much as you learn about theirs. 

On the river

3. Rent Your Home / House Swap

If you plan to go on a long excursion to a different part of the world and own a house, renting out your home might be an option. By renting out your house, you can cover your house payments and electric bills, giving you more money to put toward your travels. If you aren’t looking to travel long term or don’t own a house but rent one, house swapping could be an interest for you. House swapping is a great way to cut down on travel expenses. With sites like homeexhange.com and homeexchangevacation.com, you can easily find people to swap homes with.

4. Fly Smart

Why pay for first class travel when you can get to the same destination for half the price? For European travelers, there are many budget airlines that can help you find cheap flights throughout Europe and all over the world. Latin American airlines often have great deals on airfare. Lan and Taca airlines are known for their outstanding flight services, which helps make you feel like you’re flying first class. The key to getting good airfare is to be flexible with the dates of your travels. Booking on a different day can easily save you $100 on your ticket. Another great way to fly cheaper is to join programs like Sky Miles and other frequent flyer clubs. These programs are always giving you points back on your flights, and have great promotions and chances to earn lots of points to go for making your airfare free. 

5. Travel Scholarships

Many colleges around the globe offer scholarships abroad for students. This can be an excellent opportunity for you to meet new friends and travel around the world for minimum cost. Other programs online offer travel grants and scholarships to students eager for traveling. National Geographic offers scholarships for students to join their summer travel and volunteer programs. You can also apply for travel grants - you'll find many listed at the UNESCO Study Abroad Guide. This would not only be a very fun way to travel, meet new people, and learn valuable information, but also looks amazing on college and work résumés.

6.  Free Activities and Local Areas

Often if you are in a very touristy area, what should be cheap or reasonably priced has skyrocketed in prices. When you should be paying a few dollars for a bracelet, you end up being charged twenty dollars! What most tourists are unaware of is just a few blocks away from the tourist area, cheaper, more local areas can be found. If you are looking for some free activities, search for them. Go explore a museum, hit the beach, or go on a nature hike. These activities are not only free, but also give you a feel of the local culture and you can actually see some nature along the way.


7. Trading Labor / Managing Hostels

More often than not,  hostels are looking for some extra labor around the place. Usually they are willing to work out a deal by trading a little labor for a room. This immediately eliminates lodging costs during travel. Another option is managing a hostel for a few months. During low season, hostels are usually in search of someone new to manage the place. Although the pay is not great, it covers a place to stay, and provides you with a little extra spending cash. With these opportunities you get to experience the town completelyand you also get to meet new people from all around the world.

8. Find a Temporary Job

Before you begin your excursion, search on the internet for part time jobs in the surrounding area. Keep in mind that you might also need to acquire a work visa to be able to work in a different country. Or, while you’re there, look around town and see who is hiring. You never know what kind of job you will land. Not only will you be making money, but you will also meet new people and potentially discover a job that you absolutely love.

9. Work on a Yacht

“What? I don’t even know how to sail a ship, how could I work on a yacht??” you ask yourself. People all over are looking for volunteers to help them out on their boats. You would be surprised how simple of tasks they are searching for someone to do. Often they are just looking for jobs like cooking, cleaning, and even just someone for a companion. This is a unique way to travel and see parts of the world that you have never dreamed of seeing, prior. Usually you can find flyers posted on bulletin boards in hostels.  You can also check online at www.crewseeker.net to find an endless amount of people seeking a hand for all sorts of jobs on the boat.


10.  WWOOF

WWOOF stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms. This is a new way to collect free room and meals in exchange for working a few hours on someone’s farm. Here you can meet travelers, agriculturalists, and other farm workers. This experience provides you with a cultural taste for the world and great food. The best part about this organization is they operate in 83 countries. 

10 ways to travel cheaply

As Anthony Bourdain said, “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live, eat, and cook. Learn from them wherever you go.”  Traveling is a very important part of life, and something everyone should have the opportunity to do. These ten tips make traveling more of an option to people. So get out there and go experience the world!




Shelby Lewis is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program


All photos courtesy and copyright Shelby Lewis except first photo, creative commons