How To Travel The World When You Have Absolutely No Money
“I want to travel the world, but I really can’t because I have no money”. Sounds like a cliché, right? But, what if we tell you that you don’t have to be as rich as a Kardashian to travel the world? As a matter of fact, with the right approach and a bit of effort and practice, you can even travel and see the world for free!
Everyone wants to travel, explore and experience all the beauties, euphoria, charms and oddities that the world has to offer. Whether you’re hiking in the perilous paths of the Himalayas or dining with a gorgeous bachelorette in Paris, traveling the world can in a lot of ways bring you bliss as well as give you a plethora of awesome experiences that you will cherish for years to come.
Sadly, most of us just won’t take the leap of faith because our conventional wisdom would say that modern man cannot travel with little to no money. Indeed, money is the number one thing that holds people back from chasing their dream of traveling the world.
But the truth is, you don’t need to spend a fortune and max out your credit card to travel. There are plenty of simple tricks and techniques that will let you explore the world, and live your life to the fullest!
Side note: When traveling the world, there are three important things that you should carry for your adventure - a comfortable pair of shoes, a sturdy backpack and a jacket. There are a lot of other things you'll need, but there are jackets like Bau Bax that comes with tons of features to compensate your other needs. In fact, it comes with its own travel pillow. As for your bag and shoes, we recommend Nomatic 40L backpack and Vessi Footwear.
The travel industry wants you to think that traveling is expensive
The idea that traveling is difficult and expensive is pure hogwash peddled by your corporate media, hotel chains and tour companies. The travel and tourism industry wants you to pay big bucks through their all-inclusive resorts and cruise packages. Like a mall selling jackets and ritzy clothing, the travel industry wants to take your cash or get your credit card number.
Want to know how to travel the world with no money? The travel and tourism industry doesn’t want us to uncover the secrets of cheap and free travel, but we are still going to share them with you anyway. Here are few tip-offs that will let you travel the world, even when you’re broke.
Sell your unused stuff
To travel the world with no money, the first thing you have to do is to sell your unused stuff at home. Not only will it help cover the expenses of your trip, but selling your unused things will also remove the luggage you have at home. If you do not have any belongings at home, you won’t have to pay for a storage unit or an apartment to store them in.
Embrace the simple pleasures of travel
Traveling simply frees you from the grind of the bustling urban jungle and your daily life. As you travel, you will get to sample exotic dishes, meet a ton of new friends and explore wondrous new places. Moreover, it helps you discover more about yourself and learn a mishmash of cool things about our beautiful world.
The joy of every new experience is the most wonderful thing about traveling the world, and new experiences are totally free. There are heaps of wonderful experiences that won’t cost you a dollar in your trips, such as watching people in a public park, chatting with a local, walking the cobbled streets of a history city, and gazing on glorious sunsets on a beach.
Simplify your needs
The modern global economy is built on the bogus assumption that we, people, need to buy new services and goods all the time, to survive in this big crazy world. But in reality, people just need a safe place to stay, self-esteem, companionship, creative stimulation, exercise, clean water, healthy food and fresh air. Obviously, these things are pretty easy and simple to get, and most them are free.
Ways to get decent accommodations when you have no money
The World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or also referred as WWOOF, is a big-time international network of non-profit organizations that will connect you with countless of local farmers across the world. With WWOOF, you’ll get a chance to work on an organic farm for as long as you want. Basically, the farm owners who belong to this network will take care of your accommodations and food, in exchange for your labor. As an added bonus, WWOOF will give you a chance to learn more about organic farming.
Couchsurfing is by far one of the easiest and most popular ways to get free accommodations, as you travel the world with no money. With Couchsurfing, you can search and find a number of hosts that offer a free bed, free couch or oftentimes a free bedroom, without expecting anything in return. In fact, some of the hosts will take you to the hidden spots of the city or cook your meals. Trust me, Couchsurfing will come in handy when you travel to expensive cities like London and Singapore, where dorm beds can even cost more than 45 USD a night.
A word of advice, take some extra precautions when picking a host through Couchsurfing, especially if you are a young lady who is traveling solo. There are a lot of deceitful and lustful men nowadays who would use Couchsurfing to score some chicks. So, always plan ahead of time, and look Couchsurfing hosts with common interests and positive reviews. Keep in mind that Couchsurfing is more than just getting a free couch or bed. It’s also a way of delving into other cultures and meeting people.
Camping is, hands down, a terrific option for folks who want to travel with no money. It, after all, gives you free accommodations, wherever you may go. From the pristine beaches of Mexico to the lush tropical jungles of Southeast Asia, there are a lot of places and destinations all over the world, where you can set up your tent and camp without spending a dime.
In addition to your lightweight tent, you may opt to travel the world bringing only a mosquito net and a hammock as your accommodations. I know a lot of people in Asia who survive months of traveling using only these items. Of course, safety is absolutely an important thing that you have to consider, in this type of accommodation.
Looking for a cozier and more luxurious alternative to camping and couchsurfing? Then, you should definitely consider doing some Housesitting! With Housesitting, you get to stay in someone’s house for free while the owners are away. What’s more, the house will have a kitchen where you can cook your meals, which can help reduce your expenses, as you travel the world. On top of it all, Housesitting lets you stay in supremely comfortable and ritzy houses as well as picturesque places, such as the beautiful castles in the United Kingdom, France’s lovely mansions, and Italy’s scenic vineyards.
Speaking of which, here a few good resources for those are interested in Housesitting:
5. Work for your accommodations
Today, there are a lot hostels that would give you a free bed in exchange for your service. You can do some reception work or bartending to get accommodations for free.
Fly and travel for free
1. Credit card sign up bonuses
On the lookout for a way to fly and travel the world with no money? There are so many different ways to fly for free. For instance, you and sign up for a couple of trusted travel credit cards, accumulate miles or points, and then use them to fly without shelling a dollar. Cards, for the most part, offer a sign up bonus of 50,000 points. And if you can get to sign up for both a general rewards card (like AMEX card or Chase Sapphire) and an airline card (like a United airlines card), you may combine the point balances of the two cards, and get a free flight in a much faster way.
2. Don’t pay in cash
Having problems signing up for credit cards? You might as well as try to put everything on your credit card, from cellular phone bills to your coffee at Starbucks. That way, you can increase your credit card mileage, and eventually score a free flight.
3. Shopping at member stores
There are special deals offered by airlines in major online member stores like Target, Best Buy, Apple and Amazon. As you shop products at any of these stores, you will get to earn a couple to four miles for every dollar you have spent. If you spend 2,000 dollars per month, you could earn up to 6,000 miles by just browsing and shopping at their websites.
4. Take advantage of their special deals
Make sure to sign up for every airline mailing list, so you can get a chance to grab special card offers that will give you extra points or miles.
For more money saving tips, check out our article 25 Ways To Score Cheap Airline Tickets.
Walking is a truly an overlook aspect of traveling. While buses, cars and trains travel a lot faster, walking is nevertheless an awesome form of transportation that allows you to take hundreds of breathtaking photographs, meet locals, and connect with what’s around you. Not to mention, it helps speed up your metabolism, burning the excess calories and fats inside your body. And more importantly, walking is completely free!
As a traveler, you should learn how to appreciate the beauty of walking. As far as I’m concerned, real travelers are those who can walk happily for hours to get into the best secluded beaches, trek to the verdant jungles to discover a mesmerizing waterfall, and wander around the town or city all day.
There are a lot of carpooling and ride share resources on the internet, where you can get a ride for free, or pay a small amount. Bla Bla Car, for one, is a great online resource where you can find trustworthy drivers across the world. Likewise, there are Facebook groups that will offer free or cheap rides to travelers, such as Canada RideShare, Australia RideShare, and many more.
Hitchhiking is still a popular choice for people who want to travel the world with no money. It’s free, and is a much faster alternative to hiking and walking.
How to get free food when traveling
Even if you’re traveling the world with no money, there is no need for you to scour the dumpsters for leftovers. From getting free vegetarian meals in Buddhist temples to working in restaurants, there are so many ways to get free food when you’re on the road.
2. Events and festivals
Festivals, especially the religious ones, usually include free food. If you happen to drop by a destination that is celebrating a festival, try to mingle with the locals, and indulge on their free treats
3. Work exchange
Go to a local restaurant or your hostel’s restaurant, and ask if they need any service or help with bartending and the dishes. Sometimes, you can get a few meals for free in a restaurant in exchange for a few hours of work.
4. Free food samples
Malls, for the most part, have stalls that offer free samples of their products or latest offerings. And though they won’t fill an empty stomach, free samples can help fend off hunger, as well as appease your taste buds.
Everyone knows that Crowdfunding is a practice in which other people will pay for something that you badly want. But, did you know that you can also crowdfund entire trips, and not just tangible stuff? Don’t believe us? Check out FundAnything, YouCaring, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and Trevolta.
The key to a successful crowdfunding campaign is to make your story more inspirational and relatable. As you create a page to crowdfund your trips, tell everyone why exactly you want to travel the world with no money (maybe, you want to author a book or become a volunteer), because they will likely to fund your trip if they can understand you or relate to your story.
Free walking tours
Want to learn more about the city you’re visiting as well as see its most breathtaking sights? Get a free walking tour! You can find these tours nearly in every major European city as well as in New Zealand, Australia, New York and larger Asian cities.
Here are some free tour companies that we recommend:
Fund your trips with Airbnb
Airbnb is not just a great resource to spot a sweet place to stay for your trip, but it can help you fund your travel as well. If you are going to travel the world with no money, make sure to put your apartment or home on Airbnb. That way, you’ll get to earn back some of the cash you’ve spent on your accommodations abroad.
Not making enough money with your current job? Then, you should seriously consider getting a job abroad. From travel blogging to teaching, there are tons of job opportunities that allow you to travel the world even when you’ve absolutely got no money. And as long as you aren’t super picky, you can easily find a job that will pay for your travel escapades.
Here are a few jobs you may take to pay the bills and fund your trips:
1. English teacher
Got no money, and looking for a quick way to earn cash? Teaching could be very well the perfect job for you. There are some programs that will even pay for your relocation costs, training, flight and housing. On top of it all, the income is fairly well, when you’re working as an English teacher abroad.
2. Tour guide
Working as a tour guide is, as far as I’m concerned, the best and most fun way to earn a living and travel at the same time. Though technically you still are working, you will have the luxury to meet a jillion people worldwide and visit a ton of beautiful places. Furthermore, the income is pretty decent, and it can help you sustain your trips abroad.
Want to be a tour guide? We highly recommend that you contact these companies:
3. Travel blogger
Travel blogging is arguably one of the best and most amazing jobs in the world. As a travel blogger, not only will travel more often, but you will also get rewards and VIP treatments from hotels and resorts that are hoping for positive reviews.
Want to discover more jobs that will pay you to travel? Feel free to read 25 Awesome Jobs For People Who Love To Travel.
Plan your trip with Trekeffect
Trekeffect is not just an awesome travel planning app, but it also has a one-of-a-kind online market where travelers can build, sell and buy treks (travel itineraries). With Trekeffect, you can travel around the world, and earn some cash to fund your trips. It’s totally free to use as well!
Are you ready to travel the world even if you’ve got no money? Don’t forget to sign up for Trekeffect, to plan your trips anywhere in the world for FREE!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks
Book your accommodations
Let's face it. Expedia, hotels.com (and all the other hotel booking engines) typically earn huge margins off of you. You might think you're getting a deal, but you're not getting a deal. Want the best deal when you book your hotels? Of course you do! With Trekeffect you can get FREE access to discounted hotel prices and save a bunch of money.
How does it work? Simple...
1. Sign up for Trekeffect [FREE]
2. Click the hotels tab in the navigation
3. Search for the city you are visiting
4. Book a hotel and save a ton of money
Shop for Travel Essentials
Book your flight
Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world. They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.
Don't forget travel insurance
Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out our resource page for the absolute best companies to use when you travel! We list our favorite companies that save people the most money when they travel and we think it will help you too!
Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported.