Want to explore the world but have limited funds? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be rich to travel. You just have to plan ahead and think outside the box. Yes, you’ll have to skip some of the luxuries but it doesn’t mean you won’t still have a great time. Here’s how you can travel with almost no money.
Pick cheap destinations
Believe it or not, there are some destinations you can enjoy for just a few dollars a day. Some of the cheapest countries to backpack through are Nepal, Thailand and Nicaragua. The most expensive part is getting there. Create a bucket list of places you’d like to go and keep your travel dates flexible. If possible, plan your trip during the off-season when airfares are lower, lodging is cheaper and places are less crowded. Do your research though because some tourist attractions are only available during peak season. You don’t want to have your heart set on seeing something only to find out that it’s closed when you get there.
Earn free flights
From this point on, we don’t want to hear you say you can’t afford a flight. There are so many ways you can fly for free. Number one, sign up for a travel credit card. Anytime you spend money on everyday expenses, you’ll be earning miles towards future trips. If you already have a regular credit card that earns reward points, try to get a point transfer. Citi ThankYou members can transfer their reward points into different loyalty programs. Participating airlines include JetBlue, Turkish Airlines, Etihad Airways and more. Many airlines also reward travelers for shopping online at one of their participating retailers. It’s similar to how cash back sites work. Just start your shopping trip through their portal and proceed as usual. For every dollar spent, you’ll earn airline miles. Don’t forget to join your favorite airlines mailing list so you don’t miss any bonus offers.
Helpful tip: Use a site like Evreward to maximize your rewards. Simply type in where you’re shopping and they’ll show which airlines are offering the most points per dollar.
Swap your services for accommodations
Usually the point of a vacation is to get away from work but when you’re broke, desperate times call for desperate measures. Which means you may have to trade your services for food and accommodations. Sites like Workaway and HelpX give people the opportunity to work abroad in exchange for a roof over their head and food on the table. You may be asked to do things like provide child care, teach English, general maintenance, etc. Typically, helpers work just few hours a day but that can vary based on the host. Both sites require you to create a profile and pay a small fee but it’s a lot less than what you’ll spend on a hotel room.
Look for a house-sitting gig
Some people aren’t comfortable leaving their house empty while they travel for long periods of time. They’d much rather hire a house sitter than to leave the place unoccupied. As a broke traveler, this gig is right up your alley. You get a free place to crash and they get peace of mind. However, this job is probably better suited for animal lovers. From what we’ve seen on MindMyHouse, a lot of homeowners require you to walk and feed their pets. For the most part though, you’ll have plenty of time to venture out and do your own thing.
Purchase tourist cards
Nobody takes a vacation just to sit inside all day. Chances are you want to see any and everything the city has to offer. But that can get really expensive. When you’re working with a tight budget, purchasing a CityPASS or City Card can be a lifesaver. For a small fee, you’ll gain access to the city’s top attractions and free public transportation. As an added bonus, you’ll also receive special discounts on shopping, dining and entertainment. If your destination offers this type of deal, definitely hop on it.