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Five Amazing Ways to Travel Cheap (or for Free)

Stock airplane photo

Travel is the love of my life. It isn’t an easy love, though; with long flights, missed flights, cons, swindling, and food poisoning, it’s been a complicated relationship. Affording a trip used to be the biggest complication, but after a few years of traveling, I’ve found a few ways to explore without doing serious financial damage. These are my favorite ways to see the world, not just for their affordability, but because the experience is so much more than a first class ticket could ever give you.

jet program Five Amazing Ways to Travel Cheap (or for Free)

  1. Teach abroad! This may not sound novel, but it’s awesome and that’s why it’s talked about. I taught in China for 13 months, and I made enough money to not only see the country I was living in, but several other countries also. The most reputable programs in the game are South Korea’s EPIK program and Japan’s JET program. Both are run by their respective governments and therefore foreign teachers are protected from all kinds of chaos that arise in other teaching gigs (there’s a LOT of chaos.)

WWOOF Five Amazing Ways to Travel Cheap (or for Free)

  1. WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Such a cool opportunity! Basically, in exchange for a roof and a meal, you will work on a farm, a self-sustaining hotel or, in my case, what was pretty much a commune that did yoga teacher certifications. This isn’t just about saving the money you’d spend on accommodation or food, though. The magic here is that you really get to know locals and their culture.

hostel Five Amazing Ways to Travel Cheap (or for Free)

  1. Work at a hostel for a free room! I once received an offer to work at the front desk of a hostel in Amsterdam in exchange for a free room (and breakfast, ooh la la!). I wasn’t able to take the offer up at the time, but would definitely have done so under different circumstances. Smaller hostels are more prone to working out deals like these- do your research!

au pair Five Amazing Ways to Travel Cheap (or for Free)

  1. Be an Au Pair. There are a LOT of websites that connect you to families who are seeking help all over the world. Typically, Au Pairs receive room, board and a small stipend.

australian kangaroo Five Amazing Ways to Travel Cheap (or for Free)

  1. Work in Australia. Australia and the US have worked out a reciprocal arrangement that allows an American to get a one year work visa in Australia, and vice-versa. You get your visa, go to Australia and find a job! The most common jobs are as servers, baristas or hotel clerks so be ready to not be rich. But who cares? You’re traveling! Oh! And this is also a thing in New Zealand.

There are so many other ways to travel inexpensively. It takes work, often literally, but if travel makes your heart skip a beat, these are some of the best adventures you could go on!

(Hey! By the way! ALWAYS do thorough research. These opportunities place a lot of trust in your employer and/or those you’d be staying with. Ask questions and look after your well-being, not your wallet, first and foremost.)



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