If you dream about traveling, whether it’s across the country or around the world, now is the time to do it.
But you’ve probably made the excuses to yourself and to others that you don’t have money to travel, right? Well, let me say this: even if all you’ve got is the weekend, you can still really pack in a lot of incredible adventures by traveling CREATIVELY. That’s what this blog is all about–helping you have memorable adventures even when you’re on a tight budget and a tight schedule. Honestly, it’s usually those inexpensive, random adventures that turn out to be the most fun!
Right now, I want to quickly introduce you to FIVE unique and fantastic ways that can help save a ton of money when you travel and also allow you to engage in a more authentic local experience:
1) Get free room and board: Sounds crazy right? But that’s what happens when you become a Workaway or HelpX work exchange volunteer. You help out the host with their project (like picking olives in Tuscany or taking care of horses in France) for about 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, and in exchange you get a free room and 3 meals a day. Most volunteers stay with a host from about 2 weeks to 2 months.
2) Be a House Sitter, and hang out in a house for free: MindMyHouse.com, Nomador.com, TrustedHouseSitters.com. Because you aren’t paying rent for your accommodation (some homeowners provide some food basics too), your ONLY expenses will be the cost of your transport, which can become very cheap, as discussed in the next couple points…
3) Ridesharing: Within the US, the concept of ridesharing is less popular (where’s the damn public transport?!), but you can often find people to share a ride with on Craigslist, city/regional rideshare and carpool websites or a national board like RideBoard. There are always new long distance rideshare apps that come and go, so do a search and see what comes up. In Europe however, BlaBlaCar is definitely the fun and cheap way to travel: meet cool local and international travelers, pay less than most buses and trains, AND get to your destination faster!
4) Megabus: For short or long road trips across the US, Canada and Europe, you will definitely want to book as early as possible to grab the $1 tickets (you can’t even get a rideshare this cheap!) offered by Megabus for a ride on their new, clean and sometimes wifi-enabled buses. For the rest of the world, it’s pretty easy to find cheap long distance buses, like Flixbus or Regiojet in Europe.
5) Academic or Artist Grants: If you’re a highly motivated and productive (and can prove it!) student in university or graduate school, or if you’re a writer, painter, musician or sculptor (or other type of artist), you have a good chance of applying for a travel grant or artist residency which will give you the gift of free travel and/or room and board to work on your academic or art projects. Mira’s List is THE place to start your grant and residency search.
Go ahead and check out these links NOW, I dare you. Just take a quick look on your lunch or coffee break, do a search for a couple of your dream destinations and see what comes up. You never know what you’ll find!