5 Ways to Travel for Free
1. Work on a farm
If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, WWOOF offers farming work in a range of different countries, often providing food, accommodation and modest stipends in exchange for labour. You pay a small upfront fee for membership which gives you access to their wide-reaching network to find both short-term and long-term work. The appeal of beautiful skies and living the simple life has been enough to sway many travelers into earning their keep this way.
2. House-swap or rent out your home
In a nutshell: Made famous by the recent movie The Holiday, this option, of course, requires you to have a house. If you do have a house to offer up, there are various websites that provide online classifieds for owners to advertise. Most require a registration fee, but then you can advertise your property for the entire year. The length of time for exchanges depends on the needs of the two parties swapping houses. Another alternative for those travelers lucky enough to be property owners is to rent out your home.
3. Volunteer and fundraise
Ever considered volunteering on a development project? One of the great things about devoting your time to help a worthy cause overseas is that it may allow you an opportunity to fundraise to support your work. Some volunteer organizations may help you out with room and board, and occasionally flights. Most organizations that do this require a significant commitment of time (one to two years) as well as specialized skills and experience. An alternative is to join a shorter-term project and fundraise. Schools, employers, community organizations, family and friends are all great sources of moral support for most volunteers, and most are happy to help out with a good cause.
4. Become a tour guide
If you’re looking to spend time in one place, consider getting to know your location and applying to become a tour guide. Tourism offices, hostels and specialist tour companies such as Sandemans New Europe recruit English-speakers with local knowledge to become guides. You’ll need to be charming and confident to be successful, but it’s certainly possible to cover the costs of longer-term trips this way.
5. Crew a yacht
You don't need to know your port from your starboard in order to help crew a boat. Knowledge of seamanship might make you a shoo-in, but culinary, mechanical or navigational abilities could score you a paid position on board, and often an extra set of hands is enough to earn you working passage on a yacht. If you want to get a feel for the kinds of options available, check out UK-based Crewseekers International: www.crewseekers.net. Crewseekers lists many opportunities, including paid positions, shared contribution voyages and working passage trips.