Want to travel but don't have a lot of money lying around to spend on travel? You're in luck, here are the best ways you can travel for free in 2023.
Even in these uncertain economic times, families are still in need of vacations.
A chance to get away from it all for a while, vacations give families time to rest, recuperate, bond … and spend their whole savings?
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Planning a thrifty vacation does not have to mean giving up on fun completely.
Check out some ideas below to get the most bang for your buck so that you can travel for cheap.
1. Teach Abroad
If you can teach at an American school overseas then you can travel for free. By doing so, some schools will offer to pay for round-trip flights and housing. There literally thousands of schools all over the world looking for qualified English speakers. If you’re interested, check out the international recruiting agency Search Associates.
The top countries that are handling the pandemic well and are issuing work visas for teachers are:
- South Korea
Teaching abroad allows you to make money and travel at the same time. With a demand for English teachers across the world, there are so many opportunities for new grads or certified teachers.
An amusing acronym to say, WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms which is a worldwide movement to link visitors (WWOOFers) with organic farmers, promote cultural and educational exchange and build a global community conscious of ecological farming and sustainability practices.
WWOOF started 50 years ago and has grown from a small group in the 1970’s to a worldwide community of hundreds of thousands of people today. They are looking for farmers who need seasonal work and provide workers with space, housing, and food in exchange for around six to eight hours of work each day.
You can “WWOOF” solo, with friends or with your partner or family. You'll have to find your own way to the farm, but if you use WWOOF, you can surely find a country that you're interested in that is looking for workers.
3. Maximize Credit Card Rewards
Using credit card rewards to travel for free is not a new idea. There are so many cards that offer travelers rewards, for example, the new Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus gives cardholders up to $900 in travel value.
In case you want start using credit cards to score free trips, you'll want to get credit cards that'll help make your 2023 dream trips a reality.
According to The Points Guy, here is what you should use to maximize credit card rewards:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for welcome offer
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for earning miles
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best travel credit card for beginners
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for business travel
- American Express® Gold Card: Best for worldwide dining at restaurants
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for travel credits
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Best for hotel perks
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Best for airline rewards
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Best midrange hotel card
- Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card: Best for AlaskaAirlines miles
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for AmericanAirlines flyers
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card: Best for no annual fee
Most of these cards also offer lucrative sign up bonus offers to sweeten the deal, like the Platinum Card from American Express.
After signing up and receiving the 150K welcome bonus — I was able to fly first class to and from Dubai. I still had enough points left over to book a 5-star hotel for the week.
You can get the best welcome offer through this link.
However, just make sure you don't overspend when you are trying to save money for free flights.
4. Hostels & Other Work-Stay Options
Another option is checking out HelpStay, Workaway, and HelpX for opportunities to stay all over the world in exchange for working at hostels and other work-stay options. They'll offer you free housing in exchange for your work and even some small spending money.
Working at hostels can be laid back since everyone is seeking a good time. However, it's not easy since it's still a job and you'll have to prove yourself and be a good team member. If you do go this route, just make sure you secure a position before you hit the road and be sure to make friends while traveling. The experiences and like-minded people you meet will stay with you forever.
5. America’s Free Attractions
Interested in a way to travel for free in the USA? Yes, free still actually exist in the good old US of A. You can make this post of 50 free things to do in the US, your first stop before even leaving your driveway. This blog post is composed of literally thousands of parks, museums, zoos, festivals and parades all across the country that will not cost you a penny.
For example, did you know it is totally free to ride the Staten Island Ferry in New York City? Or that you can tour Anheuser-Busch, the St. Lous Science Museum and the St. Louis zoo for nothing? A little research now will help you have fun – for free!
6. Freebies for Kids
It goes without saying that kids cost money. At no time is this more apparent than on a vacation. But consider at least two things this age group can do for free: eat and sleep. Many hotels offer a “kids stay free” (with a paying adult) program, and in the same token, restaurants are getting on board with kids eating for free (again, with a paid adult entree).
Check out this post that lists 65 places where kids eat for free to start with and do a little homework before hitting your destination.
7. Find the Official Site
If you know you’re hitting a certain area for vacation, do an internet search about that area in advance. This is probably not new advice, but it is definitely something to consider. The trick is to find the official travel and tourism site for that state and/or city.
For example, say you’re heading to Orlando. Do a Google search, and you’ll be bombarded with sites. Find the official Orlando site. There, you can sign up to receive their Magicard which gives you opportunities for discounts all over the city. It’s free and could save you money on travel, eating, attractions and other ways to get free money for your trip. Many cities offer something similar or will send you a coupon book to use when you visit.
8. Short-Term Organized Volunteering
Another option that allows you to travel for free is through short-term volunteer placements. You can find these types of opportunities on Go Overseas or Idealist — many times you can find opportunities all across the globe where you can teach English or other odd jobs.
There are a bunch of ways that you can get involved in volunteering that'll let you travel for free. It's just a quick internet search away.
9. Work on a Cruise Ship
You also get paid to and travel for free by working on on a cruise ship. Instead of saving money to take a nice fancy cruise, now you get paid by working on it.
Working on a cruise means you'll generally work long hours, deal with customers, and being at sea the entire time. Most of the time you'll be gone for 3 to 12 months. But you'll often get free accommodation such as free food and free lodging.
The most common jobs that are available on a ship are:
- Deck Manager
- Disc Jockey
- IT Personnel
- Professional Diver
- Sales Associates for Retail Stores
- Sound Technician
- Sports Staff
If you want to apply check these direct links of the cruise lines: Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise, and All Cruise Jobs. You'll be sailing the seas, have a nice room to stay in, and traveling the world which beats bumming it on a couch or couch surfing. Your salary will vary depending on the job you take but expect to make at least $2,500 a month for most jobs.
10. Become a House Sitter
House sitting is the practice whereby a home owner, leaving their house for a period of time, entrusts it to one or more “house sitters”, who by a mutual agreement are entitled to live there rent-free in exchange for assuming responsibilities such as taking care of the homeowner's pets, performing general maintenance, etc.
You can house sit for different houses around the world like places in Europe such as France, Spain, New Zealand, Germany, Italy and even stay in yachts. All you need is to buy your own plane ticket and you can avoid hotel stays by becoming a house sitter.
11. Become an Au Pair
Another way to travel for free is becoming an au pair (a female live-in caretaker) for a family with children that need care. In order to become an au pair, you can view jobs and apply as an au pair at AuPair.com. Au pair jobs are in high demand in several countries, so you can live in a different country and learn a second language, build language skills, and get your living expenses paid for.
Ways to Get Paid to Travel
Want to make money traveling? The idea of being able to go from resort to resort, city to city – and never look back. Anyone with the travel bug knows that tingling feeling in the pit of their stomachs they get when thinking about this dream lifestyle.
Not having to worry about a 9-5. Being able to experience a multitude of cultures, experiences, and the ability to cultivate friendships around the world. Now, that is living life to the max.
The big problem is…
Although, it’s completely possible – you still need money to make this happen. Those green bad boys make the world spin and fund your flights, meals, and accommodation. For most, that’s the reason why traveling full-time is seen as an impossible hope. A dream never to come to fruition.
If you are dedicated to the nomad's lifestyle, however, there are ways that you can make your money while visiting new countries and making countless new memories. We will go through some of the surefire ways that we know through this article.
How to Make Money Traveling
Before we get into the actual tips to help you make money abroad – we want to make one thing clear. All those bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers who tell you it’s easy, it’s a vacation every day and other good catch lines…
Well, they are plain and simply just trying to upsell you for whatever course, product, or service they are offering.
Making money abroad is a pain. It requires discipline to not go exploring with random strangers you met at a local backpacker. It requires the patience to deal with slow WiFi when you are slumming it up in a backpacker club in Malaysia waiting for a Skype meeting with an important client.
It requires hustle when you get off that 18-hour flight from America to South East Asia. The most important part about being a successful nomad is keeping it real.
12. Teach English Online – Requires TEFL Certification
Those who aspire to teach the next generation the skills they need for life may be putting off there one dream so that they can achieve their other…
Which really sucks.
But guess what! We live in the digital age, and thanks to this you can have the best of both worlds. Teaching online can be an extremely lucrative way to make a full-time income (working fewer hours, and with less stress).
The best part about investing in this revenue stream is you can do it from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a stable internet connection.
The only condition to becoming a digital teacher is you will need to overcome one hurdle. Which is a 120-hour TEFL course. This will give you the certifications you need to teach abroad. From there, the world is your oyster.
13. Become A Social Media Influencer
There is no such thing as a quick-fix solution for making money abroad. This particular method is far from a get rich quick scheme. In fact, if this is what you want to do – it’s important to have a -main way to make dough for your travels while you build your audience.
But man, once it gets going, it’s one fun rollercoaster to be on.
I mean, sure the cocktails on the beach while making money is really a myth. Trust me – it’s just sandy, windy, and impossible to focus. However, this strategy comes the closest. As you can advertise products, locations, and even all-inclusive resorts you visit to your audience and be fairly compensated by your sponsors.
To find out more about becoming a social media influencer, check out this article.
14. Work As A Virtual Assistant
I remember my days of backpacking through South East Asia. I spent over 2-years experiencing the city life of Bangkok, the cultural paradise of Chiang Mai, and the beauty of Kuala Lumpur. Guess what the best part was…
During this time, I was actually working a full-time job as a virtual assistant for a digital marketing agency.
Although, the pay wasn’t “out of this world”, it was more than enough to cover my daily expenses, accommodation fees, and sightseeing. Which, as a backpacker is all you really need.
The barrier to entry as a virtual assistant is really low as well. Which is what makes it the perfect fit for travelers looking for security on the road. The flexible hours, decent pay, and month-to-month security is why I loved it so much.
For tips on how to land your first client as a virtual assistant, check out this article.
Ready to Travel for Free?
It's true, with a little creativity you can use these travel hacks to get free airfare and free vacations. You can either couch surf it up or even stay on yachts. It's up to you and what type of entertainment you need.
For me, all I need is a nice place to stay in Spain, some wine and ham, and I'll be set.
Good luck traveling for free with these travel tips!
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