by Menka Dimitrovska, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 19th July, 2018
There isn't a person in this world who doesn't like to travel. Traveling is the most exhilarating and fulfilling experience in the world, if you ask me. The only problem is it costs and arm and a leg and not all of us are financially stable to go off on journeys whenever we feel like it.
Although traveling is very expensive, there are ways to do it for free if you know where to look and who to ask. That's exactly what I'm here to share with you today. Since I'm a passionate traveler that hasn't always had the money to go wherever and whenever, I've learned to find ways to travel on a low budget, or often for FREE. So stick with me and you'll find a lot of ideas for your next journey, some of which I've already tried, and can say from experience that they've worked splendidly.
This one has worked very well for me so far. I love traveling, going to festivals and meeting new people, which is why this is a win-win situation for me.
There are tons of festivals out there that offer free camping, day passes to all the events, and some even offer free food and drinks in return for some volunteer work, which is a small price to pay in return for having fun, enjoying yourself, and meeting a ton of new friends.
Here's a link to one of my favorite festivals in Europe that also has a volunteer program, similar to the one I talked about. Also check out this year's program - I guarantee you won't be disappointed!
The Sziget Festival offers volunteers an experience of a lifetime in exchange for doing small tasks and helping out around the festival. Some of your tasks would be: working the entrance, working at the car park, at the venues, stages, or at the camping grounds.
With couchsurfing you can find friends all over the world, wherever you want to go there's a huge probability that you'll be able to find a couch to crash on thanks to their awesome program.
You can be a part of the community as a traveler or as a host. If you have a place of your own that has a spare room, a couch or even a mattress on the floor you can share it with travelers from all over the world and meet new people, show them around the city or hang out with them so that you can learn all about different cultures and their way of life.
As a traveler, couchsurfing connects you to people that have a place that you can stay at and would luckily share it with you, free of charge and without requiring anything in return.
As an Au Pair you can work as a nanny or babysitter and also help out by doing light housework, or help out the kids with their homework. There are a lot of benefits of working as an Au Pair. You get to stay with the family for free, you get to have your own room, and the meals will be provided to you as well. The families that usually use this service are typically wealthy, which means that you'll be able to live a comfortable life. They will probably take you on trips and vacations with them, take you out for dinner and will often even give you an allowance that you can spend during your free time. However, there are a few negatives as well. You will be required to clean after their children and might often have to deal with a bit more difficult kids, depending on the family you get paired with. But as long as you don't have to take care of my nephew I think you'll be fine.
You can look for Au Pair jobs through an agency in the country you want to live in, or through your local travel agencies that help connect au pairs with their families abroad.
Same as with au pairs, there are a lot of opportunities for tutors as well. You can travel the world and live wherever you want abroad teaching children English or other subjects you're good at. There are numerous options for tutors, you can visit Thailand, Spain, Malaysia or whichever country you want and get a chance to meet with locals, try out new cuisines, work and travel all at the same time.
If you're looking for a way to travel that requires basically zero work on your side, housesitting would be the best way to go. You'll get free accommodation, with a kitchen, your own bathroom and all the utilities, and if you're lucky - even a pool. You'll just have to leave everything the way you found it and take care of the dogs, cats or other animals that reside in the house, feed them, take them out for a walk and stuff like that.
Sounds pretty easy right?
It basically is the easiest part-time job there is, but you will need a good resume and some recommendations because people want to choose someone reliable and trustworthy to take care of their house and their pets while they're gone.
WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) has always been the go to organization for travelers that are on a budget, and aren't afraid to put in some work for a chance to really get one with nature while doing something productive.
WWOOFing gives you a chance to work on organic farms for up to 30 hours a week, and in exchange you get free food and accommodation, and a chance to meet a lot of friendly and enthusiastic people from all around the world.
Although you won't get paid for your work on the farm, you will cut down on your costs a lot, since you won't have to pay for food and lodging.
There are tens of thousands of organic farms where you can work, which means that wherever it is you'd like to travel WWOOF's probably got you covered.
Workaway is an awesome platform that connects travelers and hosts from around the world. It offers travelers an opportunity to see the world, and get to help out their hosts with gardening, cooking, house painting, maintenance and other similar tasks, and in return their hosts offer them free food and a place to stay.
Workaway connects travelers with over 30 000 hosts from over 170 countries! You can share your culture, skills and language and learn about the local culture and traditions straight from the locals, their families and friends. You'll have the time of your life staying at welcoming families, hostels or other businesses from all over the world.
Similarly to Workaway, HelpX allows travelers to volunteer and in return they get free food and accommodation. HelpX is older than Workaway and it connects travelers with organic farms, non-organic farms, backpackers' hostels, B&Bs, lodges, farms, homes, ranches and more.
You can stay in these places and get free food in exchange for volunteer work.
HelpX is primarily focused on cultural exchange so that travelers can get a taste of the local culture first hand, by interacting with locals and emerging themselves in their way of life.
The volunteers usually work 4-5 hours per day, 5 days a week.
Cruise ships offer a lot of amazing gigs that won't just take you to see places you wouldn't normally have enough money to go to, but they also offer decent salaries and the possibility of some nice tips from all the wealthy guests on the cruises.
It's an interesting job and a great travel opportunity, but you do need to be prepared for some serious work. I'm talking about 10-hour shifts, 6 days a week, and the jobs aren't that easy as well. They usually require you to stand on your feet the whole 10 hours which can be a lot for some.
There are a few positions that are usually available: bar tending, serving, pool attendant, life guard, massage therapist, housekeeping and a few more.
Cruise ship gigs are pretty easy to find, and most of the jobs they offer don't require a lot of previous experience. You can expect to work a lot, but also party hard at night, if you have the energy for it. You'll meet a lot of friendly and enthusiastic young people from all over the world and you'll always have someone to have fun with on your day off.
You won't have too much time to explore the ports and see every attraction or place you stop at, but if you happen to have a day off when you stop at the Philippines or the Bahamas, you're more than welcome to spend the day on the beach, or do some exploring with your colleagues.
The jobs usually pay around $1,000-$2,000 a month, but you do have the perk of not having to pay for accommodation, bills, often not even food or water, which gives you a chance to really save up a lot.
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is an international charity that wants to put an end to world hunger and poverty and bring people from around the globe together to fight poverty in less developed countries. VSO recruits volunteers to live and work with the local community and help developing countries overcome poverty.
According to VSO their volunteers and partners reached 2.4 million people last year.
"They brought inspiration, energy and vital practical skills to help achieve community goals: better healthcare, more valuable education and broader opportunities." - they added.