Having no money is no excuse. It’s something I always tell people, but I continue to encounter people who say that they would like to travel more, but they can’t do so due to lack of money. Nonsense. Where there is a will there is a way. And to show you that you can even travel with (almost) no money, I wrote this post for you: the ultimate travel guide for travel without money.
Choose a budget-friendly travel style
How expensive a trip is going to be depends on the style of traveling. Renting a car or join a group tour will cost you lots of money. Instead opt to hitchhike, hike, dumpster dive or coachsurf instead. These styles offer cheap or even free alternatives for accommodation, transport and food. They are often considered as the holy grail for backpackers.
Get great deals with cheap flights
Don’t book your flight directly on website you see, but choose consciously and focus on budget airlines. In Europe you can travel from A to B with a large number of cheap budget airlines for very little money. How about, for example, going to Rome, Athens and Istanbul via Malta? Or to start in Berlin and travel to Prague, Budapest and Riga? Or maybe backpacking to Paris, Nice, Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon is more your style? Check the sites of cheap airlines like EasyJet, Ryanair and Vueling. But don’t forget that you can travel cheaply by train in Europe in addition to flying as well.
Visit cheap destinations
Some places in the world aren’t exactly cheap (hello London, New York and Paris!) But that does not mean that it is so expensive everywhere. Smart budget travelers take the exchange rate into account when planning their trip. And Southeast Asia (think of Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and India) has always been an interesting region for backpackers and budget travelers. Many countries in Latin America are also fantastic and a cheap option.
Although it may sound illogical, a longer trip is relatively much cheaper than a short trip. Why? Well, if you have a 'home base' at a certain destination, as a traveler you do not have to pay transport again and again and you can benefit from short-term rent instead of single overnight stays in hostels. Moreover, such travelers would like to get to know the culture by doing what the locals do. And these are not expensive tours and day trips, but that means shopping in the local supermarket, cooking and maybe even working.
Cook your own meals
Eating out every day is very expensive (and not particularly conducive to your figure). Budget travelers know better than anyone how much they can save by cooking themselves. That advantage is extra when you cook together with your house- or hostel mates. And shopping at a foreign market or supermarket is an adventure in itself!
Become a digital nomad
Freelancers or people with experience as online tutoring, graphic design, programming, consultancy, translation, writing or photography are lucky: if they have a laptop, they can probably work anywhere in the world as the access to wifi is guaranteed almost everywhere. Travelers who do this are called 'digital nomads'. The advantages are countless: you are not only guaranteed an income during your trip, but you can also determine your own working hours!
Workaway / Wwoof
If the digital nomad movement is nothing for you, there is the option to look for a simple job! The possibilities for a job abroad are endless: go behind the bar, teach English, give diving lessons, pick fruit, make coffee, do promotion and sales work, and so on. Special agencies like Workaway and Wwoof can help you find a job and apply for a visa. Another option for self-assured travelers is to look for a job with their cv in their hand after arrival.
Join free tours
Most cities offer free walking tours, and while these are ‘free’, it is only as polite to give a tip to the locals who have guided you around the city and have shown you their secret spots. Another great way of exploring a city is visiting musea on special days. Sometimes there is a special promotion which allows you to visit musea for free. In London for instance you have the advantage the musea are always free of entry.