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Dream of traveling the globe but don’t have a lot of money to do it? You REALLY CAN travel all over the world with a very small budget and sometimes, if you plan it right, even for FREE. This ultimate guide to free and cheap travel will show you how!
1) Credit Card Points – So you’ve probably heard A LOT about using credit card points to book flights, accommodations, etc. But what card to get? If you want to avoid an annual fee check out these possibilities and these possibilities.
2) Frequent Flier Miles – Yes – they are really great…if you are actually a frequent flyer. If you don’t fly much it can be a little frustrating to hear people saying, “Oh, yes, I took my family of 4 to the Bahamas on my frequent flyer miles last month.” But if you’re a frequent flyer or aspire to be, here are some of the best programs.
3) cheapOair.com – I know! I know! The name doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence. But this isn’t an airline, it’s a booking service. You may be used to booking through Kayak or Orbitz and while those are useful, cheapOair.com not only compares 600 different airlines to find the cheapest flight, you can also check out bargain hotels, bargain cruises and bargain vacation packages. The “last minute deals” are interesting, too.
4) LookUpFares always has a bunch of “Under $99 dollars” deals. If you want to find super cheap one-way tickets, check them out. Fly from your place to the next place to the next place and you can hopscotch all over the country for VERY little money. Sample fares as I’m writing this are: Dallas/FTW to Branson MO $26 one way. Atlanta to Orlando $39.30 one way. Need to be able to get back at a certain day or time, roundtrip deals are available, too. Seattle to Las Vegas is $98.58 round trip! These deals are always changing, but if you’re flexible and want to fly for super cheap, check them out!
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5) Book your hotel room with RoomerTravel.com to take advantage of super low rates at hotel properties all over the world. What’s the different about RoomerTravel.com? The rooms available are all rooms that people booked and can no longer use. So they “resell” them on this website. The dates are limited, but you can get really fancy rooms for a steal sometimes so it’s totally worth checking it out. If you’re not sure where you want to go, one of these awesome hotel deals may help you make your decision. There are locations all over the globe!
6) Hotel rewards programs – Stay a certain number of nights and earn free nights. If you travel for work and can get points on a hotel rewards program with those stays you can stay for free on your vacation! Find a ranking of the best hotel rewards programs here.
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7) Couchsurfing.com – Hooks you up with hosts who will allow you to stay for free. Accommodations can be found all over the world.
8) Servas.com is another way to stay for free and meet awesome people.
9) Globalfreeloaders.com is a TOTALLY free way to find hosts and stay for free. There isn’t a membership fee or an accommodation fee or anything like that. The only expectation is that if you want to stay at someone else’s house you’ll also make your home available to stay in.
11) Get a group of people together for a trip and you can travel for FREE. Yes, this is a super way to get free travel and it may be easier than you think. Depending on who you’re working with you may only need 8-12 people to go with you for you to get a free trip! Who offers this type of group travel? All Aboard Travel, YMT Vacations, Circle Cruise Line, and Merit Group Travel and most of the major cruise lines like Princess, Carnival, Disney, Holland America, and Celebrity.
12) If you can speak English you can have a free weeklong stay in Spain or Germany! How? With the Diverbo Volunteer program. Volunteers get free room and board in exchange for conversing with Spanish or German speakers. No, you don’t need to know Spanish or German. You just need to be able to speak English. Programs are conducted at beautiful resorts all over Spain and now in Germany, too! Check it out here. Yep, you do have to “talk for your supper” but wouldn’t a free week in the Black Forest in Germany or in Valencia, Spain be worth it! I bet you’re talking every day anyway!
13)WWOOF it! WWOOF stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. If you volunteer at a farm your room and board is free. You might volunteer to pick herbs, sow seeds, or even milk goats. Work days are usually between 4 and 6 hours long. The schedule is worked out with the farmer. When you’re work’s done you’re off! You can tour the area always knowing you have a bed and 3 meals to come back to. There are WWOOF opportunities all over the world.
14) If organic farming isn’t necessarily your interest, there are other ways to work to earn your free bed and board. HelpX and WorkAway are two great places to look for volunteer opportunities. You might be helping a family run their ecotourism lodge in Costa Rica or working with horses in the highlands of Scotland at a riding center or helping run a one of a kind resort in Malaysia. Depending on your host you may work approximately 5 hours a day and then have time to learn about the culture. This is work, not a vacation. But the opportunity to make new friends and live for free in another part of the world for is just awesome!
15) Be a housesitter! There are several different organizations that can help you get started with housesitting. TrustedHouseSitters.com is a great one with opportunities all over the world. You will often need to look after pets for the owners. But for me that’s actually a bonus! For TrustedHouseSitters.com there’s a $119 membership fee if you want to be a house sitter. But even one night’s stay in some of these awesome locations (EVEN TUSCANY!!) would cost more than that! MindMyHouse.com is another possibility and the cost to join as a housesitter is only $20.
18) If you’re a teacher and need to get away from your class, lol, you can get free accommodations through TeachersTravelWeb.com There are accommodations with other teachers around the globe and there is no accommodation fee or booking cost. There’s a yearly membership fee of about $25, but hey, that’s still a pretty awesome deal!
19) If you’re a nurse and want to travel while you work check out: TravelNursing.org You get free housing, paid travel and can make up to $10,000/month and even get paid medical insurance.
20) Don’t mind the cold? Work and Live in the Arctic. Summer Jobs are available, too. You could work at Deadhorse camp during the season of the midnight sun, earn money, get free room and board and a $1000 end of season bonus – PLUS a chance to see polar bears!
21) Work in Antarctica for the season. Room and board are included as are travel fees and pay.
22) Work on a cruise ship. There are lots of possible jobs including Hairstyling, Spa Services, Food & Beverage Service, Instructors (Arts & Crafts, Bridge, Golf, Scuba, Dance, etc.), Clergy, Gift and Retail sails, and more! Take your massage practice or hairstyling skills out on the open seas and see the world at the same time!
23) Love to ski? Get a job at a ski resort. Find opportunities here.
24) Sailing more your thing? Sign on to help crew a yacht.
25) Use Ibotta, Swagbucks or Ebates earnings to help fund your trip. A dollar here and a dollar there from things you’re already buying really can add up. If you haven’t checked out Ibotta yet, now’s a great time to do so and get immediate bonuses!
26) Use the cash back from your credit cards to fund your travel budget. That way you don’t have to worry about redeeming points or having your options limited. Cash always gives you more flexibility!
27) Join AirB&B and rent your extra room so you have money to travel with! You can even rent your whole house while you’re away traveling! If you know there’s a peak time in your area, travel at that time, rent out your house and you might even make more than you spend on your trip!
With all these great ideas you could be traveling to your dream destinations in no time! Sometimes you just have to think a little bit outside of the box to be able to take advantage of free and cheap travel deals!
Want more free travel ideas? Check out 15 Fun & Free things to do in Las Vegas, 15 Fun & Free Things to do in New Orleans, 15 Fun & Free Things to do in Chicago, and 40 Fun & Free Things to Do in New York!
Don’t forget click here to grab your free packing guides (for Warm Weather & for Cold Weather)!
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