Ways to travel for free

 

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We have all heard about travelers who swear they have been travelling for free, for years on end. It all sounds quite far-fetched. But, if you listen to their stories in detail you will realize that yes, it is quite possible to move around the world without spending money. Or at least great sums of money. But that, of course, requires some effort on your part. Here there´s a list of some of the best ways of living an unrooted life.

 

  1. House-sit. This consists in, as it can be very well inferred from the word, staying at other people´s homes to look after pets, plants or anything else they might want you to keep an eye on. The great advantage of this is that you have to forget about spending money on accomodation and that, in general, people who look for house-sitter own awesome houses, otherwise they wouldn´t be interesed in having someone to look after their stuff. So you will end up living as a rich person for a while. The main disadavantage is that you will have to stay for quite some time in the same place. This is is not the ideal way of travelling for those who have sort of a grasshopper-spirit and are keep on leaping from one adventure to the other. If you are interested in this option, look for opportunities in Truseted Housesitters or Luxury House Sitting among other sites.
  2. Be an artist. Any sort of artistic performance can help you earn money while you are on the road. Specially when it comes to music. I´ve come across many musicians who just stop by any restaurant or bar they come across and start playing and, in a couple of hours, they mange to make enough money to pay for a place to sleep and a great dinner by the end of the day.
  3. Pick up casual work. If you plan to be on the road for a long time, then the best option is to take it easy and spend, at least, a month or two in every place you vist. Or at least in most of them. In that way, not only will you be able to mingle with the culture, but it will also be easier to find job opportunities. During the summer, sea- side resources tend to look for extra help. Try offering to work at a bar, restaurant or hotel for the season. I remember we met a couple of dentists who got a stint in a bar and manged to live in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, the whole summer without spending their savings.
  4. Trade work. This implies exchanging some sort of work for accomodation and food. We did this experience in La Pedrera, Uruguay and it worked perfectly well. We were in charge of preparing the breakfast and cleaning the rooms and, in exchange of that we got a room and a daily meal. I loved the experience. I especially liked the concept behind it. This idea that we could sort of “defeat” the system and manage to live without money. Money, all of a sudden, was not as important or necessary, because just by using our hands, our labor we manged to live and therefore, money, for a while, was just meaningless. This remineded me of the story of Heidemaire Schwermer, a German woman, who has been living without money for over 20 years. Best places to look for this kind of opportunities: Help X, Workaway and Anywork anywhere.
  5. Become a tour-guide. This is one of those stints I referred to earlier in the post. In almost every city in the world there are free-walking tours and the companies who offer these tours are always looking for people willing to show around tourists for “free”. Of course in the end, tourists are expected to give a tip to the guides. So if you know English and or two other languages and plan to stay for a while in the same city, then you should contact these agencies. Some of them are run by the workers themselves. In Berlin we took a great walking tour with Sandeman, which has branches in several other cities in Europe. I went up to guide and asked her if there were chances to join them and she definitely encouraged me to go ahead. We didn´t, because we stayed there only a few days but it was very encouraging to learn that the doors were opened.
  6. Get a job in a farm. World wide opportunities on Organic Farms, best known as WWOOF is the site to look for jobs in farms. The concept is to promote cultural experience based on trust and non-monetary experience, as it is explained in their website. The idea if very much like the one behind Help X or Workaway, the differnce being that this site offers basically jobs in farms.
  7. Digital work. Nowadays there are many jobs that can be done from anywhere in the world. I know designers, IT developers, writers and photographers, just to mention a few examples, who finance their trip just by doing what they have always done with the difference that they are no longer trapped in one place. They now have an itinerant office, which consist in a computer with a wi-fi modem. While some years ago they wrote stories from a desk in a building they now write stories, while lying on the beach, in a tent or even from a bus. We are in an era in which time and space have become relative.
  8. Sell your experience. Some road walkers sell pictures and books based on their stories. They share their adventures through pics and word and get paid for that.
  9. Become an inspiration. I´ve heard of some travel bloggers who, after having travelled for a long time, became sort of coachers for others who want to lead an itinerant life but need to pluck up courage to leave their comfort zone. They get paid for this inspiration service which is deliverd through Skype, or other forms of communication.
  10. Just do it. Think, by yourself, other ways of making money on the way or not spending a lot of money on the way. Develop lateral thinking. Think outside the box. There is always room for new ideas.
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