If you’re itching to travel but don’t have a budget, here are a few ways you can travel for free or affordably. Save this post for future travel.
1. Homeexchange.com. A friend of mine introduced me to this site. He has been traveling for years this way. If you don’t have a lot of money to travel this may be a great alternative. You can swap homes (think “The Holiday”) with someone in just about any city in the world. The only catch is that they have to either A.) Agree to swap homes. B.) Agree to allow you to use your points (Google it) to stay in their home. My friend owns multiple properties and uses his secondary homes for rental swaps. I haven’t tried it yet, but I am considering using my Joshua Tree house for these exchanges.
2. Airbnb. If you own a second property consider passive income hosting on Airbnb. I’ve spoken to friends that are hosts and they have all agreed it’s a great way to make supplemental income so you can afford more of the things you need or love, like travel.
3. Credit Card points. This one is obvious. Having the right credit card(s) for travel is huge. I’ve been able to take tons of flights and have earned so many free nights in hotels.
4. Speaking of free hotels. When I do stay in hotels I almost always use Hotels Tonight. With so many bookings I’ve earned their top tier status which gives me lots of perks and discounts/money to be applied to future bookings. Other apps/websites like booking.com and hotels.com also offer rewards/free stays after a certain number of bookings.
5. Housesitter.com. I can’t speak in depth about this one because I’ve only just recently had a travel photographer friend enlightened me. She explained that when she’s not living in her camper van (full-time), she’s traveling to different states housesitting homes, pets, plants. From how she’s described it, you are paid a compensation but also have lodging included.
6. Glamping or camping. If you are up for nature and a little adventure this is a great way to enjoy a trip on a shoestring budget. With so many apps and websites such as Hipcamp and UpCamp who offer camp grounds, tents, showers, bathrooms, beds, a-frames, cabins, RV’s, Airstreams, and everything you can imagine, this the best way to experience the great outdoors affordably.
7. Rent an RV, Camper van, Sprinter van, fifth-wheel, etc. If you enjoy glamping and camping but want to travel versus stay in one location for a period of time this is for you. You can rent just about any type of camper van and some SUV’s on sites like RV Share, Outdoorsy, Escape Campervans and more. Those will get you started but there are other viable resources out there.
8. Social Media Group travel. This is great if you are a solo traveler. There are lots of organized group trips that cost a fraction of the price with awesome already planned itineraries. It’s a great way to meet people and travel for less.
9. All-inclusive travel. You can travel to some of the most beautiful places, oftentimes near beaches, for a fixed price that includes your lodging, food and transportation.
10. Nomadic travel is a great option. If you are free-spirited and adventurous you might try couch surfing. Mixed with meeting different host(s,) and attending the events this platform organizes, you are guaranteed to make new friends, have fun, and save money.
11. Travel by collaborating with others is a great way to meet people, travel, and help others. On Worldpackers and Global Work And Travel you can provide services in exchange for lodging, food, etc. Some of the skills these exchanges are seeking include: photography, social media management, handyman, reading, language, web development, tutor, intern, summer camp assistance, etc. There is a small cost to join. On Worldpackers a membership runs $49 and gives you unlimited access to all of their listings.
There are several ways in addition to these resources that you can use for planning your next trip. Traveling doesn’t have to take you across the country. It can take you on a road trip, a staycation, one city over, or to another state. Whether you are on a budget or not these are all great resources!
Things you might like for your next trip