In a lot of ways the internet has somewhat become a brothel of sleazy information, a cesspool of hidden scams, and is full of stories of moments that are simply too good to be true. The good news is that it isn’t all about lies or blatant self promotion. There are ways to find great deals, cut down on the costs of traveling and simply enjoy what the world has to offer.
So what good news do you have to tell me?
I’m here to let you in on a little bit of a secret. Free travel is actually a possibility. Is it easy and are you going to be handed a round trip ticket to see the world just by sitting home on your couch and sulking about the economy? Not a chance. However you can put yourself in the right position, surround yourself with the right people, and increase your chances of encountering opportunities for free travel.
Your success when it comes to free travel is going to revolve around your own skills, abilities and personality. As with anything, networking is a key when it comes to free travel and the more you are able to open up and connect with other people, the cheaper your getaway will be.
Here are 10 free travel tips that can you put you onto the path of seeing the world, for free.
Free Travel Tip #1- Plan, Prepare and Ponder
The internet is by far your best resource when it comes to finding ways to travel for free. While there are many backpackers who will tell you how opportunities often just present themselves when you are traveling, there are many that will only arise through proper planning.
Opportunities such as house sitting and couch surfing allow you to take a bit of control and avoid what can be an overwhelming reliance on spontaneity. Look into where you want to go, research possible opportunities, and connect with the right people before you pack your bags and go.
Free Travel Tip #2-Learn New Languages
As mentioned, networking and meeting the right people is your key to opening the door to free travel. What is the best way to do that? Broaden your horizons and learn new languages. The easier it is for you to communicate with people from around the world, the easier it will be to connect and develop strong relationships.
Who would be willing to invite you into their home if you cannot even offer to wash the dishes in the local language?
Free Travel Tip #3- Cut Costs and Get Back to the Basics
The less you need to live comfortably, the less money you need overall. It’s pretty simple when you think about it. Isn’t it becoming pretty obvious that all the necessities and comforts we have become used to in the western world still are not making us happy, or sane?
If you can learn to really understand what a necessity is, and what is just a desire, you will have a lot less baggage when living at home and when traveling abroad, emotionally and physically. The less stuff you have the easier it is to pick up and take off when a great free travel opportunity presents itself.
Free Travel Tip #4- Utilize Social Networking
The days of penpals seem to be long over thanks to the internet, but that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t make an effort to connect with people from all over the world. By connecting and building relationships with internet chat pals you can create opportunities to stay for free all over the world. Depending upon how well you connect with these friends, and how strong your friendship is, you will have the opportunity to stay in places for much longer than couchsurfing arrangements would allow for.
Of course you shouldn’t be making friends just for these reasons, and you have to be willing to offer the same opportunities to others as you would expect to receive. It should also go without saying that you need to be safe online and make sure you are truly comfortable with people before expecting to be allowed into their home. Play it safe, be genuine, and be respectable, and the opportunities will present themselves.
Free Travel Tip #5-Become as Self-Reliant as Possible
Budget travel isn’t always going to be easy. However, there are opportunities to save money in every situation that you encounter and in every city in the world. The more you learn to curb your dependence on others, the less money you will ultimately have to spend.
You can learn all sorts of skills that will help you to cut down on costs, such as cooking simple and efficient food, washing clothes by hand, starting a fire, or even how to sanitize water on your own. Sounds more like tools you would need for living in the deep woods, but all of these skills can give you a boost when it comes to free travel.
Free Travel Tip #6- Slow Down when Traveling
A lot of travelers focus on jumping from place to place and holding true to their schedule as much, and as quickly, as possible. The truth is that the slower you travel the better your chances are of finding great deals and cutting down on travel costs. On top of that, the longer you stay in one spot the easier it becomes to network and find free travel opportunities and even employment abroad.
While it is fun to see all the tourist hot spots and all the attractions in one destination, there is a lot to be said for not sticking tight and rushing around to keep up with an itinerary. It is up to you to decide what is more important. Seeing absolutely everything there is to offer in a few quick glances or actually building meaningful memories with people and cultures by slowing down?
Free Travel Tip #7- Do Unto Others…….
The term free travel is associated with saving as much money as possible while vacationing and cutting down on costs. However, whatever you save in terms of finances you have to be willing to give back in other ways. Life is all about exchanging in some way or another, and that is especially true when you are on the road.
Bartering is something that has and never will go out of style. Trade services such as yard work, babysitting, or even run errands for other favors. If you are staying in someone else’s home then offer to do the dishes or help out in any way possible. Sometimes just offering good company is enough but just make sure you are doing your fair share, even if you don’t possess a fair share of money.
Free Travel Tip #8- Learn How to make Money Abroad
Just because you are not at home doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities to make money. Free travel is a lot easier if you are working while traveling, and the more money you make the longer you will be able to stay abroad. The more you diversify the way you make money the better as well. If you can make small amounts of money doing a variety of different jobs it will feel like you are working less.
The internet provides a plethora of part time opportunities that can ease the financial stress of travel. Look into graphic design, freelance writing or even consulting online. The options are there, you just have to find them.
Free Travel Tip #9- Start from Home
Truly free travel is all about you, what you are willing to do, and how much you are willing to put in. The best way to start is to open up your mind and embrace a positive attitude. It also helps to start small. Try to plan a free trip in or around where you live so you can get an idea of what you are getting yourself into.
A 6 month backpacking excursion through Southeast Asia may be on your to do list, but it shouldn’t always be the first step that you take. Warm up, prepare yourself and get into the traveling mindset before you embark on a life changing vacation.
Free Travel Tip #10- Believe in Yourself
There are always going to be people who tell you to do things a certain way, no matter where you are in the world. Research is key and networking will get you far, but in the end you have to believe in yourself and trust your own decisions. Relying solely on the advice of others will limit your opportunities for free travel and prevent you from creating your own unique experiences.
You are the one traveling. You are the one who is going to be affected by your decisions. Forget about the people that tell you that free travel is impossible and make your own path around the world.
This doesn’t mean you should jump into situations without preparing. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advice from others. And it doesn’t mean you will always make the right choices. However, the more you trust yourself the more capable of making the right decisions and meeting the right people you will be.
The world is your oyster. Embrace it. Accept Challenges. Make Mistakes. Grasp opportunity and get out there and see the world.
That is often the only way you are going to realize what it is that truly makes you happy.
Cheers to happy travels and a happy life.