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How can I travel for free?

Image credit: Himachal Tourism

Dragan Otasevic
Dragan Otasevic Nov 02, 2021
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How can I travel for free or with very little money?
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Some tips from personal experience

Povilas S
Povilas S Nov 04, 2021
I've traveled with very little to no money quite a lot. I was backpacking, mostly hitchhiking, busking (playing music in the streets for money), and sleeping in a tent or just outside in a sleeping bag. But I was also using couchsurfing and workaway for accommodation sometimes.
In the case of workaway you have to volunteer for accommodation and sometimes food is also included. Couchsurfing is for free, but therefore it's harder to find a host there and it's usually just for one or a few nights' stay while in workaway it's usually from a week up to a few months in the same place. If you host someone on couchsurfing yourself, while at home, it will be easier to find a host when traveling.
When traveling very low budget without accommodation I found hitchwiki and nomadwiki to be very useful sources of information. Just entering the name of the place where you're at or where you're about to go will (in most cases) open a page with some useful tips about good places to sleep, where it's better to catch a ride, where to shower for free/cheap or catch free wifi, etc. It's also cool that you can write tips there yourself from your own experience, if you want, and thus give back to the traveling community.
Then there's also dumpster diving and trashwiki. I've tried it a few times. In some places and at certain times it can be really good, but you have to invest efforts into researching the info and then trying out. Wild edible plants can also be a decent source of nutrition in warmer climates. But again you have to first research the topic well and then gain some practical skills. This proposed app would be an ideal tool for low-budget travelers. But for the time being, you can use apps that identify plants from pictures and research the info on edibility/usability separately.
Hitchhiking on its own can be an awesome experience, you meet a lot of cool people, sometimes they host you or/and give you food and sometimes even money. A car is not the only thing you can hitchhike, it's possible to hitchhike a boat (and I've heard that even a plane), but this is done a bit differently by talking to the crew of the boat and it can take a long time. You'd also likely have to offer some help on the boat. Gibraltar is a common place to "hitchhike" a boat to Canary islands, for example. You can also find offers to volunteer on the boat and sail long distances on workaway.
A couple of related activities that I haven't tried are squatting and train hopping. The latter is mostly illegal.
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Low hanging fruit solutions

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Nov 02, 2021
A few things that come to mind:
  • Be a personal assistant to someone that needs help and travels a lot
  • Guide people on travel tours off the beaten path (they pay for your expenses because you have it all figured out)
  • If you can make some money online, you could live in a van/car and move around
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Life exchange platform

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Dec 23, 2021
Other than paying to get there, everything else would be taken care of. A platform where people exchange their lives for a week. Move into another person's home. Take care of their job, family, and responsibilities. Hang out with their friends. The other person does the same for you.
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