Welcome back to my blog! My last couple of posts have been in regards to my upcoming trip. I’m trying to methodically post things in the order you should do them. This however, is a filler post.
I have recently had an increase of traffic on my blog, partly because I’m actually posting, and partly because I am marketing a little. But due to more traffic, I would like to make a generalized post on how you can travel for little to no money.
As a college student and a young twenty something, money is an object for me. It is a rather large object… I have to work my buns off in order to afford to leave for a week let alone any longer.
I have comprised a list (I guess we can call it) of things you can do to lessen the financial burden of travel while increasing the cultural value. Most of the options even include making money! WHATTTT!? Crazy, I know!
Let’s Get Started…
Trade your language skills
*Disclaimer: This option may require a bachelors degree, please check the program websites for further details regarding each program specifically.
First question, how do you feel about free stuff? And by stuff I mean free international travel, memories for a lifetime, and probably one of your more valuable travel experiences.
If you are just overcome with wanderlust and you NEED to go somewhere but you don’t have any money, I hope you like Chinese food.
First up on my list, Teaching Abroad in China (to start).
China is leading the world in jobs for English Language teachers right now. As I have talked about before, I am HUGE on Sustainable or Volunteer tourism. It’s all about giving back guys and this is a great way to do it.
Although you will be making money in the process I am about to describe, I believe its still an amazing opportunity for cultural immersion.
If accepted into one of many programs all over the country, the Chinese government or English school/program will not only fly you out to China, but they want to feed and house you as well.
They have such a high demand for native English speaking instructors that wages are highly competitive. The program only takes 4-6 months for you to walk away with a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.
And in case that last part was a little much to digest, you didn’t read it wrong. YES! You not only get paid to live in China for free but you also get a certification that typically cost upwards of $1500. If you ask me that’s a pretty good deal, not to mention the kids are adorable!
I know some of you are reading this and going “But I want to go to Belgium for Free not China…”.
Well we all have to start somewhere! And if you ask me, China is pretty amazing.
In the event that you find yourself still longing for the European experience after your training, I have a suggestion for you.
Step 1: Save your money that you don’t have to spend in China because you have free housing.
Step 2: Finish the 6 month program and get your TEFL Certification.
Step 3: Move to Belgium, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, with your new TEFL certification and your healthy bank account.
The TEFL certification is accepted worldwide and with wages upwards of $1200 a month in China, you’ll easily have enough saved to get an apartment wherever you might land next.
Here are a couple of programs for you to check out:
English First (EF) includes locations other than China
Trade your labor skills
Have you ever heard of WWOOF? It stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It is quite the name and quite the program as well!
Although this option doesn’t come out to be entirely free, it takes away the bulk of the costs.
The WWOOF network allows you to connect with like minded people (people who like to grow things and eat them) all over the world and offer your labor skills in exchange for accommodation.
Typically, working on a WWOOF farm only entails a 4-6 hour work day in exchange for food and a place to sleep. This leaves you a tremendous amount of time to explore!
Another reason I really like the WWOOF program is because much like teaching abroad, WWOOF promotes cultural immersion.
What better way to get intimate with a cultural than through that culture’s food??
This means anywhere you can find organic farms, there is probably one associated with WWOOF. Obviously getting there would be your only expense.
Trade your people skills
If you have read my blog posts in the past you know I have worked for the past 5 years as a nanny.
Honestly one of the best jobs in the world!
Aside from it being awesome it is also quite lucrative. There are amazing programs all over the world that act as a third party matchmaker for families and Au Pairs.
If you have ever worked with children or dabbled in babysitting as a teenager, I recommend checking out this option.
I myself have an account with Au Pair World and have found amazing families through this site.
The amazing thing about being an Au Pair (that’s a fancy word for nanny, in case you were confused) is that it is almost like doing a foreign exchange or study abroad.
You choose down to the city you want to work and live in and then you apply for jobs. Once you’ve made contact with the family, you can discuss all the details but more than likely you will be living with them as the newest member of the family.
This option allows you to experience a new place from a unique and authentic perspective because you’re living with locals, eating their food, and hopefully learning their language!
It is an all around rich experience, not to mention the pay and ability to travel in your free time.
Okay…now how do I get there?
Most of the options I have listed in this post will either pay for or reimburse you for your airfare. However, if you are responsible for your flights I HIGHLY recommend reading on…
If getting there is half the battle, let me make that part easier too. This is not the first, and will certainly not be the last time I mention this app. SKYSCANNER. Read it and read it again, now remember it.
This site has allowed me to travel to so many places and I might even owe my relationship to them.
I used skyscanner to buy at least 10 plane tickets to San Diego when Brady and I were doing long distance.
I never questioned whether or not I was getting the best possible price because half the time I couldn’t believe my eyes, prices were so low.
I promise no matter where you live, you can find cheap flights to someplace you’ve never been. Now it’s just a matter of choosing where.
Thank you guys for reading! Please follow me on Pintrest to stay up to date with my latest posts and favorite travel pins!
*Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links. This means if you click on and purchase anything from the links above I receive commission making it easier to keep this blog up and running. I would like to stress that I stand behind the products and programs I promote and would NEVER recommend something I wouldn’t use myself!