1. Try house sitting or pet sitting.
2. Teach or build something while you’re away, in exchange for free room and board.
3. Or volunteer to live and work on an organic farm.
Many travelers love WWOOFing. Not only does it help you go to really dope places (Argentina, Cameroon and Nepal, to name a few), but it also gives you a chance to get immersed in the local culture. Plus, you can go on sweet excursions in your downtime — and you meet amazing people along the way.
4. Get a salaried job where you can work overseas.
This website, for example, connects yoga teachers with resorts and retreats across the world that need instructors — and each one pays for their teachers’ room and board. And this company hooks you up with au pair jobs all over the globe.
5. Or work remotely — while traveling.
6. Crowdfund your trip.
Kickstarter put online crowdfunding on the map — it’s basically when you get other people to pay for something that you want. But did you know that you can crowdfund entire vacations, not just tangible things? Check out Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and YouCaring.
A word to the wise: The key with crowdfunding your next trip is to make your story relatable and inspirational. When you create your page, tell everyone exactly why you want to go (perhaps you want to write a book; maybe you want to volunteer), because they will be more likely to fund you if they ~get~ you.
7. Or use Airbnb to fund your trip.
8. Get cheap car rides whenever you want.
9. Use your credit card points to score plane tickets and more.
10. Go on free walking tours.
11. Barter your way to a free stay.
For example, if you’re a really good photographer, email a local hostel before your trip and see if you can take some professional shots for their branding while you’re there, in exchange for a free stay. Or, similarly, if you’re a great writer, offer to help them with the copy on their website if they help you with your funds. You’ll be surprised at how willing businesses are to barter — so don’t be afraid to ask.
More details about voluntourism were added in #3. Thanks to commenter Maeve Halpin for the additional information.
More details about BlaBlaCar were added in #8.
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