There are so many ways that you can travel on a flat wallet — you just have to think outside the box. One of the more popular and safer ways is house-swapping, which is exactly what it sounds like. Volunteering, winning a big holiday package from a contest, and cashing in on free miles are some other ways to get to paradise on a tight budget, too.
Getting to turn your hobby into your job tends to be on the forefront of many people’s life goal list, and many of them succeed. It’s the case of the poker player Federico “majagua69” Quevedo, who uses his tournament winnings to surf around the world.
House-swapping and house-sitting are safe, well-established methods to perhaps meet your travel needs. The obvious benefit is saving on lodging and baggage expenses as well as transportation. You may even be able to take your pet with you. More international house-sitting options can be found by simply scouring the usual social media avenues like Facebook as well as the internet to see what is available and to advertise your services. This is a fabulous opportunity that provides you with free room and board; although you may have to walk the owners’ dogs and make sure their plants don’t die.
Another option to make some holiday money is renting out your home to travelers who are willing to pay. Airbnb hosting is increasing in popularity, allowing travelers to have an organic, authentic experience during their stay.
For a longer trip, working overseas is another useful way to see the world. Short-term work overseas like farm labor programs or working as an au pair is worth researching. Many sites offer work anywhere anytime for the adventurous.
Jumping ship — on, not off — is yet another option if you are not averse to working while seeing the world. Check out the cruise ship industry for job opportunities as new recruits are always in demand.
A less sweaty way, however, to get overseas for less is to build up air miles on everyday shopping, dining out, or building rewards with credit cards; although these tend to be a bit off-putting as they’re not always easy to understand and use. Note that a frequent mile flown does not mean a mile earned, which means you may have to take about four roundtrip flights to get enough miles for one free flight. It’s easy, however, to keep track of your points.
Volunteering as a steward at a festival is another way to get a free holiday. For the upfront cost of a refundable deposit, some volunteer organizations may help with accommodations and occasionally flights. Just be aware that the posting may be for a considerable time (one to two years) and you may need to have specialized skills.
However, a shorter-term project locally can be used to raise funds for an overseas holiday as most people are more receptive to people willing to work for the opportunity and not looking for a hand-out. Check with your local Optimist Club, Rotary Club, or similar service organization who may be willing to help out.
Source: U.S. Department of Defense Media