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Budget Travel

Earn Money Traveling
Budget Travel

15 Odd Jobs You Can Pick Up While Traveling Abroad to Earn Extra Money

One of the main things a backpacker should prioritize while traveling is budgeting.  When traveling on a budget, all of your expenses should be planned out ahead of time in order to avoid inconveniences while traveling. Any money you save means extra money for more days on the road!

But wouldn’t it be better if you could earn a few extra bucks while traveling?

Today, we have compiled different ways to/ideas for how you could earn extra money (or free lodging/food) while on your adventures.

      1. Be a Scuba Diving Instructor

Scuba Diving

Try to imagine it: diving in the pristine blue waters of scuba diving hotspots around the globe and mingling with fellow travelers, all while getting paid in the process.

If you’re physically fit and possess the skills and patience to instruct others, consider getting a scuba diving certification. The opportunities for adventure (and, of course, the decent amount of money you’ll be getting paid) make this job a unique and wonderful experience.

      2. Busking

If you have a talent for entertaining people (e.g. playing instruments, singing, juggling, and other amusing talents) and have the confidence to perform in public, busking can be a fun opportunity to earn some extra money while on the road.

Just make sure that street performing is legal in the city you are in first!

      3. Cutting Hair

Travelers who are hairdressers by profession can use their skill while traveling to earn extra money. Look for a popular hostel, ask the owner if you can put up a sign outside their establishment, and charge a reasonable fee to your customers. Even if you charge just $5, you only need to cut 20 people’s hair to earn a sweet $100!

      4. Giving Massages

Just follow the steps above but instead of cutting hair, give relaxing massages to fellow travelers. Backpackers who have walked the whole day would certainly appreciate your services and pay you a good amount of money for some relief.

      5. Bartending

Bartender

This one is quite easy (assuming you have the skills). Just look for a crowded bar, ideally near hostels or a beach, and ask the manager or owner if you could work for a short stint.

They’ll most likely hire you if you are a native English speaker and an outgoing person. And of course, if you have prior bartending experience, you’ll greatly increase your chances of landing a gig.

      6. Working in Hostels or Resorts

Accommodation establishments in tourist hotspots are in desperate need for part-time staff, especially during peak seasons. The jobs they offer range from cleaning to maintenance (structural or electrical), receptionist/front desk, or kitchen staff.

This job is perfect for travelers who have experience in customer service and/or have gone through hospitality training. They may pay you with cash or offer free accommodation and food for your services. Either way, it’s a win-win situation.

      7. Doing DJ Gigs

If you know your way around a turntable, looking for a DJ gig while traveling shouldn’t be hard.

Top party destinations like Ibiza and Barcelona often have clubs that are looking for a new part-time DJ. Introduce yourself to the club owner and offer a demo of one of your best mixes. Of course, having past experience doing DJ gigs will give you a better chance of getting in.

You’ll get paid, mingle with cool people, and receive free drinks. Cheers!

      8. Translating Signs or Menus

Menu Translator

Many establishments in non-English-speaking countries that try to attract Western tourists inevitably make mistakes in translating signs and menus into English.

Establishment owners will likely gladly accept help with fixing these spelling and grammatical mistakes. They’ll either pay you or give you a free meal for your help.

     9. Surf Instructor

Like the scuba diving instructor job, being a surf instructor offers a fun and exciting time on the water. You won’t get paid as much compared to being a dive instructor, though.

     10. Fruit Picking

This is a popular job for backpackers, especially in countries with many organic farms like Australia. The payment varies from farm to farm. You’ll be paid in cash (definitely if you’re on a visa), food, and/or accommodation.

     11. Be a Promoter

If you’re attractive (or at least think you are) and good at advertising and interacting with strangers/other travelers, being a PR for an establishment will fit you.

Most establishments like restaurants and hostels are looking for outgoing travelers who are willing to advertise their services to fellow tourists. It’s another plus if you’re a native English speaker.

     12. Sell Handmade Jewelry

Crafting Jewelry

If you have a talent for creating beautiful and unique fashion accessories like earrings, beaded necklaces, bracelets and such, selling these to others can give you that extra money you need.

You also need to be resourceful. If you’re on a beach, seashells and turquoise pebbles can make for a beautiful bracelet. Just make sure that you’re selling your wares (and collecting what you need) in an area where it isn’t prohibited.

     13. Find Freelance Work Online

If you always carry your laptop with you while traveling, doing freelance work online can be an ideal way to earn a few extra bucks during your free time. All you need is a stable Internet connection and decent laptop and you’re good to go!

Online freelance work can include writing, programming, designing, marketing, consulting, and many other positions that can be done remotely. Check out Upwork for freelance job opportunities.

     14. Travel Photographer

Photography has always been an important part of traveling. Travelers often take photos to capture each exciting and beautiful moment on their adventures. But what if you can turn these photos into cash?

If you are skilled with a camera, selling stock photos online can be an easy way to earn some money. Websites like SmugMug allow photographers to set up an online shop to sell their photos to different travel magazines/websites and stock photography companies.

     15. Online Poker

This last one is a bit risky, and the odds of actually earning money are quite – well, a gamble.

Still, there are travelers who are online poker players by profession (and yes, by profession we mean that they’re actually making a living out of it). All you need is a laptop, an Internet connection, and a lot of luck.

These jobs don’t just fill your pockets; they also allow for a richer experience and a whole new perspective while traveling. It’s a great way to extend your time on the road, but do always make sure that whatever you’re doing is legal in the country you’re in.

Ondeckboatview
Budget Travel

How You Can Travel the World by Working on a Boat or Yacht

The crisp ocean breeze, the high rolling seas, and sailing through the Caribbean like the adventurers of old are just a few reasons why seeing the world by boat is a dream for many travelers.

Contrary to what many people might think, you don’t need to be a seasoned sailor to cross the high seas or be a millionaire with their own yacht to travel from port to port. All you need to do is to apply to be a yachtie for other people’s luxury yachts or volunteer to be a crew member for a small private charter boat or sailboat.

You can travel to the most beautiful port destinations for free, and in most cases even pad your pockets while doing so.

What to Know Beforehand

Yacht on Deck

First of all, you need to understand that owners consider their boats or yachts as homes, so hitching a ride on a boat without being a bona fide crew member could be likened to nautical couchsurfing. With that in mind, it’s important to stick to your word by doing the agreed-upon labor and always pitching in with whatever assistance you can provide for the vessel.

The captain may also charge a reasonable fee of $10-$25/per day for your share of the expenses onboard (food, water, fuel, etc.)

If you’re unsure what to expect or how best to approach a boat and crew, here is an article written from a boat owner’s perspective about the things you should and shouldn’t do.

“Will I need experience?”

Like with any other job, having experience will boost your chances.

To answer the above question, it depends on what the boat owner is looking for. Most captains require experience from their would-be crew, especially for long trans-oceanic voyages.

There are also some captains that wouldn’t mind accommodating a candidate with little/no experience in sailing if they have the right attitude.

Experienced or not, you are expected to help with daily chores, such as cooking, cleaning, trimming the sails, and other basic tasks.

Take Sailing Lessons

Learn the Ropes

While it is possible to find a boat owner who does not require sailing experience, taking sailing lessons beforehand will benefit both you and the captain. Knowing the ropes in sailing will make any skipper happy to take you in as a crewmember.

Sailing lessons can often be found in harbors and ports. You can also contact the sailing club of a nearby university to ask for assistance in finding sailing lessons and opportunities.

The American Sailing Association’s website is full of useful information regarding lessons and certifications.

“Where can I look for a captain/boat owner?”

One way is to join a local yacht club. Contrary to what you may have thought, you don’t need to be a boat owner to join. Yacht clubs will require a fee that is often reasonable and worth it.

Joining a yacht club provides you with a direct way to network with boat owners and offer your services to them in exchange for accommodations and free passage. This also gives you opportunities to build your reputation in the sailing community by helping around in the boats and befriending the owners and other crewmembers.

Another way to contact boat owners is through dedicated sailing websites like Find a Crew. It works like most freelancing websites. You set up a profile with your basic information, skills, and sailing experience.

You can either look for a boat or, if you’re lucky, be directly contacted by an owner looking for crewmembers.

Similar websites:

Shipyard

“How can I make money while working on a boat?”

For those who are looking for more than free accommodations and passage, there are sailing opportunities out there where you can get paid!

Look for charter boats

To make ends meet, some skippers open their floating homes to charter guests looking for a cruise vacation. Sometimes these guests pay for an all-inclusive sailing holiday, meaning that they don’t have to do any work on the boat and can just lounge around. In situations like these, the captain may need to hire a paid crew to do the chores and give a hand on deck.

Depending on what the captain may need, a hired crewmember’s responsibility may vary from cleaning the boat to taking care of the guests, cooking the meals, shopping for supplies, or all of the above!

Make sure that you can handle whatever kind of work you and the captain agree on before boarding the boat. The last thing you want is to be in over your head in the middle of the ocean!

Work for luxury yachts

Yachtside

Finding work on luxury motor yachts can be a bit more complicated than finding work on a private charter boat, regardless of the position. This is because you’ll need to do some training on land to get certifications that may hurt your wallet.

The first thing you’ll need is a STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) certificate. This certification is required by yacht insurers (even for entry-level positions) in order to qualify. STCW training courses are offered by companies like Bluewater and Maritime Professional Training. At around $900, the training isn’t cheap, but you can rest assured that you’ll get your money’s worth and earn it back in no time when you get the job.

After getting your STCW certificate, the next thing you need to do is undergo an ENG1 medical examination. This medical exam certifies that you are physically fit to work at sea and that you won’t be a liability. Ask a local hospital or medical center if they can give you an ENG1 exam.

Yacht insurers and owners are strict with these kinds of things, and for good reason.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re hitching a free ride across the open seas or working for a charter boat/yacht, your safety and security should be the utmost priority. Thus, it’s crucial to scope out the boat and the people on it before you ever commit to anything.

When you’re out in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be confined to a small vessel for weeks or months and at the mercy of the captain and the other crewmembers. Make sure you get along with everybody, as you’ll be around them 24/7!

Don’t forget that the boat owner is also taking a leap of faith by letting you, a complete stranger, into their home. That’s why it’s important for both parties to get to know each other beforehand and to be straightforward about what to expect while you’re onboard.

Now get out there and find yourself a friendly crew who’s willing to show you the ropes… your adventure on the high seas awaits!

Vietnam
Budget Travel

8 Affordable Countries Budget Travelers Should Visit in 2019

One of the greatest fears that travelers have is overspending. That’s why it would be wise to plan out your vacation/adventure ahead of time. Checking out cheap accommodations online and using different “travel hacks” are a couple of the many ways to make your travels more affordable and budget-friendly.

And, of course, your budget also depends heavily on where you’re planning to go. Currency exchange rates and the cost of living are important factors that determine whether a particular country is a budget-friendly travel destination.

Today, we’re showcasing the most affordable countries to visit that are sure to satisfy your wanderlust without breaking the bank.

Venezuela

Venezuela

Some of the most stunning natural landscapes in South America can be found in Venezuela. Unfortunately, this beautiful country is struggling with hyperinflation, resulting in a drop in the locals’ living standards. With this ongoing crisis, personal safety is an issue, especially in the country’s capital, Caracas.

Despite all that, traveling to Venezuela is still possible – and extraordinarily cheap. Travelers who dare to venture here will be rewarded by Venezuela’s breathtaking serene islands, the Andean peaks, the Caribbean coastline, and the highest waterfalls in the world, Angel Falls.

Plan ahead and make sure to square away your transportation, where you’ll stay, things you plan to see/do, and how you’ll exchange currency beforehand in order to avoid compromising your safety.

Vietnam

Vietnam

Vietnam is a great travel destination for people with a tight budget. The country is filled with stunning natural wonders like underground rivers, complex cave systems, and Asia’s oldest karst mountains, all of which can be found in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The sprawling megacities in Vietnam and the exotic hill-tribes in the northern part of the country have their own rich and diverse cultures.

It’s also no secret that Vietnam is a culinary hotspot. For only a few dollars, you can treat yourself to a delicious Vietnamese meal, accompanied with a locally-brewed beer for only a few cents.

Nepal

Nepal

This next destination is for the serious adrenaline junkie traveler!

Nepal is considered the place to be for mountain lovers across the globe. Trekking the rugged paths to Everest, Annapurna, and other destinations is cheap (assuming you have your own hiking equipment). All you need to pay for is a guide to help you interact with the locals, find good accommodation, and keep you safe in the harsh terrain.

Nepal isn’t all just about mountains, though. For those who are looking for a taste of Nepalese culture, Kathmandu is the go-to place. The country also features subtropical jungles thriving with exotic creatures such as endemic birds, tigers, and crocodiles. Thanks to the current exchange rates, splurging a bit in these places won’t hurt your wallet either.

Laos

Laos

If you could cram all the best things about Southeast Asia into a tiny compact destination, that would be Laos.

This land-locked country retains most of its ancient cultures and traditions despite the rapid development of its surrounding neighbors. This gives visitors a much more authentic and cheap Asian experience that can only be found in Laos. The ancient temple that dot the country can give travelers a glimpse of Lao’s spiritual traditions.

Laos also offers a sense of adventure with underground caves and rivers, zip lines, and exotic jungles for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Thailand

Thailand

Another Southeast Asian nation, “The Land of Smiles” has always been a favorite affordable destination for backpackers from different corners of the globe. And why wouldn’t it be?

The city of Bangkok never runs short of cheap thrills, food, and accommodations. For under $2, you can buy a plate of popular Thai dishes. After having a fill of the Thai city life, head north to the region of Chiang Mai – an absolute heaven for backpackers and digital nomads.

You can find different kinds of accommodations in northern Thailand with prices ranging from $5 to $30 per night. You can stay in a treehouse in the Thong Pha Phum National Park (complete with electricity and plumbing) or camp beside an alpine lake in the village of Pang Ung.

The Philippines

Philippines

The Philippines is one of the top tourist destinations for people who are looking for a tropical getaway on a budget.

Filipino dishes only cost around $2, but if you’re really thrifty you can score a meal for around just a dollar in roadside eateries called “carinderias”. The cheapest way to get around the cities is by riding the colorful jeepneys, the main mode of transportation in the country. Accommodation in the Philippines ranges from a few bucks to ~$30 per night depending on how fancy you want to get.

And since the Philippines is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, the country offers a lot of water activities for visitors. For a few dollars, you can enjoy kiteboarding along the white sand beaches of Boracay or discover the out-of-this-world natural features in Palawan by island hopping on an outrigger boat.

Ecuador

Ecuador

As the second South American destination on our list, Ecuador is a small nation that has a variety of things to offer to its visitors. Experiencing the culture in Kichwa villages, exploring the Amazon rainforest, and hiking in the Andes are a few affordable things you can do in Ecuador.

Just like every other destination on this list, the food and accommodation in Ecuador are very cheap. And if you have a lot of money left over from your trip in mainland Ecuador, you could splurge on a visit to the Galapagos Islands (which is unfortunately a bit expensive).

India

India

India has long been a backpacker’s destination. Almost everything in India is cheap – the delicious food, accommodation, and public transportation are what draw shoestring travelers to India. Backpacking in India can be a bit tricky though (and sometimes a bit frustrating) for inexperienced travelers.

Make sure to plan ahead, not just with your budget, but also how you will get around India. Once you’ve established your game plan, get out there and experience it – you’ll be bound to come back with a few great stories!

With each affordable country on this list, you can get by easily for under $50 a day (or $1500 a month), but with some smart planning and spending you can likely slash that estimate in half.

This includes a stay at a cheap hostel, three meals (plus a bottle of beer each day), public transportation, and a small amount for extras like certain cultural attractions.

But there are ways to travel for much less or even for free – the sky’s the limit!

Maldives Beach Vacation
Budget Travel

5 Top Island Travel Destinations

Of the world’s seven continents, Asia is by far the largest. But let’s look at the other geographical extreme: islands. Nobody knows how many islands there officially are on Earth, but the number is estimated to be in the millions!

Sadly, tourists and travelers often overlook these tiny specks of land, but there are so many worth visiting.

Today, we’re taking a look at 5 such exceptional island destinations. The unique adventure, culture, and secluded relaxation are some things that make these islands on our list among the best in the world to visit.

Pack your bags and backpacks for these top 5 island travel destinations:

Bali, Indonesia

Bali Indonesia Vacation

Within the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is the most famous island holiday destination in the country, perfect for honeymoons and romantic getaways. Bali Island is home to a local culture well-known for its friendliness and warm hospitality. Some of its top tourist attractions are the exotic palaces and temples scattered around the island, with nature providing spectacular backdrops; these places are perfect for photo ops.

Further inland, thrill seekers can explore unspoiled jungles and tall volcanoes. However, most people can’t wander away from the beach too long. Luxury resorts and hotels can be found in the main areas of Bali.

After sundown, the island is thriving with nightlife, with exhilarating nightclubs and packed dancefloors. When it comes to dining, the restaurants in Bali offer numerous options for both local and international cuisine.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Galapagos Islands Ecuador

Located in the Pacific Ocean lies an out-of-this-world destination where unique endemic wildlife species flourish. Formed by volcanic eruptions more than 3 million years ago, the Galápagos Islands is composed of 19 chain islands and dozens of smaller islands.  Some of the volcanoes are still active, and volcanic eruptions are a part of the life cycle in the Galápagos.

The islands are best known as the place where Charles Darwin drew his inspiration for his most famous work. Back in 1835, after staying on the islands for 19 days, Darwin’s study of the flora and fauna was included in his book “On the Origin of Species”. After it was published, the book introduced the theory of evolution and the Galápagos Islands to the world.

Since then, the popularity of the islands has grown steadily over the years. Back in 1959, the Galápagos Islands became Ecuador’s first national park, and in 1978, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, the Galápagos Islands receive more than 200,000 visitors annually – adventurous travelers hoping to see the landscapes and animals unique to this part of the globe. A truly unique experience awaits anyone who makes the journey to these islands.

Boracay Island, Philippines

Boracay Island Philippines

Of the over 7,000 islands that make up the Philippine archipelago, the island of Boracay really stands out. The powder-like white sands and the cool pacific breeze that blows through Boracay are any beach bum’s heaven. Don’t get too carried away by the palm trees and the tranquil scenery, though; this island paradise wears a different face at night.

With cheap bars and nightclubs and the night performances of pyro dancers at White Sand Beach, Boracay can give off that wild-hearted party vibe for those looking for it. The thriving nightlife of Boracay is something worth experiencing, especially during the first week of May when the island celebrates LaBoracay, a weeklong party celebrating the start of summer in the Philippines and Labor Day. There’s a reason people call Boracay “the island that never sleeps”.

For thrill seekers, Bulabog Beach is the perfect place for adventure. Kiteboarding is the main attraction here and many outfitters and tour operators stand by to give visitors a thrilling experience. Parasailing, windsurfing, and other high-octane activities are offered as well – take your pick!

At the southernmost tip of the island lies the more tranquil Tambisaan beach. Away from all the partying of the main areas, Tambisaan is where you’d want to go for snorkeling or picnics. It’s also the main home of the island’s teeming marine ecosystem.

The Maldives

The Maldives Vacation

The Maldives is unarguably one of the most popular island travel destinations in the world. Situated between Africa and Indonesia, this low-lying nation (rising only 4 feet above sea level) attracts thousands of visitors worldwide. The geography of the Maldives is similar to an art piece; over one thousand islands connect with several atolls to form the beautiful mosaic of this tiny Indian Ocean nation. The marine life that surrounds the islands has also made it a favorite destination for scuba divers.

To fully experience the beauty of the Maldives, one must venture beyond the confines of hotels and resorts. One of the most highly recommended activities here is island hopping. Explore the many untouched islands, prepare your scuba diving gear, and swim along with the fishes (and, if you’re lucky, a giant whale shark).

Another unforgettable activity you must experience is eating at the Ithaa, the world’s first all-glass underwater restaurant. Even though it’s quite popular among tourists (not surprisingly), you can still get a chance to dine at this romantic restaurant. In order to make advance reservations, you must be a guest at the prestigious Conrad Rangali Hotel.

Palawan, Philippines

Palawan Philippines

The number-one island destination in our list comes again from the Philippine archipelago. Limestone rock formations, white powder-like beaches, and clear turquoise waters make Palawan look like an out-of-this-planet paradise, away from the worries of today’s world. That’s why travelers call Palawan “the last frontier”.

It’s not just the beauty of Palawan that captivates the hearts of tourists. The heart-warming hospitality of the locals and the Filipino culture play a big role in making the island 2nd to none on our list. Add to that the colorful, float-filled parades and the delectable cuisine the island offers to its visitors.

Another reason to love Palawan is that it offers many activities for different kinds of tourists/travelers. Being home to more than 600 different bird species, bird-watching is one such popular activity in the area. We highly recommend visitors also explore the Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the longest subterranean rivers in the world.

You may not be able to find these destinations easily on a map, but don’t dismiss them just because they’re tiny and remote. All of these islands are beautiful and unique in their own way. They may be a little harder to reach, but these 5 beautiful island destinations will reward you with unforgettable experiences – we guarantee it.

Worldmap
Budget Travel

The Least Visited Countries in the World And Why (But Are Worth the Trip)

Traveling to popular tourist destinations is fun.

Imagine walking down the streets of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the backdrop, or biking along the Great Wall of China.

It’s kind of cool, right?

Yes, but that might not be enough for some people.

Some people might want to travel more off-the-radar. They could be trying to forget about a past life, seeking out a destination untouched by modern civilization, or maybe they’re just thrill seekers trying to explore places that most people wouldn’t dare to go.

Whatever the reason, these individuals might be booking a trip to one of these countries, all of which are among the least visited in the world:

Solomon Islands

Flowers Solomon Islands

This country neighbors Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Caledonia, but sadly, the Solomon Islands don’t attract as many tourists as the aforementioned nations.

Rainforests, secluded beaches, and lagoons make this country perfect for tourists looking for a thrilling and relaxing trip without having to mix with the crowd. The country’s capital, Honiara, has an outdoor fish market where one can buy fresh and delicious seafood.

Ask the vendor to cut up the catch of the day and enjoy sashimi or a grilled meal by the beach.

With 230 different types of flowers scattered throughout the country’s 900 islands, the Solomon Islands are perfect for nature lovers. But if you ever decide to travel to this country, make sure to get your vaccinations first – malaria is a serious threat.

Liberia

Stories of civil unrest and Ebola outbreaks make Liberia one of the least-visited countries. But despite all that, Liberia was the first African nation to elect a female president. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, elected back in 2006, received the Nobel Peace Prize Award five years later.

The beaches of Monrovia and the surfing spots of Robertsport make Liberia a must-visit country for thrill seekers. Despite all the negative events that have happened in the country in recent years, the negative vibes are sure to be carried away with the unique Liberian English hip-hop music, which remains very much alive to entertain locals and visitors alike.

Fun Fact: the country’s capital, Monrovia, is named after the 5th US president, James Monroe, after he helped establish the African nation.

São Tomé and Príncipe

Church Sao Tome

With the slogan “A well-kept secret!”, seclusion is sure to be found here.

The colonial Portuguese architecture, the beautiful beaches, and the colorful houses that line the outskirts of São Tomé can captivate the eyes of visitors. And the warm hospitality that locals show to visitors can steal their hearts.

Fishing, trekking, and whale-watching are the popular activities around here.

One should also try out the local chocolates that the country offers. São Tomé claims to have the best dark chocolate in the world. It wouldn’t really be a surprise, since the country used to be the biggest producer of cocoa in the world.

Comoros

This small island nation only has a population of 800,000 people. Since 1975, the country has experienced 20 coups (and coups attempts) until finally gaining independence from France.

Sailing, diving, and volcano trekking are one of the many activities that invite thrill seekers looking for a secluded adventure.

After those exhilarating activities, one should head over to Moroni. The colorful markets are the perfect place to buy souvenirs to take back home and have friends and relatives scratch their heads thinking about what/where on Earth Comoros is.

And if they ask about Comoros, tell them that they should be thankful for this nation. Comoros is the largest producer of ylang-ylang oil. This oil is used for producing perfumes, making the world smell better one person at a time!  

Turkmenistan

Gate to Hell Turkmenistan

This country is famous for having the “Gate to Hell”.

It’s not a literal gate to Hell, but it is a large crater filled with natural gas. The said gas was lit after a Soviet-era scientist had the brilliant idea of igniting the crater in the hope of snuffing out the leaking fumes.

Even after almost five decades, it’s still burning.

Besides the burning hole in the middle of the desert, the country’s capital, Ashgabat, holds the world record for the most buildings clad in marble. It’s a very impressive architectural feat, though no one actually works in the buildings.

Equatorial Guinea

If you’re a US citizen, you don’t have to worry about getting a visa. Americans are exempted from visa requirement in the country for stays of up to 90 days.

If you’re not a US citizen, you’ll have to go through a painstaking process, making this country one of the least visited in the world.

Despite the country’s poor tourism infrastructure, Equatorial Guinea still has plenty to see and do, especially for nature lovers and adventurers.

Did you know that it’s also the only African state with Spanish as an official language?

Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands Beach

Does the name ring a bell?

What about the name “Bikini Atoll”?

Not only is the famous swimwear item named after this group of islands, it’s also host to several US nuclear bomb testing sites. And yes, we mention the Bikini Atoll because it belongs to the Marshall Islands.

The Marshall Islands are a divers’ paradise. With over 250 types of coral and 1,000 different species of fish, the waters surrounding the islands are teeming with marine life.

With several nuclear tests conducted here by the US from 1946-1958 (67 in total), it was once regarded as the “most contaminated place in the world” by the Atomic Energy Commission. But that was back in 1956. Don’t go diving expecting to see three-eyed fish or radioactive coral.

Nauru

With an area of 21 square kilometers, you can literally run around the whole country!

With only a population of 10,000, what makes this country very secluded is the lack of modern transportation to the tiny nation. Only one Boeing 737 flight takes visitors to and from the island.

There’s no nightlife here, and there are only two hotels in the country. The country is so small, it doesn’t even have a capital! Yaren, the biggest village in the area, can somewhat be considered a capital.

Going off the beaten path and traveling to any of these countries is a unique and thrilling experience, not to mention an awesome way to throw yourself out of your comfort zone and not travel like a tourist.

Where will you be heading this 2018?

Nightmarket
Budget Travel

15 Tips to Avoid Getting Ripped Off on Your Travels

When a big trip is coming up and you’ll be visiting a new, exotic destination, it’s completely normal to be a bit nervous. Fear of the unknown often stops many people from getting out of their comfort zone and checking out a new place.

One of the main concerns on your mind may be, “How do I save my money and not get ripped off?”

On many occasions, locals (especially those from very popular travel destinations) see an economic opportunity with unwitting tourists and will try to take advantage of their lack of knowledge about local prices, places, and practices.

It’s common to find the same item at wildly different prices depending on where you go.

While the worst that usually happens is that you’re out only a few dollars, you can lose even more if you fall victim to a particularly nasty scam.

So, we’ve put together a few useful and universally applicable tips for those who want to keep pleasant memories from their travels and not constantly think back on the ungodly amount of money you had to part with.

For more detailed information on saving money in general, check out our other articles, such as this one covering saving on food.

1. Taxi Overcharging

Taxis have a notorious reputation virtually everywhere and are particularly risky for travelers.

There are always airport shuttles, and ridesharing services like BlaBlaCar, Grab, or Uber have entered the scene as economical alternatives, but if you still must take a taxi, DO NOT use the ones parked near the airport’s exit.

Those are the most expensive ones.

People generally pay more for convenience; walk for a bit and you’re likely to find a cheaper ride.

Classic Taxi

2. Not Agreeing on Price up Front

Some taxi/tuk-tuk/etc. drivers will try to make you get into the vehicle without telling you directly how much they are going to charge you.

THIS IS NOT OK.

Not telling you a price upfront is a strategy used to overcharge you at your destination, making you feel obligated to pay any amount.

This is a guilt-based technique that you can avoid by simply being very clear that you won’t get in the taxi unless a price has been set.

3. Confirming the Destination

When arranging transportation anywhere, communicate the address of your destination clearly and ensure that the driver understands where you want to go.

Another helpful trick is to track the route on your phone’s GPS; if the driver sees you know the distance and direction you should be going, they’ll be less likely to “accidentally” miss your destination or take a longer detour to make you pay more.

4. Complimentary or Not?

ALWAYS ASK. Is that bottled water you’re about to grab complimentary? Don’t just assume something is free or included with a reservation or package.

Even locals dressed in costumes or traditional clothing might ask you to pay up after you take a picture with them; always ask beforehand to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

5. Know the Scams

Know the most common/popular scams in the country you’re in. This will help you know specifically what to keep an eye out for.

In Europe, for example, women and children will employ a variety of common yet predictable tactics to swindle you such as dropping items in front of you, flirting, or other elaborate ruses to pickpocket you or make you pay for something.

In Southeast Asia, scams involving transportation services like buses, taxis, and motorbike rentals are common.

6. Avoid the Tourist Restaurants

Avoid restaurants filled with tourists or very popular near tourist attractions.

These will always be very expensive. (When it comes to food, 99% of the time, prices won’t be negotiable.)

You’ll get better prices at local places, and more hole-in-the-wall restaurants will be cheaper and will let you experience authentic local food for a better price.

Buffet Table

7. Keep the Tab Closed

If you’re at a bar or other establishment that serves alcohol, pay for drinks as you go.

Don’t open a tab as you can easily be charged extra, especially if you’re under the influence and not paying attention to everything you’re ordering.

8. Communicate Locally

An interesting thing that may help you get lower prices is to speak in the native language.

Remember that it’s almost always better to travel like a local and not present yourself as just another tourist.

9. Shop Around

Ask around and get a few examples of prices for the same service; having reference prices for common items at your destination is useful tool for determining whether something is a good deal or not.

If you catch someone trying to overcharge you, speak up as sometimes this will make them lower their prices.

10. Know When to Negotiate

Please, if the price of an item is fair, don’t negotiate.

Vendors, especially those in third-world countries, often work very hard to make a living. A good rule of thumb others follow is to not haggle for items priced under a dollar.

This will make you come off as cheap, and others may deny you service.

Vendor in Phuket

11. Know the Conversion Rate

Know the current local currency conversion rate.

You can’t know whether you got ripped off if you don’t know at least the approximate price you paid in your home country’s currency.

12. Cover Yourself

If you’re renting gear/equipment, take pictures of it as soon as you receive it. Check and count your change yourself before you walk away.

Get some sort of written confirmation (like a receipt) for purchases.

13. Buying Souvenirs

When buying souvenirs/specialty items, you need to have in mind what you are going to buy.

Uncertain or wondering tourists are the prey of many souvenir stores.

14. Know How to Negotiate

When negotiating, use this strategy: first, suggest to pay about 65% of the item’s price.

This suggestion is meant to be extreme and usually is going to be denied, but if you negotiate from an extreme, then it’s likely that at some point, before going back to the original price, the owner will agree on an offer somewhere in the middle that’s still a good deal.

Finally, if someone is trying to overcharge you, threatening to walk out can be a good negotiation strategy if you are willing to actually do it when things don’t go your way.

15. Trust your Instincts

There are shady individuals out there, but most of the time, you won’t be dealing with horrible people.

Many places need tourists to keep functioning and that can translate into a very aggressive economy.

Try to be understanding of (and not rude to) the locals.

Road Trip Wanderlust
Budget Travel

10 Important Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

Long week?

Sometimes you just need to get far away from your problems.

A plane ticket is a great way to do it, but for those of us short on time and money, getting behind the wheel for an adventure (well, at least for the weekend) can be just as wonderful.

Whether it’s a short drive to the other side of your city or a long drive across multiple cities, it’s important to have a good game plan in place before your road trip so you’re not driving down the highway aimlessly.

We’ve collated a checklist of 10 crucial items to help you get the logistics of your road trip down right:

1. Budget

With the number of hotspots you could drive to, it’s tempting to get behind the wheel and just drive off – we’re not saying you can’t do that, but just make sure you have enough cash on you!

Before the trip, double-check your funds to make sure you can get through your whole journey, or else you’ll be coming home to a bigger set of problems than before you left. Take into account how many miles you plan to travel, how many people are in your group, food budget per person per day, and any fees for campsites and parks, and plug it all into a handy road trip cost calculator like this one.

2. A Solid Travel Plan

With a budget in mind, come up with a solid plan. It can be unsettling whenever someone asks “so what now?”

To avoid this, we recommend you do some research and make a list of the places/attractions you want to visit ahead of time:

  • Got a restaurant you want to try? Write it down.
  • Is there a museum or landmark you can’t miss? Make a note.
  • Is there an upcoming festival you absolutely must go to? Add it to the list!

Road Trip Map Planning

3. A Flexible Plan

On that note, also be open to whatever you might come across on your road trip – and we mean anything.

Whether it’s a restaurant you come across or an amusement park you happen upon, sometimes the best decisions you make happen in the moment – don’t box yourself in.

Being spontaneous might help you find your next hidden gem.

4. The Actual Vehicle

If you’re going on a road trip, make sure that your car/van/whatever you’re driving can make it.

There’s nothing worse than packing up all your items and setting off only to break down in the middle of nowhere because of a drained battery or mechanical mishap.

If you’re a hands-on kind of person, feel free to inspect your vehicle yourself. If you’re not blessed with automotive savvy (like many of us), visit your local car service shop to get a thorough inspection of your car.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a long drive.

Road Trip Van VW

5. Water

Water is such a simple thing that it’s often overlooked or forgotten about completely on a road trip. We know so many people who’ve had to stop somewhere because they were thirsty – don’t be one of them!

Make sure to stock up on at least a few liters of water from your local store at the start of the trip. It’ll save you the hassle of having to make detours and delay your itinerary – not to mention you’ll keep the negative effects of dehydration at bay.

6. Pack Light

A few days on the road doesn’t mean that you need to bring your entire closet, so leave the unnecessary ‘necessaries’ at home. You probably won’t be needing two pairs of sneakers or a bunch of jewelry to trot your way across the cities.

Instead, we recommend you bring the most functional yet stylish clothes that could still get you that perfect shot. You can travel the road without sore shoulders literally dragging you down.

7. Emergency items

We can’t stress this enough; always bring emergency items – you never know what’s going to happen!

We recommend you make a checklist of items that you think you’ll personally need if an emergency arises. Some of the items on our personal list include (1) a spare tire, (2) a flashlight, and (3) a first aid kit. You can never be too prepared when it comes to emergencies, and you’ll be thanking yourself that you went through all the hassle if something does happen along the way (but let’s hope not)!

Resting On Top of Van

8. Snacks

The drive from one place to another can take so long that you’re guaranteed to get hungry during the trip… so stock up on your snacks! Whether it’s a family outing or a road trip with friends, everybody should be able to munch their hunger pangs away.

“Hangry” is a real thing, so you wouldn’t want to fuel the fight you just know is waiting to happen when people get on their last reserves and emotions run high.

9. Music

Driving for hours and hours with nothing to do can get boring, so keep yourself entertained with some good tunes. Before you get behind the wheel, we recommend you make playlists with that road trip kind of vibe when picking your songs.

Some great song suggestions for a road-trip-themed playlist include Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”, Weezer’s “Island In The Sun”, and Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”.

10. Medicine

Nothing is more annoying than driving out of town with a headache, so always make sure to have some medicine on hand. Not only will you be more comfortable, it’ll also help your friends and family keep their cool if they feel under the weather.

To keep everyone covered, ask each person about any possible health issues or conditions beforehand so that the whole group has access to the medicine they need to feel better.

There’s nothing better to fully recharge than a road trip to somewhere new, but you need to make the necessary preparations beforehand. Let us know if you have any suggestions that you’d like to add to the list to make your time on the road even better.

Don’t worry! Before you know it, you’ll be back to 100% and ready to battle the week in no time. Pura vida and have a great trip!

Piggybank
Budget Travel

12 Travel Hacks to Score Cheaper Flights + Extras

As one of the world’s biggest industries, the tourism industry generates billions of dollars for economies around the globe. Of course, traveling requires money >99% of the time, but many shy away from it because they feel that they need to spend a lot of money on travel to have a memorable experience.

But as more and more people make travel a major part of their lives, more travel-related communities and networks have sprung up.

One of these areas is “travel hacking” – intelligent planning and taking advantage of various resources to score discounted (or even free) travel.

Most travel hacks involve free flights, but there are a few other pieces of advice you may not have thought of, all of which we’ll talk about below.

1. Pay and earn reward points with your credit card

One focal point in the world of travel hacks is leveraging credit cards to get travel freebies. Using a memberships rewards card for your travel expenses is a strategy worth trying. Use your credit card for expenses you normally incur.

From your bank, set up a direct debit to pay off the balances accumulated every month (we highly recommend paying it in full right away).

You’ll save a lot of money in the form of perks that you can snag with the reward points you earn from using your credit card!

2. Use your credit card/ATM card abroad

In addition to using credit cards for the purposes outlined above, your bank is where you can also find the best possible exchange rates most of the time. If you’re somewhere foreign, pay with a credit card instead of cash to save time (and money), or withdraw local currency with an ATM.

Some banks, like Charles Schwab, will even reimburse ATM withdrawal fees.

Credit Card

3. Book flights while using a VPN

Depending on which country you’re trying to book a flight from, the prices may vary. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can make it look like you’re searching from another country.

There are many VPN servers to choose from, especially in Europe, Asia, and North America – pick the location that corresponds to where you’re flying from/to and you just might score a better deal.

4. Get cheaper deals using search engines

Google Flights, Skyscanner, Momondo, and Kayak are some search engines you can use to compare fares from different airlines and on different dates. You can often compare prices with other booking services this way, or use the search engine to go directly to the airline’s website and see if you can find something cheaper there.

Also, any favorite (read: ones you frequently use) airlines should be your first stop. Flying with your favorite airline is the perfect way to rack up membership points and miles.

5. Throw away the cookies

(No, not literal cookies!) If you’re looking for a flight deal online, websites will create cookies or, in other words, browser caches. Airline companies can track these cookies, allowing them to see what flights and routes you’ve looked at. With this information, they may raise the price of the flights along the route you searched for when you look again.

To avoid this, always clear your cache/cookies when looking for flight deals, or enable private browsing/incognito mode.

Search is Private Mode

6. Use your Membership Points or Frequent Flyer Points

With enough frequent flyer points, you can get yourself a free flight (and sometimes free accommodation as well!).

Each time you fly, you can collect frequent flyer points, assuming that you’re a member of that frequent flyer program. You can then use these to redeem free flights in the future.

7. Sales Alerts/Error Fares

Some airlines release promo or sale fares, or even unintentionally discounted fares on certain days if you’re lucky.

You can find deals like this in websites like Airfare Watchdog or apps like Hopper that can give you alerts when the prices for flights drop.

Or simply sign up with your email on an airline’s website to receive email alerts about the discounts and deals they offer.

8. Volunteer to Get Bumped

If you’re not in a hurry, this trick can get you a lot of FREE stuff. Airlines often overbook flights, expecting that there will be some people who won’t show up for the flight.

In the scenario where everybody shows up for the flight, they’ll have to ask for volunteers to take the next flight out.

If you volunteer to get bumped, you’ll get to your destination perhaps a bit later, but will also likely be compensated with cash or perks like free flights, accommodation, or credit vouchers!

Score!

9. Fly on Tuesday or Wednesday

If it works for your schedule/itinerary, Tuesday and Wednesday flights are usually cheaper than flights on any other day of the week.

Cheaper Flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays

10. Find accommodation deals

Social media is an easy way to find discounts. Just follow the social media page of the hotel chain or airline you like and you’ll get updates to their special rates and promos. Sites like Booking.com offer discounts after making a certain number of bookings. And, of course, traveling during the off-peak season is when you’ll usually get the lowest rates.

11. Figure out transportation ahead of time

It’s usually best to avoid taxis whenever possible.

Instead, get your ground transportation gameplan together ahead of time with a resource like Rome2Rio.

On that note, one of the best (and cheapest!) ways to experience and explore your destination is to be one with the culture. And an integral part of the culture is the public transportation that locals use every day.

Whether it’s a tuk-tuk in Bangkok or a jeepney in Manila, it makes for a richer experience than simply renting a car.

12. Apps as digital tour guides or guidebooks

Overpriced tours are now a thing of the past, all thanks to smartphones. Field Trip and Detour are free apps that give you notifications about points of interest when you’re traveling. Other apps can also look for discounts and offers near you.

Arizona Sky



Traveling CAN be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you know how to get the most out of your dollar.

Especially with what is traditionally one of the biggest travel expenses—booking a flight or other transportation—you can be smart and use travel hacks to find awesome deals.

Thanks to technology, doing all of that is now easier than ever, allowing you to quickly plan out a budget-friendly trip.

Youngwomaninfield
Budget Travel

Cheap U.S. (and Nearby) Spring Travel Destinations in 2018

You don’t need to spend a fortune to experience a getaway full of joy and sunshine this spring.

When planning a cheap yet enjoyable spring vacation, one should consider the atmosphere of the place, the cost of accommodations, and the things you can do and places you can visit while you’re there.

We’ve compiled some of the best cheap destinations to make your spring vacation planning a whole lot easier.


New Orleans, Louisiana

Known for its European-inspired architecture, New Orleans is the go-to destination for people who love Southern cuisine and music. Rock ‘n’ roll, blues, jazz, and Zydeco tunes can be heard in every corner of the city.

For most people, the main reason to visit New Orleans is Mardi Gras, a carnival-like weeklong celebration full of vivid colors, music, and an overall wild and thrilling party experience.

If you didn’t make it in time to join Mardi Gras, don’t worry. In New Orleans, the party never stops. Just head on over to one of the Bourbon Street clubs, where people party from dusk till dawn.

Places to visit (for FREE) in New Orleans

  • French Quarter
  • Frenchmen Street
  • Garden District
  • St. Louis Cathedral
  • City Park

New Orleans, LA


Austin, Texas

The city of Austin has the most live music venues per capita in the U.S., earning it the title of “Live Music Capital of the World”.

Despite how much the city has grown over the years, Austin has retained that laid-back, quirky type of vibe that you won’t find in any other city in Texas.

People outside of Austin sometimes tend to see the place as the home of wacky characters. But for Austinites, they flaunt the city’s motto—“Keep Austin Weird”—with pride and eccentricity.

Places to visit (for FREE) in Austin

  • Zilker Metropolitan Park
  • State Capitol
  • Austin Bats
  • 6th Street

Greetings from Austin Sign


San Diego, California

Seventy miles of beautiful coastline and consistently warm weather are what draw tourists to San Diego all year, every year.

The city’s nightlife, exotic cuisine, and famous parks call to those who seek adventure. If you love soaking up the sun, San Diego offers a lot of beautiful beaches.

After you enjoy the daytime activities, change your board shorts and flip-flops into something formal and enjoy the thriving nightlife throughout the city.

Places to visit (for FREE) in San Diego

  • Coronado Beach
  • Balboa Park
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • Mission Beach
  • Sunset Cliffs
  • La Jolla Coves

San Diego California


Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Are you a beach lover?

If you are, you’ve probably dreamed of going to a beach where the sand is white like sugar, with clear blue water. Well, in the Dominican Republic, this kind of beach isn’t just a dream. Punta Cana is the perfect Caribbean getaway for all the sun-seeking travelers out there. This 20-mile stretch of pristine coastline also offers tons of activities like kayaking, sailing, and ziplining.

Places to visit in Punta Cana

  • La Cana Golf Course
  • Imagine Punta Cana Disco
  • Barcelo Bavaro Golf Course
  • Manati Park
  • Dolphin Island

Punta Cana Dominican Republic Beach


Nashville, Tennessee

When one thinks of Nashville, the first things that might come to mind are a big porch and an old-timer playing a Johnny Cash tune on his guitar. But, of course, Nashville is more than that.

Radiating a modest, down-to-earth vibe, the city’s hipster bars and the trendy boutiques prove that Nashville isn’t just for traditional country folk. The city offers Southern hospitality with a mix of grandstand glitz and has its share of young, energetic collegiate people.

Places to visit in Nashville

  • John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge (FREE)
  • The Hermitage
  • Belle Meade Plantation
  • Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (FREE)
  • Adventure Science Center
  • Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art

Nashville at Night


South Padre Island, Texas

Back then, every year for spring break, Texas college students would cram into their cars and head down to South Padre Island for some warm, sunny beach fun.

While students today do still hit up SPI, of course, times have changed. SPI has seen a rebirth of some sort and is now a popular vacation destination for families as well. The mixture of bars and trendy hotels, the sparkling water, and the beautiful, extensive beaches invite people of any age.

Places to visit (for FREE) in South Padre Island

  • Laguna Madre Nature Trail
  • Isla Blanca Park

South Padre Island Beach


Puerto Rico

From Miami, Puerto Rico is a less-than-3-hour flight away. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, which means that you don’t need a passport and you can pay for all the stuff you buy with American dollars. If you’re into surfing, you’ll definitely love the 20-ft. waves.

And for families with little kids, Puerto Rico also has calm, clear waters.

Places to visit (for FREE) in Puerto Rico

  • Flamenco Beach
  • Sun Bay
  • Condado Beach
  • Carolina Beach

Puerto Rico


Cancun, Mexico

After the devastating effects of Hurricane Wilma back in 2005, the stores and lodges of Cancún are now rebuilt, and this tiny region in southeastern Mexico is once again a hotspot for nightlife, golfing, and beaches.

Cancún is also a very affordable destination; for $600 per person, you can enjoy an all-inclusive trip to these beautiful beaches.

Places to visit in Cancun

  • Playa Tortugas (FREE)
  • Playa Delfines (FREE)
  • Chichén Itzá
  • Isla Mujeres
  • El Rey Ruins

Cancun Chichenitza Ruins


Daytona, Florida

20 miles of beachfront is already a tempting offer to anyone seeking a fun vacation, but some visitors to Daytona have something different in mind.

The city’s beach parties aren’t the only things that attract visitors; every year, the Daytona International Speedway draws in thousands of auto racing lovers who want to watch NASCAR racing and see their favorite race car drivers in person.

Places to visit in Daytona

  • Daytona Beach (FREE)
  • Daytona Lagoon
  • Halifax Historical Museum
  • Museum of Arts and Science
  • Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach Nascar Race


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach’s 60-mile brown beach is its main tourist draw, but there’s more to this South Carolina city/vacation resort combo than that.

Myrtle Beach is the perfect destination for families that are budget-minded, looking for entertainment options without having to spend too much.

The city’s amusement parks draw people in with family-friendly rides and activities such as racetracks, roller coasters, and waterslides. There are outlet malls for the shopaholics and more than 100 golf courses for the golfers.

Places to visit in Myrtle Beach

  • Myrtle Beach
  • Mt. Atlanticus Miniature Golf
  • The Carolina Opry
  • Myrtle Beach State Park
  • Ripley’s Aquarium Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Amusement Park


The perfect spring vacation doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun. Planning ahead of time and choosing the right destination will allow you to save a lot of money and still have a memorable trip.

But try to have some self-control when it comes to buying souvenirs!

 

Campingatnight
Budget Travel

6 Different Ways Travelers Can Get 100% Free Accommodation

We all know that traveling to different parts of the globe can be quite challenging budget-wise, since you have to take into consideration the cost of airfare, a budget for food, and the price of activities at your destination, not to mention the accommodation for the duration of your stay.

Fortunately, with a little creative thinking, accommodation expenses can be easy to slash completely. Here are some great ways to help you find a place to stay without even touching your wallet:


Couchsurfing

Did you know that there are over 200+ Couchsurfing destinations all over the world?

Couchsurfing is a platform where travelers connect with homeowners who open up their homes for free. It is a social network and hospitality service combined. Hosts don’t get anything out of it, only the pleasure of meeting new people every single time.

As a guest, you don’t have to pay for anything. Couchsurfing hosts not only help with providing a roof over your head, but also often offer food and sometimes include a guided tour as well.

The beauty of platforms like Couchsurfing is that you get to connect with different people from all over the world and make lasting memories and friendships.

Friendstalking


Home Exchanges

If you’re a homeowner, this kind of arrangement allows for you and another party to swap houses for an agreed period. So, you both get the benefit of staying in each other’s place and get a run of the place (much like in the movie “The Holiday” where Cameron Diaz travels to England to stay in Kate Winslet’s very cozy home while Kate travels to sunny California and lives in Cameron’s posh home).

The actual type of home being exchanged can vary, from apartments to holiday cottages, luxurious homes, or even RVs and boats. Houses can be exchanged either simultaneously or at different times and may last a week, a month, or something even longer-term!

Houseexchange


Camping

This is one of the more traditional types of accommodation, especially perfect for those who love roughing it out in the great outdoors. All you need is a good location to pitch your tent and an arrangement for food for the duration of your stay, and you’re set! Bonus: Camping is also one of the most scenic and beautiful ways to save on accommodation.

Actual camping accommodation also varies, from a humble tent to a motorhome or caravan. It can be close to the beach or way up in the mountains, and off the beaten path or at a camping ground/campsite (which, fair warning, does occasionally cost money, but it’s still cheap).

Campingatnight


Work Exchange/Volunteering

This living arrangement allows you to work, usually for up to around four hours per day, in exchange for free room and board. In your downtime, you will still be able to explore the locale and see the sights.

The kind of work offered in these cases usually involves farming; other arrangements can give you the chance to work at a hostel or even in private homes.

The important thing to remember if you want to take this route is to make sure that both host and guest (you) agree to the kind of work that will be done. This makes for a harmonious and memorable stay. Not only that, you also get to be part of the local community and immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of the place that you are visiting.

Hosteldormwork


Housesitting

Housesitting is like babysitting, but the difference is that you are taking care of a home instead of a baby or child. In a housesitting arrangement, the homeowners leave the care of their home in the traveler’s (your) hands. This involves taking care of their home, which may include basic maintenance or taking care of their plants (or even their pets), depending on the homeowner’s needs.

Housesitting stints can last for a week, a month or, in other cases, even six months to a year.

There are actually a number of sites available where you can browse for housesitting gigs. You should be quick to respond to the ads so that you can get the best deal. There are literally thousands of homeowners all over the world who are looking for house sitters. So if you travel more slowly and think this type of accommodation will suit your needs for an upcoming trip, start looking!

Housesittingliterally


Living & Working on Boats

This is another mode of accommodation that is quite unique since you get to live on a boat! Yacht owners often offer free accommodation (and food!) on their boats in exchange for paid onboard work.

Some tasks that may be required of you include deckhand/maintenance work or accommodating passengers by entertaining or serving them. You might be surprised at the number of things that need to be done on a boat or yacht. That means that captains will always need help from people with different skillsets.

So if you’re looking to travel by sea and get free accommodation while you’re at it, this might just be the thing you’re looking for. You not only get to enjoy the beauty and expanse of the open ocean, you also get to connect with other people and build a network of friends from all over the world.

Boatsonthesea


Now that we’ve given the lowdown on different types of free accommodation available to you when you travel, make sure to start planning your next trip now, ahead of time, by exploring the different hospitality, house sitting, home exchange, and work exchange/volunteering options out there. Your next [dirt cheap] adventure awaits!