11 Steps to Travel without Money
Yes, you can save money and travel on a backpacker's budget, if you tap into your enterprising spirit to meet the challenge. And yes, you can travel almost for free with the correct strategy and the right connections.
As they say, anything is possible to a determined mind. You don't need to be wealthy to travel around the world. Pack a few changes of clothing, your toothbrush, and your personal stuff now, and dare to travel around the world with a few dollars in your pocket.
If you want to travel without spending hundreds of dollars, you'll have to start with a positive frame of mind. Believe that you can do it, and you can!
Here are steps that can guide you in your quest
Step #1 - Travel legally
The most important step to do is to make sure that you travel legally. If you need to enter a territory that needs a Visa for your entry, then you'll have to spend for this. This is one of the expenditures that you have to shoulder.
Step #2 - Abide by the health requirements
It's difficult to get sick while traveling, so visit your doctor and get those needed shots. Some areas have increased risk to certain diseases; therefore, you have to obtain immunization against these diseases.
Get a health insurance for travelers. Your health is your wealth so take care of it. Aside from the Visa expenses, this is one aspect that you must spend money on. It's scary to get sick in another place without anything to lean on, so ensure that your health concerns are in order.
Step #3 - Opt for discounts, if you need to travel by air
If you're traveling overseas, then you'll have to spend money for your plane ticket. Take note that there are various companies that offer discounted rates if you purchase your ticket a year before your travel. The discounts can be as high as 40% of the total price. Of course, this will also depend on your destination.
Surf online among the numerous airline companies. You'll surely find one for your specific destination. This is one of the three things you'll have to spend for. The other two are your Visa application and your health insurance policy and immunizations.
Step #4 - Join a couchsurfing community
These online communities are composed of members from all over the world, who are willing to host other members in their own countries. This means that if you go to their country, they can allow you to sleep in their houses.
Of course, there are potential dangers to this arrangement, but joining a legitimate couchsurfing community and carefully reviewing the testimonies of the members will help a lot in avoiding unhappy incidents.
You'll have to remember, though, that you're staying with people who offer their hospitality, so you should get along with them well. Be polite and considerate of their feelings. Beware of members who use these sites for dating purposes or for criminal activities. Use your intuition and wisdom when choosing your host. You can join Couch Surfing and similar online groups.
Step #5 - Find a place to sleep
If you prefer not to join couchsurfing communities, then simply - be a cowboy. There are areas in every place where you can stay or camp overnight. Pitch a small tent or a sleeping bag in a nearby lake or park and avoid spending thousands of dollars on accommodations. Be smart and use your head when deciding where and when to use your sleeping bag.
If you can't find a single area where you can spend the night, one effective method to be able to sleep is to take short naps during the day. You can take a 30-minute or one-hour nap, while in the park. Then, another 30-minute nap in the bus station; still another 1 hour nap inside a church or in a public waiting area. Take a nap wherever and whenever you can, to cope with an overnight sleep that you might miss. These naps can provide sufficient sleep for you to keep going.
Step #6 - Do volunteer work for food and lodging
Doing volunteer work is the best option when you plan to stay longer in one place. It's one way of ensuring your food for the day and your accommodations for the night. Every country offers volunteer works for those who are interested. These are usually in education, health and religion.
You can volunteer as a tutor, a catechist, a missionary, a farmhand and similar volunteer tasks that can help you with your food and accommodation. You can do house sitting too. Scout for people who need someone to house sit, and volunteer for the job. There are many sites online that can help you find that appropriate person. You might even receive a small financial reward for it.
For food, you can always carry a pack of biscuits in your backpack. There are numerous people around the globe who are friendly to backpackers, and they will often offer food, while on the road with them. Accept it gratefully, but never expect anything from anyone to avoid disappointment. Remember, they don't owe you anything, so if they share their food, it's because of their generosity and good will.
When you consider the basics, what you truly need for survival are air, water, food, and sleep. The rest are things you can do without. Air is free anywhere in the world, so there's nothing to worry about this.
Step #7 - Find potable water
You should watch out where you obtain your drinking water because water can transmit various diseases such as, intestinal amoebiasis, bacillary dysentery, typhoid fever and parasitism. If you have volunteered for work, then potable water comes with your free food.
However, if you have camped outside, or taken your sleep whenever you can, you can have problems obtaining potable water. When expecting to sleep this way, you must bring some handy water bottles with you that can be refilled conveniently.
Here are some tips in obtaining potable water
- Request good people to refill your water bottle from their own sources.
- Ask around if there are public sources for potable water.
- Most diners, parks and institutions have potable water available for the public. You can refill your bottle there.
Step #8 - Go hitchhiking
Yesiree! Travel for free by hitchhiking. Go hitchhiking and bask in the early morning sunshine, the rejuvenating fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature all around you. There are no black and white rules with regards to hitchhiking. You'll have to decide on a case by case basis. Use your intuition and common sense to judge situations.
Traveling with a companion is recommended if you're new to an area, but if you prefer to travel alone, do what you feel most comfortable with. You can also find hitchhiking partners from couchsurfing groups. The key goal is to enjoy your travel and the perks that come with it; therefore, if you don't - there's no use going any farther.
To help you hitchhike successfully, here are some tips you must remember.
- Don't keep all your bank cards in one pouch. You can keep another card safely hidden in your side pocket or in one of your packed clothing. The rest can be kept in your handy pouch. So, if one of them gets lost, you still have an alternative.
- Email yourself a copy of all your travel documents (passport, Visa, travel insurance). This way, you can always and print a copy anywhere in the world, in case you lost the original.
- Allow your family or friends to keep track of your location. You don't need to do it publicly through your Facebook or Twitter. You can just Email privately your exact location to your family and friends.
- Keep the most important things close to your body. You must have a small pouch where you can place your most valuable items that you can carry even when going to the restroom.
- Prevention is better than being in a mishap. If you notice something amiss when hitchhiking, don't continue. Listen to your intuition. Don't worry; there will be other persons you will encounter along the way.
- Avoid traveling at night. It's best to travel by day so you can view your surroundings and the persons you travel with more clearly.
Step #9 - Do your personal necessities wherever you can
If you're not couchsurfing or volunteering, you can pee and move wherever and whenever you can. Along with this, you can shower too or clean up (brush your teeth). In urban areas, you can do this in public facilities where there are shower rooms, and/or toilets.
In rural areas, you can always use the nearby forest or uninhabited area. This should come as no surprise. People usually do this in remote areas. People survived before without the luxury of modern bathrooms and comfort rooms, so you can do it too. Use your ingenuity.
Step #10 - Do your laundry wherever you can
Since you carry just enough clothes with you - 4 at the most - you can wash them any place you're able to. In rural areas, rivers and streams are good washing areas. Spend a tranquil afternoon by the riverbank as your clothes dry in the sun. You can also wash your clothes in the shower room or in the bathroom.
Step #11 - Make your travel worth your time and effort
Enjoy your travel. Don't lose the essence of your adventure. There are various reasons for traveling. You may have decided to travel because you want to visit new places, get to know other cultures, gain some friends and relax. You need not visit all the tourists' spots in one place. Select those you personally want to see only. Why would you want to see a cave when you have one similar to that in your hometown?
Opt for those uncommonly seen places to gain more perspective of the place you're visiting. Capture photos that will serve as evidences of your beautiful travel experience. And the most important thing is to make friends along the way.
Do you have any tips on how to travel for free? Let us know in the comments.