How to Travel for Free

Three Methods:Free Overall TravelingFree Methods of TravelFree Places to Stay

Ordinary traveling can cost a lot of money, but if you do not have money to travel using traditional means, there are ways you can travel for free. Some free traveling opportunities pay for a stay at your destination as well as your way there. You can also combine a free method of traveling with a separate free place to stay.

Method 1
Free Overall Traveling

  1. Image titled Travel for Free Step 1
    Be prepared. Since the article is about traveling for free, comfort will be compromised while traveling, so come prepared!
    • Be pumped to face challenges and troubles. This is not an easy way to travel and requires a little courage and composure. While you're traveling in this mode, you will enhance these qualities. Ask yourself these questions like: 'What motivates me? Why am I doing this? Things like this.
    • Keep the benefits and rewards in mind. Why do you want to travel like this rather than to go someplace fancy? To save money, learn something new, face challenges, see some awesome places, adventure, meet new people, learn a new culture, to be mentally strong, meet a friend or relative or other motivating reasons, keeping these reasons in mind would give a mental strength and courage to carry on.
    • Always have fun. Fun is a very important thing. Since on the way you will most certainly face problems and troubles which you may not have faced before, but if you try hard to have fun during these situations it would be less hard to face them. One effective way to have fun would be to challenge yourself to face the problem, like for an example if you couldn't find a place to stay for the night and you feel panicky because of it, at the same time challenge yourself like 'I challenge you to stop panicking and face the situation' or 'I dare you to make it through'.
    • Decide where you want to go and what are the ways to get there. Air, road, rail, ocean, river. As you want to save money, think of what could be the cheapest way to get there. For example, if you want to get to New York from LA or vice versa, the cheapest ways would be by road. Then choose one of the methods below.
  2. Image titled Travel for Free Step 2
    Pick up small jobs on the way. There may be a time when you would need money so working small/big jobs on the way would help relieve some financial pressure. For an example looking for small jobs/gigs on would be a good place to start, checking out local newspaper, asking people around. Another way would be to just walk into any store, restaurant (basically any business) and ask for work in return for some money or food. Note: People are more likely to give you goods than money.
  3. Image titled Travel for Free Step 3
    . Busking. It means to play music or perform entertainment in a public place, usually while soliciting money. Doing things like singing, doing some magic tricks, playing some instrument, jokes, anything which you think can entertain people is a good way to make quick money. There are people who have made a plenty of money by doing things like this. Note Choose the place for it wisely for an example some open market, downtown(places like that) etc.
  4. Image titled Travel for Free Step 4
    Join a yacht or cruise ship crew. Using this method, you will be able to travel by water while receiving room and board. Better still, you can even earn some money as you travel. Work on a yacht tends to be less permanent and less stable than work on a cruise ship, but on a cruise ship, you will only travel along the same set course each trip. Both yachts and cruise ships are in need of skilled laborers, though. You may have knowledge of sea travel, or you may simply have culinary, mechanical, or navigational skills. Look online for job opportunities or head to the marina in the nearest port town to look for ads.
  5. Image titled Travel for Free Step 5
    Apply for a travel scholarship. If you are a current student, especially at the university level, you might be able to find scholarships or exchange programs that allow you to travel for free. This is especially true if you are going to college for international studies, but international opportunities await students in all sorts of concentrations. Some programs require you to pay part of the expense, but if your academic record is strong enough, you may be able to apply for a scholarship or grant that pays your way there and allows you to stay for free at a sister university.
  6. Image titled Travel for Free Step 6
    Look for contests and sweepstakes. If you have a specific skill, like writing or photography, you might be able to win a trip from a magazine or publisher. If you do not have a specific skill, you could still try to enter contests with airlines, cruise lines, resorts, tourism boards, or adventure companies. Even companies that do not have anything to do with travel, from food companies to pet supply companies, occasionally have sweepstakes in which you can win a trip. Just make sure to read the fine print when you apply, though. Some of these contests pay for the entire trip, while others only pay for a certain portion.

Method 2
Free Methods of Travel

  1. Image titled Travel for Free Step 7
    Hitching rides. It is not just standing at the side of the road/on a ramp and sticking your thumb out or signboard(with the name of destination on it) it also involves asking people at gas stations, truck stops etc. Keep that in mind its 'Hitching rides' which involves asking rides in cars, boats, planes, cargo ships, or any other mode of transport. The methods for different modes of transport could be different but the deep basic concept is the same which is 'asking for a ride'. All these methods fall into the 'art of hitching'.
    • As the most common is hitchhiking . Although it is not generally considered the safest means of travel, and it is not recommended if you are someone who is not physically capable of defending yourself against potential attackers, but many people do manage to hitchhike without incident. Consider hitchhiking in pairs to improve your odds of staying safe. which is a little safer, or you could try your luck out on the road. Hitchhike during the day to stay safer and use caution when deciding whose car to get into. If your intuition tells you that a driver is trouble, it is best to listen.
  2. Image titled Travel for Free Step 8
    Rideshare. You could go onto a website that allows you pre-schedule a ride with someone. There are many sites which are available that allow people to post their travel plans like craigslist, etc. You can contact these people and tell them how you can help them on the way like driving their car, help in navigation(if you have GPS on your phone or good at directions), good conversationalist (most of the people who travel alone get bored while driving for hours so they are more receptive and hungry for a good conversation). You can even post your ad on these sites mentioning them that you can help driving and navigating, even help them unload if they are carrying stuff. Think of helping them in any way you can.
  3. Image titled Travel for Free Step 9
    Gas-jugging. It means standing at a gas station with a gas jug and asking people for fuel(mostly people who are refueling their cars). However, it comes in solicitation and panhandling. If you have a car but don't have money to pay for gas this method is quite efficient. It's a psychological phenomenon people are more likely to give you gas, when you ask them at a gas station then another place as people at a gas station are in a mental state of paying money(for their own gas) so it would be easier for them to spend some more money to pay for your gas. It's even more efficient when they are in the middle of refueling. Note: if you find it indecent then don't do it.
  4. Image titled Travel for Free Step 10
    Go by bike. If the place you want to travel is near choose the bike. Traveling by bicycle may take a little or lot longer, and you will need to pack plenty and water, but it is still a free method of travel and is a little safer than hitchhiking. To stay safe, though, it is still advisable to travel in pairs or small groups and to do the majority of your biking during daylight hours. One more thing which could be helpful is the usage of Google maps to find bike routes to your destination as provides an option for it. .
  5. Image titled Travel for Free Step 11
    Transport other vehicles. People who move long distances often travel to their new home by airplane rather than a car, and as a result, they need someone to transport their car to their new home. Check with moving companies and car rental companies for potential job openings. You can also check the newspaper or online forums and advertisements for individuals who are in need of a driver to transport their car. Be aware of the fact that you will likely need to pass a criminal background check to take advantage of this option, however. After all, a company or individual will want to make sure that they are not hiring a convicted car thief.

Method 3
Free Places to Stay

  1. Image titled Travel for Free Step 12
    Couch-surf.[1] . It is a very good way to stay at a place (while traveling) for free. It's not just about crashing for free but also about meeting some nice people (your hosts) who allowed you to stay at their place for free. If you have friends or acquaintances in another city, ask if you can sleep on their couch when you visit. If you do not, however, you can join online at "". Through this website, you can take advantage of people offering a couch to sleep on in another city. In return, though, you will need to offer a room or couch of your own to fellow couch-surfers interested in visiting your hometown.
  2. Image titled Travel for Free Step 13
    Camp. Since it's not always easy to find a place to stay for the night via Couch surfing or other sites like that so preparing for that becomes necessary. Camping is a good option for those situations. Although in many cities there are not many proper places to camp but if you are a little thorough in your search you can always find a crack. Like camping in the backyard of a church(People who come to visit these places are more tolerant and kind.), a small area with a lot of trees and bushes. Keep that in mind you don't need a big place to sleep, a 6X2 feet area is enough. Note: Camping is not just setting up a tent but it may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no shelter at all. So using a sleeping bag in cities would be good enough.
  3. Image titled Travel for Free Step 14
    Hangout with people. Find places like bars, or any other hangout spots where you would be able to find people. Start socializing with people to earn their trust(don't hide anything like if you are traveling you must be carrying a bag and other things so don't hide it). People are more likely to help you if you are honest about it. If someone like your attitude and is kind enough they would allow you crash at their place.
  4. Image titled Travel for Free Step 15
    Public Places: Places like railway station and airports are also a decent place to stay. Make sure you are confident and act as if waiting for a flight or train.
  5. Image titled Travel for Free Step 16
    Homeless shelters: This is also a decent place to find a place to stay for the night. In most cities there are many homeless shelters, especially at religious places. Google 'homeless shelters' from your phone. Note:In case you have an international phone carrier or can't connect to The Internet for any reason you can always connect to a local wifi. When you are traveling in cities you would find a lot of WIFI connections and most of them would be password protected but if you try a little harder you can find a WIFI connection which requires no password. Other places to look for free wifi spots would be McDonald's, Wendy's or any restaurant where you find a wifi signal (if you find a place like this but its wifi is password protected you can always ask any of the employees for it). If you still have a problem you can always ask someone with a working phone to look for one for you. Note: If you feel uncomfortable going into these place to use wifi just stand outside for a while to connect to their wifi, do some research and leave. Some of the homeless shelters don't admit people after a certain time, so make sure the timing of admittance in these places before going there.
  6. Image titled Travel for Free Step 17
    Abandoned places: If you can't find a place like this then look for abandoned buildings. Of course they would not exactly be motels/hotels but they do provide a roof on your head if you are looking for one. You are likely to find some abandoned places in a city like some old buildings, warehouses which have not been used for years so they might also be a place to stay. These places are not recommended as these places are also attract hobos, junkies, criminals. So analyzing the place before staying the night would be a very good idea.
  7. Image titled Travel for Free Step 18
    House-swap. If you are willing to let someone else stay in your home, you can join a home exchange program that will allow you to offer your home up in exchange for a stay in someone else's home. You can house-swap regionally, nationally, or internationally. The easiest way to go about finding someone to house-swap with is to join a home exchange website. Some of these websites are free, while others require a small registration fee. The length and terms of your house-swap are usually agreed upon by the two parties involved.
  8. Image titled Travel for Free Step 19
    House-sit. People who are planning to spend a long time away from home occasionally hire someone to house-sit for them. House-sitting may require you to do nothing but keep the house clean and lived in, or you may have to perform basic tasks like watering plants or checking the mail. Look online for national or international classifieds, or go to websites that specialize in house-sitting services and find out what you need to do to advertise your services. You may need to have a background check performed beforehand, though.
  9. Image titled Travel for Free Step 20
    Volunteer on an organic farm.[2] Organic farmers usually have limited resources available to hire professional workers, and as a result, some seek out volunteer workers. You will not receive a paycheck, but at minimum, you can find a place to stay in a foreign location. Many of these farms will even provide you with your meals. The biggest and most commonly used organization for volunteer farm work is WWOOF, or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, but this organization does require you to pay a small fee to join. Completely free opportunities will require you to comb through classifieds and free forums.
  10. Image titled Travel for Free Step 21
    Sign up with a long-term volunteer organization.[3] There are a number of volunteer organizations that will allow you to stay in places around the world in exchange for labor. You might need to perform physical labor, like building houses, or you might be doing something a little more academic, like teaching basic English or art. Most of these programs require you to submit a portfolio or resume and will also require you to pass a drug test and criminal background check.
  11. Image titled Travel for Free Step 22
    Pay for a stay at a hostel by trading labor. Hostels are already known to provide cheap accommodations for international travelers, but some hostels will provide room and board to a traveler in exchange for that traveler’s skills. You may need to clean, cook, or do yard work, but in return, you can receive a free room and, if you are really lucky, free meals. Contact hostels in the area you are interested in and ask if they have labor exchange opportunities.


  • Exercise caution when relying on strangers. While many of the people you come into contact with are genuinely helpful and decent, you do run the risk of crossing paths with a dangerous person. Do as much research on the people you plan to ride with or stay with as possible. If this is not an option, then at least keep your guard up and watch for any suspicious behavior.

Article Info

Categories: Reduce Travel Cost