How to Travel the World Simply and Cheaply

World travel is cheap and easy. In fact, with a little practice and effort, you can travel the world for free. The idea that travel is expensive and difficult is hooey peddled by tour companies, hotel chains and corporate media.

The tourism industry wants you to buy cruise packages and stay at all-inclusive resorts. They want you to choose a travel experience the same way you would choose a new jacket at the mall. They want your Credit Card number.

It can be scary to venture into the world with nothing more than optimism and good-will, but personal freedom begins with a leap of faith.


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    Embrace the simple joy of travel. Travel frees you from the grind of daily routine. You will explore new places, meet new people, try new foods and learn things about the world – and yourself – that you never imagined were possible. The joy of new experience is the most wonderful thing about travel – and new experiences are free.
    • Walk the streets of a city, stop and chat with a local, people watch in a public park, or even climb to the top of a hill and watch the sun set over the ocean. The simple joy of being in a new place is just a matter of going someplace new. No tour package required.
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    Keep your needs to a minimum. The modern American economy is built on the false premise that people need to buy new goods and services all the time. People need fresh air, healthy food, clean water, exercise, creative stimulation, companionship, self-esteem and a safe place to sleep. All of these things are simple to obtain. Most of them are free.
    • For fresh air, go outside. For exercise, take a walk.
    • For creative stimulation, go somewhere new.
    • For companionship, make a friend.
    • For self esteem, turn off your TV, breathe deep and open your spirit to the basic goodness of the world.
    • Things like food and shelter are much cheaper once you get outside the United States.
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    Go slow. If you live in New York and want to take a 2 week vacation to Africa, it will be very difficult (though not impossible) to travel for free. Indeed, as long as you believe that time is money, you will spend money all the time. Time is not money. Time is free. You have all the time in the world. Instead of buying a plane ticket, catch a ride out West, or remodel an old sailboat, or just hop on your bike and ride away from town. The slower you travel, the less money you will spend.
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    Leave your possessions and obsessions behind. When you travel, you don’t need to pay rent. You don’t need a car. You don’t need an oven, a washer-dryer, electricity, Cable TV, a gym membership, a sofa and loveseat or a closet full of clothes. You don’t need a suit and tie to wear to your job because you don’t need a job. You don’t need to worry about paying the bills, because there are no bills to pay. You are free.
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    Trust people and you will receive free food and lodging. Many people are willing to open their homes to travelers. Chip in with a few chores, and they will give you a free meal, too. Couch Surfing and WWOOF are two phenomenal online networks that help travelers connect with local hosts. Couch Surfing members are willing to give travelers a place to sleep for a night or two. WWOOF connects travelers with organic farmers who want to trade room and board for an extra hand. Many members of both Couch Surfing and WWOOF are seeking an alternative to high-impact consumer culture. VolunTourism is another invaluable link; it, couchsurfing and WWOOF are all searchable.
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    Don't expect a free ride. Couch Surfing does not mean couch potato. You only get what you give away, and if any of the above steps are not working for you, consider it a message that you need to examine your premises.

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Categories: Reduce Travel Cost