How to travel for free? 11 cool ideas

by Kseniia

My dear friends, you do often write, how jealous you are, that we have a chance to travel so much. Of course, I understand how lucky we are to have that opportunity, but, trust me, it doesn’t mean you can not travel even for free or for a very low budget. That’s why I decided to combine all the tricks on how to see the world without debts and credits. Some of those we tried ourselves, others were told by our friends. But anyway, the information is really useful! I hope, my today’s post will open you the door to the destinations you previously only dreamed about!

How to stay in a foreign country for free

Of course, hotel is the most expensive part of any journey, especially the long one. But let’s try to be more clever:) 

Couchsurfing. I’m sure, you’ve already heard about it. This is a web-site, where any comunicative person with an extra living space from all over the world can leave an invitation to stay at his home for free. The most friendly ones will even feed you and organize a city tour (or at least give an advice, where to go first). Thousands of people travel like that and that is really safe, thanks to the high quality review system. I always think of Elizabeth Gilbert’s sunny Rome apartment, while talking about couch serfing. Don’t know why, but it really looks like a perfect stay for me! Of course, the reality can be far from it. Like an old sofa in a living room, for example. But we are here for a cheap traveling after all! Sadly, this type of accomodation is not an option for us, cause Alesha pays a great attention to his privasy. Though I personaly think, it might have been fun! 

Work Away. A dream comes true web-site. People from all over the world (literally! They even have Uzbekistan here:)) invite volunteers to help them with different work for a couple of hours per day in exchange for a free stay. Normally they will ask you to work no longer than 4 hours per day and you will still have your weekends. I used to look through their ads, so Huskies care in Sweden or plants growing in a luxury hotel of Australia are still my dream jobs! You can also do a cleaning in a botanical garden or just help seniors with their household. The coolest part is that they have calendars with the dates of when help is needed, so you can simply mark convenient period for you. You can choose any time of the year and any duration of your stay. Most of the times they invite several people, so you can grab a friend. By the way, some of them do not only provide with an accomodation, but with food, free yoga or language classes, Wi-Fi or even a car to get to the town from the cacao farm. How cool is that? But don’t forget: in order to use all the advantages of this site, you will have to pay around 10 euros, what is still way cheaper, than one night in a hostel.

Mind my House.  You’re supposed to pay a little larger fee here. Smth around 20 dollars. But you will have to do nothing at all in exchange! Cause this web-site is about people, who are looking for someone to taka care after their house, while they are away. For the vacations, for example:) I should mention, that there are not that many options to choose from there. For example, now they have only about 130. Mostly from Great Britain, but there are alsa French, Spanish and even Mexican houses. So this options is probably for those, who choose and adventure first and tickets and everything else follows

How to find cheapest food while traveling

There is only one right decision – to cook by yourselves. Well, of course, they sometimes have that dollar menu in McDonald’s in USA, for example (when you can buy several items like hamburger, coke or veggie salad for only one dollar). And it was the best way out for us during our first travel, when we only had 20 dollars per day budget. But obviously, today I don’t find such type of food inspiring in any way. So let’s stick on cooking the food. When we organize the journey, we always try to choose an apartment on AirBnB or look for a room numbers with a kitchen, like it was in “Gorky Gorod”, for example. We also stayed like that during the Milan fashion week – it was such a pleasure to have a lunch at home in between the shows! And it’s a good trick to save some money. Just have a look: you will buy enough products for a week for about 100 euros, whereas a single dinner for a couple will cost you around 30 euros! Understood now? 

How to buy cheap flight tickets 

Honestly, I know some travelers, who manage to buy tricky tickets to the city they are even not traveling to with a connection flight in a place they really need cheaper than a direct flight, or have a special baby discount without having a baby or even virtualy change home country to receive a local price. But that is too complicated and can only be based on your personal experience.

My first and the most obvious advice is to save miles! And not only with the help of clients cards. I suppose, you all know about the credit and debit cards with the same possibilities. Just make your payments in stores and cafes. The main idea is to pay for everything with a card only! Even for a gum in a local supermarket. But here goes my main advice: choose a card, connected with only one avia company and not a multibrand web-site. It will allow you to gain miles way more faster, though you probably won’t have that variety of destinations and convenient flights to choose from. But with the first option my good friends do normally travel at least once in a year (some of them – even twice!) and with Raiffaisen and iGlobe card we hardly got enough for a cheapest flight to Sochi in a year with all our new cameras and a TV. And didn’t buy it anyway, cause still didn’thave enough for the suitcases:)

Look for the discounts. Every tickets sailing web-site has its own subscription to sales (up to 80!). Choose your dream destinations and wait for an e-mail. But be ready to buy it immediately. They normally reduce price for 1 or 2 days and have a limited number of cheap tickets. Try Airfarewatchdog to begin with and than add Aviasales, Skyscanner and OneTwoTrip to your list. 

Use correct tools. You will never believe, how clever are all those browsers, searching engines and web-sites today. Let’s imagine, you have looked for a ticket to Greece recently, but havent’ bought it at once and returned in a couple of days. Don’t be surprised to see the higher price! It has nothing to do with the real one. The thing is, this web-site remembers your last visits and forces you ty buy tickets faster this way. How to avoid it? Clean cash and cookies before the next visit. By the way, MacBook users do usually get more expensive options as well. And the last point: the price of the tickets depends upon from where it was bought. Did you thought Russians, Switzerlanders and Thais do pay the same amount for the same tickets? So use save connection or special online anonimizers to hide your info. 

Beat the time. Traditionaly, tickets cost less in a year before the journey (for the planning fans!), in 2-3 months and in a few days before the departure (for risky ones, but this option is really worth it sometimes!). Night flights are cheaper, than those during the day, and weekend ones are normally more expensive, than those on work days. Most of the web-sites have an option of flexy search, so, if you’re not tight with the certain dates, try to look 2-3 days back and forth – may be it will save you some money. 

How to save on a trasport in a journey

Ticket to the final destination is not always everything, what you will have to do with the road. Sometimes you need to get to the farest part of Provence or you’re just not that type of person, spending all the vacations at one place. What should you do with that?

Bla Bla Car. Hitch hiking is probably very romantic and chic, but is obviously far from being safe. Compared with this web-site, for example. It was made to connect travelers and drivers with free seats. Just choose the one riding to your destination, make a book and join! They can ask you to share fuel fees or pay a tiny fare as well as just give a free ride. Anyway, you will see it an advance and make your decision.

Lux Express.  Traveling by bus is way more comfortable, that you might have thought. I took Lux Express to get to Riga this season and will never go there by an airplane anymore. I will tell you about them in details a little later, but here is the main idea. There are always good options on their web-site. For example. now you can buy St.Peterburg – Helsinki ticket for only 550 rubles. And St.Petersburg – Vilnius will cost you only 1 880 rubles. I’ve also seen 1 euro Riga-Vilnius tickets in fall. They go to Budapest, Kaliningrad, Warshaw and many other places. In Russia they currently have Moscow and St.Peterburg parks. But why not to choose them while traveling in Europe?

City Card. I’m sure, you understand, that it’s always better to buy unlimited pass, if you’re going to expore the city with the help of a public transport. But many capitals have an even more interesting option – City Card. It does not only provide you with the free rides, but as well allows to visit many museums and amusement parks without any additional fees. In Gothenburg, Sweden (that has at least 8 things to do and try) it costs 335 krones (365 – in a high season) and a single ride will cost you 25! And in Switzerland, for example, you can buy a train pass for 3 days, that also is an access to 480 local museums^ for 210 franks (a ride from and to the airport will cost 140 franks). 

That are all the advice I have for you today. Did you find something interesting and new? And by the way, if you have your own creative ideas on how to travel cheaply, feel free to write them in comments! Let’s help each other:)

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