5 Brilliant Ways to See the World Without Shelling Out Big Bucks
Though it is kind of bombastic to announce you'll "finish up the year in Bali," travel is not an activity reserved for those with Eat Pray Love-style resources. If you're crafty, you can see the world without spending big bucks. Here are five budget-friendly ways to explore the globe.
WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) volunteers live and work with host families who run organic farms all over the world. WWOOFers negotiate the duration of their stay with their hosts and earn their keep by working hard daily. Depending on the farm, WWOOFers may learn to seed, harvest, milk, butcher, fence, or pluck — there's a variety of farm types and locations to choose from. You'll learn new skills, pay nothing besides travel expenses, meet people with different ways of life and come away with killer stories.
Couchsurfing is a brilliant way to not only lodge for free in new cities, but also meet people in your own city. When you register (free), you can search for hosts based on location, gender, accommodation photos, and provided references. Homestays are consensual and there's no money exchange allowed. Members can vouch for other members, providing another level of security. Couchsurfing can also link you to other groups traveling where you're traveling, so if you're solo then you can meet new pals. It's free lodging, social networking, and a safe way to see the world on the cheap.
No, really. Just don't mention it to your mother. Sites like Compartir.org and Hitchhikers.org can hook you up with locals who are also yearning to hit the open road (or just carpool to work, for that matter). Drive into the horizon with complete strangers —whose references and ID numbers you've checked thoroughly, of course.
As long as you can deal with kids and the occasional bratty 'tude, working abroad as an au pair is ideal. You get lodging, income, food, possibly a baby to coo at and a new country to explore (when you're not changing diapers). GreatAuPair.com and AuPair-world.net match young people looking to nanny with families in need of help.
Find a Casual Job
This option is a bit trickier, as you'll have to investigate visa requirements if you're planning on heading abroad, but it's easy to find side jobs to bring in some cash while you're traveling. Find a position doing anything from teaching ski lessons to baking bread anywhere in the world at AnyWorkAnywhere.com.