This Ultimate Guide is a 6-part series of how to travel for free or almost free. Click any specific aspect to learn more. Each category shares more in-depth details about the topic.
- General Travel Tips
- Get Around: Free Transport
- Stay: Free Accommodation
- Eat: Free Food & Drinks
- Do: Free Activities
- Get Money: A Job
Travel For Free: Make Money & Travel
Travelling the world need not be expensive. There are many ways you can get things for free. Yet, it is also important to be making some money during your trip. Here are some tips to make money and travel at the same time!
Make Money with Blablacar
On a road trip? Post your plans on blablacar and earn some money to cover the cost of petrol for your road trip! We did that and had very interesting chats with a rider on the way to Paris. It makes the road trip more fun, you meet new people and you earn money! Learn more about Blablacar.
Tip: Add more stops during your road trip so you can get more riders and earn more money. For instance, if you are driving from Lille to Nantes, consider this route: Lille – Paris – Le Mans – Nantes. You can also pass through Rouen and add stops in Rennes to increase your chances of getting passengers there.
As corny as it sounds, it works. Many organisations in Southeast Asia pay a good amount of money for people to teach English. Having an accent helps. Everyone deems the British accent to be the best English accent in the world.
The Good Side:
- You get paid a lot. Is it not uncommon for a fresh American graduate to be earning US$3000-4000 a month in China just to teach English.
- You don’t need to be primarily an English speaker. I’ve met so many Spaniards and Italians, with honestly horrible English, teaching English in Vietnam. All you need is a “Western” passport – America, British, European, Australian, New Zealand.
- You are usually paid a lot in a country of low living cost. It gives you sufficient money to travel around during your holidays.
- Bonus: the more “rural” you teach, the higher you are paid. Teach in a random village in China, where people only speak Mandarin. You’ll be paid 1.5-3x the usual salary.
- You get to learn another language at the same time! Because you are surrounded by people speaking another language, you can learn that too.
The Bad Side:
- Unfortunately, Asia is racist. If you do not have a Western passport, they don’t exactly deem you as a good English speaker. I am talking about a Singapore passport vs Spanish passport. They will still hire the Spanish person instead of the Singaporean. Of course, you have more regulations like TOFEL results and all. In the end, the truth is that they want someone “white”.
- Hence, if you are black, it might not be as easy, especially in China. I literally witnessed that in China. This company is looking for an English tutor. An African American lady said she is interested and wishes to apply. The next reply was “sorry, the company only wants someone with white skin.”.
- Another example: an Indian born British lost the job to an eastern European to teach English.
Of course, the “bad side” are examples of cases I have experienced, observed and heard. It does not mean that it always happens. However, this “teach English” job might not be applicable to everyone.
No place to stay? Why not work for one that provides accommodation? Find a job in a hostel. Not only do you get an accommodation and money, you also get to meet frequent travellers like yourself. I met a friend in Vietnam that works as a receptionist in a hostel. During his free time, he gets to travel around the city and explore the city!
Being a freelancer, you are able to be flexible with your location as long as you get your job done. Check out the Top 10 Most Popular Freelancing Jobs For Digital Nomad that are constantly on the go! Sign up to job portals to find freelancing jobs available.
One of the ways to be earning money is doing short-term work in the F&B industry. They provide meals during your own hours too. It is also great if you are interested to open a bar or restaurant yourself. Take this as an opportunity to learn the operations!
Why not share your talents on the streets? Sing a song or show your talents on the streets busking. Basically, take your voice or musical instrument and play it for the public. Have a container out so people can donate!
You might also want to add details like your Instagram or reason why you are busking. It entices people to donate more and follow you on other channels!
Note: some places require a busking license, like Singapore.
If you want to take a gap year, why not join a cruise and travel the world on a cruise ship! Apply for jobs on a cruise ship and you get to go on a trip with it. Although you are working, you have accommodation and meals covered! You can explore countries when the cruise dock for a few days. Try out cruises along the Caribbean route.
Want a more stable job and allows you to travel? Be a flight attendant. You get paid to travel, allowance during your work and discounted flights!
Most national airlines are slightly more inclined to hire their own nationality, like Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. However, other airlines are very international: Qatar, Etihad and Emirates. The pay is also very decent if you are not a big spender.
You don’t have to travel to see the world. The world can come to see you. Being a tour guide, you get to meet people from everywhere! Check if you need a guiding license to be one. You need a license in Singapore and Indonesia.
To be a tour guide, you can sign up with many organisations like Viator, travelwithlocal, Airbnb Experience etc. Alternatively, promote yourself as a tour guide and work for yourself.
If you have a place somewhere, Airbnb is a great way to fund your travel!
- Host with Airbnb because you get 77% net profit increase vs traditional letting
- Things can be automated when they need to
- Travelling while hosting your accommodation? No worries! Work with a lockbox.
- No time to clean it? Hire a professional cleaner.
- Guests unsure about the location? Show them the way!
With today’s technology, everything is possible. Fast track to a Superhost with less than 3% of what people usually pay. Get the complete guide to becoming an Airbnb certified Superhost while managing it abroad!
Other Travel Resources
- Travel hacks at the Airport by Frequent Travellers
- How to choose a good backpack for travel
- Headsets for Travel
- Travel Gadgets: Headsets | Camera | Phone | Drone | GoPro | Laptop | Portable WiFi (Capturing these memories are everything and they help when you are working and travelling)
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie at beautiful destinations. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always dreamt of.