I often get asked how much money I have saved for traveling around the world. Besides being a very personal question, I can understand the curiosity factor. A better question is: How much is it going to cost to travel the world, and my answer is: zero. It doesn’t take any money at all to travel internationally. That includes airline tickets, hotels and food.
A common response: I call bullshit.
No really, if you want to travel internationally for free, you can. But you have to pay the price.
Wait a second, I thought you said “free?” I did, but the “price” you pay is to (maybe) be a little inconvenienced. And I say “maybe” because what you get (World Travel) compared to the “price (Tad inconvenienced) is so lopsided, that the inconvenience is barely one at all.
Here’s how I do it: The first stop on my travels is Chile. By using an online service that searches for the cheapest flights, instead of paying the $1,200-$1,300 cost of a one-way ticket to Chile through Expedia, I am only spending a little over $500 by using Skyscanner.
Now, to offset the cost of air travel, I could use a service like Grabr, basically buying goods for people at your destination. You get paid a fee for bringing items over for people in the countries you are visiting, where it may be difficult to get in their own countries. I’ve heard of one person, by filling up his checked luggage with Grabr goods (Inconvenience) he earned $500 (Benefit=Free travel!). And I haven’t even touched the 100,000 points I received for getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card!
Free airline travel, check!
Well, how about room and board? Personally, I found a voluntourism opportunity, where in exchange for 20 hours of my time and expertise (Inconvenience) I receive free room and board (Benefit=Free room and board, duh).
I got my volunteer opportunity through Workaway.info. I basically just paid a small fee, filled out an online volunteer profile with my information, the countries I was interested in visiting, and what skills I could provide in exchange. I was actually contacted by someone named Ricardo with the subject line: “Chile needs your skills!” Two months later, May 1st, I will be helping him with the User Interface (UI) of his online accounting software project for farmers in the area.
Free Room and Board: Check!
The amount of time I’ll spend there is open ended. Basically up to me, or until the project is finished. If I like Chile, who knows, maybe I’ll stay. Hosts get reviewed on workaway as well, and Ricardo has a perfect 5 star review with 83 reviewers.
There, that’s how you travel for free!
And the price: bringing gifts to foreigners and get paid for it, and volunteer on interesting projects with the opportunity of meeting locals who can also help your transition to a new country is the price you pay. But really, is it a “price” at all? Personally, I choose this way of travel. After a lifetime of working, like Liam Neeson says in the movie Taken, “I have a particular set of skills…” 😉
But, even if you think you don’t have any worthwhile skills, you can always help clean, or check guests in, or something – all the while receiving free room and board and a built in support system.
Is that even a “price?” Or is the “cost” really a free benefit for helping a brother out? I believe it’s the latter.
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