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Photo by Gina

You can travel the world for less money than you spend each month to fill up your gas tank.

WORLD TRAVEL is cheap and easy. In fact, with a little practice and effort, you can travel for free.

The idea that travel is expensive and difficult is bullshit 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 world travel experience the same way you would choose a new jacket at the mall. They want your credit card number.

The tourism industry doesn’t want me to reveal the simple secrets of free travel, but I’m going to share them with you anyway. It can be scary to travel the world with nothing more than optimism and good-will, but personal freedom begins with a leap of faith.

1. 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 world travel — and new experiences are free. Walk the streets of a city. Stop and chat with a local. People watch in a public park. 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…wait for it…going someplace new. No tour package required.

2. 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. Again, I call bullshit.

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. See #5 below for ways to obtain food and shelter for free.

3. 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, see #8) 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

CouchSurfing and WWOOF are two phenomenal online networks that help travelers connect with local hosts. CouchSurfing 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 CouchSurfing and WWOOF are seeking an alternative to high-impact consumer culture.

6. Learn a useful craft or skill.

If you have a skill, such as cooking, animal husbandry, massage, musical ability, or basic carpentry, you can barter for free food and accommodation as you travel the world.

Universally appreciated skills like cooking are best, though niche skills that are in high demand, like website design, are also useful. Native English speakers can often travel for free by teaching language classes in each destination they visit.

The slower you travel, the easier it will be to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement with a local community or host.

7. Get out of the city.

Although it’s possible to travel for free in a big city, it’s damn difficult. Cities are built on money, and necessities like fresh air, clean water, and a safe place to sleep are difficult to come by in cities.

Go to the country, where people are more relaxed, food is plentiful, and there’s ample room for one traveler to lay out her sleeping bag under the stars.

8. Find a job you love that entails world travel.

If you need an income in order to pay off loans or support a child, find a job that calls for extensive travel. There are millions of jobs available in the global economy that demand world travel.

Of course, some jobs are easier to love than others, and much work that involves travel also involves the destruction of local ecosystems and traditional ways of life. Avoid unethical work if at all possible — it’s bad for your health and worse for your soul.

For job ideas, check out 20+ awesome travel jobs and how to get them.

9. Embrace serendipity.

To travel for free requires a blend of advance planning and the willingness to seize opportunities and go with the flow. Does your new CouchSurfing friend want company for a drive across the country? Grab your pack and ride along! Does an organic farm in Thailand need a farm sitter for the rainy season? Dig in!

As Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”

Go dancing.

* This post was originally published on April 29, 2008.

Budget + Backpacker


About The Author

Tim Patterson

Tim Patterson is a long-time contributor and former contributing editor at Matador Network.

  • Hal

    Watch your back, Tim. The tourism industry’s on to you now.

    Can you imagine how different the world would be if the majority of travelers followed these tips? Really inspirational!

  • Ian MacKenzie

    Great post Tim! The tips are so simple, it’s almost more bizarre that more people aren’t traveling this way. The “trust people” point is hugely important. I found this countless times while on the One Week Job project. Situations worked out for the better so many times, it was scary.

  • Tim Patterson

    Thanks guys – I wonder if I’ll ever get a spot on a press trips now, if not, no biggy! Ian, you’re exactly right that relying on the basic good nature of people is key – travel open, travel light!

  • Christine Gilbert


    I love this piece. It put summaries exactly how I feel about travel, about taking chances, about trusting people and the world. I’ve long believe that the only difference between the people who talk about doing something and the people who actually accomplish it is very simple: they just decide to do it and go! The rest works itself out with a little patience and creativity.

    Great job!

  • Danny Gold

    Brilliant article, I really enjoyed it. Now if you could only unlock the secret to having a stranger pick up your bar tab, I might not need to ever work again…

  • Tim Patterson

    How to have a stranger pick up your bar tab:

    Get drunk. Run a tab. Leave without paying.

    Of course, not drinking is easier and very cheap. When you’re free you have less stress, and don’t want to drink as much. Drinking less makes you happier and healthier in the long-run, too.

    Thanks for the good words, guys.

  • Eva

    Danny wrote: “Now if you could only unlock the secret to having a stranger pick up your bar tab, I might not need to ever work again…”

    Danny, how are your eyelash-batting skills? ;)

  • Tim Patterson

    Gotta give a shout out to Rolf Potts and the team at, one of the web’s best resources for long-term, joyful travel.

  • Informed Offended

    I appreciate the excellent unlocking of ideas and secrets. I don’t appreciate the language used occasionally.

  • Informed Offended

    I appreciate the excellent unlocking of ideas and secrets. I don’t appreciate the language used occasionally.

    Actually, upon reading further I’m seeing that you’re quite idealistic, but also a bit unrealistic. In the real world where 90% of the people have responsibilities and duties (and the other 10% aren’t going to make it very far), it’s not possible to forsake the world and possessions and leave it all behind with a “free spirit” and throw your thumb up. Dreams are great, but there’s this thing called reality. Come back to it.

  • Tim Patterson

    Hi Informed Offended – thanks for the comment, and I apologize for the offensive language. It was meant for emphasis.

    I’ve been called idealistic many times. When it comes to travel, I agree with you that people can’t just Kerouac around the world indefinitely, but I think the pendulum has swung far too far in the other direction, and a defiant cry of BS is a necessary part of the discourse.

    Thanks again for reading.


  • Laura Burk

    Not too long ago, I came accross a travel course that teaches you how to be a professional group travel organizer. It is a great course and it is free….(they do pitch an advanced course at the end that runs about $500)

    But I was really suprised and impressed. I am sure that it isn’t just a walk in the park. (like they would want you to believe).. but it is totally do-able. The best part about it is that you not only get to travel the world for free… you travel on your terms, AND you get paid to travel. Out of all the different travel jobs that I have looked at, I like this plan.

    It is by a guy named Mark Ewing. And the course is titled “How to Get Paid to Take Luxury Vacations with People. Like I said, it is free. You can get a copy of it at

  • Lizzy

    I think it’s a fabulous idea. Of course not everyone can nor would want to travel the world forever for free. Some of us cling on to the idea of reality and responsibility. But throwing caution to the wind at some point in your life can really benefit the person you can become. So, I say, if you are brave enough, try it out. I think my only fear would be to be away from my family for an extensive amount of time. And what about a passport???? I’ll need one of those if I decide to do something like this, right?

  • Jim

    The tips that you give for traveling are all fine and dandy, and I’m sure they work if you have a lot of time and your plans are flexible. However, like most people, I only get a few weeks of vacation a year and I’m not going to spend it hitching a ride on a sailboat or doing chores for food. I work hard all year, so when I go on vacation I want to be in a nice hotel, I want to eat what I want, when I want, and see the sites that I want to see. If it costs more, then so be it. As for staying away from the cities because of the expense, they are where most of the stuff is that people go on vacation to see.

    • Boomz

      You are not the type of traveler that this blog is targeting. There are travelers and there are tourists – you are the latter (and there is nothing wrong with that!) Travelers want longer term experiences and want to have a more in depth experience of the culture. Tourists want to relax on a beach away from all their cares and worries for a week or two.

  • Emiliano Kleibman

    I simply love your post. Even your calls of “bullshit.” I would be very frightened to do some of what you espouse, but the idea of freeing yourself from the artificially generated and reinforced confusion of “wants expressed as needs” is great. Biking all around, walking, slowing down. Time NOT being money. You’re on the right track. Thanks for doing this.

  • Tim Patterson

    Thanks for the new comments!

    Lizzy, you should absolutely get a passport! In the meantime, there are a lot of opportunities for vagabonding in the States.

    Jim, I definitely appreciate your perspective but I really do think that stuff like hitching a ride on a sailboat or working at an organic farm is actually much, much more fun than a packaged resort experience. But you’re right – my article is about how to travel for free, not why one should travel for free all the time.

  • adam gardner

    My trip got real good when the money ran out. the gods were pleased and the universe stepped right up and i never needed a thing and as i went the insight of this phenomenon grew and i did not go home but developed this way where the light stays on and the karma is instant and at high-resolution and the people were all coming forward. In short I have found that every literal footstep we take is toward the light or the dark. As quickly as that! And this that you write about is how I have discovered this way.

  • rm

    Really good ideas. One should travel and see nice good things around. This widens our thinking and generates humanity within us.

  • Magister Mundi

    Aye, good tips. Although there IS one thing, in regards to foreign travel at least, that does and always will take a considerable amount of money – airfare. When a ticket costs $1,000+… well, that’s a lot of money.

  • Tim Patterson

    Adam – I love this phrase – “the universe stepped right up”.

    Magister – you’re exactly right – air tickets are expensive, but there are alternatives if you’re willing to go slow, and there are actually only a few routes where you really need to buy a plane ticket. Better though, is to cultivate a sense of wonder close to home, and travel in your own backyard.

    Here’s a link to one of my articles about how to do just that:

  • Kay

    Hi Tim

    I really enjoyed this article. Of course not everyone can live this way, but it’s a great source of ideas for those who do want to live the dream. We left the rat race fairly early and are now much happier on a lot less money. We don’t need fancy clothes and we don’t even own a car. It’s just better this way. That said, we don’t have kids – now that’s when duties and responsibilities can get in the way of freedom.

    All the best,


  • Ran Leonard

    Well said.
    I traveled for 7 months in Central and South America, mostly by hitch-hiking.

    Can’t wait for my next trip. :)

  • Jordan

    I have three problems with this article:

    1. If all you want to do is sleep outside and trade farm-labour for food, you don’t need to travel at all. This is called “share-cropping”. You can do it anywhere. And, of all the possible social positions a human being can occupy, it is the absolute worst. (Seriously…a hundred generations of medieval peasants are wondering what sort of Satanic curse you’d have to be suffering under, to choose to do their job, and call it fun. They hated it, for good reason. Death was a mercy.)

    2. Almost everything worth seeing while travelling is kept in cities — museums, cuisine…culture generally. The countryside may have the sunsets and the good hiking, but it also has the insular and xenophobic folks more likely to pelt you with rocks than to welcome you into their homes.

    3. Trusting people you don’t know while you sleep in their house is a good way to end up half-naked, raped, dead and in a ditch.

    • Boomz

      1. The difference between medieval peasants/serfs and modern day sharecroppers who do it as a choice is exactly that – it is a CHOICE. You maybe wouldn’t enjoy that type of thing – I don’t think it’s for me either – but that’s a personal thing. For the author of the article and other people like him this is a realistic and enjoyable option.

      2. Again – you’re assuming everyone wants the same travel experience you do. Not everyone is interested in museums and art and fine cuisine. Some people are more nature-oriented or prefer to immerse themselves in local culture where they travel. These things are found outside cities and resorts.

      3. I agree that trusting complete strangers can be dangerous, but it can also lead to amazing experiences one otherwise wouldn’t have. Every choice we make entails a certain level of risk and it is for the individual to decide what level of risk they are willing to accept. What might be an unacceptable level of risk for you or me might be well within another individual’s comfort zone. They have every right to make that determination for themselves.

  • Carol j

    When I read the negative comments about this article I see fear. I felt the same and was sure that I could not do this! Especially on my own, a woman backpacking through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India. I fell into doing this when a well planned trip fell over and I decided I would go anyway. If I had thought about it for any length of time I would have talked myself out of it (we are really trained from birth to want want want).
    I live in New Zealand, believe me any other country seems to be so much bigger, much noiser, more people, more money, I know the fear! But actually when you get out there it’s not. People (ordinary everyday countryside people) are just like the folks back home, friendly and helpful.
    I just can’t emphasise enough how good it is to step out of the bs just like Tim has suggested. It is totally freeing. Just GO!
    (ps – I live in the country that costs the most to get out of too! Wait for a special or just bite the bullet and save that part up)

  • adam gardner

    some people i’ve run into have been extraordinary. one Tibbis Knipp (or Kneipp) hitchiked with me down in mexico for a week and a half or so. about a year later i get a call from a homicide detective in ft. collins colo. turns out this guy was on Americas Most Wanted. Look him up.

  • adam gardner

    I met my son’s mother hitchiking in california too!

  • Mark

    So basically, you’re saying become a hobo.

  • Realist

    Reformed Offended: It’s simple, there are three possible answers for how he can do this and not have to worry about his obligations. 1). He’s a jobless loser that contributes nothing to society, nothing to his family and is wrapped up completely in his own selfish needs. 2). He’s a rich, privileged, arrogant hipster who, while preaching a lifestyle of no consumerism and organic foods, really travels around in a BMW, listening to his iPod, blogging on his Macbook Air, contributes nothing to society, nothing to his family and is wrapped up completely in his own selfish needs. 3). He’s a 14 year old idealist who’s parents were hippies, but now work for Haliburton.

    I’m leaning towards #2.

    • Boomz

      Wow – I really don’t understand the anger from you. If he’s a “jobless loser who contributes nothing to society”, as you would say, so what? If he isn’t hurting anyone, let him be. Perhaps his contribution to the world is connecting with people, sharing ideas and sharing experiences. You can’t put a dollar value on that.

      As for your other two assumptions – sounds to me like you are just bitter because this person is happy and fulfilled living a lifestyle that YOU don’t approve of. Maybe he is a hypocritical hispter douchebag. Maybe not. You have absolutely NO basis for that assumption.

  • Drew

    Firstly I’d like to thank Tim for an excellent article, it’s hard for some people to understand how this can be done and be a fulfilling experience , although of course this method is not for everyone (just read some of these negative comments…)

    I myself have done a bit of traveling, both spending money in the cities at hotels as well as on the cheap and free, and I have to tell you guys that I had 10x the amount of fun and met so many amazing people by going the cheap/free route than I ever did staying in fancy hotels and going to museums.. (I always say why spend so much for a place to stay when you’re just sleeping there and exploring the outside). Couchsurfing has been one of the best experiences in my life and I actively partake in it (hosting a surfer this week). WWOOFing is a great idea for someone looking to travel for a long period of time and stay in one place.. you live and work on the farm, but you have plenty of time to go explore the area around you and fully experience the place you’re in. But again it’s not for everyone.

    A lot of people don’t have the time to do this kind of travel, I myself have a “real job”, but I make the time and effort to take breaks and ‘just go’ and it has been a very rewarding experience. I hope everyone gets to do this sort of thing at some point in their life. Anyway, I hope this helps clear up some of the tension of these comments…

  • Jack Kessler

    Many parks and the grounds of some of the very poshest hotels have trees where the branches go all the way to the ground. If you go under the branches at dusk, you can sleep there comfortably and privately. There will be a cushion of needles and dry tree debris under the tree so it is quite comfortable. One is also protected from dew and even light rain by being under the tree.

  • Jack Kessler

    If you arrive in a small town with no place to stay and you want to sleep outside, call the cops, don’t wait for them to find you. Ask the local police where you can sleep outside. If there is a place where you can sleep outside legally they’ll know and they’ll tell you.

  • Jack Kessler

    One cheap way to travel is to rent or buy a minivan. One can buy a very small chemical toilet to use inside it. A styrofoam ice chest holds down your food costs. You get room and transportation for just the cost of the minivan.

  • Jack Kessler

    It is a specialized kind of travel, but in addition to being exhilarating and splendid, traveling by bicycle and camping alongside the road reduces your costs to just food. Sometimes you get to share your food with bears. The western United States and Canada and Alaska are good places for this.

    I am old and relatively prosperous now but I still prefer bicycle touring and camping to credit card touring.

  • Karen Banes

    I loved this and felt genuinely sorry for some of the people who left negative comments. I guess if you don’t believe it’s possible, you’ll never find out that it is. One of my best travel experiences involved crewing on a sailing boat (I hesitate to use the word yacht as that would give a truly innaccurate impression) from Darwin to the Indonesian spice islands, and on to Lombok, Bali, Jakarta and Singapore. It cost me nothing and I had no previous sailing experience. Just found a note asking for enthusiastic, willing-to-learn, wannabe sailors on a hostel notice board. The opportunities are out there (though some of the people who have left comments here will never find them, I fear!).

  • Tim Patterson

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone, even the negative ones – I’m tickled pink to be called a “mad wee hippy rat” and I appreciate everyone’s perspective. It’s important to have this conversation!

    I want to briefly address the poster who said culture is found in the cities and it’s dangerous to stay with strangers – I disagree vehemently, to the point that I feel comfortable calling him out as flat wrong.

    In my experience, culture is best preserved and practiced in rural areas. In this globalized age, cities all over the world are pretty homogenized – especially wealthy downtowns. Sure, there are museums and restaurants, but real, living, vibrant culture – the blend of traditions unique to place – is best preserved in the countryside, away from corrupting influence.

    Rural hospitality the world over is simply amazing, and staying with locals is not dangerous at all. I feel far more vulnerable in cities than I do in farming villages whether I’m in New York or Cambodia.

    Anyway, again, thanks for all the comments folks, and safe travels.


  • Tim Patterson

    Jack Kessler – GREAT comments, thank you! I love to travel by bike also – last fall I went from Montreal to New Brunswick around the Gaspe peninsula. Here’s a blog from that trip:

  • Tim Patterson

    Also want to thank Drew for his kind words and let Realist know that although he’s pretty much spot on, I don’t own a car or an iPod, and I blog with a Powerbook, not a Macbook Air.

  • Jordan

    Ah, the corrupting influence of the city!

    One more problem, then: if you’re off traveling and are suddenly crippled by a horrific attack of Campylobacter jejuni after eating some under-cooked chicken, would you prefer to be treated by a Doctor — who, you know, has an understanding of the germ theory of disease — or have raw pig’s blood slathered on your face by a man who has never washed his hands?

    I mean, I like “local colour”, too, but I also like people who know how to build school-houses and hospitals, and who don’t believe that their neighbour can make their “cattle fly off into a vortex of clouds”. (Turns out pig’s blood can also be used to ward off Thai witches and Cambodian cattle rustlers, as well as cure every sort of disease in Laos.)

    The truth is, the inhabitants of rural areas — most particularly in the Third World, though this is true of parts of Europe as well — are not lovely repositories of authentic culture. (To be fair: while I suppose being slathered in pig’s blood is ‘authentic’ in the basic sense that it is what they would do to one of their own, that isn’t an argument for trying it, nor for enjoying it.)

    In fact, the further you get from the cities, the more viciously backwards with respect to medicine, hygiene and hospitality the people get…and, eventually, you reach places where the word ‘culture’ is completely inapplicable, and your life is seriously in danger.

    Give me Allopathic Medicine, hot water, Das Pergamonmuseum and a nice chèvre en brioche, any day.

    None for you, though, because you think that “cities all over the world are pretty homogenized”.

    Ugh…not even someone who checked into the nearest Hilton as soon as they arrived in every city they ever visited could be so deluded!

    Within a hundred miles of Paris alone there are fifty unique cultures, and a few dozen argots. The same could be said for Barcelona, Glasgow, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Florence…etc. etc.

    They all include nice clean beds, and clean food, too!

    (Anyway, if you’d like to try to argue that there is no ‘culture’ in Paris or Barcelona…or that they are ‘homogeneous’…well…)

  • Michaela Lola

    “Trusting people you don’t know while you sleep in their house is a good way to end up half-naked, raped, dead and in a ditch.”

    I completely disagree. In my experience people in the rural areas, especially in 3rd world countries is where you’ll find the most open, giving and generous people. I think if you show a keen interests to their culture then true interaction can happen. Oftentimes, flashing money around becomes more of an insult than an incentive in regards to connecting with people.

    I would like to cite some of examples of my experiences backpacking through the Philippines:

    1) My friend and I were going to take a jeepney down south but had no place to pitch our tent. We had been eating in one turo-turo (cantina) shop for breakfast, lunch and dinner and struck a casual friendship with the owner/cook. As we ate our dinner of rice and spicy spinach the cook noticed our fearful glances out the window and asked us if we had a place to sleep. We said that we couldn’t find a spot to pitch our tent, then he said that he would let us stay in his grandmother’s summer house. At first we thought he was kidding, but he kept insisting and told us not to worry. With no other option, we decided to at least check it out. And there it was. A quaint little house with all the trimmings (running water, shower, linen) and he gave us the keys (his only set) and told us to just drop it off in the store before we left. It was unbelievable, but there really weren’t any strings attach (no hidden cameras, not an underground brothel, no hidden fees). It was just one nice person eager to help out.

    2) My friend and I ended up in this tiny little mining island with no food. It seemed somewhat deserted and there wasn’t anything to eat. None of the coconuts would crack open and I was beginning to imagine my friend marinated and barbecued, but our noses eventually found a house with some cooking food. We asked if it would be possible if we could buy some food from her. She laughed and promptly told us to sit. She whipped up the most delicious (I swear, it was the best meal of my life) feast of fish, squid, rice and veggies. It turns out her husband was the village fisherman and that was part of his catch of the day. We kept offering to pay for the meal, but she vehemently refused. She even put the leftovers in the bowl so we could have it for dinner.

    There are a ton more but have probably reached my word limit. I have experienced so much kindness from strangers on the road, most especially from people from the provinces. It’s one of the reasons I love traveling, as it not only reminds me of how giving people are, but of how giving we can be. It’s a reminder of our humanity. It never fails to amaze me how often it is the people who have so little are the ones who are willing to share so much.

  • Andrew Hamilton

    Wow…those are a couple awesome adventures Michaela!
    I’ve had the pleasure of shooting video all over the world:
    India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, UK, Portugal, Mexico, Canada, etc. and I have to
    say that, especially in India, I really didn’t feel like I was experiencing
    true culture until I ventured away from the ‘westernized’ city centers.

    Yes, in some situations it can be dangerous to carry loads of camera equipment into a slum area if you are not aware of your surroundings, however, I am based here in Las Vegas (where I grew up), and I would have to say that I feel more threatened here in my home town than I have in most of the other countries where I’ve traveled.

    This is a very cool article, but I think almost as interesting are the positive and negative comments that follow. They seem to lend wise balance to Tim’s posting!

    Andrew Hamilton
    Hamilton International Productions
    Video Production For The World

  • Tim Patterson

    Thanks for the comments Jordan, Lola.

    Jordan, I think we both went a little too far – no countryside is full of people who will pelt travelers with rocks, there is real culture in cities, clean hospitals and modern medicine are great, and though I’ve spent a lot of time in backwoods Cambodia, I’ve never been doused with cow’s blood.

    I do believe that local cultural traditions tend to be more vibrant in rural areas, but I’ve always preferred farmhouse meals (like the one Lola described) to art museums.

    I’ve had campylobacter. Not fun. I caught it in Scotland and was treated at a clinic in Vermont. But I still like my milk unpasteurized.

  • mark

    So to quote Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction:

    “You’re gonna be like those pieces of sh*t out there who beg for change. They walk around like a bunch of f**kin’ zombies,they sleep in garbage bins, they eat what I throw away, and dogs piss on ‘em. They got a word for ‘em, they’re called bums. And without a job, residence, or legal tender, that’s what you’re gonna be — a f**kin’ bum!”

    Seriously I think you are being a bit idealistic and self absorbed. Sounds like you are likely from a rich family and have a back up plan. I have traveled myself in a manner similar to what you have described but I did so out of necessity. I wanted to see new places and couldn’t afford a big budget. Not because I wanted to “embrace serendipity”. Don’t be such a flake.

  • sir jorge

    this is interesting, although some of it is so vague, that I do believe the cubicle land nightmare will continue for the majority of folks.

  • Tours to india

    Not to deny I was very optimistic when I reached your page… butit was more hillarious than anything serious. Now while writing this comment i am wondering what made me come here and even why am I writing this comment. It is so costly to even travel around your own city, touring around world would make me sell even my underwears. Or else I could be a beggar and make enormous money and then exhorbitantly travel around.

    Still nice post.

  • carpool guy

    that sounds a bit unprepared to me. what about travel insurance, or a working visa?
    and dont take to much luggage; underwear for 1 week, 2nd pair of pants and 2nd tshirt should be enought. better take some more money and buy what you need when you really need it.

  • Eva

    I’m having a lot of trouble buying some of this anti-city stuff. I mean, you guys don’t ACTUALLY visit major cities around the world and fail to see any substantial differences between them, do you? Or to see how they’re connected to their own cultures?

    Tim, do you really mean this stuff? I mean, seriously believe it?

    “Cities are built on money, and necessities like fresh air, clean water and a safe place to sleep are difficult to come by in cities.”

    “In this globalized age, cities all over the world are pretty homogenized – especially wealthy downtowns. Sure, there are museums and restaurants, but real, living, vibrant culture – the blend of traditions unique to place – is best preserved in the countryside, away from corrupting influence.”

    If anyone ever told me that since I’ve lived in a city my whole life, I don’t have as much to teach them about “authentic” Canadian culture as a small-towner, I’d give them a punch in the mouth. (In my authentic culture, we call that a “knuckle sandwich”… There, you just learned something.) :P

  • James

    Thanks for “calling bullshit” on how we’ve been hoodwinked by the “corporate media.”

    Yes, we’re all zombies, who are waiting to be liberated by your 12th grade philosophies.

    Really, you make some good points. Travelling through a country is amazing if you get away from the cities (cities are all the same to me now) and connect with rest of the country.

    But your preachy writing style and embarrassingly simplistic observations immediately places you as the person in the hostel everyone tries to avoid.

  • James

    I agree that cities are homogenous nowadays, and that real discovery takes place away from them.

    However, you come across as the person that people try to avoid in hostels, especially with your “I call bullshit” 12th grade philosphies.

  • adam gardner

    I find it helpful to try and avoid cities as best i can. Since all roads lead to cities I invariably end up there anyway, at which time I take good advantage of my walk out by soaking in the tourist attractions. It’s nice to see something you’ve seen a picture of, or heard of, but that element of travel doesn’t even get a worthy mention in light of the people and the food and the culture and actually kicking that countries rocks down the side of the road. Sleeping in a city is not very safe. I would prefer a home where I know who the enemy could be.

  • transliteration

    All true! #8 is my favorite!

  • transliteration

    And yes, you still forgot to mention to learn new languages whenever you have chance and traveling is a great source for it.

  • JK

    True. #8 for me as well. :)

  • Josh Kearns

    Jeez Tim, people sure spend a lot of time and effort to denounce you.

    What does that mean?


  • Crystal D.

    Speaking of traveling cheaply and simply, I’d like to share my article The Complete Guide to Pain-free Packing.

    One of my tips is to pack like those clever Europeans and bring black or other neutral clothing that can be mixed and matched for multiple occasions and settings.

    Happy travels!

    Thank you,
    Crystal D.
    Sparkleizer and Home Organization Expert

  • Tim Patterson

    @ Mark – good quote from Pulp Fiction, but I think bumming – or low budget travel – or Vagabonding, is a window into truth, or at least affords an important new perspective on society, especially for wealthy Americans like myself.

    Here’s a great quote from Gary Snyder:

    “…see the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn’t want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, at least fancy new cars, certain hair oils and deodorants and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to the mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier…”

    Doesn’t that get your juices flowing?

    If we’re going to ever confront potentially apocalyptic problems of the post-industrial age, like nuclear armament, climate change, and totalitarian government, we’re going to need to foster a perspective that dares to look at the American Dream from the the other side of the tracks.

  • Tim Patterson

    Eva wrote:

    Tim, do you really mean this stuff? I mean, seriously believe it?

    “Cities are built on money, and necessities like fresh air, clean water and a safe place to sleep are difficult to come by in cities.”

    “In this globalized age, cities all over the world are pretty homogenized – especially wealthy downtowns. Sure, there are museums and restaurants, but real, living, vibrant culture – the blend of traditions unique to place – is best preserved in the countryside, away from corrupting influence.”

    Yeah, I guess I do, at least so far as vagabonding is concerned. I mean, this post is titled “How To Travel For Free”, and it’s simply easier to travel for free in the countryside than it is in the cities.

    There certainly is culture in cities, and plenty of clean sheets, but a traveler without money is going to find them inhospitable very quickly.

    I don’t want to travel like a bum all the time, but it’s nice to know how to, and helps me to empathize with displaced country-folk now flooding into urban slums.

    As always, I appreciate your thoughts!

  • Steven

    Hello TIm,

    great post, congrats.
    I have a Dutch blog, can I do a free translation of your post,
    with a link then to this one? Or to another website?


  • Eve

    Great post Tim, I love the discourse. Since I hung out with you in a big city, and I know you’re not a rich douche bag, I felt the need to weigh in here and give props where they’re due.

    Travel liberated me from the rat race and it has done the same for many people I know. The conversation here is on FREE travel, people. There are many options when traveling. You can go fully-planned-tour style or you can rough it or you can do something in between, enjoying an economic trip rather than never going and spending $ on stuff instead.

    If you want to go bare bones you have to take the risk of not having “clean sheets” and letting go of your upstanding American citizen identity and not being scared to bum it, like most of the world. That’s if you want to travel for FREE. It’s on the extreme end of adventure and it means taking some risks. Doesn’t mean you contribute nothing to society. Usually you become a more useful person to yourself and others when you allow yourself the time and space for personal growth – to let go of fear and the kind of randomly misplaced anger exhibited here in some of the negative comments.

    Give up the Tim haterade and go backpacking, young Republican! You’ll learn a lot about yourself and the world – it’s pretty comforting to learn, first-hand, that you can trust strangers. It’s not as overwhelming of a process as you think – it’s actually really fun to reinvent yourself for a bit in a foreign place. You can always come back home. You don’t have to feel guilty for doing something for yourself – you deserve it, look at it as a personal investment in your future as a hard-working, respectable American. I know you want to or you wouldn’t be reading this article.

    My 65-year-old father just visited South America for the first time and went home a new man. He took Spanish classes, after never having been interested his whole life, and felt like he connected with new friends. It was a trip to the city but my parents skipped the big hotels and stayed in a small bed and breakfast that was affordable ($40/night) and felt like someone’s home. They took trips to the countryside and enjoyed the city and small towns alike. They said the best part of their trip was the people and they can’t wait to come back and then to go to Brazil. Their trip wasn’t free, but it was affordable.

    #2 is important if you’re traveling on a budget. I’ve traveled with people who spent triple that of their companions because they hit bars and restaurants instead of cooking or because they took cabs instead of buses. I’m usually one of the spenders, actually, because I manage to handle #8 but I’ve done it dirt cheap and it’s a great adventure.

    It’s up to you – but don’t let money keep you from travel! It’s not for the rich, and unless you have a pile of kids you can set out on your own and get to know yourself and the divine through adventures outside of your habitat, away from your cellphone and parking spaces. It’s great and Tim’s right, most of the good parts are free, even in the “culture filled” cities!

    I lived like a semi bum in Paris after school and lived off of almost no money for 6 months, babysitting, being a maid, waitressing, with my own tiny apartment and plenty of time on my hands to explore the city. I dined at a top restaurant and drank amazing wine a couple times a month with an English school. I was a member of the Louvre and went out to hear live music all the time – on a strict budget. I was poor and alone and it’s my favorite memory because I did it myself and felt really good about what I could do. You can too, don’t resent Tim, just do you. (He actually came across as a hard-working American with strong values. Seems like most of the good guys are a lot more granola than ad-exec, these days.)

    Get out there on the road and invest in yourself, give yourself the chance to lose your cynicism through personal experience. Make a budget and stick to it. There’s a reason why everyone raves about it, it’s incredible to feel free out in the world and spend time with yourself in great places.

  • Josh B

    Unfortunately everyone has had a bad experience travelling, that’s life. Some people are twice shy and some brave the unknown again. It may not be fear, and maybe not even cynicism so much as the desire to learn from one’s mistakes taken too far to preserve natural curiousity, tolerance, or the adventurouse spirit.

    I can see my own experiences and attitude in every post depending on how things were going at the time, (I have had my share of miserable experiences.) We all react, adapt, and behave differently under circumstances beyond our control.

    At 30, I seem to recall my expensive trips as quiet and not quite what I wanted them to be, and on the cheap (or accidentally free) trips as mostly great (if sometimes difficult/scary/uncertain) because that is just how things seem to work out. From experience, when I over think it, I ruin it. Money usually = expectations, and they are hard to meet. Usually hardship brings out the best in us, and when people witness hardship, there’s humanity, indifference, or opportunistic brutality. When you are exposed to the world, you only have to wait to see which.

    Kids do change everything, so I am constantly reminded of how preoccupied I am with safety, and what seems like necessity under stressful family situations. When you can experience life, learn from it and then pass it on to your kids, if for no other reason than to prepare them for your eventual absence, and their handy survival/success in hard times.

    I am the “man” to my cousin, but I gladly and viciously protect our right to freewheel, and call eachother losers or Hippees (I can’t stand hippees, but only for their intolerance of opposing perspectives…same reason I can’t stand yuppies, or racists for that matter) but my time seems to get longer as the enlistment gets shorter and I still spend more and more time away from my family.

    I echo the sentiment that hospitality and trust seem to fade under the microscope of the media, (statistics don’t help,) but I defy those who might argue I was ever rich, privileged, or granola – (no offense to the granolas.)

    I find that the (people or organizations) we represent rarely represent us well. When we speak up it’s difficult to present ourselves as well as we’d like, because there’s always something we leave out, or wish we hadn’t said. I believe simply that to see the world, you have to go out and look, and sometimes it’s not pretty.

    Also for your Consideration, until the last 50 years or so, most people never left the100 square miles around their home. Crazy!
    Take care everyone!


  • Tim Patterson

    Thanks Eve, and Josh for your kind and thoughtful comments –

    one thought:

    “If you truly want to be of service to the world, you need to keep your own needs to a minimum.”

    -Ryan Libre

  • Eva

    Tim, the point I was trying to get you to confirm was whether you really believe cities worldwide are “homogenized” and lacking in “real, living, vibrant culture” – not whether you really believe they’re harder to travel for free in. (That part I’ll at least partially agree with – aside from the far greater prevalence of couchsurfing hosts in urban areas.) I realize that “how to travel for free” is the point of the post, but we’ve ranged a bit further in the comments, and that’s okay, right?

  • Tim Patterson

    Sure thing Eva, thanks for pressing me – here’s what I wrote:

    “In my experience, culture is best preserved and practiced in rural areas. In this globalized age, cities all over the world are pretty homogenized – especially wealthy downtowns. Sure, there are museums and restaurants, but real, living, vibrant culture – the blend of traditions unique to place – is best preserved in the countryside, away from corrupting influence.”

    Homogenized was the wrong word, but I stand by the rest of the paragraph. I do think that local culture – “the blend of traditions unique to place” – is best preserved in rural areas.

    The problem here is trying to lasso the word “culture” – there’s probably not a word with broader meaning in the English language.

    Cities overflow with culture, because there’s culture everywhere there are people. The difference I experience between rural areas and urban areas around the world is that local, deep-rooted traditions that survive in villages are overwhelmed in urban areas by the ‘culture’ of a global elite, and pressured by the demands of survival in the new mega-cities.

    Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Boston, Dubai, Shanghai…even Phnom Penh…in all these urban areas you can see the same Hollywood movies, eat the same California rolls, buy the same Toyota and get by with English.

    This isn’t to say that other, more unique cultures don’t exist in cities – like I wrote earlier, there’s culture everywhere. Homogenized is the wrong world…maybe overwhelmed is better, but that doesn’t quite cut it either.

    All I know is, when I lived in a Japanese village, in a house with tatami mats, I felt closer to “Japanese culture” than I ever did in Sapporo or Tokyo.

    Instead of criticizing cities, though, I should have responded to the commentator who bashed rural areas and farming villages by emphasizing what makes those places so wonderful. I guess that’s a whole new article.

  • Greg R

    Great post Tim.

    Its hard to believe that adding “BS” to a post a couple of times could spark such a response on here, but I love it. :) Such is the world we live in. Give people a simple plan to become happier in life and some reject it feverishly, choosing instead to lash out about “being responsible”. Its not my responsibility to make rich corporations richer by buying things made in sweatshops.

    I also call Bullshit. :)

    - Greg

  • Josh Kearns

    Maybe what Tim’s getting at with this urban/rural thing is akin to what’s alluded to in chapter 8 of the Tao Te Ching (the most directly relevant verse indicated with * *)…

    The supreme good is like water,
    which nourishes all things without trying to.
    It is content with the low places that people disdain.
    Thus it is like the Tao.

    * In dwelling, live close to the ground. *
    In thinking, keep to the simple.
    In conflict, be fair and generous.
    In governing, don’t try to control.
    In work, do what you enjoy.
    In family life, be completely present.

    When you are content to be simply yourself
    and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

    In many rural areas, you can get right down on the ground and really groove with what’s going on there, with what’s naturally happening and appropriate to that place. This is more difficult in cities, where a lot of the natural flow has been impeded and hounded and chased away by constructions that seem to derive pretty much exclusively from the human ego.

    He’s right – if you’re in Los Angeles, there’s really no point in going to Tokyo. They have the same sushi bars, the same designer fashions, the same air pollution. They’re effectively the same place. Now, Hokkaido, on the other hand, from what I’ve heard…..

  • Charlie

    Hey Tim,

    While it’s pretty clear that not everyone agrees with what you wrote, it’s disappointing in the way that they express themselves. At the very least, they should be able to take some of your great advice such as to take it slowly or to “embrace serendipity.” I know there are plenty of people out there who love to see just what comes next and not have each moment planned out in front of them.

    One of the wonderful things about traveling is that the appreciation of seeing new places and experiencing new cultures can–and should–transcend things such as race, class, and ethnicity. It is not sad when someone wants to forgo the proposed shackles of the modernized world to do their best to leave a smaller mess behind. It is sad only when people attack that person’s ideals for the sole reason that they are different.

    I’m amazed at how riled up some people got, though I suppose I shouldn’t be. Nice job, Tim. As always, I look forward to the next piece.


  • Pat

    great advice! read this and change how you travel forever

  • Daniel Harbecke


    Excellent article. I can understand the reactions to it. You’re suggesting things many don’t know are possible. Trusting strangers, going somewhere you don’t know, risking illness, letting down the walls, shedding total security – avoiding all of this is drummed into our heads every day, usually by offering up horror stories about the ones who get clipped.

    Go to another part of the world, and no one would believe we’d do anything as nuts as getting into a car and braving LA traffic. But people do it here every day.

    The negative comments really have nothing to do with you, your age, how much money your family has, your attitudes of responsibility, personal worth, societal contribution, and so on. Whoever commented on them is just making unfounded assumptions – there’s nothing in your writing (and I’ve been reading it for many months now) or what I know about you personally that remotely suggests you support shrinking from maturity.

    What the hostility shows is how common the attitude is that we can spit on the homeless, treat the poor like criminals, because they don’t live like “normal” folks – or, more tellingly, because they don’t have anything of value to us. The real reaction is about how frightened people get when someone suggests life isn’t really about money or what it buys.

    You’re not suggesting to douse yourself with gasoline and blow out candles, you’re suggesting that many people are isolating themselves further and further from the bigger picture of life, and that they can get back to it. It’s not about “run out and do something stupid,” it’s “get out of your paranoid bubble-suits and take a walk somewhere.” In this increasingly sterile and mechanical era, trying to make this kind of unpopular message less scary to people is, to me, one of the most noble and thoughtful gestures you can make today. So keep on fighting the good fight.

  • Sue Kearns


    I liked your article. Traveling as you suggestion is full of the possibility of learning things you would not otherwise. Not a traveling mode for everyone. But, we can all take parts of your travel plans and us them when we are traveling and for everyday life. You are learning and growing, which, of course, is not bad.

    Sue Kearns

  • Daniel Harbecke

    I was thinking about it some more, and something else really bothered me.

    Why would anyone quote “Vincent Vega,” a fictional hitman, for guiding insight on how to treat homeless, the poor, or for that matter anybody else?

    Why is Tim getting grief for telling people they don’t have to spend, spend, spend to go someplace, while Pulp Fiction has become a fountain of ethical wisdom?

    Strange planet…

  • Kirsty

    Great article, as always Tim! I’m with you… give me a month on a farm or a few nights on a stranger’s couch any day over a resort. Even if I had to pay.

  • keerthi

    hey i would love to travel the world for a any job please help me

  • Nathan

    Thanks for the great tips…I found this via a stumble link and plan on following the blog. I’m working to get the lifestyle down, now I just need to take that step.

  • Michaela Lola

    Though its somewhat old news, for those who haven’t read it and are seriously looking for a way to travel around the world for free then check out:

  • Erin

    To Tim: Great post, glad I came across it. You are very active in the comments so I thought I would leave one of praise also. Hope to discover more of your posts!

    To Realist: Traveling, learning about other people (i.e. how to trust them even when you don’t want to, different cultures…) is a great way to give back to society, your family and yes, yourself. Traveling might be the best way to improve your social capital and human capital!!!!!!

  • agnesgriffins

    Good day Tim!

    Thanks for your tips I really love travel and explore some other places.

  • Erin

    This is my favorite article so far and I love the discussion it invoked! I find that the more money you have, the more needs you think you have. But once the money is gone, your creativity kicks in and you find possibilities you never knew existed. Traveling for free leads you to life-changing experiences and interesting people. Plus, you don’t have to worry about funding foreign-owned all-inclusive resorts that cheat the local economy. And like you said in your comment, everyone doesn’t have to travel free all the time, but when gas costs $4/gallon, it’s nice to have the option.

  • Erin

    I just posted the comment above but I don’t know who Erin is!…

  • Angelina

    I LOVE these tips. It’s a great reminder that sometimes we, as travelers, forget how great traveling can be even without the comforts of a W hotel room.

  • Sarah!


    I “Stumbled Upon” your article, and I was like, hey I know that guy! We’re traveling to Italy later on this summer, and I think that J will really appreciate many of the things that you said. Hope that your travels and writing are going well. Let me know if they ever bring you to the windy city.

  • Kottly

    Hey guys..Great tips..! thanks…

  • Kelley

    I know a way to travel for free! sends anyone who can make a good travel video anywhere in the world. They just expanded their TripVlogger program and are accepting applications now here:
    They’ve sent quite a few people (myself included) and they pay for your travel! It’s awesome and they are an awesome website. Check it out:

  • rugslinger

    Interesting post. Anyone trying to plan a cheap trip (sorry, free isn’t going to happen) should check out this guide to the cheapest countries in western europe, latin america, and asia.

  • Jen

    I just wrapped up a 14 month trip around the world and while I call BS on the title of the article (time and effort have just as much value as the almighty dollar, in my opinion), Tim makes many excellent points, as do the others who provided comments. Undoubtedly, many of the best things you will experience when traveling will cost very little.

    Still, it is nice not to be completely destitute if you hope to get the most out of your trip. You want to be able to give, as well as to receive from the communities and fellow travelers you interact with. Often a small injection of cash can make a big difference to a family struggling to meet the rising cost of food staples or pay for needed medicines. Not to mention that washing your clothes from time to time will improve the collective reputation of the global travel community…

    I would also warn others against over-thinking every expenditure they make. Constantly worrying that you are being overcharged by a few rupees or baht for a tuk tuk ride will wear you down quickly. I have very few regrets from the trip, but most are related to NOT spending money, rather than spending too much – failing to buy that special locally-crafted keepsake I admired or passing up the opportunity to visit a cultural icon because I was concerned about blowing my budget. As others have suggested, they key is to strive for balance. Don’t expect something for nothing, but, to quote the Rolling Stones, if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.

    And, finally, a weigh in on the urban vs. rural discussion: both have culture, but the former is generally the best place to find cultural “products” like art, architecture, fashion, music, etc., while the latter is usually the best place to learn about cultural traditions, such as rituals, celebrations, religious observences, etc. They are two very different aspects of culture, and hard to compare, although cultural traditions are often cheaper to access!

  • Travelhouseuk

    It’s possible to travel most of the world without any money at all but it’s not necessarily all that much fun. There will be hard times and you will find yourself wondering just what you’re going to eat later that day. At the same time, once you hit rock bottom there’s a certain comfort in knowing that things can’t get much worse.

  • mojokiss

    i love bad language – its like – a little bit of dirt in the fresh veggies out of my garden to prove its healthy and trustworthy. Personally, I never like to offend anyone if i can help it tho – its usually an accident.

  • Trish Sare

    I love your article. I travelled the world for 5 years, working my way around the world and all of the points that you mention are all things that I did to travel on a minimal budget. My travels have inspired me to build my own adventure travel company, BikeHike Adventures ( If I can add a few tips that I also embraced on my travels.

    1. Be Open…Don’t be shy and talk to travellers and locals everywhere. You can gain some insightful tips for where to venture to next. You can also be exposed to some interesting jobs to pick up along the way.

    2. Investigate whether some of the countries you’re visiting offer work permits to your nationality. Many countries have reciprocal agreements to each other allowing young people to work abroad on one year work permits.

    3. Don’t carry all of your money in one place. Spread your money around your body, pockets, luggage, etc. If you do get robbed, you likely won’t lose the whole lot.

    Happy Travels

  • libby

    great blog .. really enjoyed reading this .. so simple but true .. shame about those that are not willint to step outsiude of the box or rather within in it as it is so obvious and staring them in their faces .. but of ten the simplest is overlooked .. thankyou for drawing the attention and reminding that the best things inlife are free .. all good wishes dear friend Lib x

  • cesco

    i like travelling in world wide and tryunderstanding in various people in the world bacause I enjoy travelling it is so funny to even if its survivor

  • Divinity Rose

    Thanks so much! What an awesome post! I wasn’t familiar with WWOOF!

  • Mirsya

    I really love this idea!
    But, I have so many questions
    1)I’m Indonesian and wanting to travel to Europe, I don’t think that sailing is the best idea. What should I do?
    2)I can do a little massage, how can I get paid?
    3)Wanna visit my place? Then, we can travel accross Indonesia. I need a travelling mate….
    Thx a lot….

  • Dean Kennedy

    Great stuff guys, good to hear there are more people out there with the same ideology. Leave the pleb package tours for the seniors and get out there. Sick of hearing people say “oh you’re so lucky to travel” because they can’t. Why? they have a job, university, stuff in their house, a cat. pretty much normal life. They say, I’ll travel later, next year, when im finished university, when I get some free time etc etc. Bad news is guys you can’t buy your youth. People aren’t going to look at you the same when you ask them to crash on their couch or hitch a ride when your too old. get it out of you now and be content later in life. And you’re right, you don’t need ample amounts of money to travel. it costs 20 bucks for a craigslist rideshare out of town and subway have $5 footlongs so quit your excuses.

  • James Camuso

    Another way to spend a month or three “just getting to know the place” is by using the as a busman’s holiday source of house/farm/lodge sitting.
    I knew quite a bit about Homer Alaska after the month and half spent there as well as three months in Belize at the end of the country on an organic farm.

  • idogis1

    I see two major problems in the people who leave negative comments logic. One: they assume that everyone in the world is the worst sort of person. Yes, there are horror stories about bad things happening to travelers but this didn’t bother people several decades ago, not because they didn’t happen, but because you never heard about it. News makes people paranoid. Two: the assumption that hard labor is a bad thing. I work at a summer camp for next to nothing. I work all day and often can barely stand at the end of the day, I’ve gotten infections, developed a sleep disorder, and have chronic bowel problems while I’m there, but I come back every year. Most people think I’m crazy, I’ve had loads of people try to talk me out of going back, but in the face of the adversities I still hold that it is one of the best things I have ever done with my life.

    I’m graduating high school in a year. I want to do something with my life that will actually do me some good. I plan on doing basically what this article details.

  • painhertz

    When I was a kid you could hitchhike acros the US and never think twice about it. Now, you probably won’t make it. The same goes for Europe and Asia. The world can be and is ugly and if you’re all alone in some out of the way place you might find yourself digging your own grave.

  • don

    I agree with most people that this approach is sheer fantasy and only a small handful of people actually can travel this way. And really, when I travel, I like to have my time to myself and I like to not have to worry about things. If you travel like this, you’re always at your own back to where you’ll be sleeping from one day to the next, where your next meal will come from and what you’ll do in cases of really bad weather.
    It’s simply not practical. Not practical at all.
    But the idea has been around for ages….and people have been traveling like this for ages. They have names. They’re called bums.
    No offense to anybody but if you’ve ever tried this, you realize that one of the toughest parts is that eventually your fantasy will come to an end and you’ll have to pick up in ‘real life’ where you left off. Join the workforce again, find a place to live that doesn’t involve an old tarp and a sleeping bag. Getting back into life would be even harder than leaving it behind.
    So while I don’t fault anyone for having the fantasy (especially cubicle dwellers who work 50 hour work weeks in a florescent plagued environments) the reality is probably that less than 1% of people can live like this for any length of time over a few days.

  • Dean Kennedy

    Hey Don, if you like your comforts of staying in hotels and resorts then why are you trying to give advise on a column that influences cheap travel??? get out of your shell mate and smell the real world. Your just another pleb that is scared of humanity and its offerings. If you call us bums mate then what do you call yourself, can you allow me to call you a boring as bat shit plebian softcock thats to good to take a lift with someone they havent met through family friends?
    Fantasies are happening everyday for people that take chances. If you do decide to hitchhike one day then its your own negative energy that will attract the wrong person. when your standing on that highway and someone stops, your not obliged to get in that car. You can make your own opinion about someone in the few seconds you have to talk between the car door. all you have to say is no thanks.
    And to Painhertz- yes it will keep on hurting if you keep on neglecting the good people of this earth. the only grave you will be digging is your own if you think that way. Id suggest taking on some trust in your life.

  • Jbones

    So it seems like the people who responded negatively missed the point. The article explains ‘how to travel for free’ and is directed at those that may be interested and not aware of how to go about it. Is for everyone, no. Does it explain different ways to travel for free, yes it does.

    For those that are negative, I wish you the best, but feel sorry for you and your unwillingness to open your mind and hear the guy out. Your thoughts are just as pre-packaged as the expensive tour groups you take. The earth did not come with an instruction manual, so don’t treat it like it did. If others want to hitchhike and exchange english lessons for some food or do yard work for a place to sleep, what’s it to you? I’m sorry if I sound like a hippy here, but some people seem to have forgotten that being alive on this weird spec of dirt floating around in the universe is nothing more than a fucked up miracle, so enjoy your time on it.

    Tim, next article, ‘how to travel in luxury without any money’, now that is something I could use some tips on.

  • Charley Riddle

    I have read your absolutly wonderful article and you give inspiration. I’ve been traveling for about 10yrs now. The journies I’ve endured and the adventures I’ve encountered have been breath taking and the most wonderful life experiences you can imagine. I’ve met some of the most kind hearted people and also some of the most hateful people on earth. But I wouldn’t change a thing. You take the good with the bad, that’s what makes us who we are in this life, our life experiences. Why go another minute around that same old track when you can make your own adventure. Don’t just sit on the couch and dream about being in those places you see on t.v…..go there, do it, it is possible. anything is possible.

  • Stevenredd

    For those of you who understand this, stop trying to preach to the unconvertable. These are the people who won’t leave the country because it’s, well, *different* over there. The ones whose biggest adventure is to Puerta Vallarta where they eat at the Hilton, pay retail for blankets and trinkets and complain about the dust (bugs/noise…fill it in). It’s sad, really. There’s such a huge world of people out there who want to meet us. I’ve yet to have a bad experience. Oh, I got cranky about weird airport rules and diminishing bag size (I’m tall…I have big clothes), but it’s truly wonderful out there. And I was one who didn’t go for years for fear of *difference.* Now, we meet people online through other work/social friends and wind up with a free place to stay, some several great recommendations and new friends who we hope will allow us to return the favor someday.

    Don’t try to convert them to hard….because of their fear, they stay out of our way.

  • janice

    obviously, you have never been to northern Canada, there is snow 8 months a year. Can’t very well sleep under the stars, can you? As for free lodging, probably not, as most hotels and inns are expensive here ($180 per night) and a very hostile homeless community that lives in the male only hostel I know of… so tell me again how I can have free travel?

  • Dean Kennedy

    Janice, have you thought about traveling outside of your own country?

  • Raquel

    I’m assuming you have never been to northern Canada either, there are hostels and jobs aplenty. Especially in the northern British Columbia and Alberta region, people are kind and friendly as most jobs can be simply procured by walking into a shop or restaurant. If you travel eastward you will find rural communities Native American reserves and many people willing to show you the “Canadian way” of being polite and welcoming.
    As for sleeping under the stars all you need is basic survival skills, ie. how to make a fire how to catch game if you don’t bring your own sustenance and how to cultivate fresh water. Also a great thermal sleeping bag. Winter camping is an amazing activity and really helps you realize how much we can overcome by just facing our fears.
    By the way this can all be done whilst having a secure job at your home base, an affordable flat to store belongings, and a leave of absence from your employer.
    Try it out sometime you may realize life is a lot easier and more enjoyable than you make it up to be.
    Good Luck

  • jono

    great advice tim i am going to try it out when i get some stuff together in a rucksack but i was just wondering how do i start to travel for free in the uk cos i am in edinburgh and it will be my first time doing something for myself for the first time let me know thanks

  • Richard

    It is really hard especially after you have kids.
    I would say go traveling the world before you get married!


  • http://www.phoenixarriencom Phoenix

    What an interesting article.

    To address the issue of having a family and traveling, I would say it can be done – not as easily but you can still travel very cheaply, if you are organised and keep alert to what is going on around you.

    I am a travel writer and have been traveling with my children since they were six weeks old. While I do travel for work and some of this is covered or contra-dealed, I have often traveled under my own finances with my children, including China, Spain, UK, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, NZ, etc.

    Children break down barriers – the other side of the coin is that people feel safer to invite you – and we get asked to share meals, stay in places, travel in vehicles and so on, far more than when I travel alone.

    I don’t always accept (and I don’t couchsurf with kids) as I consider and evaluate everything carefully in regard to safety. But we have shared priceless moments, laughter, shows, activities, meals, trips and visits with people from all over the world and in the process saved money and traveled cheaply.

    I do have a partner and he stays at home:-)

    So don’t use kids as an excuse. Children learn more from travel then in classrooms. At school? Pull them out for month or a year – they will return to formal study with applied knowledge of geography, maths, anthropology, botany, geology, economics, mechanics, society, social studies, zoology, food, sharing, relationships and the world.

    Travel with them, be sensible and let them lead at times – you will be amazed!

  • Micaela

    Great ideas…

    Where’s the part that tells me how to get rid of my student loans so I can be free and travel without worry?

    • Michael

      You actually wouldn’t be getting rid of your student loans but if you call the provider and tell them that you need a forbearance, you can put your loans on hold for up to a year. I’ve had my student loans on forbearance ever since I graduated in 2004.

  • jono

    does anyone know how i can start my travel from the uk in edinburgh cos i am stuck on how to travel from the uk

  • Hobo bob.

    So basically, do what I do.

  • Kai Rikard Soukka

    Travel for free means a very frugal existance , it also means getting rained on , sleeping in the same clothes you wore for a week , going hungry at times and freezing your arse off ion cold nights !
    I live in Australia , I have travelled ALL over australia for free , but hey I know this place , it is my home ,country now .
    Freegans are people whom eat for free by doing ” dumpster diving ” behind supermarkets when they throw out end of use by date food.
    Hare Krisna welcome travellers to their comunes in exchange for labour , one gets free vegan nourishment and free accomodation. They are in almost every concievable location in A ustralia tourists would want to visit , even in the capital cities .
    Homeless shelters like St Vincent De Paul and Salvation Army give free meals and accommodation with free laundry services,free telephone calls , free travel vouchers an limited cash when available and most importantly free medical !!!
    Womens services are harder to come by as every one expects them to have a male companion to look after them . Single women are at peril of falling to vice to get by here , believe me Australia is not a good place to be with no money , they won’t even let you past customs at the airport if you cannot prove you have sufficient means to support yourself financially !!
    Shipping lines offer free or paid travel in exchange for duties . Livestock carriers are always going to Arabic nations and Japan .

  • Jack

    Tim.. thank you so much for your tips..

  • Aref

    Well, how can have a real practice? I like travel very much as some bad nights tryto go to sleep in dream of a travel. I think we can have a small group that members freindly help each other to travel to thier country. for example make invitation for visa, give a place at home and food and show the placesand beauties. I am really interested to share this possibility with whom has same opportunity. I think by this way it will be just the cost of travel that can be a flight or bike! you may feel interest please write me at I live in Iran (Tehran)

  • Robyn

    I’m 16 and all I want to do with my life is travel, routine is something I can’t stand. All the way through my secondary school years I dreamt of leaving the classroom and travelling, obviously being too young and in compulsory schooling it just wasn’t possible. But now I’ve left school and I’m in college out of choice, everyday I think about quitting. It feels like the only time I’m happy is when I’m somewhere I’m not usually. The whole time I’m at home, on the train to college or in college I just day dream of being somewhere else. If I had someone who felt strongly about leaving this life for a life adventuring with no money with me, I would up and leave tomorrow but there is no one. Everyone’s very set on sinking into working and universities. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable travelling on my own. Any suggestions as to what I could do… or a way of finding a travel companion?

    • Melody

      Hey Robyn, I feel the exact same way. I just finished my Associate’s degree at community college and I feel that by continuing on that I will never get to be free and travel like the travel that is mentioned here, because after college I must find a job to pay off the student loans, etc etc. Getting caught in the mundane cycle of mere existence. I too wish I had someone that I could trek the globe with and be without a care, just as it is mentioned in the article. I would love to have friends all over the world that I could travel and visit and oh, man. This would be a dream come true, to just up and leave, and see the world as it really is, not a world through a travel agency.

      • Rose

        It does seem hard to find people to travel with, but if you jump out there on your own, its pretty easy to meet like-minded people at hostels etc and find others to travel with. And once you start travelling and meeting people, you’re set up for life – you’ll have people all over the world to visit and come visit you. But if you’re a bit freaked out about setting out on your own, try getting a job in your local area that attracts foreigners (the tourism industry, fruit-picking….) and you’ll probably meet people to travel with that way. Also, those are the kind of jobs that you don’t need to be tied down to for long.

        I’m an incredibly shy 27-year old from NZ who has only done two 3-month stints of travelling but I have friends in Canada, the States, the UK, Ireland, Japan, Korea, China, and Argentina. These are friends I have made from travelling on tours together and working for a local tourism company.

        I know this forum is about travelling on the cheap, but the money part is the bit that freaks me out the most. Maybe because the only travelling I have done is with a tour group, it has been very expensive and I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether I can afford to do what I’m doing. I’m currently working as a teacher at home for 2 years to pay for my student loan, then plan to work my way around the world, probably as an English teacher. Big ups to those living the dream and already out there in the big wide world!!

    • JIm

      Hi Robyn

      I think it’s great you have this adventurous spirit. But trust me when I say, don’t quit college, I’ll tell you why. Actually the best time to travel is while you’re in college, you get perks where ever you go with student discounts and offers. To me, the best approach is to plan.. very important to plan ahead. First I would finish a bachelors degree and give myself a travel reward – go backpacking somewhere new to you. After that, come back finish a masters if possible and do it again, reward yourself with traveling.
      Now, why a degree is so important? The “key” is that a career will give you options that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Trust me, you want options and a safety net if you eventually decide to settle down.
      By the way, there are hundreds of really cool careers out there that are fun, can help change the world and give you lots of travel opportunities.
      Hope this helps

    • thais

      im a 25 , , i had to move from peru at 17 cos my parents desided to move to australia, it took 3 year for me to have the courage to make my backpack and actually travel back home to backpack for 3 months, sometimes if you have never done it , is better to do it at your country , or somewhere where they speak your language too.Since then i have being back 2 more times and have done 2 months in central america, plus up north here in australia in cairns,and i am hooked on it ,there are soooo much people out there doing it for years at a time, in groups, married couples, seniors,singles, young and old, i think there is no discrimitation of who can or cant do it,if you want it so badly take that first leap of faith and just go for it, you will never regret it, my friends always tell me they could never do what i do , that is to work for one year and then just quit and go traveling,but i see them 25-28 year olds working making money , to buy things they dont really need and up to the neck inresponsabilities to enjoy it, go out into the world and travel around cheaply(you will enjoy it more) till your broke, there will be other times to be be a responsible adult.enjoy

    • Sue

      Robyn,I could be ur travel mate,seriously :-)

      contact me if u like,friend :-)

    • Sue

      Robyn,my email :

  • dean kennedy

    Robyn, what country are you in?
    The best advise anyone can give you is your own, don’t feel pressured into anything you don’t want to do. Get out of the system and enjoy your youth but stear clear of anything that can put your life in danger.

  • John Stapleford

    One better and easier..
    Want to get paid doing it?
    Join the Navy.

  • zelimir

    What about 66 old diabetic in retirement

  • Rebecca

    I really liked Point #2 — Keep you needs to a minimum. I totally agree with this. Point #5 about trusting people may be difficult for some people given what is going on in the world today. As long as you have a great attitude and a positive “vibe,” you’ll be all right.

    If you want to travel for free, you could enter a ton of contests and hope you win. You could go on a game show like the Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune and try to win a trip! What about going on a walking tour? How about hopping in your car and just driving? I think about doing that all of the time. Then again, I would need gas in my car, so technically I would not be traveling for free.

    Jono — How can you start your travel from Edinburgh in the UK? Have considered “house or flat (apartment) swapping?” BTW — I love the UK! Been to Edinburgh a few times…

  • http://travelersNotebook ralph smith

    Lets get real here traveling around like a bum or hobo is not met with open arms these days. The worlds become a scary place to live and trust has to be earned big time, Id let a stranger stay with me Like id invite Charles manson to spend the night and any stranger could be just that .

  • Monserrat Cruz

    Hi Tim!!!
    U really inspired me.
    Let’s dance.

    XOXOX. From Mexico.

  • Shannon

    Tim, fabulous post! Very thought provoking, as seen by the massive amount of comments haha.

    I love your concept. And I’d love to try it sometime. Or at least adopt part of the ideas. I worked in the hotel industry for nearly a decade in my 20′s and travelled around British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba doing that. Learned a lot about local scenery and places – met some really interesting and colorful people. And of course I have some very fond memories of that time. I didn’t go to school and live in a dorm – instead I lived in staff housing and worked for big resorts. And I saw more of my own country than most do in their entire life. What a bang-on comment that was made in that regard. Most people don’t go further than a few hours from the very spot they were born and raised in anymore. And that’s true for Canadians as well. My own husband is a point in case there. He’d never been out of the Toronto area in his entire life until we went to visit my family in BC.

    I think the point here to remember is that there is another way to travel. For the brave and the frugal-minded you CAN travel for free. The majority of your vehemant nay-sayers here simply refuse to admit the fact that you CAN do this, if you wanted. There is no “right” or “wrong” of it – as they seem to feel the need to point out (risks, dangers, disease and other havoc). Sure, there are risks. But Tim says his “reward” was experiencing a more vibrant and “true” local culture. And isn’t that his own opinion to have? Back off and smell the flowers people. Tim did.

    Thanks for sharing Tim! Excellent article.

  • Melody

    Great travel tips here…oh, I do love to see the world, thanks.

    Anyways, this is my first comment here.

  • Eulas Kirtdoll Sr.

    I am a school board member. I recently attended the National School Boards Association Annual Conference in San Diego. Because of the economic ownturn, many school boards (like mine) cannot afford to send school board members way across the country for a conference. I struck a deal with my school board that I would take care of the expenses (huge conference registration fee, hotel, food) if the board would take care of the transportation (mainly airfare). They agreed. To reduce transportation costs I drove to my sister’s house (near the airport) and had my brother-in-law take me to the airport (it costs 9.00 a day to park there and I would be gone 5 days). I found a hostel in downtown San Diego where I could stay for 22.00 a day (most hotels in the same area were charging 150.00 to 250.00 a night). I am not a picky eater and managed to eat virtually free, by taking advantage of sponsored luncheons at the conference, free breakfasts (cook your own pancakes at the hostel, and all the free coffee you could want, good coffee!). My total cost for the conference was the 100.00 approximately, for the hostel. I did have to drive 100 miles to my sister’s house each way. Downtown San Diego is spectacular. I live in the country but find cities fascinating, but costly. I believe living frugally should be the goal of all, since resources of the world are limited. I recorded a song and posted it on youtube about a guy losing his job. The current recession is causing everyone to adjust and think about living on less. Here’s the link to the video:

    Scariest part of the hostel was a slighly demented roommate who babbled a bit. My wife was worried that my throat might get slit. I recommend travelling in twos whenever possible, the world is a dangerous place. The craziest things are happening everyday, things hardly imaginable.

  • Eulas Kirtdoll Sr.

    I forget to mention that I was able to attend the confernce without paying the expensive registration fee, I did it by going to the press room for the conference and explaining that I wanted to attend the conference as a freelance writer. I was granted a press pass which allowed me to attend all the conference activities. I took notes and pictures at every event I attended, and I am writing articles to be sent out to newspapers and magazines for publication. If I make any money from these articles, I will send the money to the national school boards association foundation.

  • What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been!

    How about some moderation? Sleeping under the stars (or rainy clouds) isn’t for everyone but there are options – a middle way, if you will.

    I have traveled many times in all parts of the world. I’ve stayed at the finest 5 star hotels and slept in a farmer’s bier (fortunately, the yak slept outside that night). I know the range of possibilities and here is my recommendation:

    Stay at the low end, not the brothel or sleeping in the park until the cops come and kick you out low end, but the inexpensive traveler’s hostel, guest house, B&B, etc. Sure this will cost more than the ‘free’ route suggested but you can mix in the free opportunities as they emerge.

    Avoid the middle whenever possible. These are usually hotels catering to local business travelers and are a marked step down in cultural experience. Skip the AC room hotel and stay at the guest house instead.

    If you have the money, splurge for a special hotel from time to time, not the Hilton or other brand name, but say for the Lake Palace in Udaipur, India.

    Work that extra month at home so you can afford to go to the museums.

    I think Tim is mostly suggesting that you connect with local people and accept their hospitality. In exchange you should offer something back – usually something other than money is more comfortable for them but play it by ear.

    For example, I stayed for free, along with several companions, in a long house in inner Borneo. We came unannounced and without a plan as to where to stay. Our contribution was to pay for liquor so the party was on essentially in our honor. While some of the clan got drunk the rest engaged us in various conversations using sign language (works everywhere except China for some reason). The stories I remember from this one night will never leave my mind.

    Find a balance, be prepared to pay for inexpensive lodging and meals some of the time but be open to being someone’s guest.

    Great suggestions, Tim!

    Oh, as to the safety issue, pay attention. If your gut is giving you a warning, LISTEN to it. In general, however, on one trip of 14 months of continuous travel the only time I really felt at physical risk was once I was in London and back in the US. The rest of the time I only felt that my wallet was at risk.

  • courtney

    Robyn, I feel the exact same way like a million % of the time! i too, am a 16 year old longing to travel. i would love to travel with you!!! only, i dont know you, or where you live, or where you would travel.. so thats hard. :P email me some time!

  • chris

    Some nice ideas and concepts, but some countries, including mine, are not safe enough for sleeping outside. The trouble with travelling like that is that you only take from the countries you go though without really giving. What incentive do poor local communities have to encourage tourism unless the tourists are prepared to pay their way? I do hear you about the bullshit consumerist culture though, but there is a middle road..

  • Robyn

    Dean – I’m in the UK..
    I’m also not very good at judging danger..
    but thankyou.

  • i wayan samayoga EK

    thanks for your information.. i suggest you to travel to Indonesia especially to Bali island and yogyakarta cultural city, you can feel a heaven land beneath your feet..please check the beautiful bali island and yogyakarta.on internet and call me or contact me via facebook at

    if you want to travel to indonesia. i will accompany you and make your travel like you are the indonesian people. make it very cheap and easy. thanks.

  • Milander

    Done this already, travelled from late 80s to late 90s. Wouldn’t advise anyone to try it nowadays as it is far to dangerous. If you are serious about travelling on your own get yourself recent editions of guide books such as rough guide and backpacker. They’ll give you a heads up on places to avoid for your own safety.

    Plan for everything up to and including a first class flight ticket back home. Learn to speak at least one other language well enough to get by on. Eine grosse bier, deux croissant s’il vous plait or talking English slowly and loudly will get you nowhere very fast.

    First thing to forget – it will not be romantic or fun 90% of the time, mostly it is tedious walking around finding somewhere to sleep or hanging around bus/train stations at really odd hours because that’s when the cheap tickets go.

    You WILL get sick badly enough to need a bed for at least 3 days, you WILL run out of money for food/bills, you WILL be robbed and you WILL get bored out of your mind.

    Expect to need a minimum of 30 American dollars a day, some days you”ll spend nothing others you’ll spend way more.

    Make sure you have deposited a couple of thousand dollars in an internationally accessable account. Do NOT take credit cards or debit cards.

    Your mobile will be the first thing to break followed by your laptop then your walkman/MP3 player whatever.

    I loved my experiences, and would do it again at the drop of a hat. Met my future wife while travelling and am now settled in Hungary with two lovely boys and my own business. Everyone should travel but… never never think it will be sunshine all the way.

    Anyone how thinks I’m being negative here needs to get their head examined.. I’m just stating the facts. As to the advice above (not comments) take them with a pinch of salt, most of them, from experience, are not true/realistic or viable. My favourite being the old chestnut about teaching English as you travel.. well yes you can do this and it does work. I did it as did both my two brothers and many other fun people we met while travelling.. we all had a few things in common though –

    University degree, TESOL or TEFOL or TESL qualification (6 months to get or more, 1200 dollars) and experience of teaching

    If you have all that you are set. Anyone who says different is lying to you or got a job at the shittiest language school getting paid peanuts for bad hours.

    Good luck to all who travel.

  • Nicole

    Travel is about expanding your horizons, both personal and geographical. This article presents ideas about how to do that. The people here who are trying to disparage the article/author obviously don’t understand that. It’s not a bad philosophy just because it can’t be applied by everyone.
    I appreciate and embrace the messages of this article. Actually, most specifically, “time is free. you have all the time in the world”. While I don’t have quite that much time, I have rethought traveling to work and now go by bike & bus because I realized that I really don’t have to zoom back and forth, grinding gears and my soul the whole way. Now I just sit back and enjoy the scenery around me and if calamity or a rainstorm strikes, I will have a chance to test your theory about the kindness of strangers. In a way, by choosing this form of travel, I already am relying on the fact that the world will provide for me should I be in need.
    It’s a lifestyle decision, to go more slowly and thoughtfully through the world and this is what I choose for my design.
    Off on another tangent, the people who suggest an inverse proportion between distance from a city center and cultural awareness, education and hospitality are, statistically, correct. Nevertheless, simply allowing their own haughtiness and prejudice insulate them from a world of possibilities is not contributing anything to the world.

  • diva

    great article, thank you!

  • Carrie

    Tim, FANTASTIC article, thank you! I have another good way to travel, and that is GETTING PAID! When I was 21, I left Canada on a Grey Hound to Florida to work on cruise ships. This was a great introductory to travel, having been to many of the islands, and to Mexico, Central America, and Alaska. Several years later, I am back in Canada working towards a BA with a double major in English, and Rhetoric, Writing, & Communications, in preparation for a (what I hope to be a life long) career teaching english overseas. I admit, it is not a rough method such as described in the article, but many of the tips are still applicable. It is a way to travel the world living in a different country every year, while at the same time stashing away a few dollars. For people who think that it is an impossible dream, it is not. It is all in the choices you have made your yourself, and your own life. You chose to have a career that allows your to travel or not, you chose the responsibility of owning a house and car that needs to be paid (if this be your situation), and you chose to have kids, and to travel or not travel with them. There are many ways to travel (as one response had pointed out), this is just one of them. If this method it not to your preference, then don’t send out hate comments, just go to a different travel site and do your research from there. Not everyone prefers the same thing, this is just one of the many options out there. Good luck to everyone who wishes to go somewhere and experience something new, I wish you all the best of luck!! Safe and happy travels to all!!

  • Tomek

    Great!That article opened my eyes. I can’t wait summer holidays!
    Thank you Tim!



  • Amanda,Traveling Photographer

    Good tips! Very insirational post!

  • Ikenna Onyegbula

    Very Very inspirational post. Thank u.

  • Steve Meyn

    Great article and very inspirational. I’ve traveled vagabond style to Panama and Costa Rica and have to say it was wonderful. I just got rid of 30 years worth of worthless stuff I’d been packing around and went to Florida for 4 months. It was great and I’m home in San Francisco saving up money to go again to somewhere. Great book to read is Vagabonding by Ralf Potts and also The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. I wish well to all extended travelers.

  • Aruba

    This is an interesting article that has many points people often look over. Life on the beach, fishing by day and hanging out with friends and family by night, is not so bad. Funny that so many pay for it, when you could just move and change your lifestyle to live in a vacation world all the time.

  • vert

    Hello to allz! I love your post man! And this idea makes me feel good.I’m from Romania,i have 19 years old.If anyone thinks that can shelter me i will go by tomorrow :)) . I’m looking for a companion to travel in nice places,and to discover great adventures. You can find me at Bye!

  • clarissa

    i love traveling. specially to new places that i’ve never known before. and i wanna do travel while i still alone. i wish to see western part of the world, like Russia, Turkey, Middle East countries. because i come for eastern country, i heard that those countries are beautiful. Has anyone been traveling there before?
    how do i get visa for entering? can anyone help? thanks.

  • idealpinkrose

    Me and my hubby love travelling and are planning to backpack in some countries soon. I find your site a big help for us. Thanks a lot!

  • Andrew Jiggs

    This was a good one.

    I especially liked that: “Time is free” part.

  • Chris

    These are simple, obvious yet beautiful truths a la Huckleberry Finn. Would go well with some hard, practical advice like how to get around the world working on container ships or private sail-boats, flying courrier flights on the cheap, etc.

  • Glenn Fernandes

    Nice article. Thanks for the nice tips. I agree to all your points. You need not join the tour package. Learn to trust people when you are on a journey. The 8th point is very good.

  • Alexander

    Hey, Dear one

    it’s a great topic about travel the world. and I really want to travel the world with someone. but there’s no body around me. i am 28 years old. male. i am live in Suzhou China, I really want to quit the job and go travel. travel the world. I don’t know how to start and I have no much money and glad to read this article. I am afraid to travel alone. so i want to find some one to go with me, any one of you is welcome~

    • Simone

      I’ve recently started to do a little research on traveling around the world. this becomes especially ture when i think about how i’m tied down to my job. i really just want to just sell everything, pack everything i own in a backpack and go. i especially want to travel around asia. i want to stay long enough in each city to fully experience the culture, the language, and the food. how awesome would it be to not be tied down to a schedule.

  • Sue

    I love making friends and I wanna travel the world for free,anyone who has the same idea please contact me at any time,maybe we can make it come true together cos we are intelligent :-)

    my email :

  • Waqar Sial

    Thats Great!

  • DQ

    Very true about the American media portraying travel as an expensive luxury. Save some more expensive pockets of the planet (mainly Western Europe and Japan), traveling the world is possible for a tiny fraction of what it costs to live in a major U.S. city. Here’s a quick monthly breakdown:

    Typical American City Living

    1. Monthly rent in NY/Boston/Wash D.C.: $1200 minimum! (usually higher)
    2. Cable/Interent/Utilities: $200 (To watch people on T.V. traveling, and read this)
    3. Entertainment/Eating Dinners/Going out :$500(An $8 beer in Manhattan tastes the same as a $1 beer in Thailand)

    Typical travelers budget in a low cost country:

    1. Monthly Rent $300 (Hostels are CHEAP!!! and usually very comfortable.
    2. Cable/Interenet Utilities: FREE (Save the once in a while trip to the internet cafe)
    3. Food $150. (And that’s not just street food. A nice sit-down meal in most countries is a fraction of he cost in a major U.S. City.)
    4. Enertainment: FREE!!! Like the author says, just being a new place walking around, engaging all of your senses, is all you should need.

  • Frumusete

    Thanks for tips :)

  • ashley

    great advise i want to try it out its just none of mates want 2 they all want 2 get jobs and go 2 college and i dont really want to travel by myself im a 17yr old male from the uk but i guess i should just take a leap of faith and go see the world even if it is by myself

    • kevin

      ashley…take the leap! if it’s not for you, you’ll know quickly…but, i’m sure the sense of discovery will keep you on the road. i got caught up for WAY too long in thinking careers and leases and land and dirt were something to be owned and identified with. that’s complete illusion. the treasures and wonders of the world are there for a reason…for us to enjoy, use, behold. to lock yourself up in an apt. in say, new york city for 27 years, isn’t necessarily the best thing for everyone.

      since i let go of holding on last year or so, i haven’t felt so alive and at liberty FOR REAL…maybe ever? :)

      hope this helps…if it’s not for you you’ll come right back…there’s always coming back. i can’t count how many people are waiting for me to come back … but, to what? they have no idea what the world’s got for us…go find some for yourself. you’ll always wonder what if, if you don’t.

      kevin (on the road)

    • Robyn

      Thats exactly how i felt when i read this article and i showed one of my friends, who tbh was most likely to like the idea but she said she wants to go uni before she does any traveling so thats in about 4 years time she’ll be done studying. i can’t wait for her.

  • john

    yea it is nice traveling the world without transportation but there are some places you cant get to by just walking. traveling from north america to europe is gonna require a boat of some sort. and if you live in the united states you would either travel by plane or boat as i mentioned before since its just more easier seriously. transportation is not a bad thing its there to help you out. its may not be the nartural way but some things in life you just gonna have to deal with.

  • Robyn

    Wow, I didn’t realize so many people had replied to my first comment. Thank you. I’m definitely going to continue with college a little. I’m just coming up to finish a national in art, so over the summer I’m planning on doing some traveling around the Uk and have booked a couple hostels up. I can’t drive, so it’s going to be a cycling thing. Which will be more enjoyable anyway? Then I’m going to do my foundation in art after the summer, by that time I will be 18 and a lot of opportunities would have opened up for me such as staurdessing, which I am currently doing a part-time course in. I would really want to be backpacking but it’s a job which I feel would make me happy as I am no good with routine and enjoy talking to new people. So once i’ve got money saved up I can go do what I want where I want, right? Plus cheap flights if I buy tickets while I’m still working. Thanks for everyones replies. I am defiantly going to travel properly one day, and have decided to go on my own is probably what I need. I’ll probably talk to and meet more people if I’m on my own and I can do what I want and only worry about myself. This website is so great, it’s really got me physiqued about traveling especially reading everyones tips and stories of their own adventures. Although I do want to complete a BA in illustration sometime in the future, not too sure about Masters. But great advice, thanks.

  • Roberto

    How To Travel The World For Free (Seriously ) good advices and we receive people from arround the world and we exchange work for accomodation.

  • Magician McHendrick

    My name is Seth, but I go by the Stage name The Magician McHendrick. My Wife and I are planning to travel the world, for as little as we can. I plan to begin a Webcast of our exploits and I intend to create and perform an Illusion for every monument that we can manage to travel to for free and WE NEED YOUR HELP! If you live in or around Europe, Asia, or any country you believe we should travel to, I will gladly entertain you and your household/friends/relatives in exchange for your courtesy of a place to stay and a meal for myself and my wife. Remember You can help make this happen. Our Amazing Journey Begins January when we will be leaving from Austin Texas to New York City, and from there we will be leaving for Dublin, Ireland to begin the European portion of our journey.

    • Melba Angni

      I am from Marawi City, southern part of the Philippines. I am inviting you to come to the Philippines. My family will be happy to provide accommodation and meals for you during your stay. We hope to visit your place also after your trip here. I am offering the same to other interesting and friendly travellers.

      If there are things you want to know about our place, I would be very happy to share.

      Happy travelling.

      • Cosmos Kango

        Hello Friends across the world,
        My name is Cosmos Kango from Ghana. I am a guy of 27 years of age and a college graduate. I would be much appreciated if any body could send me an invitation to visit his/ her country for the first time in my life. I will also ensure that, we exchange travels. I hope to getting replies from every body from any nation of the world.Thank you and hoping to hear from you all soonest.

        Cosmos Kango


  • becky

    i really liked this because i am going to have a gap year in a while and as i wont have much money all of these things will help thanks very much dude :) and i can play guitar woohooo busk my way lol. I wouldn’t have even thought of teaching english … good stuff

  • Maureen Maloney

    Great article! For those who are in doubt, know that I am currently living the dream, and have been practicing many of these principles for almost a year and a half now. Not only that, I am a woman, alone, in Africa!!! I have been volunteering, WWOOFing, Couchsurfing, and relying heavily on serendipity. Thanks to serendipity I have been staying in J-Bay, South Africa for 2 months now, helping start an NGO for street kids and bartending part-time at a cool lounge. Despite spending money regularly on surfing lessons, eating out, and buying food for the street kids, I have spent an average of $10 a day for the past 3 months.
    For those who think I am freeloading and contributing nothing, you should know just a few of the things I have accomplished so far. I taught a group of women in Madagascar to create crafts for sale to tourists as a way to alleviate poverty, I’ve built solar ovens in communities without electricity, and I’ve helped street kids return home and obtain jobs.
    Some of my favorite moments have been sitting halfway on a hard bench in the back of a bouncy truck, crammed with 11 other adults, chickens under my feet, and someone else’s drooling child on my lap. I think, “ha! This is my life, and I love it!”

    • chartreuse pedley

      hi there, i just stumbled upon your objective and was overwhelmed as i have discovered that your world is exactly what i have been craving since i can remember, i have spent along time building up my level of skills to allow me to one day to do what you are doing… living the dream

    • Marc Ocampo

      I am truly amazed by what you have accomplished. I’m a little jealous as well. I’m getting ready to plan a trip from the US down to Central America and then to South America. I’m heading down with my girlfriend, so i wont be lonely. We’re both going work for 6 months and we’re leaving with whatever we both have. It’s hard to let all the material things go but i think it will be worth it. Thanks for the inspiring story.

    • jon

      that sounds so are truly ‘living the dream’…congrats;)

    • Lee Orme

      Hi Maureen.

      I have read your comment online about travelling the world for free and what you have experienced on your travels which left me with a shiver down my spine and goose-pimples all over. I myself live in the UK and am 25 years of age. I have spent my entire life waking up in the same bed, in the same place, seeing the same people and the same surroundings, working repetitive, monotonous, mundane jobs, carring out the same chores and doing the same things day in, day out. I am sick and tired of this lifestyle and have realised that there has got be more to life than this. I have therefore decided to break this vicious circle and start travelling, as from next year. Your comments have really inspired me and I have become even more enthusiastic to follow this through and was hoping that you could provide me some tips and hopefully some essential information that I will need to carry out this once in a lifetime dream next year. I would be very grateful if you could email me with some help. My address is if you can reply.

      I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your time.

      Lee Orme

  • Kate

    Thank you for the great tips and advice on how to travel for free! And there si no better time when these kind of suggestions make all the difference than right now. Another place to find great information without spending your hard-earned cash is with these free travel guides:

  • dontlive to regret

    Do it! Do it while you’re young! Don’t wait for anything- just go. If you don’t, you just put it off to when anything’s anything, you’ll never get to it. See the world, help those you can, laugh a lot. GO!

  • Talita Maia Dal Lago

    Hello people, I am from Brazil and my dream is to travel the world but I dont have money.
    What can I do or work to get travel the world for free ? Is there someone who is traveling around the world ?? What do you do to live ? Could you advice me ? Thank you for your attention. Talita

    • chartreuse pedley

      i am in the same situation as you. except i am in australia. my dream is to help and teach less fortunate people or perhaps whole communities and travel wherever this may take me if you have a similar idea or would like to trade ideas this would help us both and also create a positive for mankind haha

  • farid tarin

    hello every body this farid tarin from kabul afghanistan
    my dream from child hood was to travel around the world to see amazing people
    places, zoo,mountains, and much more but we are located in land which
    even if we have money but not allowed to get visa to travel around in this regards
    we need advice what to do

    best regards

  • suzanne flowers

    Im a sole parent working a part time job with all the restrictions of normal life. My sons father has taken him on five week trips across the bottom of australia and to sea world dream world and movie world and i too would like to be able to take him to see places, Is there any advice that would help me plan a fun and economical trip for the two of us that would be safe?


  • Jess

    I feel trapped. I was layed off 10 months ago I have incredibly limited to no funds and a car payment of 400 a month. I want to get in my car and just take off and travel the world. I have little needs just the bare necessities and have no problem tenting it. I want to travel and experience things people only day dream about. I feel trapped because of all my bills but i know everyday that I don’t go I grow more and more less likely to do it. I feel like a fire thats raging to go explore dream float and live but these bills leave me feeling trapped and my dancing flames become somber dying cinders dying out on a beach deserted and alone.

    • Dean

      Jess, sell your car and whatever you dont need- furniture, tv, bikes, rugs etc and pay off any bills and debts you have. borrow the money from your mother if you have to and get debt free. That is the first step to getting those restricting monkey’s off your back.
      Then get online and sign up with and look into a far away place that you’ve always wanted to see. Apply for a working visa there and head off.

      I usually save up for 3 months hardcore, not spending anything then head off for 5-9 months traveling then find work with someone after ive met thousands of people.

      goodluck Jess

    • chartreuse pedley

      your bills are for shit you dont need, soon you will realise that this world is a world built on greed, laziness and the jones’ which is civilisation as we now know it!
      i have only just realised this after returning from a week on north molle island living off nature- fish, crabs, squid and coconuts and fruit! this is how the world survived before someone had an idea about money and luxuries and hey it was healthier.
      now your turn any more ideas

  • Sam Golden

    amazing article, I found you through stumble, I travelled europe on a shoestring budget last year and am currently holed up in Sion, switzerland picking fruit for the money to keep me here as long as possible, you need minimal language skills and the pay isnt actually so bad, check out my blog for more info

    thanks for sharing :)

  • billy

    I want to travel the world and stuff but like cash has got me shipjunked for traveling into the abroadness of like my neighbors backyard when they is outa town and stuff. so i mean like if you wanna donate cash just email me or call me or just scream for me and if I hear you Ill get the cash

  • Shavonte

    Wow this is very interesting i never looked at traveling this way..But it does seem a little scary. I want to travel to the UK but i’m in The US how would i be able to get out there at my age? (i’m 18) and work part time. The reason why i think it’s scary is because you never know what kind of person your dealing with while your in there home. Anyways thank you very much for this i am almost ready to spread my wings and go for it this really helped me decide on what i should do.

  • Dan, in Dallas

    HELP!!! i have no ties left in this world. Debt free, very very little money. I want out!!
    i would like to travel north america, canada, alaska or go to africa, new zealand, australia or something.

    Any suggestions?
    i cook, clean, lol manage retail sales, well versed in the arts of ,fishing hunting,tree trimming and cutting, diamond gradeing and many many others.

  • Natasha

    For those who are nervous about making that first step, take a deep breath and go for it.

    But first, check out before you go and read the testimonials. As one Couchsurfer that I interviewed so beautifully put it, ‘Couchsurfers who contact me are just friends I haven’t met yet’.

    Spread some good karma before you travel and host people at your place. If you can’t, join Couchsurfing anyway and offer to show people round your city, give advice on the Couchsurfing forum for your area or go for a coffee with someone who is in town.

    Then, head to a place where the people have less than you are used to. It’ll teach you to do without all those things that you currently think are so essential to your life.

    Have faith in yourself and in others and you’ll have a blast.

  • Bob

    This is all terrible advice >_>

    • Mark

      To Bob,

      If this is such terribile advice. My are so many people living their dreams this way?

  • Gabriel Varaljay

    Tim, thanks for lot of tips, this is the best of travel tips of ever :-)

  • juicebox

    hey, thanks for the article, lots of stuff i hadn’t thought of, i’m 19 and plan on touring the world with one other friend dj’ing clubs. any tips?

  • Tess

    I am really young and I all ready wont to go see the world not on a TV or on the computer I won’t to see it with my eyes! From what I have read (every thing on page lol) it has inspired me a lot and I can’t wait till I grow up and spread my wings and fly!!! There are a couple of Questions To!! When you are going to a new place do u ever think about your parents? When Christmas come do you ever wont to just go back home and see your family?? Dont you miss them? It seems like it would be hard not too miss them. But for my age I am not like other kids they won’t to see a movie and go shopping and spend the parent’s hard eared money. Not me. Ya sometime I won’t to see a movie but that’s just part of being a kid. My parents tell me to save up my money and I have to buy thing I won’t like movie tickets, video games, or something that I don’t need. I am Happy that they are teaching my how to spend my money wisely and not blow it on things I don’t need. Of cores they buy food for me and keep a roof over my head and stuff I am not saying they don’t lol. I am adapted by to loving people who also adopted my brother (birth brother). Most of my past is bad with my birth mother I am not saying she was a bad mom. I dont no my dad very much he left when I was a 2 I think he sent me 2 birthday cards and 3 phone calls that’s all I really remember of him. My mom, uncal, brother and I live at Garey’s house (I think that’s how u spell his name) his house was all beat up and had cockroaches everywhere. His brother didn’t like us living there he especially didn’t like my mom. After getting kicked out Joey (my brother) and I moved to Mrs. Syble’s house. Then his dad broth him to his house and we were separated for I think 1or 2years in that 1or 2 years I went to spend sometime with my mom. At this point she was living on the streets so thats were I was to. She begged for money on the side of the street and my uncial and I stayed in an alley between to buildings with about 7 other homeless people. We all new each other mostly. And there was this old man with us who gave me a doll (cabbage patch kid) – I still have it to the very day I am holding it right now- I don’t know what happened to the man after I left. I am the kind of kid who doesn’t usually take things for granted and I always said thank you even if I dint like it and I was probably the nicest girl you would ever know. I know how it is to be poor I mean dirt poor and I can help and love to help with others problems. it not my fault that I like to do that stuff its just what makes me who I am now you no why I wont to travel the world and see things I never got the chance to . I won’t to live and be free.
    P.S there is way more to my past that is just like one 1/100 of it lol!!


    • Tess


  • rrezarta

    i have money but i need someone that will come with me and that has money too for him her self and travel the world for funn

  • Mike

    This is great information, but I need to know about the legal aspects of travel, like visas and passports and the like.

    I want to travel the world until I find a place I like and then stay for a while and get a job and start living. How could I do this? Is it really as easy as just getting up and leaving?

  • Kelly in Canada

    Thanks for the info but I have a few questions. I want to travel the world too and am lucky enough to have a boyfriend just as adventurous so I want to know if it’s just as easy for two to travel this way because we’d love to do this together. Also, is it best to find a starting point, get a work visa then move on from there and do you need multiple visas before we leave. I really want to be prepared because I just need to get some affairs worked out and then I’m ready. Any help would be appreciated. This article has really inspired me to do what I’ve dreamed of for years.
    Happy travelling everyone!!

  • theya

    I’m Malaysian, willing to offer for those want to travel free to Malaysia.
    I also like if those are willing to do the same for me.

    • Melba

      I am from the Philippines. I am offering you free accommodation and meals if you travel to our place. I am planning to visit Malaysia too, maybe soon.

    • Cosmos Kango

      Hello Theya,
      My name is Cosmos Kango from Ghana. I am a college graduate who wants to travel to Malaysia. However, i would be very glad if you could further arrangements to enable me visit your country.
      Thank you and hoping to hear from you soonest.

  • Lida from Tennessee

    i would love nothing more than to do what you all are doing..

    i recently watched this movie called “The Art of travel”

    and it really inspired me to go out there and live the dream..

    but here’s the thing…

    i have but 26 dollars in my bank account, freshly graduated from high school.
    a shit job at bed bath and beyond.

    the circumstances just aren’t right, right now.
    ya know?

    also i just don’t feel like i have the balls (speaking figuratively)
    i’m scared to get robbed of everything i own or raped or getting stuck in a rut so deep i can’t get out.
    but that’s what the media has done to me..
    i need this. i don’t want to conform to america’s bullshit.
    (not that i don’t love my country because i do)
    but that’s what it is at this point.

    i want to live free, as happy as possible..
    this is my life goal to see the world and go anywhere but the same place EVVVERRRYY DAYYYY!

    i need guidance, ideas, andything helpful that will guide me to achieve my dream.

    i am one determined person who doesn’t let anyone or anything get in my way of doing what i want.

    so please, i;m ready to go.. just help me point myself in the right direction.. WHERE EVER THAT MAY BE!!!!! ( and that’s the beauty of it)

    • Scot


      I know exactly how you feel. My situation is a little different, though. My wife of 12 years just decided she needs to find herself. That left me with no home, family, or hope for the future. I am considering this ‘work your way around the world’ idea very seriously. Yes, I’m older, 42. But in a way, if I don’t go soon while I’m healthy and able, I may never get to. I have ‘some’ money and a passport. Not sure what else I need except opportunities. Was hoping someone might know if couchsurfers and WWOOFers are accepting of older adults traveling this way. In any event, I am also in Tennessee so I know how you feel…especially about this American capitalism and money, money, money BS. I, too, am a patriot of this nation…I just want more…I want to see the world and maybe do a little good for my fellow humans along the way…not to mention the great friends and memories that will occupy my mind for the rest of my life. I think all of this is possible…I will keep looking here for companions to travel with and perhaps in time, my journey will begin soon. Good luck and hope to chat with any and everyone with ideas, tips, and knowledge of the great adventure.

  • Frugal Expat

    Hey.. this post is cool.. The simple thought of travelling signals bucks and bucks.. great tips!

  • motel reservations

    Those are some great recommendations. There was a time that I could have used this advice to travel for free myself.

  • armstrong poe

    When I was 17 I was sentenced to join the Army, Rather than go to Viet Nam I went AWOL. I lived by my wits without a penny in my pocket for two years. It was true freedom. And today I’m sixty and just about ready to hit the road penniless. Times ahve changed, indeed, but the people I found on the road then are the same people who live out there now. They’re just a little more careful. If you’re young it’s not hard to survive. Not always easily, but they’ll never be a dull moment. And that’s living. I’m ready to go live again. I say go for it.

  • julz

    Ok people here is my 5 cents. I have seen 1/2 of the world already and lived in 5 different countries. I love it! I never want to stop moving.

    When I was still in uni I wanted to stay in Italy for the summer. My parents agreed to pay for my flight and give me about $500 in case of emergency (please do not travel without a penny because you never know what could happen and you might need at least something). Anyway, since I speak English I found a “job” as an au-pair. Besically, I was living with the family who gave me home, food and 100 euro per week for teaching their kids English. It was the best trip of my life! I know alot of people who were au-pairs; you could teach English, baby sit or clean the house. You can research it online. When I was in Italy I met a guy from Spain he had (I think $200) but managed to travel around Europe. There are alot of good people out there who will help you along your journey. I met some amazing people who helped me so much when I was lost, broke, without food and money.

    Also, my friend is hosting people I think he is part of the site mentioned here. I’ve seen the people who stay with him and they are usually pretty cool. I think I’ll start hosting people myself. Ps currently I live in Dubai, the capital of materialistic world! Please let me know how I can help because I had alot of help from people in the past and I believe in Karma (what comes around goes around), so lets all help one another :)

  • Ramon

    Somebody totally forgot to mention, the website of a crazy young Dutch guy that took the challenge to see the world for free :-)

  • Dan

    Hello, I dream of traveling the world, I am a high school drop (GED) out with a shitty landscape job and no money. I dream of a job traveling, I love learning and working hard. I have a passion for music and taught myself how to play the drums. I want to get out of here but I’m not sure where to start. Any advice?

  • Raigrin

    Hi, I am in 8th grade in the United States living in Texas in the suburbs with my family who I love. My parents are in deep debt but they are still able to provide for me and my siblings and we are happy. I am also home schooled by my mom. For my 13th birthday I wanted to go camping in the Rocky Mountains but my parents didn’t have enough money to take me. This made me sad, but it made me realize that when I grow up I don’t want to be stuck in debt living in the suburbs like my parents, and that I want to travel the world and live a free, simple, inexpensive life, helping people along my way, making friends, and having lots of adventures. I have been saving up money for my travels by working around the neighborhood and I have been trying to develop my skills in cooking, cleaning, drawing/painting, music/dancing, and speaking different languages. can anyone give me some tips, please?

  • khaled m anwar abdlha

    i like ur website i am from palestine i was wish all time thath i can go travell all world i wish for all time
    pleas dont forget me if ther any trip

  • Amanda

    From personal experience, my number one advice: Meet and talk to as many people possible and trust your gut.

    For the youngsters (like Raigrin) looking to get out – sure, develop skills. Want to learn a new language? Start online as there are plenty of free lessons out there. Look for bilingual kids in your community so you can learn whatever their native language is and have a speaking partner. Find people who want to learn specific skills with you and it’ll be 10x as fun. Ask adults who have the skills you want what it takes to get to their level. Who knows, maybe they’ll mentor you for free!

    Hitching in places where it’s acceptable and done a lot is a good way to travel for free if you exercise enough caution. Hitching with a partner is better. Rideshares are available on Craigslist and online ride boards. Meet up with your ride before getting into their car and never go with anyone you don’t feel safe with. Flying overseas is a different obstacle. But since a lot of you are from the States, get out there! It’s a big, beautiful country with tons of stuff to see. The more people you meet, the more likely you’ll find somebody who’s going to want to go with you.

    Other than Couchsurfing, you can volunteer at certain hostels for a few days and get a free bed. Meet locals who enjoy doing the same things you do (ie: hiking, cooking, making music, painting) and maybe they’ll put you up for the night.

    If you’re going overseas, definitely make sure you have your visas and passport prepared. Consult a country’s consulate if you’re not sure what you need to have. Read up on the cultures of the places you’re going to get some perspective and be a responsible traveler (by that, I mean please don’t go to a poorer community and think you’re going to “help” them by taking a job a local could do or participating in an activity that is meant to make the volunteer ‘feel good’ and that’s all). Stand in solidarity and understand their struggles.

    Anyways, you may have to shell out some money before you get to a place, but once you’re there, follow the above tips and most of all, trust your gut and whatever the locals tell you in terms of if a place is safe or not.

  • wanderlust

    It’s so easy to wander about it’s sick. Honestly, say ur not ready to ditch the states just yet. The US is full of open air. Animals and nature are in great supply. Now im not gonna lie ur gonna need skills, maybe kill that rabbit or gut that fish, but that is your free food source.

    You don’t need a car or a house to sleep in, buy urself a rucksack. Equip it with essentials, need matches? Go to any gas station, ask and you shall receive. Slap a tent and sleeping bag in there and the skys the limit.

    People put off travel saying they’ll do it later. Well I had an entire childhood to see and hear all those excuses. Let me tell you, by the time later comes, it’s usually to late. Either your to tied into a career, or maybe you’ve went and had a child that needs care and CASH for 18 years. Maybe you owe college loans, car insurance, car loans, mortgage, the list goes on and on, words that essentially mean prison.

    Now either way ur gonna end up like that, it’s just a fact, BUT before that happens, you are debt free. And in the perfect position to live free and see the world in your youth.

    Now some places I wouldn’t go like crazy war torn countries like anywhere near the middle east. Do you really wanna roll those odds? I sure as hell dont. Nor do you want any of those god forsaken diseases from ebola to the various strains of avian flu in asia.

    However it’s always nice to wait before hand. You don’t need to rush right out, even if your 21, take a few years, get a good job and work. Work and work, it doesn’t matter if your life feals like work cause ur pulling in check after check. And in that time, do some studying on the places you will wander to. Find a free language program or just download it somewhere for free. Learn a few common languages, german, japanese, (forget spanish its only really used in SA and you don’t wanna be going down to that sick place anyway.) I find that a great deal of interesting places have english as a second or 1st language. From surrounding countries of britin, like ampsterdam and the like, to beautiful countries like ireland and scottland. Hell even japan knows a good deal of english as it’s taught in all their schools.

    But you should still learn some other languages, it’ll make the trip easier and u’ll be able to accommodate yourself like a local. Find out what the people of that country wear. Find a nice blend, and walk among them.

    Now after those 2 or 3 years if you have saved and lived cheaply (it’s not hard just don’t spend) you have a nice amount of money already for you to go. Probably around 30k or more depending on the job you found. Now of course the euro is about a bit less then double of what the $ is worth, other places you’ll find that your ahead by a bit cause while our economy might suck, other countries are called 3rd world for a reason.

    And that’s it, you can even save more by living in a place for a time. Rent an apartment for a month or 2, find a job and work part time. Visit the sights and lore while doing so.

    Now, id say it’s probably a good idea just to stay outa politics altogether. Most countries don’t like the other, and they sure as hell have different views. Stay out of danger area’s (think of it like philly, you’d never go into west or N philly, same goes for area’s in a country.) So you have a nice nest egg to fall back on if ya can’t find work, and your free to wander,

    One thing though, DO NOT BUY SOUVENIRS. Seriously those things will suck your income dry. If you wanna commemorate your trip, get a digital camera and freaking ton of memory cards. If you feel like you must take something with you from that country… find something free. Something eunique, not some relic that is mass produced in every country in a shop. I mean maybe a rock, maybe a vial of sand from the deserts of egypt.

    It’s free and you can say, that’s right, this stone came from the celtic ruins of ireland, this sand I scooped up from the gobi desert and placed in this vial. Plus a pictures worth a thoudand words. And those small cards can fit GIGS of em.

  • Meredith

    Ok, I’ll give credit for points 5-7, but the rest of it seems just pedantic and rude. And I’m speaking from the point of view of someone who’s been traveling on the cheap for the whole of her adult life, and is heavily involved in the methods you mention. But honestly. Don’t sit there lecturing people for being too capitalist and spoiled to travel like enlightened people like you do. Everyone has to take it in strides; not everyone can just run out and be an independent traveler on day one. And you need to respect that even the people on the tour buses are TRYING, they’re putting themselves out there to see what’s there in the world, they may not be getting the full experience but they’re doing something very important by just investigating. So get over yourself. And PS, although as a life experience it’s not the same as solo travel, the tourists that pay for tours actually give something to the local economy, where you and I are essentially just voyeurs. So it’s a bit more complicated than you make it.

  • William Wallace

    If thats what travelling for free entails I think I will give it a big miss and stick to saving up for my next journey…..!

  • karen

    This article is awesome! I am always looking for tips on traveling on a budget. I love #5. Trust People and you will Receive Free Food and Lodging! This reminded me of a site I saw on face book under travel and home swap, This site has great listings from all over the world and it is free to try. Especially since I am a budget conscious student, I am always looking for an awesome vacation for less.


  • Samantha

    I love this article. I want to travel and enjoy my life, I am 26 and I just feel like my brain is bored with the same old routine. I want to couch surf, but I have no skills. I don’t have anything to offer. I am willing to do whatever it takes to travel and see this awesome world, but i Have NO money, I am part time at a job I hate, and I cant cook lol. I am very trusting, but how can I trust just anyone who invites me in thier home? I am willing to farm, baby sit, teach english, anything I can do.

    • Wanderlust

      Why don’t you just work to live? Head to one place for awhile say a month or 2, find a place to rent, get a job to pay the rent with a lil food in there.

      Doesn’t have to be some place fantastic, head to a local micky dee’s and wash dishes.

      Or if your in a country that doesn’t speak english, alot of times they’re always looking for native English speakers that will teach others.

      I mean it’s not that hard you teach em first associating words with pictures like babies learn as they look about, then you go into reading and writing. Course I always thought reading and writing was stupid since if you don’t know the picture for the word how would you know that the word apple pertains to an apple.

      It’s like reading and when you say apple a picture of a dog pops into your head.

  • rosi

    I really want to travel whatever country but I don’t have money…I’m study to be a English’s teacher,but next year recently I’ll get the teacher degree :(
    I’m female 21 years old
    I am a very active girl please help me!!
    Thank uuuu!!

  • Dexter Nicholson

    I’ve read about this volunteering opportunities that offer free travel and experience the excitement of seeing new things, beautiful scenery and as to help people. I acknowledge all of the organization that offer this “free travel” for being a volunteer.

  • Military

    How to a travel for free? Well let’s see. I join the Military. You know what? it’s not free because I give them a certain amount of my life. But guess what, Time is not money according to this website, so who cares! Join the damn military you p*ssies. I’ve lived in Japan, Africa, East Coast/West Coast USA and I’ve been to Europe, Cuba, the Bahamas, Seychelles Bahrain, Iraq…and it goes on and on. all for FREE. yeah most of my military betheren are a bunch of arrogant fools, but if your one of the smarter ones, you’ll appreciate the Military and the fact that your in a new place.

    You realized your life was built on traveling. I’ve been in 9 years already, got in at 19. I saw more of the world at 21 than some douche college grad the same age jabbering on about how he lived in some hostel in Germany for 2 weeks, while mommy and daddy sent him funds through his bank account. I live the hostel life, 24/7. We call it barracks.

    Best New Years I had was in an Okinawan hostel in the middle of the mountains and jungle. Owned by Japanese. Only paid 2 dollars for the tent. That was real organice farming. I’m 27 and my life was anything BUT routine. In fact, I’m thinking of getting out and taking a break for once. Too much going on for me.

  • cosmos kango

    Hello Friends across the world,
    My name is Cosmos Kango from Ghana. I am a guy of 27 years of age and a college graduate. I would be much appreciated if any body could send me an invitation to visit his/ her country for the first time in my life. I will also ensure that, we exchange travels. I hope to getting replies from every body from any nation of the world.Thank you and hoping to hear from you all soonest.

    Cosmos Kango

    ↵ Reply

  • Tamaya

    Aloha everyone!

    My name is Tamaya and I am SO happy that I stumbled upon this site…THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I was born and raised in California, and have now lived in Hawaii for almost 3 years. I made the decision to move to an island and then 2 months later, I am here. I have also lived in Osaka, Japan, and just got back from Dominican Republic…NOW, I am taking the steps to move to Florence, Italy…I am a 39 year old female, and have moved to these places on my own without a degree…I just learn as much of the local language before hand online and network,bartend or do mortgages for a living. I have learned a GREAT deal from this site. I am so thankful to meet more people like me. For sometimes I feel alone, not lonely, just alone with my ideas about traveling around and learning about different cultures and meeting new friends to be. My family and friends all think I am crazy! I traded in my BMW for a bicycle and taking more steps to simplify my life now. I just don’t need or want any of that crap over my head any longer! I am happier now than EVER! I am becoming more of a woman than I ever dreamed…I will write more soon as things unfold for my NEW adventure….glad to feel connected with you. Thank you for reading :)))))

  • Musharof

    Hello Friends over the world,
    My name is Musharof from Bangladesh. I am a male of 32 years of age and a tiny employee of a Govt. Office. I would be much appreciated if any body from CANADA, USA, NORWAY, SWITZERLAND, HOLLAND could send me an invitation to visit his/ her country for the first time in my life. I love these countries very much. It is my ever dream If I could go there, but it is beyond of my ability to bear cost to go anywhere. I hope to getting replies from every body from these country nationals. Thank you and hoping to hear from you all sonn.


    • Scott

      Hello to you Musharof! Welcome to our group of travelers and adventurers! Bangladesh is such a seat of history. I hope to visit there someday as well. Right now I am not able to host, but will keep you in mind should I decide to settle down and set up housekeeping somewhere.
      I hope you have a long journey of adventure on your path. Perhaps we will meet in the future!

      your international friend


  • Kim

    I’m 24, soon turning 25 and realize i have nothing to show for my life. An everyday routine, filled with bills, and meaningless entertainment. I thought this was the life i wanted a nice job, a husband, and live in my little box. But i realize that now it’s furthest from the truth. I just kind of woke up today and realized i’m bored with my life and need a change. My first idea was to get a divorce(not happy in the marriage), buy a ticket and leave, but lets be honest travel doesn’t really work that way. I’ll need to do my research, and get passports, visas and what not. And then again, i have a moment thinking is this just temporary insanity and this is just what my life has to resort to. Of course i have concerns about working across the world, safety foremost, and taxes(this is the accountant in me), and missing friends and family since i’m actually quite home bound. If anybody has any advice, tips about how to go about this, or kock aside the head i’d love to hear from you.

    • http://N/A zitiboat

      Kim, you do not say where you hail from. If the USA, you can travel without visas or passport to the mountains, the cities, the prairies, or the desert. It is all there for the viewing. If you take the time to plan ahead you can couch surf or pay the reasonable rate to get the

    • Scott

      Ohhhh Kim,…

      Firstly, close your eyes. Concentrate on the color ‘black’…try to look FOR black. Count to 100. There,…you should have wiped away all of the buzzing in your head for a few minutes. ~smile~
      I, too, have the condition that you and SO many others have. We yearn….we wander..either our minds or our bodies. You are awakening. You’re beginning to ‘see’. You’re tired of what was, what is and what you absolutely KNOW the rest of your life is going to be. It hurts. It hurts on a level you can’t express to others that don’t understand without them thinking you’re suffering from depression, etc.
      Ohhhh yes, you are grinding along in life and wondering if this is it. Is this the process you’re going to follow everyday like a good girl…like everyone around you…like every other cookie-cutter existence? Maybe I’m wrong. Yet, I tasted this same sour-apple.
      Here’s the thing though….I’m not going to tell you to stay married. I’m not going to tell you to keep on keepin’ on the way you have been. Or that you’ll ‘get over it’ soon enough…because you won’t. It’s too late for you…us…we misfits. I won’t apologize either. There’s no point. Kim, you’re an adult. You have ONE life. Is wandering scary? Sometimes. Is pissing off the hubby scary? Probably. Are you going to walk around on eggshells every day until you blink out and THEN wonder ‘what if’?
      Listen, I realize there are a ton of things to work through before you can truly free yourself up to start anew. You, I think, will never be happy until you grab life by the ass and swing it around a bit! What a dreadful existence to always wonder and wake up miserable everyday….do the same things…interact with the same 50 people for EVER! You are a strong woman with dreams and a NEED for freedom. You’re just now realizing it. My wife of 13 years is divorcing me right now to follow her own path. I am devastated and hurt and feeling ruined. But, of everything I’ve lost or am losing…what remains is the underlying desire to BE. To live and be a PART of something. To live in this enormous, wild, wonderful exciting, terrifying world we call home for a blink of an eye. Society tells us we must work (at a job we probably hate), buy stuff, consume, have kids, buy a house, blah, blah, blah…This is the construct you and me and so many have to throw off and ask…why? People think of us as outsiders or hippies or freeloaders or worse. But ya’ know what? The majority of them envy people like us. And so many never have the revelation you/we have had. Welcome. Take off that cloak, hand it to me and I’ll put it on a hanger and hang it in the closet with the ‘norm’. You’re going to enter the world of the living…the veil will be lifted and you’ll wonder why the miserable ones don’t ‘get it’.
      Whew~…Yep…that was a ramble…but when I got your post I teared up a bit. We are on the same frequency. I am in early stages of planning the rest of my new life, too…and I’d be happy to trade emails with you and chat a bit….if you’d like..

      Now close your eyes and imagine the day to day world around you. The people, the cars, the arguments, the boss, the rent, …etc, etc…Is that what you really want out of life? The answer to that question will forever be true.


  • senol

    hi im senol, im from turkey. those who want to visit turkey sometime be sure that my home is open for them…

  • satish ranade

    I am interesting in visiting Angkorvat in Cambodia. I hope to meet a friendly combodian who will be a great help to me.

  • steve

    hey guys. i have traveled to every continent on the planet. see my travel videos to get ideas where to go and tips.

  • http://yahoo Lukas

    My Name is Lukas, I am 20yrs old and Love to travel. My next journey is the Appalachian trail, a straight hike of 2200 miles. After this is completed I plan to work and live from place to place. Help and meet as many people as I can. Too many lives are wasted through sitting at home. Live learn and love what is directly in front of our faces.
    Please E-mail me at for any tips, or a a helping friend along anyone’s trip.

  • Jeff

    A lot of this site is very interesting, as all different people have different backgrounds and alternative ways of achieving one particular goal, to travel the world. I grew up in Michigan and about 3 1/2 year ago, I decided to go ahead with trying a new adventure. Had been pondering it for awhile, but I finally decided to give it the go ahead and moved about 2,000 miles or so southwest to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Definately do not regret it. But here I am, three years or so later, and thinking about getting away from this and traveling more while I’m young with no real committments such as lots of bills, kids, all that stuff. Not that it is bad, I just don’t want any of it right now. I want freedom. I know I’d be happier traveling, living in a tent in different places and meeting with other musicians across the world than working a lame, stagnated job like all the other American drones. The military is an option for me, but the reality is, we’re at war with the Middle East right now. Not necessarily a good time to join. I’m going to try to get on a wildland firefighting crew this summer and do some traveling that way. The only thing keeping me in Albuquerque is my band, Transfriction. (

    • John Moscrop

      Hi Jeff i just read your thread and i must say you sound a lot like me. Im from the UK and i made it out to Australia which is where i am now. I found that im working in exactly the same boring job that i was in England, it’s just sunnier here lol. All the adventure hasnt happened because i havent made it happen. How sad is that?
      Anyway id be interested to see how you got on and what you’re up to now. Hope to hear from you.

  • Debbie

    Scholarships to attend seminars on topics like development and peace usually provide free airfare and other travel perks, and replica swiss watches make great “just came from Europe” gifts. =)

  • agung

    It is a good tips for word traveller, i would love too travelling around the world, but still can not 100% free, except we have sponsor….

  • http://none Muhammad Atif Rana

    I like traveling very much. i m in search of a job that includes traveling. I m of 30 years. If any body have ajob like that plz inform me.

    • Vladimir Koval

      Muhammad, you know, I also love traveling even I have 2 kids.

      I have small business. It gives me some possibility. see my profile:
      And I also looking for other partnership possibility or job to travel.

      So let’s be in contact. If anyone have any ideas how to do it please let us know.

      By the way, I live in Vancouver, Canada. We host Olympic Games this February.
      Please you are welcome! I could be helpful here and anyway we could meet and have a cup of coffee ;-)

      Vancouver, Canada

  • Robert from the UK

    If you have watched the long way down by ewan mcgregor and charlie boorman, then you know what i want to do with all my heart. i dont want to travel for free because i know petrol isnt free, i want to go on a two wheeler around the world and try and follow out the route of what charlie and ewan did. but working for a shear 800£ per month isnt going to cut it when am paying rent and food and car so just how do i go about doing it? i dont want to backpack around the world, i want to be able to travel with my own direction and on a motorcycle. i just cant seem to find anysort of funding, what winds me up is that ewan mcgregor a long time famous film actor whom is making a bomb of money every day gets funding, sponsors, free bikes ect. and yet people like us or me get laughed at.,

    • megs

      i’m only 19 but my dream is to travel the world. the only problem is money and how to get started??where to go first or how to get there, then where do i go from there?

      • Cody

        Hey Megs, I think the best way to go about traveling is not to plan out where to go first and how to get there, but to go with what happens. Of course SOME planning couldn’t hurt, maybe save up some money in case times get hard out there and you are running low. Also try to obtain your food by not buying it. Fish,plants,berries all that good stuff.

        • megs

          Thank you cody!
          I recently got a job so I’m gonna be saving my money for traveling. Also, I like the idea of just going for it and seeing where the world takes me.



  • Vladimir Koval

    I also love traveling even I have 2 kids.

    I have small business. It gives me some possibility. see my profile:
    And I also looking for other partnership possibility or job to travel.

    So let’s be in contact. If anyone have any ideas how to do it please let us know.

    By the way, I live in Vancouver, Canada. We host Olympic Games this February.
    Please you are welcome! I could be helpful here and anyway we could meet and have a cup of coffee ;-)

    Vancouver, Canada

  • Neil J Lloyd

    What a fantastic post. I found it useful to make a visual representation of all the factors affecting my move towards digital nomadery.

    Stating my outcome clearly and simply in the centre of a large sheet of paper (e.g. ‘Live well on the move’), I used labelled arrows to describe all the things stopping me reaching this outcome, arranged around the lower half of the page and all the things that support or could support me reaching my goal around the top of the page. I then had a way of visually reminding myself what i needed to do more of and what i needed to do less of and other things i needed to do in order to be living my dream.

    Some of these things were practical and some things more about my beliefs, habits and ways of thinking.

    It’s fun to do too, use lots of colours, go creative!

  • Boris

    You can never ever travel the world for free. It just doesn’t work like that. Just take transportation for example. There are countries where you’ll wait for weeks to hitchhike, just because people won’t know what you mean when you stick out your thumb.

    You can slow down your spendings by travelling even slower but you’ll be spending money none the less.

    You can travel the world for less money than you spend each month to fill up your gas tank.

    The problem with the above statement is that while you fill up your gas tank, you more than likely have a job that pays for these gas bills. When you travel longterm (as you would when you travel the world) there’s no job to fill up your bank account.

    Bottom line is that you have to spend money to see the world. In some cases not a lot, but in my experience EUR 250/month is the minimum…

  • three nancy

    Travel the world is my dreams..
    and I want my dreams come true..
    but the problems..I don’t have much money because our currency is so cheap…
    I’d love to be a tour I also can travel with the tourist but the problem…
    It’s also difficult to find the tourist..that want it..

    • Vladimir Koval

      three nancy, where are you from?

      We’ve traveled a lot even with my family (2 kids)

      I’m sure its possible!

      Please let me know and we can think it over



  • Tomas

    A good and informative article. One downside is that I don’t like being presumed American. One thing I would especially expect a traveller to know is that not everyone is American.

  • Adan

    Can you give me advise how to travel to Mongolia?
    My interest is visit Khovsgol lake for horseback

  • Michelle

    BEWARE – Global Work & Travel Company!!!!! Ripping young travellers off!!!! STAY AWAY!

  • Marshall

    Ive notice alot of people on this forum say money is what stopping them from traveling. Well I think I can Help.
    Im 24 and love to travel, have fun, and make money along the way. Every since I was 15
    I started to travel the U.S. Well along the way Ive learned alot about actually making the survival money to travel. Here are some things I do to make money along the way, and Im talking about decent money $300 to $500 a day for as many days as Id like. This is US money Im talking about.
    Address numbers on curbs, This is simple and nets you some decent money in urban areas. Ok, so what is this. Well its simple if your in the U.S or can get on the internet in other countries. You get whats known as a address number kit. You can get these from Micheals Craft store in the U.S. You can even make them if your crafty. Anyway there number stencils. You know the address numbers you see on peoples curbs, well they get there because someone knocks on there door and says theyll paint there address on there curb for a small fee like $10 to $25. You simply buy this kit and spray paint white for the backround and black for the numbers. You go around door to door and look for houses that have address’s on the curbs that are old and need repainted. Usually about 1 out of every 3 houses. Then you just go to the door and tell them your painting address numbers to earn money on your trip. Do this for about 5 hours a day and youll be making about $200 a day easy. I use to make more but I got pretty good at it.

    Magic Wiggle. I sell these things and make an easy $3 to $500 a day. Its like a kids toy you can just walk around and play with in your hand I have the training video. It takes about an hour to learn. Ive lived off this hustle along for years. You can take this to any country with you and they will sell great. And I can ship overseas so you can sell them along your travels. 99% of people have never seen or heard of this thing and it looks amazing. They sell like no other product youve ever seen. I can stand in a walmart parking lot for an hour and make $100 like its nothing. No matter what country your in these things sell like crazy.
    I do wholesale these and you will know what Im talking about if you watch a video I have of them. Please email with questions.

    Last but not least. Magazines. They have great profits and sell door to door or to business’s anywhere in the U.S.
    I can also make about $500 a day from magazines. And yes I do wholesale these to. Along with all the materials you need to sell them. Everything Ive mentioned fits in a backpack and gives you crazy travel money. Trust me. Ive never had to get a job my entire life. I just sell my products whenever I fill like it. And make over $100,000 a year while I travel the country with my wife and 2 year old son.

    Again you can email me if you are interested in selling these products.

  • Hugo

    I’m from Peru, I can be an english teacher, but where in the world could I start my big trip? I’ve got 2000 usd to go anywhere, I’m not at the university yet, I am starting planning a big trip but… where would you recommend me to start? Is there any problem if I try thailand first, but then?



  • margarita

    hello! you’re article is very interesting. I’m 19 yrs old and live in athens, greece. I’m attending a university which i’m not really sure i like and i’ve always wanted to see the world. I love photography(actually thinkng to attend an afternoon class next year) and it would be amazing if i could somehow travel the globe and take photos. Of course money IS an issue, since i have no income(yet). If you think there’s any way I could…just travel and pay my dues i’d really apreciate it.

    thanks :)

  • mobarak

    i wanna travel all around the world

  • Kyle

    My dream is to be able to travel the world. I’m only 23 but my biggest set back has been being able to find the money to even get started. So I have been searching the internet for a really long time to find a way to make money from my computer. Of course this has ended up costing me money instead of me making money. But I think that I finally found something that is not a scam.

    It doesn’t cost a cent to join and there isn’t any hidden fees once you get it. It is really simple and I think it has the potential to make a decent living just from about an hour a day on the computer. Most of the work is stuff you do on the internet anyways. I just thought this would help some of you earn that extra little bit of money to be able to travel, sence I too am working towards the same goal. I have spent a LOT of time on the internet looking for a scam free way to make money online without spending a ton of time online and without spending any money. Just check it out real quick or don’t but I just thought I would save you the time. Thx for listening. If you are interested at all let me know . Any questions let me know :)

  • richi puebla

    nice post.
    i liked it. it’s…convincing. but it seems to me that you need plenty of time to travel that way. as soon as I can, i’ll do it!

    it’s really, really usefull. thanks for the help.

    regards from Chile. Ricardo Puebla.

  • vicky

    Very good article,u could also list some freebies and coupons on air,hotel,would have been great!

  • saj from UK

    not travelling for free but if you work for a travel comapny then you do get mates rates at a lot of different countres and I have in 5 years been to about 12 different countired and would go to a lot more more often if i could

  • Maxwella Ayo

    I’m maxwella, a nigerian just looking for ways to travel free or at least low cost. I will appreciate any advice or contribution that helps.

  • Fida

    Great ideas! Though I absolutely agree with Boris. Traveling without any money is an illusion. I need very little money – not only when I travel, but I always take out health insurance. I don’t want to be a pain and burden to others. Even when I walked across Europe, where one can often stay for free in “refuges” with a pilgrimage card and plenty of places to sleep under the stars or in a hay-barn, I needed a little money for food (and new shoes:) I worked as a grape-picker in France, a season in a mountain ski hut, house-sitting in Spain (free lodging but not free food – I gave swimming lessons at a nearby school), was teaching German in Turkey, picked apples in former Yugoslavia, helped a farmer in the alps (free food and lodging), cooking in Germany, was a cleaner at a campsite in Portugal, a cook on a private yacht between Italy, Turkey and Greece…yes, there are plenty of ways to make a living while traveling. But believe me, it’s hard work too to find a job. Marshall seems to have found a great way to make a living on the road for himself and his family.

  • Gary Liu

    How should I do this?

  • abdi

    i like traveling and i want to travel this summer 2010 but i have no money i wish there was a way i could do it. i am 19

  • Gary Liu

    I started save some money this year and plan to travel the world next year in July, ’cause I don’t know if 2012 is the end of world. I should do something I want to before 2012. I’d like to travel by bicycle, it is much green and not too slow. I plan to start in Europe, then USA, South America, Australia, Asia, Africa. But before I start, there is many prepare work I have to do, and make detailed plans. Please, I will appreciate any advice or contribution that helps.

  • http://www.webbloggirl Euroangel

    It’s always been my dream to travel around the world and I always love to travel when finances are available. I have been to some countries already. Since I am jobless but still want to explore the world, any idea where to travel for free? greatly appreciate it!

  • Makeez

    I think it’s naive to assume we can travel for FREE. To be honest, I wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling if I had to worry about money and how to pay for lodging and food. I will say that it forces you to think outside of the box and allows you to experience an uncertainty that may bring interesting opportunities your way! Regardless, speaking for myself. I’d like to do my homework before hand. Get on forums and try to attain some amount of useful advice from former experienced travelers. Do your homework. Save some money. And be OPEN to new and exciting experiences, even if you didn’t plan for it. But your foundation should be steady…so definitely think ahead and save something. Peace of mind is priceless.

  • woofy

    answer for euroangel:
    you can travel anywhere for free, I’m a member of couchsurfing (the online network mention on the article) has been hosting and couchsurfed/stayed over in other members house, for FREE, seriously. The idea is hospitality and an open house for travelers coming over to your home country. I once hosted a russian guy whom traveled for 2 years only by hitchhiking and he hitchiked a flight in Irian-Indonesia (not a boeing/commercial flight-it’s a small missionary flight).yep, you can travel for free …

    • Thalia

      Question for Woofy: Do you host runaways?

  • leo


    I’m stucked in the U.S I was originally form thailand and i over stayed in the U.S for 10 years. Now I want to get out of here and travel the world. But how do i do that?
    should i go home to my home country and start applying for visa to other countries?
    I don’t care if I’m banned in the U.S for 10 years I’ve seen the whole United states anyway. But now I’m ready to explore the world. please anyone give me a good advise.


  • gasser

    hey all well i am an egyptian college student and i’m a 19 years old very enthused and willing to travel the world as it’s one of my dreams having the thinking of the world as a very small village and all those people living in it as one family but a bit large enthuses me more and more but i really can’t afford payin gfor that so i’m searching for these free programs and can’t really find any that suits my age,nationality or being free so can anybody please help me with information thanks so so much =]

  • Gina

    Im 19 I’ve been traveling the world since i graduated highschool.
    recently ive found that im pregnant
    and not traveling is really hard for me to think of
    is there a way anyone knows about to get free health insurance for travelers?
    please help i dont want to quit my dream.
    with love and light,
    gina <3

  • Stu

    it all starts with a dream. Take the leap of faith, and plan a bit. The rest will take care of itself.

  • Ryan

    im 19 too. Im from the US and in November I decided I was going to leave in the summer to see Europe..specifically the UK. So I got a few jobs, saved religiously and just bought my one way ticket. Im leaving July 12th. My boss gave me great advice…just do it, dont think about the fear or the impossibility of it, just go out, do it and dont think about it. So do that. With money, just save up as well as you can for a few months, then find where you really wanna go, and book a ticket. (i used really cheep flight). Good Luck :)

  • Ahmad

    I love what you wrote, it’s true and amazing.. but not everyone can do that for different reasons. i agree that money is not the biggest problem, but traveling this way with small amount of money is hard.. at least in the beginning.. for someone who used to have everything in hand is hard.. and I’m not talking about rich and poor here.. having a home.. food.. bed is something, and you will appreciate it when you find it hard to find because you don’t have enough money.
    I also found it a bit strange.. you are talking about traveling the world.. and you only talking about Americans as if they are the only people who travels.. I’m just sharing bitter thoughts i have because of stupid borders were sit by stupid people around the world who imagined that the world belongs to them. here i am an Egyptian have the same dream of traveling the world as many others from Peru, Chile, Thailand, America, Europe… but to do that i have to apply for a visa to every single country i want to go in advance and only for limited period of 15 days maybe because if you need to get your 3 months tourist visa you will get refused unless you are a millionaire and have a fortune in your bank account. i applied once to Portugal and i got it.. well, i cried happy and there are no words to describe the feeling of realizing such a dream for the first time.
    i came back intending to save money to continue my trip next year, but then i realized that it’s just depressing working hard for 8 months and i barely got the money for the flight ticket.. anyway, i went to India and it was great experience and “cheap” but also limited.. i wanted to take a bus to Nepal and i couldn’t because the embassy gave me single entry visa…… i can talk forever, but I’m at work :P

    PS: I’m still student but I’m traveling in Egypt and working while traveling to pay for my expenses.. i think there is still something i can do.


    • Tim Patterson

      Thanks for the comment, Ahmad, you make a really good point about how my article is geared towards wealthy Americans. It’s much harder for most people in the world to travel at all. Good luck, and inshallah our paths will cross someday.

      • Logan.

        Tim, are you saying this article was written PRIMARILY for wealthy Americans then…?

  • Carole

    Looking for a travel buddy, for Eastern Africa ( for a start)… be ready for adventure!!!!

  • Nicola

    Im only 16 just now, but im starting college this october for 4 years. After that i really want to travel, i live in scotland, so i want to go quite far away, really would like to explore some tropical forests and things like that, by then end of college i should mabye have quite a lot of money saved up, but i just don’t know how to go about it, whether to get planes or bus.., where to go etc.

    Any help would be appreciated.


  • katherine

    hey! this sounds like a blast! and it is something I have always wanted to do!
    I’m a college student and will be done April 2011.
    If any one is looking for a travel buddy for fall 2011 let me know :)

  • Thalia

    Leo,my advice is to sneak across the border if there’s no other way. That’s what I’d do.

  • Grace

    Just like everyone else who made their comments here, it’s always been a dream of mine to travel the world…. actually seeing the greatness and the magnificence of God’s creation (not only in the internet nor magazines) will surely be an incomparable and unforgettable experience; but then again, enough money is still the main concern just like everyone else’s. I can’t even visit other parts of our country, the Philippines; moreso to different parts of the world! Surely be a miracle to be able to do it in my 40′s… but guess what, I’m already turning 39 this year! Anyways, I’m happy for those who can afford or been blessed to experienced the travel of a lifetime. God be willing… nothing is impossible after all. :)

  • Albert Einstein

    My dear friends.Traveling is not free, the food you eat everyday is not free, shelter is not free. The world we live in is not free and people like you, dreamers like you, should wake up to reality and get a job so that you can be productive in society and not a parasite traveling around the world and not producing anything.

  • Makeez

    To Albert Einestein… the REAL Albert would turn in his grave if he heard such a comment!

    “Be productive in society and not a parasite traveling around the world and not producing anything”?

    Your perception of producing what is worth anything means NOTHING to anyone, besides yourself….and it sounds like your still not happy.

    Everyone on here is perfect…even in the madness and uncertainty of it all…having faith and finding love in nature, people, places is truly a unique and trusting gift to have.

    We are all here for a purpose…so be KIND and allow everyone to have freedom of form and expression. It’s their free will. You are not responsible for anyone besides yourself.

    Your free to say what you will, but calling people “parasites”, because they want to travel is a little too cruel.

    Just my opinion.

  • Travleandhelp

    I am only 17 but my dream is to travel the world and simply help people in need. I’ve been on lots of missions trips to Mexico and places in America. My plan is to graduate with a history and or a art history degree and then just go. I know a couple in Slovakia so that would be my first destination then I would go wherever the world takes me.

  • marcus

    i travelled around africa and been given free food,water,bed i live in the uk but if any1s ever stuck and needs a place 2 sleep 4 the nite id be happy to help i knw its not africa but i beleive iv been help and wud help any genuine travellers

  • Bayu

    I am an English teacher. I teach in one of the private schools in Indonesia. When i explain a topic to my students, I often motivate them to spend their lives to visit , study at the best university or stay in the foreign countries. That is one of the advantages of learning English.
    For me though I have learned English for more than 30 years, going or working in other countries is just a dream. Of course, it will be very hapy if I can realize it in my life.
    Now I am already 54 years because I was born in 1956. I don’t have enough money. That is why I ask whether there is a way to go abroad free. Is it possible to enjoy traveling or working in England or USA ?

  • chads

    i have been reading all your comments on here and it snds amazing i have always wanted to travel, just never wanted to do it alone!!!!

    need a travel buddy to experience the world with have fun and live life to the full :-)

    let me know x

  • Luke

    Ditto on all that. In addition, a wise drifter once offered me some sound advice. And that advice is that the longer you travel, and stay unbound by your worldly possessions and jobs, the more and more scarce your resume will look when you get back. Think: no work history. Not so say that traveling is bad, or that one shouldn’t explore the world or oneself, but be wise about your future. I’m speaking from my own experience. Having a secure place to return to with warmth and a roof is mighty fine.

  • Rudy

    Hi, I’m 18 years old. Ever since I came to the US I found that it was not where i wanted to live. I felt like a slave because it is so much different than where I’m from and as i grew up i felt like my life revolved around the highways and stores. Seeing the same faces everyday with the same expression made me take this decision that I should travel now that I am young mainly because you cant do the same things when you are 40 than when you are 18. Hopefully I have enough money saved right now so that I cant start planning where I will travel.

    To all of those who are also traveling or want to travel should know that if you are eager to get out of your typical life should do it now that they don’t have kids. Not that having them is bad, but once you have them they are gonna transform your world with responsabilities

  • Hethir

    Yay! This is what we will be doing for our trip around the world. Our plan is to WWOOF around the world, taking some time in between to see the cities and sites. We have an online business that supports us, but hope to actually save money and gain valuable skills by wwoofing. Oh yes, we are in our early 30′s, no kids, out of debt.

    Life is right now. Live it!

  • Vickie

    Hethir your right “life is right now. Live it! I’m 27 years old, no kids, no bills! I have always wanted to travel more:) my friends are either married or have kids…i need new travel buddys?

  • Worldly

    Wow that is truly of the best travel tips guides I have ever read. Thanks!

  • Violet

    This is a very useful and interesting article, but a lot of assumptions were made going into it. With this comment I’m hoping to personalize it a little bit I guess, for people like me who will end up getting mugged sleeping under the open stars.

    For those of you Americans having problems with the idea of cutting loose from your safety, especially if you’re a five-two teenage girl, you actually have options that keep you from becoming so vulnerable and help you pinch your pennies too.

    My biggest tip is to network like crazy with people from other countries. I figured this out when I got an exchange student last year. At first I thought it was going to be a total pain in the ass to have a stranger living with my dysfunctional family for two weeks, but it actually worked out really well for me. Her parents own and operate a small hotel right between Germany and Austria, and we hit it off so well that I can stay there for free any time I like. It’s a two minute walk to one of the world’s best skiing locations I’m told. Not that I can ski…

    Believe it or not, this isn’t a very rare occurrence. People in the exchange program usually have hospitable families with cash. Go figure. These days, there are all kinds of travelers coming to small states like mine here in the U.S. because it’s so cheap…if you avoid the bums, you can really make some useful friends, and when you finally take that leap into travel, it’ll be a cushier landing.

  • http://none piv

    If you need an income in order to pay off loans or support a child, find a job that calls for extensive travel.

    find a job that calls for extensive travel. and get a job to support a child”"

    dont know much about children do you?

    • MyPOV

      I believe the writer is referring to those parents that are not actively engaged in their childrens’ lives but still pay child support.

  • http://nil Shahab

    it is all bullshit whatever is written above….for would anyone find food and shelter for free…u go into some one’s house and ask them to feed u and give u a room for free…No one will let you…

    How ever if any one really know…if i can travel and see the world for free..just do let me know…

    • JaXson

      Dear Shahbab,
      I am joyful to tell you that this is not bullshit. If your a dick, no one will bring you into your house or feed you. But if you are nice and go out of your way to converse with locals and explains your travels and adventures you will be surprised by the amount of hospitality you will be given. Most people do not get to experience the luxury of traveling and are eager to here of the outside world. I have had it happen many a time and traveling free is possible to an extent but it requires that you get your hands dirty and stop acting like a typical tourist. You have to make your own museums and suffice on what ever you can get knowing you might not have a place to sleep here and there and you will have to miss a couple meals here and there.
      But you have to be nice. Buying a new friend a beer may get you a place to stay for that night.

      • Randy Bruyere

        I live in a western city in America and got my passport in March 2010 and went to Ireland for a 1st ever reunion; loved it soooo much.

        ANYWAYS…..I was homeless for many years (if that’s how you want to refer it) but traveled the ENTIRE country (East, West, North, South and central areas) working for moving (ave. $20 per hour American dollars) companies; sub-contracting. This is an EXCELLENT source of income.

        My abilities are still there and now I want to get into over-seas traveling in hopes to see the rest of the world and maybe find a small Hut-Cabin (preferably near a beach) to retire in someday.

        Any suggestions? anyone, feel free to email me at

    • olga

      This is actually not true, I have stayed in central London twice now through a hospitality website, bith times I’ have been given both housing and food for free, plus good company. It’s about karma, believing that what you give is also what you get, so just start by giving yourself and you will see.

    • Zee

      Dude, i travelled for a whole month in the USA on my motorbike.. i didn’t spend a single dime on accommodations.. I couch surfed my way through.
      If you are a nice guy, open-minded, willing to shares stories, then people will let you in their house.
      I was stranded one night, and i emailed a few couch surfers a 9pm on a friday night. One person replied, said “come on over”. i walked in, they made me food, we enjoyed some drinks, and i crashed on their couch. I was gone the next day.
      I’ve slept on kitchen floor, or air mattresses… nut in the end, i had a memorable experiences, and built life long relationships!!

      I’ve been hosting many surfers myself. I let them in open hearted. I’ve even had to leave the house for couple hours, while this people, that i’ve met for couple minutes, are staying in my home… Be nice to others, and people will be nice to you.

      I’m sorry dude, but you seem like a jerk just by the way you commented. I dont even think that you have travel much in your life… have you been out of you own town? if not, get out there my friend, life is beautiful, and people are kind!

      Travelling is fantastic… but you need to forget about what the tourism industry wants you to believe.. the is nothing better than spending a week on a new town with the locals. local people will take you to places, introduce you to others, much easier than if you had to stay in a hotel!

      Couch surfing is the only way to travel!


      • martin

        “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.”

        Sadly these expenses do not suddenly stop when you want to travel, my landlord won;t stop chargin me rent just because i wanted to travel lol.
        Staying in randomo people’s houses who you have met or emailed to me seems like a horribly dangerous game to play, if i was a serial killer or a theif this would seem like a good way to get an easy victim.

        • Brittni P.

          very true. I thought about that too, when i heard about couch surfers.

    • Jane

      Hi Shahab

      You can travel the world for free (not much money) it can be expensive though when you start giving your trust,your time, your experience, your help and your love…….but you get such a lot in return. In most Mosques, Sikh temples and Hindu temples they welcome weary travellers (regardless of religion) they will give you a meal first, then you can go and pray (if you wish, this is not mandatory) then they will give you a bed for the night.
      Most people in the world are good, we are just brainwashed into believing they are not. Trust and give, give , give and you will have amazing adventures.

    • World Traveler

      This is why you have never left your town. You are so narrow minded.
      I guess you have only travel to the end of your local buss line.
      You will never be able to understand it.
      Stay home and die

    • october

      some people need to pull the stick out of their ass and realize that this really is possible. and you don’t have to be a worthless bum or a stinky hippie. honestly, living for free isn’t that hard. I’ve pulled it off in this country which is by far the hardest. my friend went to France for 6 weeks and played music on the street, slept on some nice lady’s couch and ate for cheap from markets and whatnot. I’ve known people to go over seas and actually come back with double the money than they left with. (no drug selling needed.)
      i’m just saying keep an open mind. and yeah, if you’re a dumb shit who has no common sense or human instincts, you might get raped or mugged. but if you’re not completely stupid, you’ll be just fine. and a lot frakin happier than having to worry about material possessions.
      everyone in this country (usa) is too scared of everything, maybe if everyone had the “live free, be free” mindset people wouldn’t be so angry with everyone else.

  • Michael

    I traveled Mexico for over a year and a half for free. No out of pocket expense, no passport, visa, tourist card, nor did I speak Spanish. I actually ended up working an awesome job in Oaxaca, Mexico that lead to a very nice lifestyle. While I had a blast and would not recommend my way of travel to most people, it can be done. It’s truly amazing how friendly and generous people are if you allow them to get to know you.

    In the worse parts of my journey, I was tempted to beg, lie, and steal in order to survive. It never came to that.

    I did come across rough times of living in a cave just a few feet above sea level and had there been a sudden uneasy rise in tides, I could have easily drowned. But waking up in the mornings to a view of the sun rising over the horizon, the fresh ocean mist covering my body, and preparing to fish for my breakfast… Looking back, I’d do it all over again.
    As a matter of fact, I stumbled upon this website by trying to network accommodations in advance.

    Any gringos (like me) ready for a trip? If you would like to sponsor any part of my journey, feel free to make a donation! This time I’ll be using a net-book to post my adventures.

  • webbloggirl

    I guess I disagree with Shahab..first of all i believed that we have the freedom to express ourselves like what the author is writing here..second, there is nothing wrong if we dream traveling for free..third, it is always possible to travel for free..what if that someone is your relative or brother or sister who is abroad and is inviting you to visit him/her all expenses paid? I had the same experience as my sister in Las Vegas paid for my two months vacation there…isn’t it a great experience? I always love to travel and if anyone out there will give me a free trip anywhere in the world, why not? i also travel for free sometimes wherien my friends from all over the world always welcome me in their home free for food and accommodation. that is one thing that makes a great experience once in my life..more travel pictures in my site.

  • Elmarie Moncada

    Hi, i have read the articales about travelling, and i have a girlfriend that did it for most of her life… can be done, but there is for sure hard times in between…..have no ”illusions” about that……but i do think its worth it. Have faith in humanity is at times the hardest to do…..!

  • Dave

    I am in the process of planning to travel the world for free, If it comes down to it I don’t even have a problem with begging, I’ve heard people can make good money from that as long as they don’t get drugged up or drunk.

    What scares me about travelling for free is that for every one hundred decent people in the world there is also at least one who will try to take advantage of you, some people are even worse, I reckon its always a good idea to always travel with a friend who can watch your back unless maybe like me your a big bloke yourself.

    From what I know about people even thieves won’t hurt a bloke as long as you have the sort of mentality that accepts them for who they are and you don’t look down on them. Its when you yourself are offended/disgusted or amused by how someone acts that’s when they start to have a problem with you and the s*** starts flying. Be friendly with everyone and a few will be friendly with you the rest wont be offended that’s the main thing. I guess if your planning to travel to more exotic lands you would also need to be aware of any laws and customs which if not followed could also be the cause of the locals having a problem with you.

    My plan so far is in richer places I’ll beg and in poorer places I’ll spend it, I don’t like the idea of taking what is, potentially, an unemployed locals job in a poor area where unemployment is a problem, if I run out of money or get robbed I’ll head towards richer places again But if at any time there’s a job going for a day and no-one else to do it I will try my hand at it, should be fun! (if I dont get sold into slavery, stabbed to death or catch some horrible disease)

    • Mike Orielly

      A couple of questions Dave… Where are you at? Where are you going? When are you leaving? I will tag along. As you said… “its always a good idea to always travel with a friend who can watch your back…”.

    • dc_publius

      I’ve stayed at my share of hostels and most places are filled with the sorts of people who think that just because they are on S. American ground for six months it makes them well-traveled.

      In reality, those folks mostly stayed in during the evenings to save money and hang out with fellow American and Australian travelers (which they could have done just by staying at home.) They avoid most sorts of activities and splendors of the country because things cost money. They just walk around and do do much of anything and don’t go far from hostel either.

      Believe it or not, things cost money even in poor countries. Yes, if you want to slum it and sleep in dirty 30 year old bed in a room with 5 other people, you can get by. If you avoid looking at some of the country’s national treasures – that usually have high admit fees – you can get by. If you avoid doing any sort of activities that require gear, like paragliding, scuba, skydiving, elephant rides, boat rides, etc – you can get by. If you avoid going out to social places like restaurants and clubs – you can always get by and hang out with your fellow-country crew of hostel foreigners and share meals and drink. If you don’t mind not having a how shower – or sometimes any shower – you can get by.

      But that is exactly what it is… getting by. You will end up traveling huge distances and checking off a lot destinations on your list but ultimately seeing very little. Poverty is very much alike anywhere in the world.

      I think there is way too many of these sorts of romantic posts and blogs about how cheap travel can be. I would love to see a blog that actually profiles what you get when you pay $25 for a hotel room in Bogota (filthy dilapidated dump in a dangerous area.) and mentions some of the outrageous entry fees for foreigners to many iconic landmarks.

      I like to travel to experience things and meet all sorts of local people – not fellow hostelers. I don’t need to travel to 50 destinations to meet the same destitute farmers, either. It’s a lot more interesting to see how regular middle class people live in different countries. I also prefer to a clean living environment – I don’t see living in dilapidated filth as an adventure. I can live without that sort of adventure. No one seems to mention that figurative and literal dirty secret of budget travel.

    • tones

      Not to put a cramp in your theory but poor people usually don’t beg around other poor people, they go to were the money is. So just accept the fact that you will be taking money out of the coffers of some one that can’t feed him self so you can see the world.

    • Joulsey

      Dave, this is a human connected via Couch Surfing telling YOU to visit Malaysia, and I let you in my house for free, food included!

  • 18marilyn

    I believe that traveling for free can be done, if your optimistic and humble people may response in a good away after all. Just to mention the the word Travel brings me such excitement!!
    To Tim Patterson if you get to read this, what was your experience traveling for free, if you have done it that is.

  • Nicole

    So here’s my question – if you live in the U.S. like I do – who is going to give you a plane ticket out of there for free? To bike, walk, unicycle, hop on one foot or whatever in another country you first have to figure out a way to get there. So at the very least I’d have to spend a few hundred dollars even to get to the same continent if my destination were somewhere in Africa, Asia, Europe, or Australia.

  • tom b

    @ DAVE

    Good luck you will need it, I think a trip like your planning will ruin your life.
    The world is a tough place. You are very niave

  • melissa

    BANISHING FEAR is essential.. and recognizing that fear comes from unfortunate previous experiences that may or may not happen again. the body has an immediate reaction to minimize bad feelings (i.e. stay content with complacency, afraid to try anything new in the chance it may not live up to your expectations.) you have just this life! do what you love every moment!

  • c

    “…….If you need an income in order to pay off loans or support a child, find a job that calls for extensive travel. ”

    What an absolutely disgusting statement. What is wrong with you people?

  • Anthony

    Most of the people casting doubt are White and never spent a day in their life with different people other than those working for them or doing work for them so they have no understand of the world outside of America. A place that’s been scared of its own shadow since the Cold War and in general don’t like People Of Color. That’s not to say even a majority of Caucasian Americans feel that way but a good number of them do and it should be disturbing.

    Outside of America people put a basic trust in you unless you violate that. They trust you as another human being. Some people will allow you to sleep on the couch others will let you stay in their home or apartment free of charge when they aren’t home, its called the HONOR system and Americans only seem to use that term when its convenient like in the military.

    Most of you will continue to throw barbs and live in your narrow minded world view like much of America does, they could care less. For those that say the world is hard and cold, you can’t be further from the truth. Evil People are just that evil, most of the population is not devious or evil. Large corporations are evil, greedy bankers are evil, people that kill in the name of religion are evil.

    As for getting air line tickets, it all depends. Since America is so large, if your going Eastward (Europe or Africa), flying from the say New York, Boston or Philly would be much cheaper than flying from Los Angeles. If your going to Asia the opposite is true.

    One can drive the Pan-American Hwy in a cheap used car, that’s not expensive at all. You can drive from here to Panama no problem. For about $1300 you can across the Darin Gap by boat and reach Colombia. Once your finished traveling around South America by car, you can sell it to a local and hop on a plane back to the States or to someplace else.

    Your only limited by your imagination. Also as he said, if your living a typical American lifestyle where your constantly buying trinkets (Iphones, Ipads, Blu-Ray disc, etc) then much of that money you spend could be spend traveling instead, its all about prioritize. What do you want more, impress locals with your chic apartment or fancy oversized home? Or do you wanna live in a modest apartment in a modest part of town? Do you want a Benz or Bimmer or could you get away with a Ford or Toyota?

    If your making enough to afford anything you want, your not reading this page are you?

    If your like much of America, you work too much and get limited time off. Like I said, you have a choice you can make it in the material world or you can live without some of that material comfort and travel more.

  • Elizabeth

    As for your comment about not finding places to stay for free…You are WRONG!!!

    I have been all over the world and in every country I have been to I have had the option to stay with someone for Free or get a hostel. In some circumstances I choose a hostel due to location that it is in or that is where groups I am with are staying. But if you join it is easy to find someone that will open their doors and even feed you while you are a guest in their home. Their have been times that I got off a bus, sent out an email in need of a last minute place to stay and got twenty emails within an hour offering somewhere to lay my head. There are people out there like that and it is sad to think you believe otherwise.

    • http://none aza

      well elizabeth it seems to me that being a female , you would have endless oportunity on getting someone to help you or even give a place to stay. in my experience woman have always been catered to practically anywhere in the world. i feel it is much easier for a woman to do whatever she wants because some guy will always come along and offer her what she needs. now a guy on the other hand like me, not so lucky. i could stand on the corner , sit in a park, or go thru any city and still never be as easily catered to as a girl would. of course this is all just my opinion and i am hoping someone will be able to give me the info that i need to break free from this 40 hour a week job and bottomless pit of bills that will haunt me probably for the rest of my life! i want out!, i for once in my life want somebody to take my hand and show me the way. i want to be catered to and taken care of. if there is anyone out there that wants a great guy to travel with that knows the ropes of this free travel let me know. i am free to travel and i am free to a good home. home is where the heart is and home is where i lay my head. i want some excitement in my life and i want someone to save me! i work too hard and have held on to too many things

  • derek

    Okay people I have traveled for free most of my life and from my experiences some people are cut out for it and some people arent. When I was off traveling by myself I had some good times, I gained memories I will hold forever. I also met some dangerous people and I was beaten, my life threatened while the experience taught me to appreciate life a little more it also left me with scars I will always have the responsibility to bear…

    I wouldnt reccomend free travel for most people you know living off the land and what not but if i had to do it all over again I think I would.

  • Travelling Jro

    Really good article. I’ve been doing it now for two years (and the hope’s to have another eight). WWOOFing is great. Done in many times with (almost) no problems. Couch-surfing the same. The article didn’t mention that there’s places to sleep for free almost anywhere (outside of the cities). Just buy a tent and carry a couple of days food with you, and if the ride you hitched drops you in the middle of nowhere… no problem. Your bed is in your bag.

  • Pete

    I’m white and I did travel the world for “free”…. or at least most of Europe. I juggled and rode my unicycle. Of course, life happens and you can always have a back up plan in case, but the biggest challenge is learning to trust. The difference is “a road less travelled…”

    I agree with the article that people who want to travel the world for nothing, or at least for very little, shouldn’t have a time frame. Peter Jenkins’, “Walk Across America”, written back in 1979 is a good example of one guys experience in traveling on foot that took him more than five years. Of course, “free” isn’t exactly accurate. You aren’t going to get everything for free and it really is about developing relationships with people and maybe even getting small temporary jobs along the way.

    For those who want to travel but are afraid to, I would recommend reading about other people’s travel experiences first to get comfortable with the idea, or even take mini trips around where you live. Get a sail boat and learn to sail, or hike up a mountain and learn to talk to others along the way. Good luck and have a great time!

  • Katy

    I love the spirit of this article, but from the discussion it looks like it sparks some extreme views, partly because it is asking for an extreme change from many of us and seems to condemn some behavior or feelings that are very deeply held.

    I think that something important to keep in mind is that if 100% free travel is too requires too many inconveniences, you can choose to travel ‘more’ simply or ‘more’ cheaply. A lot of travel expenses come with having very high expectations for a vacation and a sense that you have to buy your fun.

    So if camping out under the stars on the side of the road seems too dangerous or extreme, than may be that’s where you would spend your money, on a simple campsite. In the end, it’s more about the mindset that allows you to forget about seeing or doing all of the tourist things or the things that are seen as markers of a ‘vacation,’ like eating at fancy restaurants, going out to bars, or even staying in luxury accommodations.

    I think it is difficult for people to trust in each other, but I also have a lot of hope that that is where travel is headed, especially with places like,, and a site that I really like called that has the same premise, but is more focused on safety (great for those of you who are worried about the safety aspect of staying with strangers). Especially with all of the financial problems happening all of the world, people are really starting to reevaluate what is important and feasible, and I think that really connecting with people, through doing stuff like house exchange or helping out with a meal, are going to become more and more common.

  • Miss Knightley

    I wonder if there has been any circumstances where someone needs a place to stay and they were met with a sketchy or dangerous character–you see, although it is encourageable to be trusting of people, to the same degree there isn’t there a need to be cautious?
    In no way am I not trusting of people or the human race, nor do I doubt that there would be many hospitable people out there willing to share a place to stay. But with the great people of the world, there are also the dangerous pedophiles and etc etc of the world that we fear to mention. Is it so wrong to be cautious of one’s safety, especially being a young woman who has seen the like happen to others before her? I love the idea of freedom this article entails, and the ideas and hope and new way of thinking it introduces, but I also can’t help but remember things like airfare to travel to another country, and that even exchange programs cost money. I’ve experienced the doubts of traveling for less than gasoline fare, but I have been introduced to a free-r and less costly method of travel through this list.
    I only have this question:
    Do these apply when you don’t know a language? or am still in college and don’t yet have the credentials to have ‘payable skills’ such as teaching and the like?

    I have always and still have wanted to travel to Japan, but my college doesn’t have any study abroad programs that include art and my desired country. I’m but a poor college art student, and know that study abroad fees are less costly, but still expensive. Will a family in which I can’t even communicate efficient Japanese with, really take me in? I hope, but find those things hard to believe. Pardon my doubtful attitude, for this article inspires, but still applies to everyone a bit differently. Maybe if I’ve had a similar experience as the other people replying here, I may agree 100% with this post, but as of yet I haven’t experienced these yet, or even traveled out of state much. I crave travel, culture, experiences, the world, but I am unmovable, whether its because of age, fear, money, whatnot.

    What can one do?

    • Ria Swift

      To everyone afraid to travel and fearing that one has to be cautious let me say; let your fears slip away. I have traveled extensively on very little money. I never had the idea to travel for free so I did have some money with me but the conveniences afforded me where great with or without money. Many people gave me places to stay, food, clothing, for free. I didn’t have to beg. I was friendly to people I felt comfortable with. If I wasn’t comfortable I would leave their company. I don’t think the question is about being cautious or too vulnerable. I try to use my intuitive, instinctive side and it works every time. Get out of your head about all of this. Don’t read so much into it. Wherever you are is a travel destination for someone who does not live there. You drive and walk around your town everyday without much thought. the rest of the world is no different. I did end up in some pretty crazy places like the super red light district in Panama City. Walked right through it. People were shooting up, prostitutes were prostituting, all kinds of unsavory characters and in Panama this is a place a gringa does not want to be. I kept my cool and acted like I belonged there. No one ever bothered me. I also lived/camped in a pick up truck for almost two years across the states, BC and Alaska. I put the truck where ever I felt comfortable. I had one problem. Some weird red neck followed me to my camp site along the Tennessee River. When I realized what was happening I moved my self and my truck to a spot surrounded by fisherman. The creepy guy left. Keep in mind that u have all survived so far. You are not dummies and can certainly get yourself out of any weird situation you find yourself in. Going it alone is often better because people will cozy up to you more, especially other Americans as you travel abroad. If you read the travel books, which will tell you what is safe and what is not you’ll be fine. When in Central America several years ago there was a civil war in Nicaragua…and people were running from the bus to the hotel. Instead of traveling like that I opted to go to Costa Rico where an American woman, on the bus, invited me to stay in her rented bungalow on the beach. It was a blast. I had my own beach, swam naked after drinking my coffee each morning. I danced at the local open air bar on the beach every night with all the local folks from 4 to 80. I got all of this from a simple conversation: Are you from the States? Where u from? Life is good and travel is better. Think that you can and you’ll be safe. The only people I ever saw hurt while traveling where wearing too much jewelery in a 3rd world country…which is just ignorant. And people who didn’t stop to think if what there were about to do was a good idea or not. Always talk to the other English speaking people wherever you do and just about anywhere you go somebody will speak English. Don’t create a fear where there is none. People like to spew fear…don’t buy into it and you’ll be just fine. Taking the chance to see the world is a whole lot more fun than playing it safe. Go for it!

    • Emily

      Hey, There are heaps of language schools in Japan that are looking for native English speakers to teach English. Some even offer to pay for your airfare over, and they generally do not require Japanese language skills, and often don’t require qualifications either. Have a look at pages such as this one:

      Hope that helps!!

  • Nicole

    Good Article, and better comments.
    We American’s are different, scared, less friendly. When I was younger I packed a duffle bag and hopped a plane and grabbed a job on a sail boat, in MALTA.
    I’ve traveled a bit since then. Back then I think my pay was $800 a month plus food and board. And lots of freedom when we were in port.
    As I got older and had a child the fear set in. She’s an adult now and that fear seems to have gone away. I was in Spain last year (went on a whim, was invited for free)….the problem with that trip was the person I was with wanted everything more upscale. Upscale is good, but I’m a flip flop, casual girl and it was a problem with packing.
    I have no need to do that again. I found myself wandering away from our hotels looking to be with real people. People that lived there, talking to the waitresses and bartenders.
    I am however too old to sleep in a cave. But I’m not too old to sleep in a hostel or meet people online, etc. and make plans in advance.
    If I could pack up and go tomorrow I would. I will be spending the rest of this year making plans. I’ve been looking into teaching English in various places, camps etc. I suppose its all in how optimistic you are and willing to let go and be free.

  • Paul

    I hitch hiked and walked through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe , Mozambique, Malawi , Tanzania and Zambia in 1993, 27 000 kms in 8 months and lived on about 100 USD per month. I will always be grateful to the poor people who gave me food and a place to sleep.

    The bug has always been in my blood since then to do it all again, and now its time to start walking again…….My plan to walk around the Mediterranean Sea from Southern Spain to Turkey with nearly zero capital.

    OMG I must be completely mad

  • Nannette


    I have a family of 7 and we are planning a trip to Australia in December.

    First, I wanted advice from you, on ways to travel with our children to Australia for free. Are there jobs, volunteer opportunities, etc. that you know of for families? Please let me know, or direct me on which way to go.

    I appreciate you!

  • John

    I plan to travel the world out of college…I have years of canoe tripping, Canadian wilderness, etc experience… Though I never imagined I could do it free. Travel will cost some…planes? From NY anyways…

  • Nate

    Wow! Dude, this reads like a modern-day version of the Tao Te Ching designed for traveller’s. Simple, concise, cheeky, incalculably valuable insights into life, the universe and everything:). Thanks!

  • MC

    Interesting and useful.

    Anyway, before trusting people out there, read something about what happened to Pippa Bacca.

  • simon

    Travel without money is impossible, at most borders they like to look at your money before they let you in and the flight or boat trip will need to be paid for. However the trip need not cost you anything as you can work when you get there. Teaching english or picking fruit there is always something, you just have to choose.
    I traveled for eight years straight and believe me when I say, I didnt save up for the trip. I went through Europe several times until bored, then I ventured further south until I made it all the way to Australia. I’ve had a twenty year break and may just do the return jorney.
    Those who knock cheap travel will never know. They will never see the real country or meet the real people so they might as well stay home.

  • RT

    I’ve been traveling the world for free since about 2002, It’s an amazing experience and loads of fun. Not gonna stop now just because some ignorant people in these comments tells me what I’m doing is impossible.

  • Benjamin


    I really liked the article. I’m 18 year old and recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what i want with my life. I always wanted to see the world and until reading this and a few other stuff I thought I needed a lot of money to do that. This is the reason I felt I had to become rich to get out of life what I want but now i see this isn’t true (luckily as getting rich isn’t a simple task).

    This article really had me going and I plan on spending my spare time picking up some skills that could be useful to trade for places to sleep and transportation. Also I am going to learn Esperanto, something that i recommend to all aspiring travelers. Because even though I think the original intent of the language failed, something really great has come out of it: Pasporta Servo. Through this you can find other Esperanto speakers who are willing to take you into their home and teach you about their culture if only you speak Esperanto. And everywhere on the Internet there’s people testifying to the ease of learning Esperanto, but i’ll just find out for myself.

  • couchsurfer

    Please don´t forget that Couchsurfing is a give and take community, and the ones who are clearly there to take and not give back have much less of a chance of receiving hospitality. Be prepared to WORK if you wwoof.
    I have hosted many people, and some who are traveling “off the cuff” with no planning or preparation (who are also the most “needy” in many ways), you are setting yourself up for problems if you do not have contigency plans and/or emergency money. I have met too many travelers who have had dangerous experiences due to lack of planning, and desperation.
    Keep in mind, if you see a city that looks interesting, many other travelers have seen it too, and have probably booked with a couchsurfer in advance. My city isn´t even all that big, but we receive requests, multiple requests, daily during the summer months. Some of these people write us AFTER they arrive to town, telling us they don´t have a place to stay for the night and they are nervous about where to sleep. Sometimes it feels like manipulation. We prefer to keep our guest room open to travelers who respect our hospitality and aren´t here to use us as a free hotel. Our guests should become our new friends, not our responsibility.

    Be prepared. Be smart. Be safe. But have fun!

    • Tim Patterson

      Very good points, Couchsurfer, thanks for the reminder.

  • Ebrahim

    recently I have started hitchhiking, and I found out that it is absolutely possible to travel free, so I got online , and I was going to do an article about it, but then thought maybe search first, and I came across this article, and this article is exactly what I was going to write, its absolutely possible, I slept in people’s house, or in the mosque, and everybody was very kind to me, but the trick is you have to travel slow, I had to get back since my school was starting, and I only had a 4 day holiday, so I ran out of time, so then I took a train back, other than that I was surviving by spending just 3USD a day, and I didnt really have to spend so much, but because I was in a hurry, I covered a distance of about 1000km in 4 days, spending 3 dollars a day, the things i when I am back , I noticed I spend at least an average of 6 dollars a day, so to save money I have to travel, there are many places to sleep, and people usually like travelers, I never came across any danger the last few times I traveled, but I do carry a pepper spray and a knife just in case, but never had to use them. Thanks for this great article.

  • Ebrahim

    once I did sleep in a train station, and my wallet fell out of my packet, and I as always rolled around on the ground, and the wallet was far from me, so then in the morning it wasnt there, but that was ofcourse my fault, but if you take caution nothing will happen, thats something I learnt the hardway on many occasions, I trust too much I guess.

  • Catherine

    Thank you so much to everyone one who encourages and supports the notion of travelling for free, it’s been very inspirational hearing all these stories and tips. I have trouble blocking out people who are scared for me, and tell me I need money to travel and this and that, and to watch out for shifty people etc. I’ve been wanting to just pack a small bag of things and hit the road, but the unknown scares me and prevents me from making that first step. The fear that’s been instilled in me from other people being too concerned for my safety, may be a contributing factor that’s holding me back. I know that when I get past that first hurdle I’ll be alright, but it’s such a big hurdle for me; I’m not sure how I’m gonna get past it… JUST DO IT!
    For all of the comments that are along the lines of “I wouldn’t recommend doing what I did”, but then later on saying, “but I’d do it all again”; leaves me a little confused… Why wouldn’t you recommend for other people to do it when you say that you’d actually do it all again? Yeah, you’ve probably taken risks and lived dangerously at times, but these experiences have probably been when you’ve learnt the most about life, yourself, and met amazing people; why wouldn’t you want that for other people?

  • Jess

    Ooo this is exciting to read thank yall for the info :) Its really inspiring and urging me to go through with this adventure. Of course Ill have to bring along a travel buddy safty first, Thanks again



  • caleb allen

    Find folk festival groups…….they take trips that usually last 2 weeks, which provide travel, lodging, and food expenses. A dancer or a musician is ll it takes to fill the part, and sometimes only a flag holder, or something requiring almost no skill are needed as well. I just returned from Prague with a group that I had joined only one month prior to leaving, and attended only four practices to learn how to square dance. Once you are abroad most performances only require you to dance/play for 5-20 minutes per day, and about 12 out of 14 days that you are there. Performances are usually in late afternoon, making it easy for you to enjoy the whole day, perform, and then tear off into the nightlife. It is a great way to see all areas of the country, due to dancing/playing in a different location each night. You travel to big cities, to small towns, to remote villages, making it possible to see the “tourist traps” all of the way down to the first hand local culture……give it a try

  • Casey

    Great post, but makes me want to get back on the road. Traveled for 13 straight months a year ago. Oh, how I long…

  • Bill

    Hello travelers, if you are along the Gulf Coast of Alabama. I would put you up for a week and feed you. Just to help you on your free travel plans. This article sounds great for younger folks. I knew a 22 year old girl, who backpacked through Mexico for a year. Alone! But that was in the early 80s. Can’t do that now! No way!

    Hey, I might take a free trip. Sorry, no one home! But you are welcome to sleep on the porch! LOL

  • Fritz

    I traveled around the world with my wife for one year. It was a beautiful, unforgettable and relatively stressful experiece. It was certainly cheaper than what we would have spent at home in the US for one year but it was definitely not free.

    You can indeed travel for very cheap in parts of the world, but you can’t do much else besides sit in your hotel, eat and hang out with people. In Central America for example, if you’re willing to eat tacos evey day you can subsist on a few dollars a day, but after a while you’ll get so disgusted you’d want to get some variety at the cost of a few more dollars.

    You may also want to visit museums, national parks, take tours of famous landmarks, see the Galapagos islands, hike the Inca trail and do an African safari. These aren’t cheap activities and you can’t do them on your own for free; they’re optional, but if you’re not doing things like this you’re missing on some of the great experiences of the world.

    Anyone from the US (and the developed world at large) who is independent and has no major monetary obligations can work and save for a couple of years and then travel extensively. But sometimes you need to kick yourself in the butt and make the decision. Stop worrying about your career and your earthly possessions. Put all your junk in storage and find a friend to take care of your car. And your career… you can always pick it up where you stopped when you come back.

    • J

      My wife and I just got back from a one-year RTW trip. You’re right, it wasn’t free, but very inexpensive compared to living in the U.S. We ended up averaging about USD$25 per day for the both of us and certainly could have done it cheaper still. There are plenty of activities that are free: tons of museums, we did wine tastings in S. America and S. Africa that were all free, if you want to hike the Inca Trail that will cost you, but we did a free alternative – The Salkantay Trail – sans guide. We certainly treated ourselves from time-to-time (relatively speaking), but I found with minimal effort there are things to do that are extremely inexpensive, if not free, in most of the developing world. If you want to spend your time in London,Paris, Barcelona or Monaco you will have to spend more, of course.

      Also, I found the travel to be a lot less stressful than day-to-day life in U.S. It’s a lot nicer waking up each day to a wonderful new experience than it is heading off to work and balancing your household budget.

      The biggest issue, IMO, for this type of travel is debt. If you are debt free at home, you can live well for not much money in places like much of S. America and southeast Asia. I will also add, you just have to do it. My wife and I both quit good jobs in a bad economy to travel for a year. But we have been back for three months now and we both have good jobs again and life is pretty much back to where it was. My wife was even re-hired by the same company she left.

  • B

    These aren’t new ideas. I see people every day who use these tips… They’re often asking for my spare change.

    • Tim Patterson

      Haha, damn straight.

  • Jon

    “4. 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. ”

    What kind of bills do you have? Mine don’t let me pause them while I’m travelling. My utility bills might go down, but my car payment, insurance, rent, and most of my monthly expenses stay the same. Where can I get these great bills that you have that you don’t have to pay? It sounds pretty awesome.

    • Catherine

      Yeah, I want those kind of bills too.

  • xition

    Well I like the free spirit talk, about leaving your things behind and stuff like that but in my case, I want to travel to different continents not just my own. I live in Chile, and believe me, you may say that time isn’t money but I’m still young and I don’t plan on “riding my bike” so in maybe 4 years finally arrive to Africa.And let’s face it, even if I’m the most charming person in the whole world that wouldn’t stop me from getting mugged in a strange house, or would people trust a total stranger to stay in their home. The world can be a dangerous place.Well okay maybe there are people who did this and walked, hiked, etc to the most romote places and back (maybe I’m just lazy) without spending a dime. They sure must had the time of their lives but if you want to go to Japan (to buy videogames XD) or Dubai, you need money to have entertainment.You’re right about the hotals though, doesn’t need to be all fancy.
    Sorry this comment was so long :)

  • DJ

    This article is essentially bullshit and full of vague assumptions. Want to end up dead in the woods like the idiot in “Into The Wild” ? Based on the “facts” in this article, sure you can travel for free, but it’s going to take a VERY LONG TIME and you will be extremely limited in what you can see and where you can go, not to mention dealing with the karma of being a freeloader all the time.

  • SS

    So, basically, the way to travel for free is to become a hobo? I don’t know about anyone else, but when I go on vacation I tend to enjoy resting and relaxing, not entering into the pursuit of things I need to stay alive. Whether the rest and relaxation is at home or on some resort, I’d probably enjoy staying at home more.

    Keep in mind I don’t enjoy camping in the least. I may be materialistic, but that’s just the person that I am. I like the modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing and tap water that won’t cause the runs, plus staying cool in the sweltering humid heat of summer is always a plus.

    Are there people who would enjoy this? Of course. I’ve heard of people who backpacked across Europe or Canada or Australia, and had the time of their lives. And in pretty much all cases, at some point or another they had to beg just like the homeless people on the streets of major cities. Some had to eat mouldy food from the trash, others had to break into chicken coops to steal eggs and then run off while being shot at. Most also got seriously ill shortly before going home, usually from the malnutrition combined with parasites and frigid damp nights spent sleeping outdoors.

    Yeah, that’s not exactly what I call a good time. I’ll just tip my hat to them as I sit on my couch with my feet up, sipping a nice warm hot chocolate as I watch some cheesy action movies while hanging out with a few friends on our day off from work.

  • anon

    I hitchhiked throughout much of the middle-east and North Africa. Had a great time. The kindness I experienced there was life changing. The only negative experience I had was in Israel, but there the negativity was palpable (at least in the non-Arab areas).

    I traveled to places that the U.S. gov’t and corporate media call our “enemies” and was welcomed as a long lost brother.

    If you believe the propaganda and fear everything, you will miss out on living.

    Now with a nasty cancer at a very young age, I am glad I took the chance and lived while I could.

  • charlie

    im 19, live in england and ive never had the money to travel very far, ive mainly hiked arround the scottish highlands which has been my inspiratin to travel.
    ive done alot of hiking and im confident with my limitations but i dont want to miss out in life so ive set myself a goal for after college, to save the minimum to travel to new zealand over land trough eastern europe through russia and kazakhstan to china, thailand, malaysia and australia.
    ive done allot of research and after reading “jupiters travels” and reading this thread i feel more confident that i’ll be able to meet people on the way that will help me but there will always be times where i wont be able to find or afford food and i would just like to ask if anyone has resorted to hunting or foreging? i just want to know if its worth my time learning.
    i have an unlimited time to do this and the equipment to do so but not the money, my first idea was to cross to france and work my way allong, i soon found that i would need Vaccinations, visas and emergancy money aswell as money saved for the boat trip from singapore to australia and to new zealand.

    i love travel writing, the unforgetable sights that they explain and the challenges that lead to them, i have found this thread very helpfull thankyou!

  • Michelle

    If I wanted to get a place to stay for free, I would just have a one night stand

    • john b

      Michelle honey, you and all the other naysayers are so negative.
      That’s the fear talking.
      I worked a freighter to Australia, and stayed a month for free in high-priced Sidney.
      That was 25 years ago. If I chose to tomorrow, I could go back again, and have my pick of places to stay on the Aussie East Coast. If I didn’t have an aging, sedentary, Father to care for, I’d be on a freighter tomorrow, bound for one of the more spendy cities just to get some pictures of myself with friends next to some of the noted landmarks of the world.

      Of course the bunch here would just accuse me of Photoshopping everything.

      I’d find it easier to do the travel, that do the photoshop.

  • Jojo

    Did Nanette ever get to Australia for free with her 7 kids? I’d like to know as I have 3 kids at home and would love to travel there too!

  • WTF?!

    Good Lord!!! Americans, British … generally, all native English speakers … you are a weird and strange bunch. I’ve had to live with you for a portion of my life – in one of your countries of citizenship (no need to say which one, they’re all pretty much the same, at least as far as their current citizens mentality is concerned). I say “had” to live, because this is the truth. As soon as I was legally able, I left and NEVER looked back!

    By the by, I have also traveled (since then) and worked in many countries around the world – and I love it! But the way in which you are promoting travel around the globe with this article is absolutely disgusting!

    Defend “free travel” all you want, but don’t call it “free” travel. Call it what it is – “I am cheap travel”. Or how about “I-don’t-want-to-work-and-am-lazy-and-want-to-smooch-off-others-who-are-hardworking-travel”!!! Let’s call a spade a spade!

    Since I am now writing this from my laptop from a middle eastern country (none of which are most likely on any of your “to-see” lists), please don’t give me any of that “you want to be safe and have never left your little white bubble” speech. The irony of this whole thing is that YOU who defend this type of “free” travel are just the same as the ones you attack for being too scared – you also live in a little bubble all your own where you have convinced yourself that just because people are NOT assholes and allow you to sleep on their floor or whatever, that they actually WANT to do this and are HAPPY to go out of their way just for the PLEASURE of being able to meet the esteemed you. I’m gonna throw up. Hypocrites.

    I know for a fact that there are MANY very nice people all over the globe who WILL welcome you into their homes, and feed you. Of course they will, because people outside your Anglo-Saxon countries are usually generally hospitable and quite lovely and friendly. But do you know what these people will actually think of you? Do you even care? Being hospitable to a traveler who has had some kind of a misfortune or something preventing him or her from reaching home properly on their own – this is one thing, a very old and ancient custom worldwide. But having someone who is too lazy to work and earn the money necessary for travel expenses, or someone who is simply too cheap to spend the necessary money, simply “smooch” off of you is insulting and demeaning.

    What would happen if we ALL decided to do what you are doing? Where then would any of us find a roof over our heads? Ridiculous!

    Having friends, real friends, who you can stay with in one or more places – this is one thing. Having someone invite you to stay with them, a brief acquaintance let’s say, this is also ok, as long as you somewhat trust them. But this “free” travel, day-in-day-out, month after month and year after year, IMPOSING yourself onto others who are too courteous to decline, this is NOT ok, and people WILL talk about you behind your back … Hey, they already are, I personally listened, haha.

    Most of the world already thought and knew that you have gigantic egos, that you are loud and obnoxious, so go ahead and add shameless, cheap and lazy to the list, by all means, be my guest, it is the truth after all.

    Travel does not have to be all about five star hotels and all-inclusive rip off packages, which I also abhor. But it certainly isn’t “free”, and even if it theoretically could be, as this article suggests, the theory in itself presupposes so many things – that all it does is showcase the author’s own ignorance of the people, cultures and customs around the world.

    • theaviatrix

      Your view on people is so negative… There are plenty of people who will gladly invite others into their home even if they already have somewhere to stay. It isn’t always a chore or a simple obligation. Yes, there will be instances of lazy people free-loading off of good people, but you are making such a generalization. Not to mention that there are plenty of websites like couchsurfer and tripper that are made up of hundreds of people who want to offer their homes to others. It’s not just “helping someone because you have to.” It’s not always a chore. :)

      Personally, I found all of these stories to be very inspirational.

      • WTF?!

        Thank you. Now I am also inspired to write a reply.

        Just where did I say that helping people is a chore and it only happens when “you have to”?

        It is not my view of people that is negative – it is my view of “free” travel proposed in this ridiculous article that is negative.

        Looking at this article – and writing a response to IT – I was in no way making a generalization. Sure, someone may be adventurous enough and go with couch-surfing and the like, and I have absolutely nothing against this, but this article is not about that travel option – it is about free travel for months and years on end. Couch-surfing IS NOT free travel! Sure, maybe you can sleep somewhere for free, but the rest WILL COST YOU MONEY!

        Therefore, it is entirely ludicrous to suggest that people can travel as a form of lifestyle, and that it can be FREE.

        Just tell me – how are you supposed to help those who have helped you travel and sleep in their house, if you GIVE UP everything that ties you to your homeland, including a place to sleep??? How do you then return the favour? If you don’t, then you are a hypocrite and you ARE smooching, and lazy! And IF you attempt to follow the ‘advice’ of this article, then that is what you will be.

        Seriously, some people that have commented here see the point of what I am trying to say – nothing is ever 100% free, and to say that travel can be is to make, like I said before, serious presumptions and assumptions that are incorrect.

        The WORST thing is – that I can see that there are MANY very young people who are now “inspired” by this article, and will probably attempt to emulate its “advice”. Who knows what can befall them – it is wrong to advise people in this manner and in this way, especially with so many young and inexperienced readers who in their idealistic age are very easily persuaded, and cannot be expected to see beyond the “fluffy” aspects of “free” travel.

        • tatiana

          Dear WTF?! I was struck by your tone, which to me, seemed harshly critical and vehemently judgmental, verging on the hysterical, might I add.  You are perfectly entitled to disagree with the ideas proposed in this article, but to proclaim all those who DO agree with its ideas and are inspired to undertake them as “hypocritical” “smooching” and “lazy” is unnecessary and insulting. Ideally, all aspiring world travelers would save up enough money to fulfill on their dream, but we all bound by time, and for most of us, making enough money to travel for a lengthy period of time would take years and years and years….If experiencing the world on a global scale is someone’s dream,surely the courage that is required to sustain that dream is admirable in and of itself and merits a more noble descriptor than “lazy” and “smooching”. I see nothing lazy about confronting the world in all its rugged uncertainty, stripping away the illusive veneer of so-called security, to have an experience of life that isn’t mired by all the dictates set forth by society. Surely, anyone who ventures to experience the world in such a way is worth of admiration and respect, and I would warmly and willingly open my doors to such a traveller. 

          No, nothing is ever 100% free, and if you look closely, the article was not suggesting this to be true. What this article is trying to convey, is that travel is not just a privilege of the wealthy, that it doesn’t require an itinerary, and that with the right attitude, long-term travel is possible. The author actually proposed a number of suggestions regarding working while traveling.

           ”Just tell me – how are you supposed to help those who have helped you travel and sleep in their house, if you GIVE UP everything that ties you to your homeland, including a place to sleep??? How do you then return the favour? ” Well, if the only way to display gratitude is through money, then we’re shit out of luck. But I think there are many ways to return the favor. You can help around the house, and especially if you are staying somewhere in the country, this will be greatly appreciated. You can teach your hosts a skill that you are good at, a language. There are many ways to convey your generosity, and you’d be amazed at how quickly barriers can dissolve between individuals (and within individuals). 

  • Mark

    Hi there,
    I am 42 & traveled for over 27 years all over the planet, often for work.
    I traveled and travel most times on my own. I feel like I get easier contact to other people, travelers. I do what I want, when I want it no strings attached.
    I have a lot of memories and they still as clear in my vision as it happened just a few day’s ago. Sitting on a Glacier in Spitzbergen 3 A.M in the morning during the “Midsummer nights” in broad Daylight (just watch the Ice bears). Venturing deep into the Amazon River with it’s amazing beaches and incredible scenery. Hiking in the Rockies or Norway. Swimming with Dolphins in Australia and Diving with Sharks in the South Pacific and watching Orcas “surf” in New Zealand. Places I never dreamed of when I was a Kid.
    I was lucky most times I got paid traveling, which was great. Traveling is never “free”. Nothing is free not even the Air we breath because we have to breath, it’s a reflex so it’s not for us to choose to breath we have to otherwise we die. That simple.

    First of all you need to be positive about the whole situation think outside the square. Leave the “Box” how I call it. Leave your life as you know it.

    Some Destinations of course are dangerous even you think you have no “treasures” of any kind for robbers but don’t be mistaken. A lot of countries are incredible poor and your little bit is more than they got but often the poor people are the ones who share most even they got so little. Don’t be delusional. See it for what it is.
    For women doing this alone is difficult in certain area’s of the Globe but not impossible.

    Traveling is giving up your comfort zone and venture out in to the world experience new places, cultures and situations otherwise I call it Vacation that has nothing to do with Traveling. I have friends which fly to remote destinations and never leave the pool sipping mojitos, spending incredible amount of money doing so. That for me is not traveling.

    My made experiences helping me to master problems and events in today’s or future life because I learned new skills and knowledge. Also Friendships & Relationships get formed which lasting a very long time as you relate through shared memories. It’s bonding us.
    Be not afraid to meet the locals. They know where things are reasonable priced. It’s not an accident that Tourism is such a big business. Being the average Tourist is expensive. Because you pay for a service you don’t want to do yourself, example booking a tour or you just don’t know where to search or you don’t speak the language or you just don’t know how in gerneral.
    Please don’t be a freeloader living on others expense, pay your share, if you don’t have money do work for it as cooking, cleaning, helping at home or at their business. To Travel is also to give not just to take. Remember we are Foreigners in most countries in the World. I got invited by random people to stay with them all around the world.

    Travel by Hitchhiking (in some countries illegal ex. Norway, Canada), Backpacking, Train, Push bike, Foot, Bus, Ship etc. A friend of mine Hitchhiked all the way from Australia to India. (If you have the time and endurance.)
    My most amazing memories I made in everyday situations around the planet costing me nothing then to stop, look around and let it soak in, experiences that have been for free on the money scale. (For example Watching an incredible colorful Sunset in Western Australia coast with Dolphins swimming just a couple of feet away from me. That is not a everyday thing. Most humans never see a Dolphin alive. It’s such an amazing recollection.You can’t get that in a museum or gallery. I just had to except it and let it happen, take it in.

    HAPPY TRAVEL to all of you out there.
    PS: Life is a journey.

    • Stewart

      Very well said, Mark. It sounds like you’ve lived the dream I have everyday. There is so much to see and learn and experience in the world, and I want to see and learn and experience it all. I grew up hearing my grandmother’s stories of travel and knew that’s what I wanted to do. Your comment is a complete inpiration to me. Thank you.

  • Jo

    There are certain ways to travel the world on a budget, and this article might offer some helpful tips, but you cannot travel the world for free. There are certain barriers to international travel that will always cost money.

    For example, travel insurance. You will need this if you travel. And this will cost you at least $150 a month for a minumum plan. This doesn’t include additional costs if you have to make claims on the policy.

    And for those of you blinded by this article and think travel insurance is a lie told by the “tourism industry,” go ahead, but it only takes one freak accident overseas that requires serious medical attention and your life could be ruined. You might be able to pay a hospital bill that costs $3k – $5k out of your own pocket, but if you’re a foreigner, an international hospital might not even admit you without a travel insurer to negotiate your claim and provide proof of repayment.

    Have you ever been to a hospital or medical clinic in the third world? Even the so called “nicer” clinics meant to be used by the wealty and white people are far below western standards and increase your chance of infection because of unhygenic practices and poorly trained personelle. If you suffer a serious injury that requires you to receive air ambulance evacution home or to another country this can cost you as much as $300k.

    The contents in you’re backpack could be stolen by an employee at a local business when you let your guard down. This happened to a friend of mine at a restaurant in Rwanda. If you lost your cell phone, passport, plane tickets, and all your money and had no way to prove it was stolen it’s going to be very difficult for you to get by, not to mention costly if you don’t have insurance.

    Many countries require you to have a visa upon arrival depending on the orgin of your citizenship. Visas usually cost money.

    Sometimes visas can be bought at customs when you arrive in the country. Sometime poorly paid and uneducated customs officials in Cental America will try to extort you and make you pay ridiculous fees, far more than what is actually required, simply because you have a different skin color and therefore must be wealthy.

    Sometimes you have to have proof of a visa before you even arrive in the country or risk being deported immediately. This can require you to apply with your country’s embassy weeks before you leave for your trip and can cost anywhere from $30-$90+ depending on the country and how long you intended to stay. And sometimes you get lucky and don’t need a visa at all. Visa laws are complicated and regulations and fees change frequently.

    Many countries require proof of “onward travel” before allowing you to enter. This means you have to provide evidence of a bus or plane ticket that exits the country for some date in the near future. This also costs money.

    Many countries require you to provide an address and phone number of where you will be staying during your entire trip before you can enter. If you plan to float around from couch to couch you better know all of their addresses, phone numbers, and dates you will be staying.

    Do you really think people are just going to offer you free food and a place to stay because you are a traveler? No, in fact if you are from the “West” and people know that, which isn’t hard for a local in a third world country to conclude, not only will they not offer you a free meal but they will expect you to pick up everyone’s bill at the table because you are far better off than them.

    If this is how you want to get by, go ahead and try, and you will be blessed more often than not. But also be prepared to sleep outside in the cold at a bus stop, or to walk around in the rain or blistering sun for hours.

    Once when I was volunteering abroad, I took a trip for a weekend to a town a couple of hours away from where we were staying with some of my fellow volunteers. We wanted to save money and tried to get by on as little as possible. The only place we could sleep was a run down hotel that cost about $30 a night. We spent 8 hours at a time in the rain. Finding a place to eat was nearly impossible and some places we did find wouldn’t serve us because of our skin color. Now we may not have been the most resourceful travelers in the world, but if you are planning on being a traveler that doesn’t spend any money this is eventually gonna happen to you. In all honesty this was actually one of my favorite memories from that trip b/c it was an interesting weekend. But just that, an “interesting weekend.” I wouldn’t have wanted most of my trip to be that way.

    This article can help people realize the joys of travel. But it is irresponsible. Travel is very serious business. It is very complicated. Travel requires a vast amount of planning and some financial resources.

    If you are a teenager and just graduated and want to go see the world, great! But don’t go under the expectation that it will all be free. Don’t use this article as your inspiration. You will have to spend money. You will have to be smart and always on your toes. And if you have never travelled before, don’t try and do this kind of budget traveling alone for your first trip. At the very least find someone to go with you.

    The best thing you could do is volunteer overseas. You will do some real good, intimately work with and understand a foreign community, learn about yourself, have fun, have a professional organization to support you when you most need it, and save some money because you can always fundraise for a worthy cause. Traveling is not a good way to see the world. Volunteering is.

  • Ana

    i’m really inspired after reading this article. Travel around the world is my dream since i was a kid and now the time is approaching…
    I really think i could do it. I’m planning to go to Europe next year… my only question is: I would be allowed to stay in Europe (legally) for only 6 months, or then i would need a permision from the government. How can I stay there for longer? please, if somebody could help me or already did it before, i would be pleased….

    • yolanda

      The best way is to leave to a country that is non EU after the 6mos. For example say you are in Spain for 6 mos and would like to stay a little longer you can take a flight to London or Switzerland for the weekend, then re-enter into the EU and the clock starts over. That is how I did it while staying in Spain for almost 2 years. Good luck and enjoy. Europe is amazing and everyone should travel!

      • http://- enter22

        me too

      • Kevin

        London (England) is in the E.U

    • peter


      Lets make a group or something like that..what is your opinion about this? My name is Peter Katona, – my yahoo messenger id and email address, u can find me on facebook as well. Anyway – u are wellcomed to stay in Europe at my place – UK and Eastern luck with your plan!

    • Seth Hendrickson

      Good on you man. My wife and I travel a lot as well. She is 28 and I am 29. In October we are going to visit each of the Mayan and Aztec ruins through Mexico and down through Peru. I am a HUGE Supporter of WWOOF and I have hosted here in America, Several travelers, and I am going to be Couch Surfing, or whatever, through our 4 month adventure. It really is about as easy at Decide, Plan, and go. People limit themselves based on Preconceived notions. We are leaving with maybe 200 dollars US, and that will be plenty. It gives us more reason to truely experience how the locals eat, and what they do. We are going to be in Oaxaca for Day of the Dead, we are taking a boat tour down the Sumidero Canyon up into Palenque. We are snorkeling the Great Maya Barrier Reef. You are only limited by the willingness to take wrong turns sometimes. To truly find yourself, You must occasionally be completely lost, and subject to the wills of nature. Most of all forget time. And understand that plans change, and the only thing that is Constant is Inconsistency. Every plan, no matter how carefully laid must be subject to change at a moments notice. Good Luck!

      • Nicolette

        I am also very interested in traveling the world, but I am afraid. You hear all these scary stories. Are there many dangers while traveling the world?

    • http://- enter22

      ı dond know. but I’m there

  • benjamin

    i want to travel abroad neither through date or securing a job out there.

  • James

    How you are going to cross boarders (visa expence ect.)?

    • Christian

      Many countries will allow a stay for up to 90 days, some 60, and some 30. Get a list of the countries that do so and all you will need your passport.

  • Carlos

    I am amazed by the comments on this website, but what if over 50, would these same tactics apply ? Or is Peace Corps in my future….

  • Magpie

    To be free and travel for all eternity….

    Nice idealistic thought isn’t it? Of course when you are young, may be just out of college, taking off for a trip around the world “couch surfing” might be fun. It certainly won’t be for everyone.

    For example, I like sleeping in a comfortable bed. It’s just a fact, I cannot sleep anywhere else. I also dislike being hungry. I like to eat as much as I want. I also detest walking around tired and hungry. Particularly, I detest walking around tired and hungry when I am touring new places.

    I also want a future, with children and be able to provide for them and there education into the future. Get a job with extensive travel? May be the job allows your family to go with you? Send me the link!?

    Reality dictates that we need to work hard to earn money. Holidays are almost always inevitability short and you need to spend money.

    • Zach

      Reality dictates that anything is possible. The great thing about living in the U.S. is that you will always be able to make something great out of absolutely nothing at all. Maybe couch surfing is a venture that you would want to embrace for a year or so, come away with a few amazing stories, then start your life as you would like to live it, with the family you wish to have and your provisions for them. If you have faith in yourself, nothing will be unachievable. The best feeling in life is to wake up from your dreams to find out that you are living a reality. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. You have my confidence.

      • Joe

        Sorry buddy, but if you want more comfortable living go with what Magpie said. Sometimes you need to do hard work to get something better than just traveling around. Traveling in style! F*** couches. Be responsible!

        • Zach

          Joe, I apologize if I did not make myself clear. Hard work is a given necessity and also one that should be exercised in every day of one’s life. I would never be one to advocate for laziness or sloth. That aside though, the type of travel that we all are discussing is not the travel that takes you to extravagent hotels with room service and daily massages. We are not even discussing the type of travel that allows you to stay up in a cheap motel with three meals and a bed. We are discussing the type of travel that releases one’s inhibitions, one’s doubts; travel that will put one’s mind at ease and restore faith and confidence into their every day lives. Exhilerating journeys that contest one’s innermost character and delve into the deepest corners of a person’s untapped ability. These travels are what make great stories and the best of tales to tell. I would suggest that you try this type of travel at some point, but hey, if it isn’t for you, I am certainly not one to judge. People are all different for a reason. The only advice I would ever give to anyone is to find what truly makes you happy and exploit it in every possible way that you can. Life is an adventure. All my best buddy.

  • bill

    This was a huge waste of time, I want the ten minutes of my life back. “remodel an old sailboat??? “Get a job that requires you to travel” much easier said than done, travel is not free and remodeling an old sailboat takes years and lots of money. I would love to know about a country where I could sleep outside in my sleeping bag without getting mugged but I’m never gonna find it.

    • cb


      Where are you from? It seems like you may be basing some of what you’re saying on preconceptions. Here’s some thoughts on what you said in your post. I’m not disagreeing, but simply trying to look at it in the way the author wrote it, i.e. with a more positive outlook. I think he assumes you WANT to do these things.

      1) The joy and happiness you would get out of restoring a sailboat would be, assuming you enjoy this type of thing, WAY more valuable than the one-time investment to buy an old beaten up sailboat. The fact that it takes years is the point, no?

      2) I agree that with a family, travelling for a career is tough due to the added “baggage” and spending necessary. I have heard some great stories of people doing it though, and the people I’ve met whose parents did it are extremely down to earth and interesting folks, no doubt due to their childhood. Often these types of jobs are more of a non-profit type career, in my experience.

      3) As for a country that you can lay out under the stars under a sleeping bag without getting mugged? I would confidently say “anywhere”. I’m Canadian, and clearly we have a ton of unused space if you simply drive two hours north of any big city. Civilization stops there. Other countries may not be as big, but other than Singapore, the Vatican and Monaco… I can’t think of a single place where this wouldn’t be possible. I slept under the stars for 3 nights in Thailand without a worry since I was 5 hours away from any city.

      Hopefully this helps you to see things in a different light.

    • Valdimar

      ICELAND !! :D no crimes at all. I live here

    • peu

      well, every country has a places, where probably you will be mugged, and a places, where you will be 100 percent save. if you want to spend a night in city centre, obviously, you can’t build a camp without troubles

    • zitiboat

      Hey bill, maybe it is your impatience and negativity that is holding you back. I spent 3 months in Belize and got paid $100USD each week by answering an ad on the Caretaker Gazette. It happened because I knew a thing or two about boats and generators. Didn’t hurt that I had management experience.
      I spent time learning a trade traveling on a boat and then used it to deliver sailboats to Tortola. No money but the food, bunk, and flight home were provided.
      Try to set your mind to JFK philosophy. Ask what you have to offer to a travel opportunity; not what your opportunity will give to you.
      If all you want is to take, take, take, then I would not want you visiting my culture anyway.
      Man up and put in your dues first. I need help on my homestead. I could offer food and a bed. Do you know how to build a chicken coop out of scrap lumber? Can you rewire the old electrical breaker box with romex? Can you replace the A/C ducts under the crawl space and rebuild the insulated air box under the floor? Can you brace up the bathtub that has saggy supports?
      Or do you want to teach me the fine arts of texting and skateboarding?
      When I started out on my own I had already rebuilt the engine of the clunker car I could afford and knew how to use power tools. Things came up and I got to travel a lot on someone else’s dime.

  • Dom

    to the above guy, bill,

    You sound like a complete pessimist.

    of course you’ll have to spend something, but building a boat and sailing the world for a decade is going to be a HELL of a lot cheaper than flying everywhere.

    I heard of a guy that sailed the world with his son for something like 10 grand over the period of 4 years.

    If it’s really what you want, take the leap of faith and do it. Fear of danger and of wasting money will only ever lead to a wasted life.

  • Hemlock

    to dom.

    I totally agree, you just have to throw yourself out there and see where the wind takes you. even if doing all that is way to hard for you why don’t you start small and travel the city just take some cash and walk out your door and keep walking for about a day or 2, it’s the most cheapest way of travel. pick a street and walk it, you find so many cool things, even if you don’t find anything just enjoy the weather and sun.

  • Mohammad Arif

    I in serach to free travel grants for work and stay abroad. Can any Travel Industry Aid to any individual on the need base basis. Because due to economic reason and hardship I could not move to other country so, this situation making peoples more poorer. If any Travel Aid Organization or any IATA Travel agents could grant a Travel ticket for Europe then it can end poverty. The country’s around the world issues Asylum and/or work permit if someone applies for but The persons with hardship cannot move to get Asylum and for Work abroad then he must stranded in his own destination and must die in poverty level because the local Government nor local Organization did assist him financially or politically.. So, why the people remain poor. So, this is main cause now-a-days to be remain poor without food and keep himself in hardship.

  • Aroura Alessandro

    Wow… Magpie and Bill… With attitudes like that I doubt even leaving the house would be a good idea for guys! lol
    Bill you don’t have to go to another country and sleep in a sleeping bag under the stars to get mugged! You could simply walk out your own front door and get mugged! Day to day we experience good and bad situations in our everyday lives… Same with backpacking and travelling! You could get mugged leaving a swanky hotel on your holiday… But does that stop people from going on holidays? Or walking out your front door? NO!

    If you have a negative outlook on life you’l never get anywhere in life that’s worth getting too…
    If you have an open mind, a positive outlook on life, and an inquisitive nature you’l go far in this world!

    “whatever the mind of man can conceive it can achieve” – W.Clement Stone

    “Just take the first step, you don’t have to see the staircase to take the first step!” – Martin Luthor King

    “All that we are is the result of what we have thought” – Buddha

    “You create your own universe as you go along” – Winston Churchill

    I love this website, thank you for sharing your ideas and knowledge some of us do appreciate it! =) peace out x

  • Gina

    This inspired me so much! Im graduating in May from a film program, and I still have no clue what I want to do with my life. I know I want to see the world and the great wonders it has in store. I had a very inspiring teacher a few weeks ago and he’s traveled all over, he’s been homeless in africa, taught English in places, met his wife I’m Thailand and he just has so many unbelievable stories to tell. I don’t have money, nor do I want to have a ton, happiness is all that matters, and I feel traveling seeing the world would make anyone and everyone feel happy and fulfill so many accomplishments!

  • Therzoth


    I’m a regular guy living in the Netherlands who is totally trough with following the one eductation after another only to find out that you do not like the education you chose..

    I wanna travel and discover the world, first I had plans to save up for a trip to Australia and the islands around it..

    Now by reading this I get the feeling I should just hop on my bike and try to reach Norway or Sweden for the summer and check it out there..

    But like Bill said above me I’m also pretty afraid of getting mugged when sleeping somewhere on the outroad or freezing to death cause it’s not even spring yet..

    I just don’t know where to start it all with, I have my own place but I’m willing to give that up and my luxery’s aswell.. but from there I’m touching the darkness..

    Could you give me some nice tips on what I should try or do if I wanna get to Norway or Sweden from the Netherlands?

  • me

    I’m strongly considering traveling around the world. Being stuck in the US my whole life, I feel like a bird that has never left it’s nest.

    I have an unusual ability to repair electronic circuitry. The majority of “repair centers” throughout the world simply swap parts, but I can fix those individual parts. I make a living doing it now, but I could make a living doing that around the globe.


    Free travel all over the world of wonder.

  • Jummy

    I find this article really inspiring. I have always wanted to leave home, my parents, my job, my environment for a while- see a bit of the world, but there’s family, school, work and more to think about. I think there’s always this fear of not really knowing…

  • Janet M.

    Awwwwwwwwww I love this article, it’s so inspiring!! people are always discouraging me for wanting to travel but this makes me feel better
    thanks :)


    This article seems to be have some inherent defects.Many think it is a eye opener for them to see the world for free.BUT going by the definition of “FREE” , It means that it won’t cost u anything else.U must have a enough financial back up in case u don’t get free meal , not be welcome in home u knock, Or when the wheather is rough outside or u need to live in a budget hotel.ALSO,i want to say travel Bug bite me 2 years back but i prefer not to leave job at instant but prefer to save enough money for a couple of years,then go for a 20-25 years break traveling the world and realizing my dreams.

  • Geoff

    My expectations arn’t much, I am prepared to be without the luxurys of travel.

    but I just wish i could have enough money to get the dates and flight out of Australia Organized

    any advise

  • Donis

    Hey guys

    great ideas if anyone is serious about this and want to share ideas then contact me and we can do this together…

  • B.


    I’am a 17 years old boy ( still a boy before 18 -_-) from Turkey, and traveling is my dream. This article really gave me faith. I dont know much about traveling free. But i do find enough courage in myself to do it. After 1 year ı’ll be ready for traveling (at 18) But there is a problem called university. I am studying for university exams now. And after 18 ı’ll be at a university. Sooo i think i can travel on summer vacations its almost 2 or 3 months. İ have a turkish passport and a bulgarian passport. Bulgaria is a member of Europa Union, so ı can travel almost all europe countries with just a paper! (yay). I’m thinking about wwoof, or couch surfing for a small amount of time. I’m kinda energic and atletic. I swim wery well, and i have 1 star diver certificate from CMAC. I played badminton and tennis in my school team. There is a problem that my english is not good (as you can see). Can anyone help me. Anyone who has knowledge about traveling, or experiance? I need information about wwoof and chouch surfing. I’ll be wery happy if u guys help me. One more thing my house is open for chouch surfers =).

    • Seth Hendrickson

      I accidently Posted this to another user, But I am working on getting it Fixed. As a recap of the comment…——–Good on you man. My wife and I travel a lot as well. She is 28 and I am 29. In October we are going to visit each of the Mayan and Aztec ruins through Mexico and down through Peru. I am a HUGE Supporter of WWOOF and I have hosted here in America, Several travelers, and I am going to be Couch Surfing, or whatever, through our 4 month adventure. It really is about as easy at Decide, Plan, and go. People limit themselves based on Preconceived notions. We are leaving with maybe 200 dollars US, and that will be plenty. It gives us more reason to truely experience how the locals eat, and what they do. We are going to be in Oaxaca for Day of the Dead, we are taking a boat tour down the Sumidero Canyon up into Palenque. We are snorkeling the Great Maya Barrier Reef. You are only limited by the willingness to take wrong turns sometimes. To truly find yourself, You must occasionally be completely lost, and subject to the wills of nature. Most of all forget time. And understand that plans change, and the only thing that is Constant is Inconsistency. Every plan, no matter how carefully laid must be subject to change at a moments notice. Good Luck! I envy you as Europe was supposed to be our journey this time but what do you know….Plans changed. :)

    • diane

      To B,

      A website for couch surfing is

      The website for WOOF internaitional (willing workers on organic farms) is . They are many opportunities with WOOF, especially in New Zealand and Australia.

      I love your country and the people. I visited only once for 2 weeks in 1998, and I have been homesick to return ever since then.

      Go for your dream, while you are young!

    • Nathan

      LOL this article rules…

      To the negative people in this thread: your comments are certainly appreciated but not heeded by anyone except those with a like mindset. Those of you who desire to live a certain way (with insurance) are welcome to it and you can have it. I leave no judgement with you. Likewise, those of us who live on the edge of a never ending curl (surf term for a good wave) should not be dismissed and are welcome to our thoughts as well. Everyone has their choice, make yours and be at peace with it but let’s leave the finger pointing and divisive comments behind shall we? Live and let live. Don’t act like because you read an article and it didn’t “meet your expectations” that it’s entirely bogus. The world owes you nothing, but it will give you everything if you let it. =)

      P.S. I am a current MatadorU student. Check out the U if you want to travel, blog, and make an income doing what comes natural to you. It’s entirely possible if it’s what you want to do!

  • Matt Larson

    This is a really beautiful article. I love your outlook on life. Im especially interested in your comments on wwoofing as I have heard similar things about the experience. I have been recently working a great deal on a business idea; I have always seen entrepreneurialism as the ultimate freeing experience. I kind of like your theory on freedom more. Thanks.

  • Kelly

    This isnt helpful, considering that everything thought up in this article is plain common sense when traveling on a low budget or with no money. Theres no real useful info in here

    • Seth Hendrickson

      And you are the kind of person that never gets anywhere. It was said that ” Life is a book. If you don’t travel you have only read the first page.” I feel pity for you Kelly.

  • James

    It’s a nice idea but it’s not as easy as it sounds. I left England 3 years ago with £500 and a cheap, rusty old motorbike expecting to (as the article says) take it easy and find work as I went by talking to strangers. To a certain extent it works but it’s a lot slower than you’d think and the unfortunate reality is that most strangers just aren’t that friendly. Then there’s the language barrier. The best advice is to not expect the world, prepare yourself to rely on luck 80% of the time and never underestimate the power of tourist area’s, this is where the best opportunities can be found. There’s a lot of fun to be found but there’s even more hardship attached. Even so, I still have no intention of stopping and heading back :)

  • max neumegen

    Travelling NOT FREE. It is YOU who is FREE.

    some thoughts from a past overland world traveller (70s-80s) who is now returning to travel after 30 years from having a family and career.

    maybe another way of looking at this, that travelling is an exchange.
    what can you bring to exchange for what they offer?
    they are offering a friendship, a safe roof over your head, a shared meal…
    so maybe the term free needs to be associated with your choices and not just with money.
    I discovered using help as my token of exchange for goods and services while riding a bike in winter through Switzerland 1978. Having stopped at a little hotel to ask if I can sleep on their property if I do some work for them. they gave me some floor inside, and a polishing cloth for all the tables the next morning, and a big bag of food to see me on my way.

    from there, I learnt it is about attitude? your attitude. it is not a free ride. or a free bed. what are u offering in exchange?
    you have your stories, your history, your family, your meal making, ….
    and now with the internet, your connections with the rest of the world.

    one of my favorite sayings now is “imagine what we could have done if we had the internet then when we walked Africa 30 years ago”. (see my website for more).

    for all you would be travellers who read this, or forward this on, I now use a term about travelling.
    I call it “the essence” , and as a good fellow traveller once defined it, “something that cannot be explained, only experienced”. it is this language of humankind’s good will, and how you reciprocate it. what do you give in return. not what you take from nature.

    so go, do it. yes you need some money. don’t be a scrooge. you will regret it as u will never get back to those places again. so if it does cost something to go see and experience a local event or happening , do it, I wish I had.

    So i am leaving family, friends, New Zealand again soon, to put into practice the many that I have mentored around the world of those who have thought of travel to just go, and for those travelling to get off the beaten track.
    and to put into practice my definitions that have been quoted in wikipedia;

    “the overland traveller goes around the corner to see who there is to meet around the next corner”
    “the hitch hiker is there so you can do your good deed for the day”
    “an ultimate way of travel, hitch hiking with a bike”

    see you all at the next gathering, now supported by Red Ball.
    the Red Ball European Hitch Hiking Gathering, 5th August 2011, The Black Sea, Kara Dere Beach, in Bulgaria.
    thanks, max.

  • ido

    hi… i’m heard that there is a website there you can found pepole who intresting to host travelers for no profit. but you have to be Registered to the web and to host travelers as well. someone heard about somthing like that?
    (my english is not so good so forgive me if i have a mistake)

  • nikki

    well right now i have not traveled at all but that’s my dream and one day i wish i can achieve that dream…i guess I’m still to scared to let myself be free witch sounds crazy but i guess i built a barrier around me witch is really hard to take off but i promise i will travel one day and love it to the extent of wanting to do it again:]

  • jessica

    ive always wanted to travel too. i feel like i just want to get out in the world. i would love nothing more than to spend my life travelling. if money werent an issue of course. also, i know that being a travelling woman could present issues too. im only 16 so i still have some time to decide what im doing. any tips or advice?

  • Cameron

    I don”t really even know where to start with this. Guess I can start with myself before i begin with what I truly have to say.

    My name is cameron and i’ve been out of the Army for two weeks now. I served for four years, went to Iraq, survived and came back and now i’m out. I’ve always had that spark that drove me towards excitement.

    I was the guy who walked towards the tornado when it came down in town, the one who stood out in the field during the worst of lightning storms. I always wanted more. Always felt that something was waiting for me out in the world and I was running out of time to find it. I always dreamed the crazy dreams and wanted to break free from what everyone else around me was doing. It always just felt so wrong to conform to what everyone around me said was ‘the right thing to do’. To just go against the grain because it felt right.

    I dont want fame or riches or crazy high-tech gadgets. I simply want to see things i haven’t seen before, meet new people and go to new places. To find that compulsion that drives me to keep searching.

    I sat with a friends laptop in my lap on the Google page for about an hour, then simply typed, “I want to travel for free.” because that’s exactly what I want. The Army left me broke because I owed money for gear, work sucks where I’m at and family is nonexistant to me.

    I have nothing and at this point, no positive future foreseeable. Nothing to lose except my life and hopefully everything to gain from trying this. I’m not asking for pity or sympathy. I simply thought it would be best for you to understand a little about myself before you came up with any critique of your own on what would be best.

    I guess you could say I’m at the end of my rope at this point and I think now is the time to try what I’ve always felt i needed to do. Now or never kind of thing. Just wanna find a little hope, something that can show me that it can’t always be misery and sadness, that something out there can make me smile and get rid of this cloud that’s hovered over me for as long as i can remember..

    I don’t want to go extreme and begin with traveling out of the country. I want to keep the first trek localized within the united states, the time of year is right and i’m quite sure I can find some amazing locales to see here anyway. I read everyone’s opinions and ideas on here but I want personal advice on where to start, who can help, where to go, etc. Not just a generalized opinion.

    If someone, anyone can help, feel free. If someone wants to criticize anything I have written on here then they can go ahead and just hold their tongue. You haven’t lived in my shoes or seen the things I have. I want helpful advice, not the negative kind.

    I have no idea why I wrote this other than the fact that I can’t get this irresistable feeling out of me that it feels like my time is running out for me to make this happen at all. I’m not crazy or paranoid I promise; it’s just a gut feeling that gets stronger every day.

    Anyway, any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Aaron

      Thanks Cameron, you are not alone. I felt as if you were writing for me at times. I have lived, or lets say I have existed most of my life without just saying ‘go for it’. I am at the same point in my life where I am ready to just go. I just want to get busy living for a change. I think society wants us all to be trained puppets. More of us need to break the strings and truly live once again. Thanks to all the posts for the inspiration to look at things the way I use to, good luck to all. I want to travel and take photos/write, so hopefully I will run into people like yourselves out there on the road of life..

    • spence

      Cameron, I am at my wits end also. It is time to go. for the past year i have put together a small business aimed at the survivalist mentality. I have already gone cross country. I want to try hiking the appalachian trail. If you or anyone else reading this are serious how do I contact you? my offer would be that you have to get to vermont where i would provide shelter food and gear. from there we would go on hikes and see how our personalities mix. another note i live in a 600sf brick garage with a shower, one sink, microwave, electric skillet, and a wood stove. i sleep on a futon. I am an educated person. I’ve had multiple reasonable jobs, apartments and a house. this is the lifestyle i choose.

    • Kathy

      Cameron, of all the thought-provoking posts here, yours grabbed my attention most, mainly due to the prickle on the back of my neck when I read it. When you consider traveling for free, or slow travel, the ultimate practitioners of the art are the homeless. I had a long talk with a 46 year old homeless man the other night. He’s had bilateral forefoot amputations recently (frostbite), and his incisions have opened. He drinks himself into a near stupor most days, and has the wherewithall to also purchase two packs of smokes a day. When I asked him why he’s been on the road for 29 years he replied, “I don’t want to conform”. I bring him up only because I wish you, and others like you, standing in your shoes today, could see what standing in his shoes (if he had any) is like. It’s good to have a destination in mind–wherever you go, there you are.

      I mean no offense, and don’t want to discourage you at all from pursuing your dream. I just feel an undercurrent of depression there that should maybe be addressed: (“…I’m at the end of my rope…”, “…I have nothing…no positive foreseeable future…”). Maybe just a bad mood, maybe more, but traveling light is where it’s at, so they tell me,

      and it sounds like you have a lot of “stuff” in your pack that maybe should be offloaded before you set out. There are resources out there…. Best, IMHO, that you should end up like Rolf Potts, Doug Lansky, Marco Polo, or even Tim Patterson ;) than the dude I met the other night.

      That said, your idea of traveling in the US is very doable. No language barrier, no work barrier, easy camping, and I doubt you’ll go hungry what with soup kitchens, friendly small town folk (such as myself, lol), and summer’s bounty. You can hunt, fish, beg,or work for food. There are services out there such as the aforementioned couchsurfers, yelp,, etc, etc. to help you connect. Good luck to you, and thank you for your four years of service to our country.

    • trina

      u’re not alone. I also stuck for a long time in my life… I’ve just graduated from my university after 5 years studying hard. Stress is a friend of mine. I don’t love my major but i have to study till the end. Now it’s been 1 year since i graduated and i still can’t get out of that feeling. I can’t find a job because of my fear. I love to travel around Europe, it’s been always my big dream for a long time. I want to get a job to earn money for traveling. But what can i do when i hate to do my job. I don’t have the faith that i can do it. I’m vietnamese and my family isn’t that rich. Everything outside Vietnam is expensive, even i can’t live properly in my country. I’m really depressed. No bright future, no job, no relationship. Everyday i get up with a depressing feeling. I can’t reach my dream which is to travel around Europe… I don’t know how i can live happily but i also can’t go crazy because i don’t want to make my parents worried about me. Please can someone tell me what i can do now?

  • Reece

    Hi, i live in england, and really want to backpack. Is there any possibility that i can do it with a 0£ budget? Im sure its possible, but dont know how…

  • Kaelyn

    I like the way you think. I am currently exploring my 45th country as a tourist, Iraq! I would love to follow your travels. Do you use facebook to share experiences, photos, etc from your trips?

  • K

    How misleading – this article has no fresh ideas and doesn’t live up to it’s title.

    • Seth Hendrickson

      Well I am glad that you are so intelligent, but some of these ideas may not have occurred to some of us lower life forms. Your negativity is not conducive, to anyone. Sorry, your comment had no fresh ideas. You do realize you are just putting in your negativity, to even some travelers that to a degree are just new to travel, and slightly scared, and that needs to see that some people (that know how to behave themselves) can still see sights I am sure you have only seen in books.

      • K

        Seth, I’m glad you found this so helpful. I have traveled many places and the common theme is it DOES cost money. This says travel the world for free, yet the first few points go on about taking a walk in your neighbourhood, or check out free things around town. That is not travelling the world! It goes on about not going to big cities or you will have to spend money. There are some fair ideas here you are right, but they do not live up to the title which is about travelling for FREE. How does someone in North America get over to Europe for FREE, they don’t according to this article. These are tips about travel, but not about seeing the world for free. It draws you in and is incredibly misleading. You might want to check your negativity yourself, after insulting me in your first paragraph. Are the only comments wanted to be about sunshine and flowers? Critical comments should be welcomed too.

  • Misty

    I am graduating in May and have a passion for travel. I want to take time off after I graduate just to see the world. I want to go everywhere but I dont want to go alone :( A few of my friends have shown interest but when I tell them im not coming home until ive seen everything, they lose interest! Where are all the people that will see the world with me???

    • diane

      they are out traveling. you will meet them on the road.

    • Emma

      I’m a lone traveler. I’m a girl. I’ve met some awesome people doing so. I just started out and I was pretty nervous my first trip alone (Naples to Munich). I got to the hostel, went on a free walking tour, immediately started meeting people. The kind of people who travel low budget are usually pretty like minded and totally open. You’ve seriously got nothing to worry about. :-)

    • Tatiana

      I want to see the world :)

  • Tabitha

    I’m planning on busting my ass this summer to pay for a tiny travel trailer. If you can get a hold of a fiberglass RV they hold up great, and used ones usually range 1-5K. As a lone female it makes me feel way more secure than sleeping in a tent. Plus I can park in a lot with security and a gate. The $2-12 a night fee is definitely worth it to me. Temporary jobs such as waitressing aren’t hard to come by. Hopefully i’ll be spending most of my time in national/state parks =) I hate hotels and an RV is a way I can have a little sense of home. For those people out there who want to travel but still want luxury… RVs aren’t a bad way to go,…

  • Jess

    Amazing comments and advice! What got from here is a good guide to start traveling and getting yourself ready for longer journey’s. I find a lot of this advice helpful and insightful. I really appreciate the advice and experience from others that have posted here.

    I have wanted to travel ever since I was a child! Europe has been a huge dream. I am now 23 and feel life is just wasting away, When I know I can do so much good and positive things out there in the world. I’ve been homeless before and even had to resort to living in a shelter for about 6 months when I was 19. So I can understand the lost/lonely/Unknowing feeling and I don’t want to go back to that. But I do miss the adventure!

    I’m also impulsive at times so random road trips aren’t new to me. It’s almost summer and I feel this one needs to be out in the world somewhere other than the mundane “same” environment. Any advice is helpful and the links provided will be checked out. Thanks

  • Arno

    I’m quite familiar to free travel and, yes, it is possible. Just hitchhike! I’ve hitchhiked more than 10000km in the 2 years I’ve been doing it and don’t plan to stop any time soon. What I do wonder however, is whether there are opportunities for crossing bodies of water for free, other than swimming :) I’ve heard of freighter ships taking a few passengers along, but is there any organization that allows one to work on a ship or something in that line to make a trans-oceanic journey? I would really love to wwoof, couchsurf and hitch rides in other continents as well, but I’m stuck with Africa since it’s the only one I have free access to (barring visa costs).

    P.S. To all those of you who feel inspired by this, it’s not far-fetched at all. Pack a bag, pick a direction and stick a thumb in the air. You’ll be surprised to find how far you’ll get and how many people are willing to help you with food, accommodation or contacts further along the road. It’s much cheaper than staying in one place, anyway. And your body gets used to it quite quickly as well.

    If anybody criticises me for being reckless with my life by hitching ides, I’d like you to consider that you are talking about something you have probably never done and have no idea what the probability is to get in a sticky situation. For goodness sake, I might as well criticise you for being reckless enough to stay at home, where you might just as well die in a fire. And then you wouldn’t have gained any life experience in the process. Be sensible. Hitchhike.

    • Randy

      Arno….I, myself, have hitchhiked across the Americas for the past 20 years; since I left home at 17, my life experiences have escalated beyond my imagination. I have done everything from Genealogical studies to construction to roofing to carpentry to brick laying, moving furniture to mechanical work to flooring, tree trimming to lawn care.

      Though the whole 20 years have NOT been THUMBING per say but when I do, the excitement of meeting different people and their lifestyles are a sweet taste of knowledge. My last THUMBING was in 2008 when I left my ex-girlfriend cause she did not understand why I would want to be “FREE” out and about in this world having fun; she wanted to save for retirement. I told her specifically, ” there is no reason we couldn’t work our way into retirement and be living in another country; there are places out there where you can live comfortably on $5,000 US dollars” and she thought I was crazy.

      When I do retire, I plan doing so on a beachfront property either in the Bahamas, Mexico, Honduras, Florida or in England; it really does not matter to me………

      My next adventure is from here in Washington down to the Carolinian’s to work there and save more in hopes to venture across the waters as I have had my passport since April of 2010.

      • Arno

        Dude, that’s what I’m talking about! What is all this yakkity-yakking about security and wealth. Since when is it the fireproof way of being happy. I’m certain that whilst hitchhiking, couchsurfing, meeting random people and hearing their stories I am more happy than any amount of insurance can grant me.

        Keep on THUMBING! I’m sure the world has space for many more people like you and me to subsist out on the road, opening up our minds to the great beyond!

  • grayscale

    This article is the one that set off that spark months ago. I always wanted to travel but I had the misconception that it was only possible to if you make tons of money and stay in lavish hotels because that’s how I’ve been traveling with my parents for my entire life. Since I’ve read this article, I haven’t been able to let go of this desire to get up and go. I have an entire notebook that I’ve been slowly filling up with plans.

  • grayscale

    Sorry, my computer had a glitch and when I hit the enter key, it submitted my comment early. I just wanted to say one more thing!

    I keep coming back to this article over and over again just to read the comments. Some of the stories here are so inspiring, and just reading them gives me the chills. I’m going off to college soon, and my parents won’t let me do a gap year, so I feel like I’m totally trapped here. But the minute I graduate, I’m grabbing my bags and getting out of here!

  • Tad

    dude great article, I’ve always wanted to travel and see the world and learn everything I can about this world. Im really interested in turkey and all the underground cities and the nazca lines in peru and i wanna see all the pyramids. In my mind I always thought i’d save up money and buy a volkswagen van and travel around the world, but how would i get my van across the ocean? could i pay to have it moved on a cargo ship? also i have this dog, hes piconese and his names ziggy and he really is the cutest little puppy on the planet, and i really want him to see the world with me. I cant enjoy the world without my little buddy. I really need ideas on how i can travel the world with my vw and my dog and without it being to expensive. Anything helps. -Tad a.k.a Tad The Frog =)

  • tad

    Great article thankyou, we need 1 more comment so there will be 420 :) i was wondering how i could travel the world with a volkswagon van. Like how would i get my van to another continent? and i have a really cute piconese puppy named ziggy and i want him to see the world with me.So how could i make this possible? Im really interested in derinkuyu, the nazca lines, all the pyramids, and other odd structures and places like stonehenge.Anything helps thanks.

  • Emma

    if you’re looking to travel you can also try It’s similar to WWOOF, but there are ALL types of opportunities. Seriously, everything from helping around a farm to teaching English at a summer camp to helping run hostels. It’s pretty incredible what work is out there and what you can do as long as you are willing to just get out there and put in a little effort.

    Also, I’m working as an au pair in Italy. It is incredible because not only am I experiencing the culture, learning the language, eating the food, falling in love with a new family, BUT I’m getting food, housing, and an allowance to do all that.

    In the early fall I’m going to do a bit of wwoofing, and hopefully work at a yoga retreat in Spain for some of the winter. Take about incredible opportunity!

    All the traveling really forces you to be flexible and encourages fast personal growth. I’ve grown more in the past 4 months than I knew i could in my entire life. Who’da thunk. And it isn’t costing me anything more than what I spent on my flight. Who knows, when I get home I might even have a little left over. :-)

  • Woofer

    This dumb article should be called “How to be Homeless Abroad”.

    “Trust People and you will Receive Free Food and Lodging”??? I have a better idea, why not save up some cash and actually live it up and splurge rather than act like a homeless slacker abroad and embarrass honest, hard-working people?

    • Arno

      Most people enjoy one’s company more than the food and lodging they afford you is worth. Are motivational speakers slackers embarassing honest, hard-working people? Maybe, but the people usually know what they get out of the deal: a great amount of fun and stories to keep spreading. Just because it is not a job you apply for at your local grocery store doesn’t mean people don’t appreciate it. And it avoids taxes! Being homeless abroad beats being homeless at home (if that even makes sense), since the point is to see the world and meet its people, on a grass roots level. Anyone can save a bit of money and travel with that, but that’s a type traveling more concerned with place than way of life. You’re not supposed to afford the usual comforts when you try to experience a country’s way of living. That just takes you’re way of living to another part of the world. You might as well sit in front of your TV and watch the Travel Channel.

      • This_is_a_post

        ”That just takes you’re way of living to another part of the world.”  Loved that.

    • Bundy_hero

      haha know this sounds like a poofter thats never traveled m8. when uv actaully travelled n u understand how good it is to travel like this ull understand. (ya bloody yank :P) HOOROO!! 

    • GingerBex

      So I am going out o  a limb and saying you have never backpacked in your life and you were raised with all the money in the world to make you happy.  People outside of the US allow others to stay on their couches for free.  It is all part of the experience.   Backpacking across a country doesn’t mean you are homeless in fact it means that you are trying to enjoy life. So let up on this author.  He only wanted to express a good way to travel if you are not a stuck up jerk who expects to have everything handed to him.  Besides if you read anything about what the author said about working along the way then you would know that in fact backpackers are working and not being slackers. 

    • Just ME

      You can travel your way – and really learn nothing about a culture… If you want to see what a country/culture is really like – take your time and work – barter for accommodations… That is not a homeless slacker – embarrassing honest, hard-working people… like I said to Jeffrey it’s all a matter of choice… “Trust People” is way harder – I mean really how many people do you trust?  Although I do agree – I would take some cash for those times I need it… who says you can’t do a little of both and have a full experiance…

  • max neumegen

    I have just done a live interview on Radio New Zealand, National program, Nights, Tuesday 26th May 2011. link:

    about travel. why do some of us travel, if all forms. free of money, free of decisions, with savings, or lots of money. ran out of time to talk about .

    what ever currency we choose to use, it is an exchange. a sharing people exchange.

    if you want to just see the sights, look on google earth.
    if it is something else, then “it cannot be explained, only experienced.”

    “the hitch hiker is there to give you the opportunity so you can do your good deed for the day”
    “an ultimate way of travel, try hitch hike with a bike”
    “the overland traveller goes around the corner to see who there is to meet around the next corner”

  • Rosey Posey

    This is great starting advice, but are there any special tips for people with diabetes or other health problems?

  • harvey

    Hi, I really loved this article; it was so inspiring and refreshing to know that I wasn’t the only person always thinking of this. I’m from the US and I really just want to let myself go and explore the world with no time limit. Lets say I bought a ticket to ireland and worked my way across the globe(east), I really just wanted to take like 400 maybe 600 usd. What would I do about clothing or getting to places after I’m dried up, also, when I eventually decide to get home, how would get the money to get back home? Thanks

  • S P

    I would hugely advise people against the idea of staying in strangers houses (doing chores) in exchange for free meals, especially young women and whoever wrote this article is an idiot even suggesting that, when your in a new country your not familliar with you have to be even more carefull, if you want cheap accomodation stay in youth hostels etc and if you can try and arrange a summer job to keep you going…..But yea nothing is FREE so this article is missleading and pointless.

    • Alexandru Ursu

      i think u’r a little bit of an pesimis guy ain’t u?
      just let people have a go. you haven’t even planed u’r world’round trip and u r finding  negative things, we all now that nothing is 4 free,u are not the first one to notice lol,a backpaking trip like this will come with it’s good and bad’s but i think that enyone who is planing 4 one allready knows that, and it’s ready to go 4 it no matter what.and if u don’t like this artcile just click once and go away, u don’t have to comment and express you’r frustration mate.

    • Bundy_hero

      it depends on who u are ect most people arnt up tight bastards like the yanks so most wont give a bugger if ya crash at theirs but yeah theres gonnu be phsicho’s no doubt just, just be carefull n ull be right!! living cheap is the best way to travel u meet heaps of genuine people and u know, thats what one of the aspects of proper  traveling. :P

    • GingerBex

      So I will address young women staying in strangers’ homes first.  For starters the Swiss women travel all the time by themselves and stay in strangers’ houses without problems.   If you are a young women all you need is street smarts.   Of course a young women should always listen to her gut in any situation in a new place.  Also, many people in other countries are very grateful to have someone willing to do chores and to help them out for a bit.  This will get you a free room or free food.  Second, in a new country you don’t have to be more careful. Anyone traveling to any place unfamiliar to them should always evaluate a situation before acting.   If one uses their brain and doesn’t do stupid things that person will be fine.  Third, anyone who travels knows that a little money is needed.  However you don’t need a lot of money to go backpacking through any country.  You just need the money to pay for visas and maybe if you are in a bind a little bit of emergency cash is smart. Other than that any traveler should be able to get around on about $1,000 (US) for a year of traveling.  That is if you travel wise and realize that life isn’t about  comforts of home.  Travel is about the experience and the people you meet.  Don’t forget that when you travel you are trying to get away from the hassles you face in your every day life.  I am a young women that sticks out where ever I go because of my red hair.  I have street smarts and I know what it is like to travel alone in other countries on less than $1,000 (US) for a year.  If I can make it and agree with this author on his points then something about it has to be true.  So instead of causing others to be fearful and to reject this author maybe you should evaluate your life style and see if you can live on $1,000 (US) a year.  It can be done.  And yes you will have to go without your normal comforts, but can one really want money and comfort over experiencing life and learning about others?  Remember money doesn’t buy happiness, money buys loneliness and bitterness.

  • Sugeesh Sudhi

    Dear All,

    I feel relaxed on reading this article. I hope that day is not long to fly like a bird with wing.

    Thank you….. and you friends we will meet as this world is round…*-*

  • Amanda

    I’ve couchsurfed before (all around Italy and south of France so far)… and I’m planning on meeting people through this great site to travel around Europe. I did invest into a eurail (15 days within 2 months) as a safe guard, though, just in case. But asking for “Stops” in the highways is a lot safer in Europe than in the US. People are what make places so great. I guess we still live in a Hobbesian state of mind where we just don’t trust people… I’m more of a Rousseauian myself :) and believe there’s some hope in human nature: “all men are born free, but everywhere they are in chains.” Get rid of those chains brothers and sisters and revolutionize this world we live in: TRUST.

  • sg

    hi, i am just 31.and i ll get my visa free right in a year and a half.i would like to travel around the world in the way that explained here.not just because it’s free, i believe more fun and enjoyable way to live it.

    i have watched adam curtis’s documentaries and lot’s of books i have read lige george orwell Down and Out in Paris and London which assured me that i have to start living my life and everything i believed were just lie.”My technique is don’t believe anything. If you believe in something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite.”
    - Terence McKenna

    i wanted some help about couple of questions in my mind:
    am i too old for this?
    i can cook very well and i have computer skills and i am an electrician.would those be enough to help me on the way?
    how much money to start off this adventure would be need?
    i would really appreciated

  • Geoff

    I wish i could get a visa for Free, I have now paid $1300 Australian for a visa conseltation and still don’t have a travel visa.

  • TheOther Left

    SO many of us are not traveling on wing and a prayer to see the world, but to satiate that feeling. The need to move, to go,  to not be where we are now.

    To escape our inner demons.  

    Heal yourself, first. Travel healthy; body, mind and soul.

  • guest

    Guys  Join the “the zeitgeist movement” and learn its ways

  • Lena

    Very well written. As someone who occasionally withdraws from society to enjoy the finer things in life, I can say ‘spot on!’ For those of us who understand the point made by this article, we appreciate the value of breaking free from the closed-minded, fearful, materialistic people who have made such negative comments as these. 

    • Jeffrey

      Very well written ? I thought it was horribly written, most of the steps mentioned were nothing but filler.  Look at #4, what valuable information is included in that section? Nothing but a bunch of gibberish.  ”You are free,” wow, so insightful, so informative.  I guess it could apply to a loser who owns nothing and just got evicted from their apartment … but no matter where I am in the world, I have a mortgage that needs to get paid every month, I have tree car payments that need to get paid every month, water, sanitation, DirecTV, internet, gardener …. ALL bills that need to get paid every month no matter where I am in the world.

      The sections where a halfway decent point was made, they are starving for more details.  I could write a better article after drinking 10 beers, and I don’t drink.  Using “bullshit” twice in an article? Is that a joke ? Nobody has a mouth more foul than mine, but there is a time and place for everything.  Using a word like bullshit in an article that is supposed to be taken seriously shows a very limited vocabulary by the writer. 

      • LOL

        Tree cars, you say?
        How do those work, sir? I would be much obliged if you were to inform me. Do they run on water and sunshine? Occasionally, do you have to trim their branches so as not to smash other vehicles’ windshields as you’re moving down the road? How do they drive? How do you steer them?

        • Cinna Mint

          This made my night!

        • Jeffrey

          LOL …… I remember back when I was in 8th grade and I thought typos were funny also. 

          • Janicester123

            Jeffrey….lighten up a little!  Your depressing. 

          • Nicholas

            HAHA…Jeffrey…relax buddy.  Seeing how you have THREE car payments, I suppose you don’t care much for world.  Maybe you need to revert back to #4 and again relax……It’s going to be ok.  Life is as you make it.  Why get upset at other people who enjoy taking a little “greener” aproach to life.  No one likes bills, but I guess you do which most people would find rather odd.  You obviously have a little pain deep inside from your not so wonderful post you left.  There is no need to get hostile over something so simple.  Try the local church or possible temple to relieve some stress from those nasty car payments.   And enjoy LIFE.   (:

          • Nicholas

            Wait!!!! My typos are outta control!   “the” world…and “approach”    I’m sure there is more. Sweet. 

          • Laramie371

            Jeffrey has a boring life. Yes, live free, because until you have you may be as grumpy as this guy!

          • Systemdefects

            I think the writer was making the point that you do not have to own a house, three cars, Direct TV (God forbid..what would happen if you couldn’t watch TV!!), internet, and a gardener while you travel. Get rid of that shit and you won’t have to worry about bills to pay every month. 

            Just because you want an easy way out to travel for free, don’t criticize the writer for  supplying you with information that you couldn’t see yourself doing. Traveling FOR FREE requires sacrifice and downsizing for the typical American, obviously two of which you seem to refuse to do.  

            Anyway, what did you think…you were going to read this article and you were magically going to know how to travel for free? Yes, at most these were vague suggestions at how to travel, however the writer also provided links to further your research if you were serious about world travel on a  budget. On a final note Jeffrey, who are you to call someone who does not have a mortgage and “got evicted from their apartment” a loser? If anything, I consider you the loser for allowing the bank and material possessions to run your life for as long as you live. That “loser” can take these opportunities, get up, leave, and experience the world on a whim. You, well you have to pay off your house and three cars that really… nobody except you are impressed with. So do us all a favor, take your 10 beers, go to Orlando, spend 2 or 3 grand in a week, and go back to slaving yourself away in an unending, exciting adventure of working to buy shit. Save your criticisms and complaints for the mindless idiots you associate with. 

          • Ann Okuefuna

            I enjoyed this immensely. I had the opportunity to travel a few years ago totally unplanned really.  I came back with a different viewpoint….after spending two months living out of a rucksack I realised I did not need all the possessions I had acquired over the years.  In actual fact, when I reflected I realised that I was most happiest when I had the least.  Assets etc need work to keep them, protect them and increase them.  It needs a different mindset to be happy with oneself from within.

            After four years we have now sold up and rather than rush headlong into another house and the associated mortgage etc we have taken the plunge and bailing out.  Putting on the rucksack and travelling the African Continent.  Most are envious of my commitment…I am relieved to no longer be a slave to all the trappings that keep me a prisoner e.g. tv, internet, mortgage, gardener etc.  

            The only thing holding most people back is fear….fear that they will not be able to keep up with the Jones’.  

            For me I’d rather create my own path and be a lion for a day than a sheep for the rest of my life!

            What happens when we get back is a common question….you know  what I don’t have a clue….and that’s very exciting.  I will survive I know that!

          • Travis

            I laughed so hard at that.. Well said sir.

          • Rob1

            Haha very well put mate! I don’t think that that Jeffrey fella actually registered as he wrote and then submitted his bit what a complete twat he sounded! Commenting on such an article that encourages an open outlook on life in the way he did was hilarious/stupid!!! The sentence where he expressed that his ‘NEED’ to pay for his TV, internet and gardener had me practically rolling around on the floor with laughter!!! GARDENER!!!!! That really did it for me Ive got to say.

            I hope youve read this Jeffrey you chuffing moron!!!

          • Rob1

            …oh yeh and ‘three cars’, nearly forgot….sensational!!!

          • Stevenmartinez1988

            cranky much?

        • O9rsh

          Ha Ha water and sunshine.

      • Benjamincodylapointe

         americans! eff yeah!!  its ok jeffrey… its what youve been told since you where a child. buy buy buy, credit credit credit. socioty is good at making slaves, very good indeed. look at yourself for example… all the money you make gone before you make it. have to work to make money, have to make money to buy all those things people dont really need, have to pay taxes. taxes for being alive… youre right, thats how we ought to be, living happily and freely must just be for losers. slavery is a mans way to live. though i will agree that the article is a pretty poorly written, the attempted message is still easily seen. so keep that open mind jeffrey! im sure itll take you somewhere eventually and im sure youre a happy person right? im sure you have a lot of time to enjoy life when your not working your life away right?

        • Thierry Lachance

          Bunch of low low low life stupids peoples making stupid comments

          jeffrey get a wife…hmmm a life

          LOVE IT, IT MOTIVATED ME…dreaming of traveling..nice

      • Just ME

        Ok in the beginning of the article she says that the American culture sales us on buy buy buy… It is a personal choice… yea I could have a mortgage and 3 cars but I would rather not… I could put my stuff in storage (at a family memebers house for free) and move out – and be free of all bills and travel… The only bill I would probably want to keep is my cell phone – although that might be pointless overseas…

        Again – it is a matter of choices… What do you want a stack of bills with no escape – then live that typical american dream – the dog and the white picket fence and all… but some of us have different American dreams… Mine is NOT to have all that BS hanging over my head day in and day out… When my kids where young and living at home – I had all that… but when they left so did all that stuff… and I enjoy life a lot more now… with no responsibilites just me living how I want… It’s all a choice – what do you want?  If you want all that stuff then why are you reading this article?

        Maybe you need to reevaluate yourself… maybe you don’t want it and that is why you are reading and taking your time to comment on articles on how to live without it…

        • Jeffrey

          Just Me – Nothing wrong with that, to each their own.  I’m not a religious person, which means I don’t go around telling people how they should live their lives.  In answer to your question of why I read the article, I read it because one of my favorite things to do is travel and it perked my interest.  As I was reading it though, it quickly became clear to me that this article doesn’t apply to 95% of Americans.  Most people can’t just walk away from their lives and be a transient in foreign countries.

          That’s not why I commented though, I commented in reply to the person who said the article was well written … the article was not well written, it was poorly written.

          Serious question for you though, why do you assume that the two choices are disconnecting from life or having a stack of bills with no escape ? I’m not like most idiot Americans who spent FAR more money than they could afford, lost their home, lost their car and are being hounded by credit card companies …. then of course blame everything on the creditors.  I live within my means, always have.  I pay every single one of my credit cards in full every month, I don’t have a 2nd or 3rd out on my house … and never have.  I’m not rich, but I’m not poor either, and I don’t see what’s so bad about having a house to come home to once I’m done traveling, or a car to get to work with.

          I do not “buy, buy, buy” (unless of course Apple releases a new product that I don’t have … I freely admit to being an Apple addict).  Owning a house and cars does not make me a soul dead conformist of American culture, those are necessities for most people, even people who don’t live in America.

          • I needn’t a name.

            You seem like a very angry person, Jeff, perhaps for a reason that is not so obvious to you.
            Have you ever thought that this isn’t the way you should live your life? Shut off your television, turn off the computer, unplug your headphones and think. All of these gadgets, this complicated life you’ve been brainwashed into thinking is the only way.
            Perhaps you aren’t used to seeing anything outside of this standard. Maybe that’s why you confront this in the way you do: Eyes shut, ears covered.

            The lifestyle you and most Americans (and Canadians, such as I) live is not only stressful and unhealthy for you, but everything else around you; The trees that are cut to make gas stations, the other animals that are evicted from their habitats.

            Just think for me. Is this the way to live?

          • Xokay08

            I think you should perhaps consider the fact that the statements you’re making indicate that you’re pretty damn consumerist, so stop attempting to appear as something otherwise. 

      • roy |

        3 car payments, DirectTV, gardener….sounds like you need to consider a more minimalist approach to living.

      • Suzy

        Woah dude, it doesn’t have to be like that. Sounds like you might need to do some minimizing if you ever plan on traveling the way this article suggests. 

        Do you really need all that stuff if you aren’t even there? Who do you think will be using your DirectTV in your absence? NO ONE. So why waste money paying for things that aren’t even being used? 
        Oh and one more thing:You’re an asshole.Please never travel. Other countries hate the US enough as it is….we don’t need you spoiling our name even further. 

        • Janicester123

           Oh and one more thing: you’re an asshole!  LMAO!!! GOOD ONE SUZY!  True….A LOT of people don’t like the US and Jeffrey is part of the reason why! :)

      • Janicester123

        TREE CARS!  Flinstones…meet the Flinstones….. they’re the  modern stone age family…from the.. town of Bedrock
        They’re a page right out of history.

        Let’s ride with the family down the street.

        Through the courtesy of Fred’s two feet.

        When you’re with the Flintstones

        you’ll have a yabba dabba doo time.

        A dabba doo time.

        You’ll have a gay old time.
        Ah yes…I just love them TREE CARS!

      • Wanderlust000

        maybe you could start off with a nice relaxing family vacation. 

      • LA Backpacker Chick

        Sorry to inform you Jeffrey but, no, you don’t have those bills everywhere you go in the world. You can CHOOSE to. I also hate to break it to you but a car payment, internet, DirecTV, gardener, etc. These are not needs. Why can’t you mow your own lawn?

        You are missing the author’s point. He is not giving you a how-to-guide on how to travel for free, he is simply offering a few words of inspiration.

        Although, even if someone did give you detailed instructions on how to travel for free, I doubt you would have the courage to let go of your current lifestyle regardless, DirecTV and all.

      • Hmm

        Jeffrey, what you aren’t understanding is that the validity of  the article comes from the importance of the material to the reader. Obviously, your three car payments, your gardener, and your DirecTV are the things that matter most to you. You would not be the guy to drop everything and go globe trotting. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, to critique something you don’t understand is hunting for an argument that you aren’t going to win.

      • Tashina

        You are right, you will never be free. Not because you need any of the things you listed, especially DirecTV! lol You cannot be free because you don’t want to be. By the time that you realize this, it could be too late. Wake up! 

      • Jess_goody

        The biggest point this person was trying to make, is that you don’t NEED a house mortgage, or a car (or three) that you can’t afford, pay T.V, the internet or a pruned garden bed to be happy!? Because in reality, material minded people that are in debt and care to much about possessions are usually the most unhappy…it’s actually the finer things in life like traveling and experiencing new things that make for a fulfilled and happy life :)

      • Lungbarrow

        i think this is for young ppl who dnt hav those yt lol nt oldies

      • Jason

        Agreed here.

      • Stevenmartinez1988

        1) you honestly don’t need DirecTV, internet, or gardener. You’ll live without them all and take care of your own plants/gardens. Just cause the money’s there doesn’t mean you need to blow it on things not needed, especially when you have so many other bills that need paid.

         2) Using “bullshit” in the piece actually was a good thing. I understand your point but I also think that it shows a humanity and reality that is needed to relate to the readers who do take this seriously but not so seriously that you seem uptight about it. I’m just saying. 
        Finally the point you made of it being only filler~ giving a realization that may not have come to mind and a little encouragement is a good thing. Also calling someone a loser cause they have a tough life really shows the kind of person you are. Great job on that one, and, God forbid, you should be in that situation, I hope you can be a little more humble and that you receive better treatment than you have given to show you the true difference in humanity and material living.

      • Christopher Benn

        How did you get here? What was the reason behind it?

      • lynn

        oh dear Jeffrey, Looks like you missed the entire point of this article.  Three cars, direct TV, internet…. you have been bamboozled by the ‘American dream’  my friend.  Good news for you though.. your not alone. There is a whole herd of people with the same misguided ideals as you in this world.  The rest of us are just trying to help you wake up, so do yourself a favor and stop trolling on free info sites about free travel until you dump your baggage. You are unwanted here. 

      • IgnorantWanderer

        It is funny that you say #4 contains no information.  It is clear that it contains the information that you most need to learn if you actually want to travel for free.  If you don’t embrace the point made in #4, you will never travel for free.

        Of course maybe you don’t want to give up your possessions.  That is fine.  But then you will never do anything for free, because you will never be free of your possessions.

        I traveled around the world (literally) for a year, and spent a total of $8000 (that included plane tickets).  I never could have done that if I had three cars and a house.

      • Brian

        I don’t understand why you’re being so negative. He was offering a way to reduce expenses…cut cost by letting go of all of those things. As a high school student, I dream about traveling the world when I graduate from college. Everyone around me tells me that you can’t do that without a high income, and even then that I would be restricted because of vacation days. This article helped me, wait for it, call BULLSHIT. Traveling isn’t about staying in expensive hotels and taking taxis to all the tourist sites; traveling is about experiencing the world and seeing it how it is. The author helped me realize that this can be done on the cheap. 

        And in case you haven’t noticed, this website is full of articles from incredible people traveling inexpensively. Because of articles like this and others on Matador, I’ve realized I don’t have to let a 9 to 5 job define my life. You can bash the article and give all the reasons in the world why the points he made are weak or poorly written, but keep that to yourself. This isn’t the website where people make excuses for not following their dreams.

        Great article. 

    • Linlei

      Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854, now part of French luxury goods specifically produced high-level group of Moet Hennessy LouisVuitton. Founder of Louis Vuitton’s first job when traveling when the aristocratic elite pack. He witnessed the invention of the steam trains, but also witnessed the development of steamship transportation, but also deeply appreciate the dome was closed stacked luggage difficulties.
      Louis Vuitton brand hundred and fifty years has been to advocate refined, quality, and comfortable “travel philosophy”, as the starting basis for the design … Louis Vuitton the name has now spread throughout Europe as the travel goods of the most exquisite symbol.

  • Explorer watches for him

    Wow. this is great-Explorer watches for him

  • Gabiperez_89

    I want to music/work barter for food and house (sorry for my english). I am spanish and I play percussion and drums and I am car mechanic, and I want to travel for learn english (or germany)  because I study engineering and I need lenguages, but I don’t have money to sign up to a lenguage school, someone can help me to find a family, association, company or other that needs someone like me? I am really lost in english pages to find travels to change work/music for food and house. 
    Thank you  very much!

  • Nick

    I love America. I love everything America has to offer. But sometimes I wish I could just get away from the typical “American” point of view. It sounds nice to just be able to trust someone you’ve never met, but in the world we live in, trusting blindly is easier said than done if your not used to doing it. As for just getting away from the city for a moment, I can’t get the same experience as I might by travelling overseas, which by no means is even close to free. Sure, there are plenty of fantastic places in the US that are ready to be explored…I’ve done so with many of them. But everywhere I go, there seems to be the same tone and atmosphere. “Welcome, look what we have, and your total is…” And the places that do not require money have more to do with just relaxing and taking it all in. Many of the experiences are the same experience, different location. Soaking in the beauty of everyday things that have always been there is more of an outlook on life, not so much a travel thing. When I think of travel, yeah I think of going someplace new, but the high I am looking for is not one I can get from going someplace new (like a new part of town or somewhere down the road) but one that I feel can be obtained only by TRULY GETTING AWAY. Going somewhere far away where there is little resemblance to your typical life including people, experiences, and atmosphere. Some of your suggestions sound nice in thought, but are fairly low in practicality for the average person. We can’t all find a job that travels, we can’t all afford to go slow, taking a month or more to backpack through Europe or elsewhere, and if we don’t have the luxury to spend the time needed to backpack through a place, we definitely don’t have the time to work our way through these places. Although I have no problem keeping it to a bare minimum, nothing in this world is free. Can you tell me a practical way to get from Austin to Barcelona for free? I guess I’m just disappointed by this article. I think it should be titled “How to Travel Short Distances Cheap.”

  • SISS

    Your article helped to inspire me to finish my memoirs. I  had all but lost inspiration until now. As a teenager I left home and traveled by joining squatters. Now I think I know how I will pull it all together; by starting my travels again finding my way back to me.
    Thank you

  • Malik

    That’s two great websites of advice I’ve found in one day!  Quite a rare thing with so much crap on the web!  Great stuff!  The other one is about traveling in US:

  • Babybutter

    Thank youuu for this! I’ve recently been regretting not having taken a year off before attending university, and now that I’ve been having the itch to just travel and write for months and I’ve been trying to find a way to travel without much money. I guess now the only question is how I’m gonna get to Europe with only a couple hundred bucks and manage to convince my parents that, yes, I can travel on an extremely limited budget…

  • Matti Salomaki

    This is awesome.  Reminds me of when I bicycled across Paris down to Spain over a couple of weeks.  I slept a couple times in fields, but people were more than willing to bring me into to their homes etc.  Great work!  Matti

  • Saracrane25

    LOVE it! My boyfriend and I are selling all our crap and never looking back, thank you for the final push we needed:)

  • Andrea

    Unrealistic? I’d say spot on. I do know of people who’ve done family exchanges to be able to travel like this. You just gotta free your mind and be open to these opportunities because it IS as simple as working in a little farm across the sea for a few days, while you enjoy the country side.  Don’t business need new employees every so often? Why not give a hand somewhere else thats not local? 

  • Alfiejay07

    i am 16 year old and i am going to travel across the world to see as much as i can an i am only taking 100 pound i am getting sponserd and sending it to a close charity thats for the tips they will help me be sure of that.

  • Lauren I. Ruiz

    Great article. It confirms my suspicion that I really WILL be able to travel the world on budget. I can’t wait!

  • Ragingram22

    I so wanna do this!! Travel across the whole world. Guess its the law of attraction. Think of it the right way and it materializes for sure ;P

  • Zach

    So here is the deal.  I’m 18, have been accepted to Penn State University and since my acceptance have planned to attend, but I can’t seem to deny my want to travel, explore the world, and learn all that I can while I’m doing it.  I have a dream of buying a plane ticket, taking a backpack and a few small items, and seeing where I end up after a year or two.  Everybody that I know save for my dad and my best friend think that it won’t work out, that I have to plan things, and that this is no way to prepare for my future.  I know that I’ll go to college one day, but I also know that if I do not take this trip now, I won’t when I’m older and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering.  Any encouragement or advice from anyone would be most appreciated.  Thanks  

    • OneLoveBackpacker

      Never say never, Zach. I went to college, got my degree, and got a great job. But I never lost my desire to see the world. After a couple of years, I quit my job and set out on a 6 month around-the-world backpacking trip of a lifetime. It really can be done for way less money than you’d expect. It was relatively easy to find another job after returning home. There are so many places I still want to go, and the next time I travel it will be for a year or longer. The typical corporate American 2 to 4 weeks of vacation time per year just isn’t going to cut it for me. That said, traveling the world is not free (though I highly recommend going cheaply) and getting your degree now will help you earn more money to afford some time away from work to travel. Ultimately, whether you travel now or after college you can’t go wrong, as long as you do it!

      • Zach

        Thank you for your reply.  You have no idea how much this helps me. Although it may be a bit of a cliche to say so, you have given me hope that I too will one day be able to do this. All my best to you in the weeks and months to come. God Bless!!

  • Eldoran

    Sounds great until you get malaria or dysentery and you need to get back home asap. 

    • Janika

      Why should somebody get back home if she/he gets malaria? I have lived for a year in Kenya, where malaria is very common. The doctors know very well how to treat it, because they treat it every day. Simple. If I would get malaria in Kenya, I would definitely treat it there, not in Europe. In Kenya, they just have better experience.  So, why would you fly home?

  • Paul Wilson


  • Guest1

    Isn’t working or bartering for a night lodging exactly what  a job is…? – Provide a service and get something for return….. Why not just save before hand and be responsible and not be put in uncomfortable or dangerous situations? 
    I mean, you aren’t bringing anything new to light; we all get the ‘Fight Club’ principle. Psychologically, you are just as bad as the marketing companies- you have gone from one extreme to the other. No, you don’t have to pay for a top suite in a cruise and drink Dom every night, but you don’t have to sleep in homes with strangers, if possible, or eat scraps from tables, if possible…. There is a happy medium, but somehow you skipped right over it and went to lets be bums and ignorant annoyances to everyone. 
    I’ve come across people like you, always have a hand out while I work to achieve my successes and breaks. You think you have it figured out, but you really have a long way to go kid. This article is just something that is supposed to boost the self-esteem of those, like yourself, that have not worked hard enough to feel good about yourself yet. One day, like the rest of us, you will have something to care about more than yourself (like a family) which in turn will instill obligation & responsibility. Then, and only then, will you understand your own ignorance.
    Suggesting that young women enter into peoples’ homes that they don’t know offering services, not knowing when they will have their next meal, etc……  I hope you are comfortable with the consequences of your influences…

  • Vivi

    Well written! =D And well said, it gives me hope =) that one day, I will break free.
    On the other hand, I am female. Is it dangerous for women to travel? I can imagine with a group or with say boyfriend would be safer although I’m not sure if travelling as a female is a good idea. What do you think? =)

  • Jarrod Brown

    Work online :)

  • Dobajj04

    you should title this how to be a vagabond or the neo bohemian- there’s no secret in this 

  • Househp370

    Mooching off other folks…..fine way to live. Just don’t get OLD!!!

  • Jerrycoronado333

    i want to travel i want to get out of this hole. am an old foster kid i have nuting to hold me back

  • Darren Murphy

    Although, I’ll agree that there could of been more to the article, I nevertheless enjoyed it. I was a little disappointed because I had a thirst for a longer article with more detail, may be a more detailed future article is in order.

    I’ve read quite a few of the comments below and this is what I take from and reasonate with: sick of a life which is dictated by what society expects, what you’re meant to do, although this culture is always changing, but must again, nevertheless follow it; despise a society ruled by money, dictated by the rich and powerful, whom are admired like gods, where academia is unfashionable;  unwilling to spend my life following ‘the plan’ – school, university, job, marriage, house, kids, retirement, death.

    My quest, unlike many Brits or Americans or whatever, is to seek the answers of life, gain a true understanding of what life is about. I want to walk around the world and know that i’ve witnessed our world’s people first hand, without prejudice, without being told who they are or what they believe in by our governments’ propaganda.

    I would prefer to revert to ancient times, when empires didn’t exist and humans used their own moral compass, rather than the protocol we call law. Why do we yurn for these things: money, houses, cars, iphones, computers, 3d tvs, the latest fashionable clothes, are that crap? why? probably because if we didn’t, we’d feel isolated; whilst our primal instincts are to remain social.

    So yeah, why not get rid of it all, revert to nature and adventure, live a free life, live off the fat of the land, and share these experiences with those who listen.

  • Other

    ”…but no matter where I am in the world, I have a mortgage that needs to get paid every month, I have tree car payments that need to get paid every month, water, sanitation, DirecTV, internet, gardener …. ALL bills that need to get paid every month no matter where I am in the world…”
    Awww… Looks like Jeffrey made some shitty choices in life, resulting in him being a sad disempowered little man.
    You are precisely the kind of person that this article needs to reach. What a shame you missed the point. (both in the article and in life apparently)

    Guess it’s back to the mall for you. Good luck with that.

  • Sumair Rafique

    How can i get a free tour in all over the World ….?

  • nyepnyep22

    This is really helpful! I want to travel the world as much as i can. I’ve already started in Southeast Asia

  • Logan27

    I haven’t checked out all the links yet but this sounds just like something I’d do. Thanks for the GREAT tips.

  • Lungilegadu

    what in the God’s name is this article on about?if it were that easy all of us  would be in another continent except our own.i live in South Africa and it has been my dream to come to the United States,yet i am still stuck where i was born!

  • Ai Lin

    My father told me that vagabond traveling is illegal in North America.
    How would one be able to start traveling if it’s against the law?

  • Maxi66

    would love to do this, u are making me so jealous!!!! haha have a good one

  • MuiMui

    I used to be a planner but during my atw trip, I learned sometimes you see more when you don’t have it all plan out.  And yes, traveling can be very cheap and sometimes free.  I love the bluntness in this post.  Happy travels!

  • harinder paul

    its really nicce……
    checkout my blog also….

  • FREDDY23


  • Dave Cannon

    I was looking for some juicy, tangible tips here. This was just filler — did you lift this from ezinearticles?

  • David Burlison

    Well done unique travel site-very informative..Wish I had the guts to give it a try…


    (Feel free to post on our forum)

  • Tyler

    I think the mere fact that  Mr. Jeffrey has “ALL” those bills he has to pay no matter where he is in the world, is the very reason that he can’t appreciate this article. If you open your mind up Jeffrey and realize you live in a society that was very carefully designed by people much smarter than you you’ll realize you’re a very small and insignificant piece of a system that basically, unknowingly to you, has enslaved your mind. Wake up Jeffrey. What is freedom to you? ;)

  • Denise

    Good article for an idealistic gypsy hippie.. I agree, traveling offers great experiences. Meeting new people, opening of the minds, learning more about yourself, learning about other cultures, etc., but as much as we want to roam around, we (humans) need some stability and you can’t get that by bumming off of people. And it’s not really freedom if you have to work/barter/trade for food and shelter. Whether you are tied down with obligations by the “man” or WWOOF’ing for a farmer 8 hours a day for room and board, we all are not truly free. Yes, you can easily pick up and go if you decide you want to couch surf but you can’t do that if you have a partner/companion or kids. You can certainly travel by “roughing it” and enjoy other peoples and cultures while keeping expenses minimal and still have a wonderful experience but there comes a time when we need to go home and be a part of our own community. And as I ‘say’ this, I’m getting the itch to travel again :-)

  • Davidkell

    lets just say you are for some reason not fullfilled in life but you are free to travel, where would you go, how would you go?? it seems traVEL FOR SOME OF US IS WHAT WE WERE BORN TO TO DO!! AND  to give

  • Blah

    yeah, you can teach english just because you speak english.. now who is “bs”ing.. you usually need a degree or at least speak Both languages on a tested conversational level.. the areticle should be titled “how to become a begging hobo.”

  • lynn

    again, total miss.  Epic fail.  You do not belong here.  Re-direct yourself to travleocity or  to read their suggestions on how to travel in the’ all inclusive’ vacation package realm.  This is for people that choose to live the opposite from you- people who have let go of all the baggage that you still cling to.  now go to work so you can save up for your two week allotted time off, there are bills to pay! 

  • lynn

    I am a young woman who has been participating in the practice of couchsurfing for YEARS.  Seems as though you also suffer from the typical fear mongering that spreads like wild fire.  I have met the most amazing, inspirational people by staying in their homes for the exchange of perhaps a chore, a meal, a bottle of wine… read up on   you will read thousands of testimonials from people participating in this global community- that are nothing but terrific.  Instead of assuming everything is so dangerous and risky… try assuming everything could be beautiful and hopeful.  

  • Andy

    This is just teaching you how to be an above average bum, above average, but a bum non the less. What happens when you get back from your nice little vacation? You’ll be broke as shit. Travel does not have to be expensive, but don’t be a mooch.

  • BBL 90

    Reading some of these comments made me laugh, people are free it’s just that most choose not to be such as the comment writen by Jeffery he chooses to have a mortgage and chooses to have 3 cars and chooses to have a gardener and Internet he doesnt have to have them things there just items of part of his life. I want to travel the world and see how other people and tribes live, eat and sleep instead of doing the same things everyday like waking up going to work coming back having lunch then sleep then it repeats itself all week until sunday. I want to get out there even if it’s free or £5,000 either way we are all going to die one day and then what ever the price is we would have missed out on all the views and sights of the world.

  • Systemdefects

    Did you even read the article? #8 says find a job that entails traveling. #6 says learn a useful craft or skill. Two of which you repeated directly in your criticisms against the article. 

    Now I agree with you that students have great opportunities to travel cheaply around the world. However you forgot to mention tuition on top of the couple thousand dollars it takes to go. Not saying that it not a great idea and something to promote, but there are more costs to consider than you mentioned. 

    I’m confused about why you think this person is a “freeloader”. By definition, a “freeloader” is a person who takes advantage of others for free food, entertainment, ect. Where in this article does the writer tell you to take advantage of another person? 

    Couchsurfing? That is site designed for people to take travelers in for a night or two so that travelers can save money. They do this on their own terms and hospitality, which in my book, is not being taken advantage of. 

    WWOOF? The writer’s own words…”connects travelers with organic farmers who want to trade room and board for an extra hand.” You work, they compensate you with food and board. Freeloading? No. I’m confused…

    • MarcoPolo1291

      what about other members of the house the couchsurfers are showing up at. i had some my roommates thought would be “cool” ended up staying for 2 weeks. “but he knew how to make crepes” as to why he did not leave earlier. I’m sure you’re going to say some bloatedly arrogant thing about how “if you only talked to your mates” and i did.

      and he’s right. the article has no real information or any actual checks and procedures for travelling free, just common knowledge and 2 well known websites. some dumb kid is going to do what this article contends, go out in the “countryside” and beg for food and shelter from people around the world and die. clean water is required every 3 days. do you want to travel the world in the country asking houses for a few glasses of water every day or so? food is also a necessity. are crafts and skills the only way to get food aside from begging? if we were Nepalese monks perhaps. many Adventure Travels are city related. are you going to ask your fellow Adventurers for some food and water? Everyday? not all of the trips give you accommodation while you work.

      I understand the appeal of the articles claim, I do. I travel alot myself. I save and I plan and I have never regretted the way i made my trips. while a “free” trip would be amazing  just remember that little asterisk under the title. it is also not that this should be avoided because it is hard. This article has no specific method for traveling free. it has several ideas none of which could be coalesced into a real travel plan. it is a half-assed job passed off as something we should all aspire to. i hope my rebuttal was as half-assed and wandering as the article above.

      • Systemdefects

        I don’t think the article was intended to have checks, procedures, and a “specific method” to travel the world for free. If there was a specific, “easy”, “not to be avoided” method for traveling the world for free, everyone would do it. The article, in my mind, was just providing the reader with the general spiritual mindset that any budget traveler needs, along with a few helpful websites and tips to assist in his or her travels.
        No where in this article does it say for “some dumb kid” to go to the countryside and “beg for some food”. It simply states that the countryside is cheaper than the city and if you need to you can easily find a place to sleep. In fact, I didn’t see anything about begging for food or shelter at all. Once again, couchsurfing is a mutual agreement between a “surfer” and a “host”, and food, at least in my experiences, is not to be expected.
        As to you and your room-mate situation… seeing as though you (in this article and situation) are the traveler, I really don’t think that’s your problem. But I will venture out and make this “bloatedly arrogant” statement and say that if I didn’t want someone in my house, then I would kick them the fuck out. Call the cops, or some meathead juicers. Simple as that.  
        To close things off here, I want you to look the under the title and see the statement “You can travel the world for less money than you spend each month to fill up your gas tank.” Obviously the writer knows that it is impossible to travel completely for free, and that “dumb kid” is going to need some money while he or she “begs for food”.  
        And yes, your rebuttal scored fairly high on the half-ass and wandering category.

        • Fredderator

          “No where in this article does it say for “some dumb kid” to go to the countryside and “beg for some food”. It simply states that the countryside is cheaper than the city and if you need to you can easily find a place to sleep. In fact, I didn’t see anything about begging for food or shelter at all.”

          The title of the article is “How to travel FOR FREE”. Not “How to travel cheaper (and sometimes free)”. Its therefore assumed the only way can do this is to ask for food and shelter or somehow make a deal by working for them or something.

          “To close things off here, I want you to look the under the title and see the statement “You can travel the world for less money than you spend each month to fill up your gas tank.”

          So you admit that the author used the title to get people to his article? That he blatantly lied about it? If that’s the case, why would I want to take advice from someone that lies on the first line? Give me a break.

        • World Traveler

          This is amazing I wish I had the gus to do be a <world traveler

      • Stroudyb

        Please read ‘Africa Trek’ by Alexandre and Sonia Pousson bud.

      • Arienepic

        Actually, fun fact: humans have survived for 10s of thousands Of years on water from the dirt and food from the ground. Americans are so naive- do u realize there are still people all around the world who still live this way? There are still indigenous tribes that have existed for as long as humans have walked the earth, that don’t even know the concept of metal! Americans are so sheltered by city lights and corporate hands that you don’t realize the world outside is completed different, and technology isnt actually a necessity. Btw just before u say anything- I’m american. And I’m ashamed.

        • Rima

          It is gorgeous , from you to say that , this is a fact , not that american are bad , but you are a god american , unfortunately , the majority of american ,     and especially   rich people , from America , and all over the world are superficial ,egoist , and look to the other with inferiority , that , if they at first even noticed them , that is really a shame

  • Timothy James Dean

    I love this post! I’ve been traveling all my life, and it’s easier for me to move to another country than settle down under any 30-yr mortgage. So called “Sexisue” below is sure a downer, huh? Glad I don’t have to travel with him/her ANYWHERE! I love the refreshing ideas you put out there, and the true understanding that travel and happiness begin in the heart. Tim – I hope you never give up your joy and free-spiritedness. I’m going to share this link with our group called “Worlders – A Tribe of Wanderers.” We’re mostly people who grew up outside our passport country, and consider ourselves inhabiters of the planet, not any one place. Thank you!

  • Petter Paulson

    um… nope. “get a job while traveling” is not advice. And if you spend money, weather you make it while traveling or not, then you’re not traveling for “free.” I could tell you how to really travel for free, but it requires a morality that is slightly cracked. Complain to airlines when they screw up, and you’ll get discounts. Eat 50% of your meal at an expensive restaurant and then send it back  with complaint and it’ll be complementary. Sleep in train stations or on streets. Hitch rides. Traveling for FREE is not a fun way to travel. Travel for cheep, now that’s better. I traveled Asia, S. America, and Europe. Each trip was 4 months. Asia cost 3000.00 (including airfare), S. America was 2400.00 (including airfare), and Europe was 4500.00.

  • The Traveling Yogi

    I like the last item- “embrace serendipity.” I also believe that our path unfolds if we are completely open to listening to the signs. I think if we just learn to trust more, we will always be taken care of. Call it karma – if we do good, then good will come our way. Thanks for this article – I’m planning a lot of “free” travel for the next few years and any advice helps! 

  • Geoffrey

    Wow Sue, how UNsexy are you ! FREE=LOADER???  The writer mentioned, SEVERAL TIMES, about work opportunities that people may not have considered. Your narrow point of view must make you sad – it makes me sad reading it !!!

  • Mike

    That thing about teaching English in other countries is a very good idea.   I’ve seen those jobs posted on bulletin boards in several universities here in America.   Several Asian countries, for example, will pay an American $4,000 – $5,000 a month PLUS they’ll pay your food and board.   And you don’t even need a college degree to teach English in those countries.   All they want is that you’re a fluent English speaker.   Now calculate $4,000 a month in U.S. currency that you get paid in some third world country (like getting paid $20,000 a month in this country) PLUS you don’t pay for food, light, nor rent.

  • saresare

    Wait, what!? $2,000? How!? How/why do students get it so cheap? I’ll be a student next year and want to travel.

  • Courtney

    I am going to keep reminding myself of the few necessities we as humans actually need! I love that you included companionship, this is often a scare new travelers face but don’t realize that companionship is one of the easiest hurdles to clear.

  • Devoec

    the fact that people are actually attacking this article is very sad.. thank you for giving some great tips and other websites so i can get further along my traveling ways. just ignore the unhappy people :)

  • Abby Gallagher

    I love your article! I have been browsing for weeks now in attempt to find a truly inspiring article about ‘freely’ traveling. It’s all about your experience, and indeed that does not require a full wallet. 


  • nero1090

    What a stupid article!

  • Cyoumans1

    Jeffery is right. He is not a new graduate. He has a life he can’t just chuck like anew grad with no dependents or career can. If you do not chuck it when just out of school,, you will have to wait until your kids are out of college, and still have to have a plan for when you come back. Really, all of you are whiny students. Think a little.

    BTW, there is an electric call called a Leaf. If that isn’t a Tree Car, I do not know what is.

    • Systemdefects

      That’s where your wrong. He can just chuck it. His “life” is what he chooses to do, and does not specifically have to be a “career”. 

      Why can’t you travel with your kids? Why should you have to “wait until your kids are out of college”? Your children need three things from you as a parent. Food/water, shelter, and education. All of these can be provided for around the world. See sites such as or for people who are doing this right now. 

      To me, you are the one not thinking. Life does not have to be this one dimensional path (Graduate College, Get a job, Get Married, Have kids, Buy a House, Ext.)  that society has set out for you. No matter what age you are, there are always options and ways in which you can experience world travel, different culture and beliefs, and overall just new adventure. All you have to do is step out of the box. 

  • Mintgreensage77

    yeah, you suck.  This article is positive, and though light (not a detailed travel battle plan), it offers good insight and some tips and resources to check out.  I have personally used couchsurfing for 3 months, in 6 different countries… best decision I ever made!  I met a ton of friends, and when they offered me a place and a meal, I offered to buy the groceries (they eat cheaper/free, and I save a ton on lodging and not eating out…win/win).  This article was a great alternative to the usual travel destination articles that just peddle touristic crap.  The critic talking about “freeloading” is clear just a nay-saying pessimist… the article is positive, inspiring, easy to remember and offers some advice about options many people (especially inexperienced young people) probably haven’t considered.  Go outside buddy…

  • Fredderator

    The title is incredibly misleading. Its not free, but rather a lower cost. Unless you are incredibly lucky, these things are just not practical. For example, #7 says “Get out of the city”. However, WWOOF caters to the bigger cities. Do you think that you’ll honestly be able to knock on some stranger’s door in some small town and as for a place to stay for free and not get rejected? Come on, that’s just silly. 

    The point is that you’re going to spend money. The article’s title is “HOW TO TRAVEL FOR FREE”. Unless you have friends in each of the countries that you want to visit, its a bad idea. 

    And for those of you screaming “BUT IT’S A POSITIVE ARTICLE AND OFFERS GOOD INSIGHT!!”, I would say you are incorrect. First, what good is the article if you can’t practically take the advice. Not to mention that the advice doesn’t actually fall in the line WITH THE ARTICLE’S TITLE. Second, what special insight is there? He basically listed two sites, and a bunch of insane ideas built on the assumption that people will house you and feed you because you are a foreigner. Oh don’t forget, if you don’t have a passport you’ll need to pay for that to travel. Oh, and how are you going to get to said country? Plane? Bus? Hitch-hike? 

    While I agree with the author in that you should stay away from the tourist-y packages in order to experience the true culture, this just isn’t the way to do it. Check out some hostels abroad if you are really on a budget or consider perhaps travelling in your own country. Most people don’t realize how much their own country has to offer! 

  • Chrissyleighclg28

    you really can stay with people and not need to pay them and they will give you food check out travel its great

  • Nminh09

    ( Hi! I’m Mơ, an Easy Rider in Dalat – a small city in the highland of Vietnam. I took many tourists from many countries such as Australia, France, England, Sweeden, Norway, Danmark, Canada, the U.S.A etc… I can do different ways, different itineraries, different direction in Vietnam. I can speak two foreign languages: English anh French. I usually do the non-traffic roads because most of tourists I took wanted to avoid the highway one – the main road from the South to the North of Vietnam and also they wanted to be free and they wanted to discover something about Vietnam. Like minority people, beautiful landscapes, agriculture in a tropical country, the daily life of Vietnamese people etc…
    If you want to escape the touristy places, if you want to have your own freedom, if you dislike the tours operater orgnized by traveller’s agency, if you want to go deeply in the life of Vietnamese people or to see, to touch, to talk, to listen directly to local people, you can go with me by motor cycle.
    Coming with me, you’ll have a picture nearly complete about Vietnam, you’ll enjoy cheap, clean, special traditional Vietnamese food, you’ll understand the customs and habits as well as the other faces of the life in Vietnam
    I’m experienced in this job for nearly 10 years. I always follow tourist’ requirements as well as tourist’ needs. The tours I do are from one day tour to ten days tour or more. We can start from Dalat or from anywhere in Vietnam such as: Dalat – Lăk – Bun Ma Thuột city – Pleiku – Kontum – Phước Sơn – Hội An – or in the contrary directions. Some itineraries we’ll take a part of Ho Chi Minh trail
    In brief, following your time, your requirement, your direction, your purpose etc…, I can organize a motor cycle trip for you.

  • Kayla Lock

    i realli would love to do this you have gave me so many good tips thank you. only one thing i dont have any one to come with me do you think its safe to go alone? i have a dead end job and live in a city so as you can tell its the worst and reading this makes me want to so much more

    • melomakarona

      Yes, it’s safe to go alone.  Just be aware and use your common sense. The hardest part is starting, but once you’ve left, you get used to traveling on your own. Besides, you’ll meet other travelers along the way. Just go for it!

  • melomakarona

    It’s totally possible to travel the world (almost) for free – I’ve been doing it for quite awhile now doing some of the things you mention in this article. I work/volunteer in exchange for room and board and to get around I use my thumb. I love the FREEdom :)

  • Faith

    I believe that traveling for free is very possible. (If you don’t mind sleeping on the ground or not eatting very much one day.) You could very well travel for free, but you would have to have very good people skills. This article makes perfect sense, you just have to be willing to take a chance! 

  • Alaneuro555

    its a good idea……..

  • Safari Wambua Franco

    how can i travel for free then?

  • Sofia

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  • Slg1

    This is all very appealing to me.  But does anyone have any insight about being a young, attractive, female and wanting to travel like this?  As a female who has experienced sexual assault in the past, this article seems overly naive.  I would be very concerned about safety doing all this.  I also don’t have a male friend who would be willing to travel with me, so please don’t only give this as a suggestion (I already realize that is a valid suggestion.  I’m looking more for assessments of the safety and trustworthiness of these types of activities).  Does anyone in my situation (or anyone who knows someone in a similar situation) have anything to offer regarding this?

  • Casper

    hi a am casper hitge you can riets me on a whant help toe start traveling a dont no hu toe start a nied help but a whantoe get pad and traveling plz help me thankx

  • This_is_a_post

    Loved it.  I definitely know it’s possible to travel for free (freedom of going where you please), after I pay for my ticket to Asia of course.  After that, I would work my way westward, taking my time, soaking up the different cultures and learning the lessons of life.  I know for a fact that it would not be all fun and games, I would eat shit (not literally), but it’s something I learned to accept.  Something I may not be ready for but something that can only make me stronger if it doesn’t leave me for dead.  I do have the street smarts and I’m aware of my surroundings, which I believe is very important and would prevent anything catastrophic from happening.  Like others have said, I think fear and the fact of not knowing what will happen next is what keeps people from taking this step.  But it definitely is a lifestyle, a very different one but one that works for some people.  Also, I wouldn’t say this is a “how to become a bum” article because it clearly says that you can work in exchange for accommodation and food, and maybe even money! Bums don’t work.  They beg for money.  They sit and hope people will do everything for them.  This article is saying you can live one day at a time.  Work for some time, stock up and then travel on to your next adventure and do the same!  And no, it’s not like a regular job because a regular can only give you so much time off before they fire you for not showing up. 
    I’ll admit it.  That’s what’s keeping me from not doing this, fear.  The fear of actually being free from all the things so easily accessible to me and fear of leaving the comforts of home; but I definitely know It’s not something I need.  I want to do this so bad, I sometimes can’t sleep just thinking about it, I sometimes spend hours looking at this canvas/leather backpack I have bookmarked on my laptop, thinking when I’ll purchase it, fill it up and take the plunge.  I think of how big this world is, it was created so we can explore its lands, let others know about how much Jesus loves them, enjoy the natural beauty it contains and to meditate, just sit and ponder on how simple life can really be. 
    …Alas, when will I click ‘add to cart’.

  • Sne

    I would really love to travel overseas for an expense paid trip to clear my mind and see different places, i have lost myself in the confusion of what society deem as right or wrong. I need this with my whole life.Please do consider me.It will be a new exciting adventure which will change my whole life and help me change others peoples lives.

  • Vdt Hutech
  • Lost in Life

    Thank you for posting this.  I am so inspired by this.  If anyone could direct me to some more resources on where to start this journy, I would really appreciate it.  Thank you.

  • Oumy

    my dream is traveling and enjoy the beauty of all this word for free but it is so difficult to make that dream come true because I have not money to do it !!!!

  • Cheapdirt1

    this sounds like being a hobo

  • aleesha

    Thank you!

  • Rebecca

    I found this article very inspiring, because it spoke to my heart, and if it did this, it is good I’d say.

  • Rebecca

    In response to the negative comments: some people are just angry. There may be some truths spoken (in regards to health and safety concerns) but I don’t think they needed to be directed here, and if so, perhaps in a friendlier manner.

  • Jonmeizel

    i don’t think this article makes any sense at all. first of all, if a person wants to get to africa, the only way is by boat or plane, why would say you could acomplish it with a bike.
    2. your not always going to find people willing to let you stay at their homes and how your going to find people willing to do it instead of a website when your all alone in some country with nothing.
    3.  you say that if a person has 2 weeks to see everything he can in africa, you tell him to not rush but people have things called jobs and other important things besides children.

    try to improve the article by not sounding like a person getting pay’d to advertise to get travel busnises to loose money. also you can improve by giving goals actually physically attenable to the veiwer instead of what you call “bullshit”

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  • Pp

    This sucks you free loading loser hippie.

  • Thamos paine

    Great resource, and a lot of really useful lateral thinking, especially
    on the uses of Facebook for small businesses. I think the key point here
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    We have seen more and more companies turning to video to do this.   girls dress up games

  • Jhon mgt

    One of my website was penalized by google since past 3 months and now before 3 days it came back in to rankings again i was so damn happy after 1 day the website went off again ?? can you tell me what could be the reason behind that ?? i am so damn pissed off now that even after going with the webmaster guidelines provided by google, making necessary changes websites are getting penalized ?? 


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  • JustChuckinIt

    Fantastic article! Exactly the kind of lifestyle I am trying to embrace right now while living in New Zealand! It is a little hard in cities like Auckland but I spent three weeks living out of a hammock in the Northland and didn’t spend a dime on accommodation! I’d love to feature your blog on my travel site

  • Rathee.

    Awesome Insight… to actual traveling… for those who actually want to live travel…

  • Rima

    i don´t agree saying that travelling to Africa is difficult ,i am from Tunisia ,  wich is in Africa , we have so much beautiful places to discover , and especially , moving around is soo easy  because Tunisia is a small country , all you have to do , is to knw the right persons to give you informations or some help , if anyone needs to travel to Tunisia , i can give you a full guide what you should door what you should not do , where to go , and what to do , but it is a good article :)

  • Reservation

    Dear All,
    We  have just started a tourism company in Zanzibar, Tanzania. We are called Asko Tours & Travel Co. Ltd. We can do lots of different types of excursions and Safaris to all parts of the country, from sightseeing to adventure and specialty travel, and food and wine tasting. We can also organize sailing, beach apartment rentals, Hotel Accommodations and other accommodation in all Tanzania. Price range is very flexible and reasonable. Best for all.
    We hope that you can cooperate with in business us and send us some tourists from your company.
    Juma Chuo,
    Reservations & Marketing Manager,
    Asko Tours & Travel Ltd,
    Kenyatta Road, Near to Old Poastal Office,
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    Fax:+255 2422 34715,
    Tel:+255 777 411 854,
    Mob:+255 715 096 835.

  • Iamfarooqstr

    how to visit malaysia ………for free …..:)

  • Mahesh j chavan.

    hi sir / mam.
    i would like to visit n work in europe for any suitable job/ industry with good salary and package.
    please do advice me.

    thank you.
    mahesh jc.

    maheshjkchavan@indiatimes:disqus .com

  • Linco052

    This article, while positive, is for the most part, totally useless. It isn’t an article offering clear, and realistic ways to travel for free, but instead more of a “hippie” blog with ONE usefull and feasable option for reducing the cost of travel..(Couch Surfing). The article claims it will teach you how to travel for free, but in fact all it does is encourage would-be travelers to uproot their entire lives, liquidate their material possesions and begin living a nomadic lifestyle, forever wondering the earth simply relying on the continued kindness of complete strangers in order to survive. If you want a guide on how to end up broke, possibly victimized, and stranded God knows where this is the guide for you; if you want HELPFUL and REALISTIC ways to reduce the cost of travel check out lonely planet’s website, or simply befriend someone who works for a major airline as you will fly extremely cheap…together those two things have allowed me to see 20 plus countries and nearly all fifty states in the U.S.A….while I won’t deny that every country has some kind people who are ready and willing to aid young travelers, I can speak from expierience and say that more often than not unprepared, nieve, young tourists in ANY country are targets for local criminals. There are cheap ways to travel, but DO NOT listen to this piece unless you want to end up alone, lost,  injured or worse….Bon voyage.

    • Nomad

      I’m not surprised that you are a Lonely Planet reader. What a square.

  • Pirate

    Although I like some of the authors way of thinking, traveling with no money is dangerous. I have hitch-hiked across Australia and ended up on the nullabore with a dude who was fricken crazy!! He started shooting up drugs and wouldn’t cross the border untill it was night time, ( gee reckon he was smuggling drugs???? I was in the middle of no where!! As lovely as the idea of traveling for nothing is, the reality is, in most countries I have been to we are perceived as a crazy rich westerner. That in turn means a lot of people are gonna wanna rip you off. You gotta have some money to look after yourself when the shit hits the fan!!

    • Jessmica

      But depending on how you act towards locals, pretty often they just want to be your friend and get to know you. Obviously if you go to Vang vieng in Laos aka tubing and drunk tourists spewing down the high street 24/7, then local there would respect you a lot less than the less popular towns of Southern Laos. 
      If you respect them, they will hopefully respect you back

  • Kevin Richards

    If you want to earn a substancial income while travelling or make a business out of travelling the world then you must have a look at this vacation club network marketing opportunity. This is way better than travelling for free

  • Djalexrrr

    I think a point a lot of the naysayers do not seem to get is that this article is talking about serious travelling -  not just having some kind of extended vacation where you go back straight into the rat race after a few weeks. It’s not for naive tourists, this is about serious, long term travelling for people who want to get out of the monotonous slavery of corporate capitalism and do it properly…(seriously)

    For people that say that this approach means becoming a hobo…well, that’s one, fairly narrow minded way of looking at it.  I see a difference between being forced to live a nomadic lifetyle through bad luck, illness, drugs like a ‘typical’ hobo, and actively CHOOSING to live differently as you’ve simply had enough of being someone elses b*tch to fill up someone elses bank account day in, day out.  You can say a traveller is a hobo,…you can also say that a career driven, corporate minded professional chasing the next promotion so he can get his bigger house and nicer car is a slave – As long as that’s what either type genuinely loves doing and has chosen to do it,  good for them!

    I think some people were expecting a little too much from a 10 point blog. Yes, it doesn’t cover everything. It also isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t 100% absolutely free either, but anyone with any sense  knows that nothing in life is. It is however a good starting point and puts forward the idea that if you are serious, you can get it damn near close to free.

    And a word about couchsurfing… I’ve never actually done it but I sure have done a lot of hosting, and had many, many, people come to stay at our house…sometimes we’ve even let couchsurfers take our beds while some of us sleep in the lounge. Is a huge and comfy couch to be fair :D

    We genuinely enjoy the variety of interesting and free sprited people that come to stay, and certainly don’t feel they are somehow ‘taking advantage’ or ‘freeloading’…that would be ridiculous! As we are the ones accepting,  and directing these people to our house in the first place!! It must be a mutually beneficial thing otherwise we wouldn’t keep hosting.

    Of course, they stay in our house on our terms (which can involve music and partying until the early hours if its a weekend – we’re not going to turn it down because of a couchsurfer, and make this clear on our profile) – But all other housemates get their say in who gets a spot on the couch and we’ve only had positive experiences so far and made some good freinds. 

    • Jessmica

      Your awesome :)

    • Rqbban

      Truly score 1 to Djalexrrr

    • Chris McCoy

      Couldn’t agree more, I wouldn’t care if anyone called me a hobo if it meant seeing beautiful places around the world :)

  • Jiimmy_hue

    If I could forget about my bills, and rent, I’d be much happier all in all!  But that is NEVER going to happen, and this article is dangerous for those naive people who read it.  DON’T quit your job to hike Mexico, you will come back and have to live under a bridge!

  • Rqbban

    Been thinking about doing this for 5 years now, after having been in the army for 3 years I’m finally feeling like rolling down a hill and in the end is the start of this miraculous journey. People seem to think about it a lot, but anyone really planning to and really feeling like they’re ready to give up mp3s and morning coffe (not to mention career??) for hiking the world for years to come?

  • Esanders76108

    Yeah but its not safe for a woman to travel like this right?

  • Bartletttommy

    all you people criticizing this dont even realize youre slaves.  this is telling people how to break away from society and be your own person.  youre all to afraid to take a risk so you condemn this article as foolish.  whats foolish is being chained to a job you dont like by material possessions which mean absolutely nothing i promise you that.  a truly rich man has nothing at all and is rich in freedom.  can you imagine how free you would be if all you owned was strapped to your back?  travelling using money is being a fucking yuppie tourist idiot who thinks the rest of the world is a commodity to be bought.  life is an adventure not a fucking store.  i cant imagine how travelling like that is fun, all you experience is the fake world money can build.  imagine the adventure it would be to try to get to another country free, and trust me you can, now compare that to buying a plane ticket and sitting on a beach at a fancy hotel.  boring.  if you are looking for a vacation then obviously this article isnt for you but the rest of us have realized that fear of the unrealistic is idiotic, and money is simply an idea used to keep us in chains.  success is in your mind and its only qualifying characteristic is happiness. 

    • Djalexrrr


    • Mzhayer


      i wouldnt mind travelling with u. msg back

      • Bartletttommy

         i might be down. im actually looking for someone to travel with!  drop me a line at

        • Stingfish7

          where to?   Im leaving fl headed to humbodlt co and need a traveling companion

        • dre and jaz

           hey we are willing to meet and travel but we have no money only our clothes hit us up

    • Anett

      I think the same.  But…
      Of course money is not the most important thing when someone decides to travel around the world, but I’m still planning to save up for emergencies, or if I have to come back to my home country fast. The other thing is that to start traveling you need to save up money/spend your money on a train/ship/plane ticket.  For example, I go to high school now. When I finish (next year), I’m going to start traveling around the world. So I started saving up. However, I don’t intend to be a “simple tourist”. But if you want to leave your “original place”, you do need to save up money to start. After you break out of your regular life, it’s not as necessary, I think.I want to find a penfriend at the country I’m going to visit first, so that I won’t be all alone. (Because no one wants to join me in traveling here, lolXD)

      • Bartletttommy

        sorry i was probably a bit harsh on the “if you use money…” no money at all is of course the best adventure but theres nothing wrong with saving up for traveling and experiencing some luxuries if they make you happy but the thing is money will make you cautious.  youll have to be careful if you have money but of course having no money at all is probably dangerous as well if you cant score a free bite to eat or cant find a way to make a couple dollars.  you really dont need anything to start except supplies though.  just stick your thumb out, head for the coast,find work along the way, sign up to crew a ship, use your money you saved from the work to get by as you need it, and you can just keep repeating.  of course if you had money from the start you could skip the finding work ;) i just would think not having that safety net and having to be crafty to get by would be a lot more liberating.  i hate worrying about money.  its just silly that we have to spend our time worrying about green paper.  we’re the most advanced forms of life on the planet with unsurpassed cognative ability and we use our brains to think about paper all fucking day every day its sad what we have been reduced to. 

        • jimmy

          Dude have some respect, it’s good that you’ve found freedom in travelling and all that and it’s good you’re trying to encourage it, but dont go shitting all over other peoples way of life.

          Also realise that this fake world built up by money is exactly what’s allowing you to travel like you do; hitching rides, getting free meals, couch surfing. You shit all over that, you basically shit all over the people that made it possible for you.

          • Ton micke

             Nice forum guys,i kinda understand the idea of travelling for free,but is this really true!you see i live in a touristic destination and we depend on tourism to live it is 50% of our GDP,now its cool to travel for free but when it is free for someone it only means that some one else s footing the bill.Let me give you an example  in a response above it says that you can bartter for food and you need clean water.Lets take clean water do you know what it cost to get clean drinkable on an island for example,so if you are not contributing to the cost of that it means that the islanders have to pay for you,is that fare !!!you can get a lift in a car cool but who pays for the maintenance of the road technically each time you take a service there is a cost to it hideen or orther wise .So  yes you can travell for free but its free for you as long as someone else is paying the bill and that for me is not faire.

          • Vilagutazo8

            Hi everybody,
            It is funny I found this page just a week after I started to plan my money free travelling.
            I completely agree with Barletttommy and also with you Jimmy and Tin micke-I do believe it is possible and also more important to travel without money and trust in yourself and others. Of course those people who give us a lift, food or a bed they paid for it and still paying for those things-but I to my opinion-if we wouldnt have cars and all those fancy things-but horses,and just farms and lot less-it would be also possible-you probably would have to walk lot more and travelling would be lot slower and you would have to learn about nature lot more-how to survive on your own for days-and that would be a bigger challenge to travel like that, but since MONEY is the world owner we cant travel like that-at least not everywhere-so we have to rely on people who are staying at one place-living their everyday lifes and not travelling. Once I will settle down I will do kinda the same-but if somebody will come to ask me if they can help me with something around the house-so they can get some food and a bed I wont say no-cause we all know-we all need an extra hand time to time-so its a great exchange for the both of us.And I think this is what Barletttommy was trying to explain-that we can travel for free-and it wont be unfair!!!!cause it wont be free-we will give our hand in exchange-but not money!so why is that wrong???-cause money owns you guys and not otherway around. Long time ago people were maybe not travelling these huge distances like us-but they had to also make looong ways to gain food and water-and maybe they could get it from the next village and in exchange they gave them what they had.there was no money but hard work to survive-and people relied on each other, trusted each other and main thing-loved each other-which this world doesnt know that much anymore-just some of us.Once we realized that all we need for life is to survive and be loved-that all what matters-of course if we can enjoy ourself by doing things we love-that helps a lot and makes life lot more enjoyable-and it is possible, and we have to see it is possible without moeny-if it was before it is now and it will be till we dont use all our sources from mother earth.

          • Al Allington

            I think its an insult for healthy people to travel and beg food, housing, travel from people in poor countries. Get a job, save some cash and plan to spend $10 a day. You will be amazed how far it will go if you are a true budget traveler and not a beggar exploiting the kindness and generosity of the poor in 3rd world countries. Bartering and trading is different than begging and can be fun and practical. I have been in 18 countries and while in the last, China (last year), I lived on less than $226 a month for food, housing and bus fares, you can too.

          • Sal Paradise

            You spelled “fair” two different ways and neither was correct.

          • Jack

            learn to spell properly you fucking moron, the original poster was 100% correct, argue against being truely free then you’re a lost cause.
            Money is half of whats wrong with this world.

          • Grock

            You spelt truly wrong, ha moron.

          • Torbin

            This is old, but a good point, however, that is why he says to pitch in with your skills, whether it be teaching, carpentry, or whatever, once you are helping out, you are contributing, and its no longer like you are just a bum mooching off of someone elses good will, you are contributing to their community just as much as if you bought the water or food yourself

          • Al Allington

            Yup. I also trade T-shirts for food or travel. A Disney, Chicago Bulls or SF T-shirt is as good as gold in some places. Begging is begging and its a low life that would take, take, take from people who work 10 hr days to make $2-5 to feed their families.

          • Dave

            wow, take it easy buddy! sorry some people don’t want to be a slave to money their whole life. If what your talking about is shitting all over people…. i’m all for it! :)

          • Professor meow meows

            how about we just dont shit on eachother because that’s gross.

        • Sami Khilji08

          i like what u said, it is pretty much similar to my ideas . well man i offering you a inviting to visit my country and i will take you the beautiful sites of my country,   the same kind of trip as you mentioned without any formality.

      • Itsweirdright :) its me

        plz fill me in …

        • dre and jaz

           hey us too count us in were in philadelphia willing to meet up we are completley broke hit us up

      • Katherine Clark

         Where are you thinking about traveling Anett? I would travel with you.

        • GroovinDubu

          Me too! :D anybody wanna volunteer in Africa with me? Uganda? anyone?

          • Obetito_patater

            when are you leaving? I would go

          • dre and jaz

             us too we are a coupple willing to travel anywhere plz hit us up in philadelphia

          • dre and jaz

             we are willing to travel as well we r a couple in philadelphia willing to meet at a point

          • Theone Coleman

            Yep! I am fully up for that, how and when?

          • Mitta

            heya dubu, where are you from? im would love to go to afria ^^

          • Matt_aschliman

             I dooo!!!! Always want to go on a mission trip!

          • Aquarieri

            I would join you in a heartbeat. Everyday i feel my spirit begin broken by the demands of society

          • Darrell

            I too would love to travel anywhere. I’d love to possibly get in on this opportunity.

          • Mohamed

            me from africa

          • brittani


        • dre and jaz

           hey katherine we are willing to hit the road too hit us up for a meet uo

        • Eljo

          Wow… I think this is awesome… I wish I had thought of this before I had children… when the kids are older and out on their own.. this is what I will be doing.. thanks for the info… :)

        • I have a dream

           All I can say is that : I need to travel and live in a country that gives people a chance to live , an opportunity to accomplish their dreams. I respect everyone’s comment but could someone help me to  come and live in their country and I don’t need their help , I know what I am looking for and I will get it even if the whole world refuses. All I need is a chance.

          Perhaps . another Einstein will come to the world sooooooooooon.

          • Al Allington

            Get TEFL certified and begin teaching English as a foreign language. Get the certification and head out to a country of your choice, find private companies that offer English tutoring and work for what they will pay.. You now have a new life. In China, the demand is high for native English tutors and I was surprised how little real English their Chinese teachers actually knew. China is safe, American friendly and the people are kind and generous.

        • ANON

           be careful with this people. this comment and comments like these are exactly why kids get abducted. I’m not saying that about you, Kathy… just saying no matter who they say they are, never meet people alone, and never get yourself in a situation you can’t get yourself out of.

        • erica

          Yes iam call me 7343343797 erica we can talk I wanna see the world

          • Al Allington

            Having traveled in Asia four time I suggest women travel there first. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and China are very safe and very beautiful. I have met many women traveling alone (not suggested) or in twos/threes spending little money and seeing wonderful things. I lived in China on less than $226 a month (food, housing and bus) and could eat a meal of rice noodle soup with veggies in Laos for about 40 cents. Travel light. Carry less than 30 pounds and the heat won’t bother you to much (I travel for 90 days with less than 17#).

        • Mister_arkansas

          Lol. For someone who’s so free, liberated, and happy, he sure sounds hostile and agitated. lol. 

        • MaureenIngilela

          I ‘d like to travel with Anett too.

      • Jmallette62

        I would love to join you. I dont know where I want to go exactly but I do want to travel, see new places, meet new people, and do it all with a someone who wants to do it too. I guess Im just a little afraid to brake away from my daily life and really dot this! So I want someone to go with me, or I would be willing to go with some one. Any takers??

        • Al Allington

          Take money with you, plan about $10 a day and work or barter when you can. Its not free but its cheap so please don’t plan to exploit the kindness and generosity of poor working people. Many women travel in Asia; bus surfing, biking, riding motorcycles and by boat. Countries like China, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia are very safe for women. Working as an English tutor is a possibility, trading an old SF 49ers T-shirt (or Disney, NYC, Chicago Bulls) can get you a meal and a new friend. Stay for three months for a good learning experience.

      • Sherman

        if your down to do some traveling i cant find anyone eather. If you want some company id love to go

      • Adrianodasilva92

         hey body you said money is not very momentous but i say it is important .so how you save all your time by  eating and going so this all has done by money .how u bought  your clothe. it bought by money .so its important dizzy.

      • Mohamed

        don’t worry about a penfriend you will definitely find me because i’m planning to do an adventure around the world when i finish college next year

      • Dave

         I’d be happy to join you on your travels, Anett. I always thought traveling the world would be the coolest thing. And if there’s a way to do it for free I’m all in.

        • Al Allington

          Free means begging food, housing and travel from poor working people in 3rd world countries, In many countries people work 70-100 hours a week to feed their families. “Free” type of travel is an insult to real budget travelers. Take money with you, plan about $10 a day and work or barter when you can. Its not free but its cheap so please don’t plan to exploit the kindness and generosity of poor working people.

      • Mohamed

        if you would like to plan together this journey, send me an email on
        i’m ready for the journey around the world starting from a year from now when i finish college. it’s my dream

    • JessTheMess


    • redraven

      Absolutly! I totally agree with what you say and have travelled for very little money! Thanks for the article. Oh a way to get free food is to get out of date food from companies its nearly always good.

    • Dupe123

      I know that I’m really late in reading this, but everything you said has been extremely amazing. I have been feeling this way for the last 8 months and haven’t been sure where to start. I’m 18 years and I have just graduated high school. Please if you can email me at I am looking forward to hearing more from you’re perspective on life. Thanks so muchw for reading this !

    • Ellen Kriz

      Amen! I love your post and agree 100% I want to break away too . .

    • Darfttr

      Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!

    • we

      * You’re

  • Beerwhisperer

    This guy must be from Indiana.  

  • Siddhartha

    I’m all for the existential importance of this article, but it doesn’t really provide any useful advice outside ideological nonsense.  Please provide concrete advice about international cheap traveling tactics if that’s what you advertise.  I agree that the fewest possible material possessions is integral to spiritual and physical freedom, but there is a threshold amount necessary for survival.  Essential commodities such as food, infrequent medical care.  Anyone who so vehemently condemns a remotely pragmatic approach with vicious aspersion (‘fucking yuppie tourist idiot’), doesn’t in my opinion embrace the open mindedness and placid outlook this article communicates.  If I can ‘trust you’ or anyone else to ‘show me’ how to travel for the , provide a comprehensive guide with actual experiences (i.e. use hostels, couch surfing), not a fucking preachy, insinuated jab at consumerism.  Maybe this article should be titled ‘learn to appreciate the simple things.’

  • Nicholas Schneider

    Hi, I’m the first time on you website and really loved your post. I love to backpack myself and really think I will find some usefull tipps here and I will sign up for an account. I also run a website to travel for free which offers jobs to travelers. I hope this helps you out

  • Itsweirdright

    well we got to do what we got to do .. gone are the days when  we used to barter .. money talks :)

  • Mat Masterson

    This post brought me to Matador. I can’t thank you enough for that. Can’t wait to use the tips here to get off the Big Island when it’s time to.

  • moomoo

    what about Travel procedures to move from one country to another Is not that a problem impeding freedom of movement and travel I know that this does not apply to all countries

  • Barnicals

    Love this! Exactly what I need. Now I just need to get off this damn island (NZ)!

  • nobodyimportant

    Are you happy?  You don’t seem to be.  You seem very upset and angry.  I agree with you on many points, especially that the qualifying characteristic of happiness is success.  However, I don’t think being condescending and outright violent is the way to go about telling people of this truth.  As Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see in the world” – don’t yell at the world and hope it will change.  Peace.

  • D3wdr0p85

    I am Traveling from NY to CO…Leaving In approx. 2 weeks…..cant wait….I am starting with money…..very little though….couple hundo…..just in case i gotta go “home”…any ideas of beautiful places to go from there? Goin alone so i am a lil scared….but im at a point in my life….i know i can do this…..occupy freedom!

  • Mnc2006

    I really liked this article. I was expecting a step by step how to get freebies but this was better. I have always thought that money is just a green piece of paper that millions are working for only to still remain unhappy. It is truly worthless. If money were gone and I had a few soybeans you wanted to eat then you would barter with me right? Or if I don’t feel milk is worth $4 per gallon I won’t use my money on that item then the seller must reevaluate the his business. Meaning money is worthless, it’s what the PURCHASER feels is your item is worth. Same goes for housing market, etc… A lot of people have argued with me that “money is what makes the world go ’round” And “a man that doesn’t work doesn’t eat” And “I’m not materialistic but these are the things we need to fit in today’s society” Most Americans work work work, mostly overtime, to achieve nothing. When you’re elderly and probably sick, what will you look back over your life and say you are proud about what you accomplished? Did you enjoy life? Or are you too worried that you’re going to die with debt and put that burden on your loved ones? A lot of people will choose the latter statement. Success is in the eye of the beholder but once you become that nicely paid slave when does life began? You have to continue to please someone else and make them rich (unless you own your own business, which is rare) and never enjoy life yourself! A vacation one or twice a year only to go back to smoggy cities, hectic schedules, and health problems from the lack of sleep, stress, depression, and convenient unhealthy items marketed everyday.  I see people getting up and removing themselves from the chain of what society thinks we should do. When did someone decide for us that the right thing to do was get a 9-5 job, pay bills, get more loans, buy unneccessary novelties, and show off over priced homes only to loose them because you couldn’t afford them in the first place? Why isn’t securing and buying land a priority? Making your own living and providing for yourself, enjoying more than 2-4 hours of the great outdoors (which some people only see on the car drive home) living only off what you can make and provide for yourself… Now don’t get me wrong. I work a full time job, I get no sleep, I see my coworkers more than my family, I pay bill, I have college loans, I feel unhealthy, I never see outside unless it’s in my car or about to walk into a store… I hate this. I am very young, no children yet, not married, I am basically free to pack up and go where ever but as I was taught for the majority of my life in schools that our purpose in life is to get a career. That to them is the only way to measure success and you want to be successful and show off at your reunion right? WRONG. And that is why I enjoyed this article because I know other people out there feel the way I do. I don’t have to be afraid to become unconventional. That it is possible to live life, breath fresh air, walk a beach everyday, have time to read books, spend time with loved ones… It is possible and I shouldn’t be ridiculed for having those thoughts! I get it that most people will continue to work as slaves instead of investing in themselves and working for themselves, hell even owing your own business is a huge step of making yourself happy, but if you can help free other people’s minds and validate that their fears are just societies implanted rules, then I say keep writing! Help more of us out of this rut, because many of us are just begging for a way out…

  • Zoobin

    WRT ”
    Many people are willing to open their homes to travelers.” this can be dangerous in India especially in city like Delhi. You don’t know how people are from inside. In India women from western countries are looked upon as moral less or sluts. So be careful.

  • Jmallette62

    WOW! Stumbled upon this sight and I now believe that it is possible to travel to this world and do honest labor. I want to break out of my daily life and explore this world. If any one is experienced in these matters, and woulnt mind a traveling buddy tagging along, please contact me. I rather do this with a new friend than alone. Thanks;)

  • GroovinDubu

    Any tips on traveling in Africa? Volunteer organizations have a thing about costing thousands of dollars to volunteer, part of that money going to advertisement costs, administrators’ salaries, etc. However, because of the dangers of say, sleeping outside in the African jungle or savannah, I am still cautious of just going without the security of a group. so when it comes to places like Africa; high in disease and dangers in the bush, does anybody have any experience or input about traveling cheap? thank you, keep inspiring people to feel free!

  • Around the World in 80 Jobs

    I am a permanent, long-term traveller. But for me, I found the lack of real information out there frustrating, which is why I am doing 80 different travel jobs and writing about them. Some are just for fun (odd jobs) or others you can actually make decent money.
    If you are interested in long-term travel I have found you need a job that you can do in a lot of different locations, so most people might advise teaching english, travel blogging or some other kind of job that makes money online. 
    I have been selling timeshares for the past few months, and you can also do that long term and actually make money at it. Timeshares are in 100 different countries and it is fairly seasonal, so you could do 4 months in one beautiful spot in high season then go to another for their high season when the season ends. Here is my latest blog post on how to get a timeshare sales job if you are so inclined. good luck. 


  • April

    You guys should watch Departures if you haven’t heard or seen of it already. Amazing and inspirational. They go off on the beaten paths and see the most incredible locations. Seriously, every person who dreams of travelling needs to watch this show!

  • venus792

    this is cool , i always wanted to travel and see new places , and i will. alls i got to do is pack the things i need and go. but since im only a 19 year old girl i would like to get a gun( and learn how to use it) anyway i cant wait to start my adventue. now i know alot of you guys who read this will say that im stupid and dont know what im getting myself into but believe it or not , I REALLY DO.

    • Edwin

      Hi Venus,
      Since was a teenager i have wanted to travel, I’m 30 now and still haven’t. It is so easy to put things off and get caught up in life, careers, owning a house etc. But it’s ok because i haven’t given up, I am hoping to go at the end of this year.
      So my advice is go now!
      My sister went on her own for a years travel and ended up staying away for 2! I was obviously worried that she was going on her own, that somthing might happen to her, but from her stories you are very rarly on your own. If you stay at hostels you soon meet like minded people and can make great friends. All i’d say is be careful of people trying to take advantage of you, my sister even contemplated taking something over a boarder for them with a great story and time building a fake friendship with her. Now she is very intelligent but out of your comfort zone you can be vunerable. If it sounds to good to be true stay away. Although there are also some very generous people out there who will just help you for no reason apart from being a good person.
      Read lots, prepare well, have fun.

    • adreamer

      so, you are going to do it ? seriously ? thats soo cool :) what are your plans ? i would love to share my thoughts with  u :) if u do so, email me :)

  • Around the World in 80 Jobs

    I think the long term goal should be to create location independent income, but to create that can take time. I have been selling timeshares the last few months to help me stay abroad while I try to get my independent location biz off the ground. If you are interested in making real money, might want to check out selling timeshares.


  • Edwin

    Hi everyone,

    It sounds very exciting the prospect of travelling without any money but i am in a difficult situation. For a start i have to save up to have back up money in the bank incase something goes wrong with the rental of my house in England whilst i’m away. Also, although i agree with visiting the quiet places and experiencing their cultures i would also like to experience some major cities where money is needed.
    I aim to do both, periods of backpacking and getting jobs along the way but other periods of luxury.
    Any advice would be very welcomed, I am thinking of going to Russia, Thailand, India, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South America, North America, Canada. Over a period of around a year. I will probably have to slim this down but this is my first thought. Hopefully going January 2013.
    Good luck to everyone – never quit on your Dreams!

  • Leahprice76

    I would love to travel count me in but to africa ummm not sure but i would love to go to london or ireland 

  • adreamer

    anyone wanna travel ? i’m soo excited and i would love to start travelling all around the world, free from everything and everyone. But how can i leave everything behind ? not only the material things, but my whole life … my family, my friends, my studies … kinda risky…I dont know…what should i do ?

  • sujan sitaula

    This 18 days classic trek along with Sherpa homeland, cultivated fields
    and patches of birch and rhododendron forests, numerous waterfalls,
    yak-grazing settlements, alpine region, and over the Glacier with rocky
    path introduces itself as one of the strenuous trekking trail in Nepal.

    After the scenic mountain flight to Lukla, this trek leads you on the
    foothill of the world highest peak, Mt. Everest (8848m), then
    spectacular close up views of south-west face with its Icefall and
    Glacier. After crossing the Chola Pass (5420m), most dramatically view
    of landscape and walking over the Ngozumpa Glacier is rewarded. Spending
    2 nights at Gokyo valley is really worth to explore a sacred lake
    around there, known as either Dudh pokhari or Gokyo third lake and
    prepare for hiking Gokyo Ri (5360m), one of the best panoramic view and
    glacier will be offering from the summit, from where you could see 4
    peaks over 8000m at a time. Then we return back to Lukla passing through
    Machhermo, Dole, Namche Bazaar. Next morning we fly to Kathmandu from

  • Jonathan Meizel

    i don’t think this article makes any sense at all. first of all, if a person wants to get to africa, the only way is by boat or plane, why would you say it can be accomplished with a bike.2. Your not always going to find people willing to let you stay at their homes and how exactly are you supposed to go on these websites trying to find someone to let you stay in when your not bringing a laptop with you? you can’t seriously be saying that if you go on a 3 month vacation with almost nothing. your going to plan every single night (where you stay and how long). you cant expect us to call and say, “hi, in 2 months from know i’ll be in Spain, can i stay at your house”, “hi, in 2 months and 3 days, i will be in Madrid, can i stay in your house”3. people have lives, jobs and family, you cant expect them not to rush. at some point you die and even if you went vacationing 2 time to Europe each year for the rest of your life, you still wouldn’t even see half of it (Europe).
    try to improve the article by not sounding like a person who just wants travel companies to suffer. also you can improve by giving goals actually physically attenable to the veiwer instead of what you call “bullshit”.

  • Jsauble

    Im down to travel the world anyone i can join

  • Jaysav

    The most refreshing read I have had for a good few years…. A geniune a eye opener, Sometimes we forget that we really trapped in a lifestyle that we do not want OR need to live in.

  • Veronica Reyes

    There is a new company that gives people an avenue to travel and pay wholesale.  The travel companies actually pay you when ever you book travel.  you can check it out at  Everyone should check this website out it has a video that explains it all to you.  It’s saved me lots of money and I’m earning money that pays for my vacations, so in a sense I’m traveling for free.  Pretty cool you should check it out.

  • tr1x

    Fortunately not every one shares this opinion.  We would all be wondering around begging for food.  It isn’t the wrong way to live but I am not sure its the most productive way.  

  • samiamichammi

    i would love to do this, i feel this way of life has been calling my name. im just worried about hitchhiking and being hurt or taken advantage of because im a a girl and what if you try to stay at someones house and end up abused? how does anyone avoid that? carry a knife around with you? that defeats the purpose of being free if you’re on edge…

  • Subhasis Ghosh

    I would love to go on a world tour for free. I need companions, plz contact me. I’m from Kolkata, India. 
    email me :

  • Malinda

    I wanna do this…..

  • JGH

    The guy is a fucked up asshole. You have to pay for the ticket+visa. Also, when you move from place to place you gotta pay the money..

  • Pnku007

    is there any other means to travel for free? 

  • Guest

    Great article.  As soon as I shed most of my “stuff” I’m grabbing my art things and I’m off.

  • jordan

    You can travel and save up money too if you are worried about it. You have to let go of attachments like she is saying. I have started travelling around the u.s. working on jobs that make a difference and i care about like organic farming and conservation work. it’s hard work but you can save money doing it and travel to the next spot. short term jobs might be the way for some of you to go. this is the life of a person unattached and free to roam. Its really a life style and if you can’t make changes in your ideals then you should probably stick to something else.

  • Policeeddie

    So, Im trying to get a group of dedicated people willing to travel very light with little or almost no money. ONLY people with the heart to travel with a light wallet but heavy heart….just email me at (no im not a cop, its just a stupid e-mail address my bro gave me)

  • Ahsankhan9040

    i wanna enjoy america and live there im afhani age.19

  • Sivyclotte

    anyone wanna do it ? <3 i'd love to !!!! if you need company, and a great adventure, email me :) sivyclotte@gmail:disqus .com

  • DisappointedReader

    This is a wildly uninformative article that offers vague outdated platitudes rather than either, any real advice, or any remotely useful or revolutionary philosophical point.  I’m actually angry; this is utter crap. 

  • jacqueline

    probably the biggest obstacle to overcome if you want to travel isn’t money, it’s fear. it’s a hard thing to do to make a commitment to travel because so few people do it, so it is less socially accepted and it seems like the scary “path less taken.” but it can be done, and by regular people. 

    i wrote an ebook called “how to become the jack of all travel: a beginner’s guide to traveling the world for free.” take a look :)

  • Desperate Sailors

    This may be of interest to those of you that have skills that you can offer to the sailing community eg diesel engine/outboard mechanic, electrical, carpentary, diver, canvas work, boat minding, child minding/babysitting to mention a few.

    Desperate Sailors is a website where boat owners look for skilled freelance workers to fix broken stuff. You will probably not be offered a place to sleep, but you may get lucky with that? Who knows?

    What you need to do is create a Freelance profile (currently free, but will cost US$40 per year from the end of this year, so you will have to put your money where your mouth is and be good at what you do) and as you change countries during your travels, update your location on your profile. Simple.

    Yes, I am involved in Desperate Sailors, so any flack about this being commercial spam may be valid. But if you earn some beer tokens along your way because of it, then you owe me a beer.

    Happy job hunting.
    p.s. Once you have registered as a Freelancer, if you send me a message from the Contact Us thingie at the bottom of every page on the DS site, saying that you heard about DS on Matadornetwork, I will give you 12 months free membership from the date you register. Couldn’t be fairer than that!

  • ninjosh

    this website is awesome. thank you for your friendly advice and great prespective. its amazing to know that what i’ve always dreamt of doing is within my grasp. im not guna lie, it is a bit scary to think that i’d be leaving my loved ones behind. but we all gota branch out. im guna work on obtaining more info on how to make this dream come true. connected to the world under my feet.

  • Hanz Mael

    welcome!! mi casa tu casa 

    Hi guys this page is for everybody who love travel but some times don´t have enough money to pay the expensive hotels my sofa is your sofa is help page for us guys I do this because when I travel I met I very good people and they help me so I try to do the same in my country so guys don’t worried if you need a place to sleep during your trip here I can help you just let me know a week before you come and thats it!!

    I have two sofa´s in my home if you come to mexico city here in the downtown you have a sofa to sleep by free..go to this link: 

  • Arkadi

    Ive the best way for free traveling!
    Emile me who wants ! :)

  • Firelinksart

    I agree with all of this and would like to add that special skills i know there random but juggling, gymnastics, teaching of fire arts ex. poi, staff, fans are a big plus considering people love what they dont know that looks so beautiful in a flowing art everybody can get that.

  • Zbigniew Rozmus

    I don’t speak English very well but… If you wanna see middle east europe… i think Kraków is the best :) when you wan’t to visit Kraków / Cracow call me +48 692 400 118. Have a nice day :)

  • Zbigniew Rozmus
  • BS

    Poorly written article. Too much filler and not nearly what I had expected given the title.  There is maybe one legitimate way to travel for free but for the most part abolutely useless.  Besides, half the points are common sense anyways.  Take the last point “Embrace Serendipity”, go with the flow is the message here, what a load of fifth grade humor, anyone whose made any attempt to travel anywhere has known this since they were ten years old on a family vacation to grandma’s house.

  • Doni Boyd Simonson

    It is true: one who travels can’t enjoy the happiness that comes from raising a family. I believe that having and raising a family is a divine calling. However, there needs be a balance in all things: as not all of us can be doctors or lawyers, some of us have made choices in our lives that has made it so that we can’t have a family – not a private one. For travelers, the world becomes their family. 


    World Traveler for the last 30 + years. I am 67, and I have never looked back.
    Facebook: doni boyd simonson

    Thanks world – I appreciate and love you all.

    May you all live a long and happy life.

    Smile and make us all look more beautiful. :)

  • Pdmcknight89

    I stay in scotland and would love to embrace this lifestyle although I dont quite know where to go or who to speak to. I also feel trapped by society and seriously let down by the governing bodys who choose to force a lifestyle upon me that i do not wish to follow. any help please as I have basicly no funds to free myself from this island.( uk)

  • Cm_burdett

    In my opinion I am shocked the whole world does not have
    this mentality. How is it satisfying to live day to day doing the same life
    sucking thing? I am 18 years old and I may not know half as much as other do on
    the world, but in my experience just looking around at everyone and everything
    people seem so lifeless sometimes. I mean occasionally you will see someone who
    truly is happy with their life and got that simple job they have always wanted.
    But I’m sorry for being arrogant but I could never live life like that, my
    approach is much more adventurous. Why spend life in one place, this world is
    so full of beauty and place that need to be seen and experienced. Travels may
    wonder but they are not lost, and they might not be looking for anything in
    particular but they are finding themselves. Simple society just forms you into  what they want, and it’s hard to break free.

  • ArkadiKr

    GREAT article!

    Actually, yes, I have a way to travel for FREE :) oh yeah :)
    its not for public like that but I’ll will happy to share it personally with everyone who want, just connect me ! will worth it :)

    facebook: arkadik
    skype: arkadikr

  • Mike

    im a very good guy just ready to give up on life itself and im not going to lie im scared i just might do that is there anybody that would give me a chance to make you money all i need is to get away from here. I’m a very hard worker and a very easy going guy. The people that know me know how easy going I am and realy take me for a fool. I want to go south becouse its worm and i can stay outside untill i can get on my feet i dont want anything for nothen . i will work hard for you just give me a chance. i dont care were i have to go please help me give me a chance give me a call 5027155768 PLEASE I CAN HELP YOU IF YOU CAN HELP ME JUST A (LITTLE) CALL ME I PROMISE YOU THAT IT WILL BE THE BEST PHONE CALL YOU WILL EVER MAKE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gorilla

    Personally I myself have thought about this, but I have reached a point in my age when I realize that for me, I would travel because I am compelled to do so and for no other reason. I wonder what the very Southern region of Chili is like? Maybe travel up its western coast? Who knows. 

  • Haley

    love ittttttttttttttt

  • jaison

    warehouse pallet truck accidents People even lost their lives but if somehow they survived then they have to deal with the expenses……..Truck accidents are one of the bizarre accidents.

  • Kerongating

    me myself am going to start traveling around the uk on my bicycle with no money thhis has help me out alot donewellll 

  • Kane Dott
  • Niki

    This is wetting my palette to pack up my bags and say sayorana to city life and job…I wonder what my husband will think? :-/

  • Tileguy86

    I had an experience with a guy his wife and 3 kids travelling the USA for little or nothing…He was going to write a book.
    He stopped at a yard sale we were having, said he needed money for gas and a place to camp out. Said he would be willing to do some work.
    We let him set up camp on our property along the river, provided him firewood, Made a supper for him and his family, and shared a 12 pack that evening.
    Next morning he came in and told us about his plan to write a book and how he was not really looking for work etc. I asked him how many times he had taken cash/ meals  from retirees living on a fixed income. How did he feel about taking a meal away from someone else so he could travel for free?
    He had nothing to say and when they left, they left garbage in the camp area and we found the supper we had made for them dumped in the grass..

    We still help the occasional traveler in need but learn a bit more about them before making any offers. Traveling for free may be free to you, but it is Not free to those you are relying on to provide for you those things you need. Granted, bartering time or skill is worth something, but only if you actually provide it and they actually Need It!! Any work other than that is still charity.
    I am not against people living free, only as freeloaders!!

  • Makesense95

    Bartletttommy your a very smart man,ive sold all my things and am ready to do speak of.any tips would be awesome,thank for being one with a mind.peace

  • Wackford

    It never fails to bewilder me that people get so ANGRY when it is suggested that perhaps they don’t need all of the material things that they are working away at spirit crushing jobs to pay for.  You’d think they would welcome such a possibility.  But no.  Never in my life have I seen an animal that WANTS to be caged..except for human beings.

    • Jimmy

       It’s the way alot of you word things and try come across as if you’re all somewhat enlightend and holier than those caught up in society and that your way of life is just better. Not everyone works a 9 – 5 in society because they’re animals wanting to be caged, people have different passions.

      A good lifestyle is a matter of opinion to an extent and alot of the time it’s not about the material, some people want to be musicians and play in front of thousands of people, others love clothes; yeah it’s material but they have a passion for fashion who are you to tell them that’s wrong?

      I personally just want to get rich. Why? Because I want to prove to myself and the world that I can work hard and achieve success. I want to go out of the world knowing I did something incredible and difficult. Travelling would be nice, it would be nice to let all the stress go and just see the world, but I dont want to because I want make use of my talents and achieve something.

      That’s why I stick to society as it is rather than do what you do, because society has advanced enough to provide a greater education and greater physical and mental challenge.

       The people who are caged are the lazy ones who dont go out and achieve their goals, whether they are people stuck in society or not, so stop refering to everyone with a job as a caged animal because most aren’t.  I don’t look down on your way of life, dont look down on mine cause it makes you no better than the snooty people of the high society.

  • jimmy

    To all those labelling us working people as slaves, caged animals, robots etc etc.

    Alot of you word things and try come across as if you’re
    all somewhat enlightend and holier than those caught up in society and
    that your way of life is just better. Not everyone works a 9 – 5 in
    society because they’re animals wanting to be caged, people have
    different passions.

    A good lifestyle is a matter of opinion to an extent and alot of the
    time it’s not about the material, some people want to be musicians and
    play in front of thousands of people, others love clothes; yeah it’s
    material but they have a passion for fashion who are you to tell them
    that’s wrong?

    I personally just want to get rich. Why? Because I want to prove to
    myself and the world that I can work hard and achieve success. I want to
    go out of the world knowing I did something incredible and difficult.
    Travelling would be nice, it would be nice to let all the stress go and
    just see the world, but I dont want to because I want make use of my
    talents and achieve something different.

    That’s why I stick to society as it is rather than do what you do,
    because society has advanced enough to provide a greater education and
    greater physical and mental challenge.

     The people who are caged are the lazy ones who dont go out and achieve
    their goals, whether they are people stuck in society or not, so stop
    refering to everyone with a job as a caged animal because most aren’t.  I
    don’t look down on your way of life, dont look down on mine cause it makes you no better than the snooty people of the high society.

  • Vilagutazo8

    Hi everybody,
    It is funny I found this page just a week after I started to plan my money free travelling.
    I completely agree with Barletttommy and also with you Jimmy and Tin micke-I do believe it is possible and also more important to travel without money and trust in yourself and others. Of course those people who give us a lift, food or a bed they paid for it and still paying for those things-but I to my opinion-if we wouldnt have cars and all those fancy things-but horses,and just farms and lot less-it would be also possible-you probably would have to walk lot more and travelling would be lot slower and you would have to learn about nature lot more-how to survive on your own for days-and that would be a bigger challenge to travel like that, but since MONEY is the world owner we cant travel like that-at least not everywhere-so we have to rely on people who are staying at one place-living their everyday lifes and not travelling. Once I will settle down I will do kinda the same-but if somebody will come to ask me if they can help me with something around the house-so they can get some food and a bed I wont say no-cause we all know-we all need an extra hand time to time-so its a great exchange for the both of us.And I think this is what Barletttommy was trying to explain-that we can travel for free-and it wont be unfair!!!!cause it wont be free-we will give our hand in exchange-but not money!so why is that wrong???-cause money owns you guys and not otherway around. Long time ago people were maybe not travelling these huge distances like us-but they had to also make looong ways to gain food and water-and maybe they could get it from the next village and in exchange they gave them what they had.there was no money but hard work to survive-and people relied on each other, trusted each other and main thing-loved each other-which this world doesnt know that much anymore-just some of us.Once we realized that all we need for life is to survive and be loved-that all what matters-of course if we can enjoy ourself by doing things we love-that helps a lot and makes life lot more enjoyable-and it is possible, and we have to see it is possible without moeny-if it was before it is now and it will be till we dont use all our sources from mother earth.

  • Vilagutazo8

    Hi everybody,
    It is funny I found this page just a week after I started to plan my money free travelling.
    I completely agree with Barletttommy and also with you Jimmy and Tin micke-I do believe it is possible and also more important to travel without money and trust in yourself and others. Of course those people who give us a lift, food or a bed they paid for it and still paying for those things-but to my opinion-if we wouldnt have cars and all those fancy things-but horses,and just farms and lot less-it would be also possible-you probably would have to walk lot more and travelling would be lot slower and you would have to learn about nature lot more-how to survive on your own for days-and that would be a bigger challenge to travel like that, but since MONEY is the world owner we cant travel like that-at least not everywhere-so we have to rely on people who are staying at one place-living their everyday lifes and not travelling. Once I will settle down I will do kinda the same-but if somebody will come to ask me if they can help me with something around the house-so they can get some food and a bed I wont say no-cause we all know-we all need an extra hand time to time-so its a great exchange for the both of us.And I think this is what Barletttommy was trying to explain-that we can travel for free-and it wont be unfair!!!!cause it wont be free-we will give our hand in exchange-but not money!so why is that wrong???-cause money owns you guys and not otherway around. Long time ago people were maybe not travelling these huge distances like us-but they had to also make looong ways to gain food and water-and maybe they could get it from the next village and in exchange they gave them what they had.there was no money but hard work to survive-and people relied on each other, trusted each other and main thing-loved each other-which this world doesnt know that much anymore-just some of us.Once we realized that all we need for life is to survive and be loved-that all what matters-of course if we can enjoy ourself by doing things we love-that helps a lot and makes life lot more enjoyable-and it is possible, and we have to see it is possible without moeny-if it was before , it is now and it will be till we dont use all our sources from mother earth.

  • Payhota

    I often dream of a life with no pressure. When I was growing up, I was terrified of leaving home. And indeed, until I was about 40 years old, I had always lived with my parents or a wife or some sort of institution. But, after I left for Mexico for my first job as an ESL teacher, I realized what I was missing. And to be sure, for me, it was difficult. I later took a job teaching in Taiwan. And it was then that I started to meet different people from all over the world. People who traveled everywhere. Slowly I began to assimilate their attitudes about travel. I began to see how easy it was to take care of myself with very little. I learned to wash my clothes in a bathroom sink in Mexico. And, I grew up. I realized that you could travel and meet many great people all over the world and be safe with people who were the same as me.

  • Geezer03

    me and my mate are planning on traveling next year cant wait to leave everything behind id love to do what you guys are talking about and work in exchange for food water shelter etc but you cant expect that and we are saving like mad to take as much as we can to enjoy our trip i want to see and do everything there is and experience the culture in everyplace but the sad thing is there are certain things that you just need money for for example if i want to experience a baseball game and i turn up to the new york yankees ticket office and say ill do a dance for a ticket what do you think they will say a combination of money and your own free will and spirit is whats needed i dont want to stay in the hilton or some 5 star resort chucking money around but i dont want to die of thirst in thailand because i dont 20 pence for a nice cold drink  

  • Nat

    Great article, thank you. I just wish the last few links – like the ‘Travel and Adventure Jobs’ one – were still functioning.

  • SWL

    Helps to be a airline employee….Round trip to Dubai, London, Australia cost about $15k to $17k a seat but I can do it for around $300 …what a great job.

    • Vilagutazo8

      :)I just resigned from my airline job-at Lufthansa-yes-we did get cheaper tickets-but the salary was miserable so you cant afford to much travelling either.
      Oh and its stand by so it happened to many of my colleagues, that they didnt get on the plane for days!!!so your holiday is f..  up :[ 
      So unless you are earning around 1500 euros pm and  you can save at least 1000 then it should be just a great and dream job-but when u earn 700-and u save only maybe 300 form it-hmm thats not so great-right?:)at least not for a long time.

  • Mohamed

    i plan to do an adventure like that around the world with the least money because i’m not rich … i’m going to graduate next year and after that i’m ready to start the adventure … i would love it if someone would join me but i don’t know how long it will take it could take months and years because it’s going to be slow … so if you are willing to do the risk and ready for the big adventure of the life you are very welcome to join me, because i can’t find somebody who is as crazy as i am, and who would be serious about it not just talk :D
    i am from Egypt

  • Amit Sonawane

    Great tips! I especially love #9 because it’s my favorite word in the dictionary and it really rings true with me.

  • Austin Groves

    Whom ever wrote this is a hippy waiting on the world to give you a handout that’s never going to come. You need and should have a job….hello how are you going to enjoy yourself being broke, or what about your retirement. And for you Bart you need to have a serious reality check.. we aren’t slaves because we don’t want to spend the rest of our lives being ignorant to the fact that you can’t get anywhere in life unless you get it for yourself..and the reason why this guy says “you don’t need a job” is probaly due to the fact that he can’t quit smoking pot long enough to pass a drug test. Ignore this guide and when you save up in due time you can travel where ever you want to go and have the money to buy what ever you want to buy. Being a 1st class mooch isn’t the way to go.. besides it’s a dog eat dog world and it’s few people that are actually willing to lend a helping hand and the people that do help are screwed over because they are wasting their time helping someone who hasn’t even considered to do for themselves.

    • Nicholas P Corey

      the world was given to us for free and it should remain that way I work and I do not like wasting the money I earned.  He never said be a mooch, what he said was to offer to give a helping hand and people will sometimes be kind enough to let you crash on their couch for a couple of days while you pass through.  If there are two main examples of websites where people will provide you a place to stay for some assistance dont you think maybe their are actually kind people out there instead of the miserable cynical people like you who thinks everything is lame and if you dont work constantly and take two weeks vacation a year then you are a hippy bum.  

  • Austin Groves

    This guy also contradicts himself. This is bogus and yeah no1 likes worrying about financial problems but that’s the world we live in so face it and quit complaining.

    • Nicholas P Corey

      we dont have to live in that world is the point he was making

  • Kayes

    You are the boss, i like your ideas but i think implementation of this idea is quite hard any way. I like to travel and i was finding in google for some travel group where i can join and travel around the world.

  • noelle drew

    Hey, I agree with you totally, and Iam a soon to be youthful,62 yr old woman!! but it probably helps that my mom, who is 88 and from France, was a gutsy woman, who after the war came to the states all by herself…at 20..and made her life and money here…I have found opertunity traveling, all one has to do is keep an open mind, and look for opportunity,and many times, people will open there homes to you…but you have to have some integrity,a good personality,and be able to read people a little…

  • noelle drew

    ps. I also want to mention,its laughable, that people think that they can control,the economy,and that somehow they will retire with enough money!! statistically, out of a hundred people something like 98 per cent will be taken care of by the state, and by family members, the rest will be millionaires, and then you dont have your youth…which we all know “Is wasted on the young” LOL…so I agree, do your homework,take a roll of toilet paper..learn a few words of the language,where you will be staying….like, “Good mornig’ how are you, and most importantly “THANKYOU” which you can hardly get here in the states…dont be that ugly american! pack lite, “good shoes” and a few pieces of good clothing,a hat…you know…copy your passport…when you go out,leave it somewhere safe…and do a search of where your going…is there unrest…keep in mind,some people are jealous of americans…hey I found that out in hollland in 97…they ragged on American are all fat, we hate your breakfasts, and your coffeee is weak….and dont forget to “SMILE” be real….no expensive jewlery….okay…now get lost,and explore.

    • Vilagutazo8

      well said Noelle!:) thank you for the cheering words!

    • Dupe39w

      Guys please do email me if you get a chance at I’m 18 and just graduated from high high school interested in meeting new people and seeing the world:)

  • jahanzaib


  • Savda

    i wanna have a holiday like this!!!!!!!!1

  • Yusuf Ayoade

    i want to travel out

  • Amiebelle2003

    If you want Vietnam, you can contact me. I can be your guider. Of course, free.:)
    I am living in Ho Chi Minh City.:)
    My email

  • Tammie

    I LOVE this! :) 

  • Simhac

    To Editor and followers,

    This article surely has started a lot of thinking for me. 

    This is one of the finest ones which I have come across and just the idea of travelling and doing what you have to do, makes you feel more confident and relaxed. May be one would not like it for long but consider a break and I can connect my feelings to this one directly. 

    Thanks for sharing, team and keep posting. 

  • sue

    what about money ?

  • Traveliving Lifestyle Blog

    Very informative post! The only thing I could add to the list of tips is voluntering. There are at least dozens of internaitonal organizations that will be happy to accept the help of anyone and, of course, to pay his flight as well as bed and meal. :) Here’s the list of the most popular (both Europeans and American):

  • Pardha Saradhi Uppala

    I loved this article, especially the discussion in comments section. Only free people know the beauty of freedom (from excessive desires).

  • Caleb Armah

    how does it work.

  • Daouda Koita

    My namme is Daouda koita and I’m student in the language center called IMOFOS in Mali mainly in BAMAKO.
    I want to move in other country in order to get a job this is my skillful ect…………

  • Dr-karim Elaraby

    what about visa fees?

    • Chia-Fan Liu

      If travel is our dream, why don’t we go for it.
      Safe Money on your vacation!! still using AGODA? Expedia?
      Try this one, Rovia-Dreamtrips!!! Cheaper a lot!!
      (Click “Shop for Travel” to start your booking!!!Become Preferred Member! FREE!)

      How about travel for free!!!!
      check this!

      or you can contact me by email:

    • Spring Wills

      go visa free counties .

    • Mohammad Haroon

      how i like you

  • Anonymous

    Could I travel to south america? , What will I doing?

    • Steven Kapp Kapitansky

      Hi PAula, I’m just looking into free travel and was wondering if u have any informaton or websites u can share with me

    • Chia-Fan Liu

      If travel is our dream, why don’t we go for it.
      Safe Money on your vacation!! still using AGODA? Expedia?
      Try this one, Rovia-Dreamtrips!!! Cheaper a lot!!
      (Click “Shop for Travel” to start your booking!!!Become Preferred Member! FREE!)

      How about travel for free!!!!
      check this!

      or you can contact me by email:

  • Lavosha Daniels

    To travel free seem next to impossible with today’s economy, but I know there are tons of resources that will enable you to vacation free, receive free gas and free food. To get these amazing resources you must do a little research. Well heres the the resource to the freebies that I found helpful….

  • Chad Falardeau

    How would you go about this while having colege depts? Would it be easier to wait and pay it off? I’m 23 now, by then I would be 25 or so..I intend to travel for atleast a year.. when I come back, no doubt I will have to get into the groove of society again.. The materialistic world stresses my free soul from happiness and I deeply feel that I will never be content with a 9 to 5 life until I see life itself.. Any suggestions? I would appreciate the feedback very much. To see the differences in life that make us all soo similar as what I truly want to see, feel and experience.. The “more to” in life.

    • Samm Evenson

      I love your response to this because I was literally just thinking all of that. lol

    • Chad Falardeau

      Thank you :) Still no luck on having this guy reply yet

    • Samm Evenson

      comment on the actual thread for this article, I don’t think he can see your post?:o
      but he’s been answering everyone else’s questions n.n

    • Julie Romero
    • Dan Arsnow

      Dear Chad,
      Wish I had seen this post sooner, but better late than never, I guess. I am 24 years old, a college graduate, and was a member of the 9-5 workforce (usually longer days, actually) for 2 years. Like yourself, I felt my soul was aching for the satisfaction that only travel and world exploration can give. So I quit my job and have been traveling for about 3 months now, in total spending about $5,000, including flights and train costs. I started out using a program called Workaway, working on a farm in Italy for a month, which afforded me not only the opportunity to work in one of the most beautiful places in the world, but also to travel around Italy all the while. Traveling by train using a Eurail pass has been an amazing way to visit Europe, as you can basically hop from train to train, almost anytime you want, often without stopping by a ticket booth or having to deal with language barriers. Couchsurfing has indeed been a fantastic way for me to travel on a budget, and also a great way to see cities from a different perspective, the kind you can only find living with a local and not in any travel guide book. Use or when Couchsurfing doesn’t work out. Do your best to stock up on food from supermarkets rather than eating out every day. Most cities also offer free tours if you want a dose of history and culture, you can easily find them by searching online. I have done my best to balance the tourist traps with the less known sights, let me know if you are interested in that and I could offer some more insight. I am living in Ireland now on another Workaway adventure, living completely for free and without a care in the world. As far as travelling for a full year goes, that gets a bit more complicated in terms of visas, but that’s something you would have to figure out. Give me a shout if you want any more information.


    • Julie Romero
    • Julie Romero
    • Chia-Fan Liu

      If travel is our dream, why don’t we go for it.
      Safe Money on your vacation!! still using AGODA? Expedia?
      Try this one, Rovia-Dreamtrips!!! Cheaper a lot!!
      (Click “Shop for Travel” to start your booking!!!Become Preferred Member! FREE!)

      How about travel for free!!!!
      check this!

      or you can contact me by email:

    • Joe McMaster


    • Michael Scott

      dude fuck those student loans call for a forb. and once that one runs out ask for another. its easy just call your loaner and ask they cant deny you. eventually after you do it for a couple of years thanks to obama they will offer you loan forgiveness and they will tell you that you never have to pay it back. or if your lazy you can tell them to get fucked cause seriously once you start traveling you can survive better and happier than with a job and AT THIS POINT CREDIT BECOMES A MYTH.

  • Howard Vanover

    Great article. People need to get away during these troubling times. Traveling and Vacations can be expensive and the vacationer needs all the breaks they can get. I came across a discount club that saves the traveler quite a bit. This is a club and not a time share. Can be view at

    • Steven Kapp Kapitansky

      Thanks for ur link. I am more interested in finding out ways of no or very little money for traveling. Not as a vacation but for the sake of exploring

    • Chia-Fan Liu

      If travel is our dream, why don’t we go for it.
      Safe Money on your vacation!! still using AGODA? Expedia?
      Try this one, Rovia-Dreamtrips!!! Cheaper a lot!!
      (Click “Shop for Travel” to start your booking!!!Become Preferred Member! FREE!)

      How about travel for free!!!!
      check this!

      or you can contact me by email:

  • Emil Norberg

    Cool article.
    Personally though, I wouldn’t want to say “I might get to eat today, I might not”..
    If you just save one months salary, you’ll have plenty of money for food and cheaper places to say.
    The world is not free anymore and people are starving and freezing to death every day.

    I did like the article though, and I love idealists. If you can manage to pull this off, you are very skilled!

  • Ian Eugene Yun


    big plans

  • Steven Kapp Kapitansky

    2 yrs ago, I got in my car and drove 10,240 miles in 51 days around the US. I had a fantastic time and felt free. I’ve had an itch to travel for no or very little money out of the US. I’d love to do this with someone as well to share the experience. Any suggestions to help make this dream become reality.

    • Donna Bryan

      can we go in a winabago

    • Steven Kapp Kapitansky

      Sounds like a plan sweetie.

    • Steven Kapp Kapitansky

      How did u find me here.

    • Mark Cohen

      200 a day thats not to bad

    • Donna Bryan

      it showed up on fb hahahha

    • Chia-Fan Liu

      If travel is our dream, why don’t we go for it.
      Safe Money on your vacation!! still using AGODA? Expedia?
      Try this one, Rovia-Dreamtrips!!! Cheaper a lot!!
      (Click “Shop for Travel” to start your booking!!!Become Preferred Member! FREE!)

      How about travel for free!!!!
      check this!

      or you can contact me by email:

    • Elina Oliferovskiy


    • Carole Legault

      the cost of traveling in a winnibago is outrageous. Propane, paying for commodoties such as power, water. that is not cheap.

    • Mohammad Haroon

      Donna Bryan hi i like you

  • Xepher Celesta

    Is there away to help me. I need to get to M.O. and soon, my daughter is sick and she needs her father. Can anyone help me?

  • Vagelis Deliandreadis

    10. Install Google Earth on your computer.

  • Nick Miner

    this is amazing people call me crazy all the time bc of this type of thinking I’m glad their are kindred minds and souls out there. I’m personally trying to get out of city society but I’m having a hard time figuring out where to start. I’m in michigan does anybody have any tips for me to get my freedom journey started. thanks in advance.

    • Jeremy Owens

      thIs a joke. Sounds like being homeless to me? redo a old sailboat, What, LOL. yeah OK.

    • Nick Miner

      its being nomadic not homeless like in joe dirt “home is where you make it”

    • Ashley Wilson

      Sounds cool to me… But I can’t see me doing it with children

    • Chia-Fan Liu

      If travel is our dream, why don’t we go for it.
      Safe Money on your vacation!! still using AGODA? Expedia?
      Try this one, Rovia-Dreamtrips!!! Cheaper a lot!!
      (Click “Shop for Travel” to start your booking!!!Become Preferred Member! FREE!)

      How about travel for free!!!!
      check this!

      or you can contact me by email:

    • Minela Kuzelj

      Same here. When I tell people about these things they look at me like I’m not from this planet. It would be so cool to get together with likeminded people and travel together

  • Token Blackguy


  • Dolakh Thapa

    Welcome to Mountain Mart Treks and Expedition.

    Namaste! We bid you a warm welcome to our official website!

    Mountain Mart Treks (MMT) is an independent ultimate outdoor adventure team, based In Nepal. We explore the unspoilt flora, fauna and landscapes of and around the towering Himalayas – as well as the treasures of myth and legend of Nepal, Tibet, India and Bhutan.
    if you any planing to come in Nepal for holyday please contacts us.

    MMT offers numerous alternative solutions for adventure, fun, research and eco tourism in these South Asian countries. Each trek or expedition can be adjusted to meet your needs. Our fully qualified and certified staffs bring many years of experience and enthusiasm to their work and are well placed to offer ‘your journey of a lifetime.’ Treks can be designed to match different fitness levels and requirements. Group sizes are kept small, for your greater enjoyment, and may range from one to ten persons. We offer a one-stop solution to your full range of travel requirements… read more

  • Dolakh Thapa

    Why select Mountain Mart Treks to be your travel partner?

    MMT is a Nepal-based local travel company specializing in nature, culture, adventure and research. Our management as well as all guides and other employees have hands on experience on the in trekking, managing base camp services, climbing and mountaineering services, guiding, organizing and managing individual and group trekking and expeditions. Our more than two decades of mountain experiences, whatever be your goal and whatever your condition, make it happen. We assure our customers of a high quality services, ultimate satisfaction, security and safety. We never stop exploring new unspoilt destinations and pioneering new routes.

    Honesty and simplicity are vital slogans of MMT. Our fully equipped and insured guides and Sherpas will never tire to make your holiday one of your most memorable, remarkable and valuable experiences.

  • Rajasthan Tour

    Its a nicely written content, a nice work done here. I like it very much a great piece of information is also given here. And also requesting to post some content who are not regular traveller as me. As a tourist I have only experience of Jaipur.

  • Spring Wills

    I just came back , hitch hiked 4 month 1 week. cross the US and by the way mexico and Canada. did not cost anything. I played music on street to make money for food.

    • Johanna Martinez

      I so happy for you! You made it home safe and sound! Blessing to you and your family!

    • Spring Wills

      thank you so much Johanna for your ride. that was so nice meeting you on my trip. your kinds are very beautiful. you are blessed!

    • Mathieu Boumal

      How much were you able to earn busking on the streets ?

    • Spring Wills

      i made $1470 . except spending.i can affort food. but i can not pay motel. so i slept outside 4 times. its ok to sleep out side. before i was afraid . now fear not!

    • Spring Wills

      i am going to hitch hike boat to cross ocean to europe next year.
      i am looking for work on boat for exchange.

    • Vlad Alex

      i wanted to go to the dominica you got any tips on how to get there

    • Carole Legault

      Hitchicking can be a matter of life and death. Would a woman in her 50′s or any age really want to risk that? Traveling for free at the cost of one’s life is not cheap or free. Big price to pay.

    • Steph Sierra

      youre pretty brave, thats admirable.

    • Danie Lakey

      Johanna Martinez that is SO SWEET OF YOU :) you just made my day! giving a stranger a ride somewhere…. good for you!

    • Jeca Amphigouri

      Hitchhiking is only a matter of life and death if you don’t have the sense to stay out of creepy people’s cars.

  • Joe McMaster

    sooooo what if I want to go to another country and realllly experience different cultures instead of the same old boring USA crap? if I do chores for a friendly boatowner will he sail me across the sea?

  • Jennifer Burrhus

    This sounds like so much fun… too bad I have 2 cats and a service dog depending on me! That… and a fiance who prefers the finer things in life. lol.

    • Minela Kuzelj

      Omg, same here. 2 dogs and no reliable place to leave them while I travel. To be honest, I would love to travel with them.

  • Ibrahim Blue

    I’m from Egypt and travel a big problem and needs to be huge sums just to get out fromEgypt and for a long time up Elly three months to get a visa only Mdama I do?

  • Andrew Jones

    I’m travelling around the UK so far, Came from Warrington, to Kent, back to warrington now in Peterborough and going Devon on the 9th, then I’m hopefully going france by march next year and then travelling the world! Walking of course! haha!

  • Spring Wills

    please check my ebook : Love On the Road. welcome to write book review.

  • Amanda Keel

    I’d love to up and go traveling whenever I felt like, but in today’s world, I feel as a woman, it’s not as easy for me to stick out my thumb and hitchhike all over without worrying about winding up in a meat locker or something. :c

  • Alyssa

    I like it

  • Alyssa

    thanks Tim, I needed to be inspired today.

  • Sheldon

    Anyone in Norfolk, Va looking to see the world I am about to hitch hick atw & would like a hitching budd yet its not a necessity. if so send me a email & we can have a chat. Or even if you would like to give me some advise to contribute to my cause don’t be shy to share some love names’te

  • Harry A.


    anyone looking for a travel buddy? Hit me up at 201 687 4645 :)

  • Squiby

    It’s 2013 and I just finished reading this article in both Spanish and English. Felt goosebumps all over! The spark has just started and now I can’t wait for the new days to come, I crave for adventure. Thanks T.P.

  • Bea Arthur

    This article is linked from CNN Travel. I wonder if they bothered to read it first. There is no real information here. Zero. And wrapping it up with a quote from Vonnegut?! Seriously??

  • ashleycrossman

    Love this article Tahnks so much so full of info I should know but didn’t Thanks from one new wanna be travel blogger on a must be free or pay me budget!
    #fabnewsblog #greengirlstyle

  • lan pham

    you go to Vietnam…

  • Pheonix Monet

    This is nice. Even though as a woman I wonder is it safer for the female counterpart to travel about like this. I was looking up free travel for girls and the one thing that came up was “companion” travel. -.-…

    Not what I was hoping for. However this article speaks to me. It gives me an idea.

  • reyhan xavier

    i want to leave.. and go away.. from my country.. indonesia.. but i don’t know how can i do that.. please help me.. :(

  • ThePowerOfTEA

    I want to travel, I have a deep desire for a more minimalist existence while being able to explore creation, meet new people and expand my knowledge of the world around me. The only thing holding me back is I have no friends or family willing or able to join me in this journey and I cannot (or mentally will not) do it solo. I need the helping hand, the power of two or three to overcome what I cannot do alone.
    The fear of traveling the world alone is all that keeps me pinned in a dead end world of technology and material obsessed individuals. I would love to marry a woman who has the same desire as me but that seems near impossible, I would love to have friends who would leave this lifestyle behind and adopt the nomadic, explorer lifestyle but the materialism of this world has shackled everyone I know…to the point that they don’t think they could survive without their iPhones or Laptops.

    • melomakarona

      The Power of Tea :)

      The hardest part is that first step…but once you take it – there’s no going back.

      Start out solo, but if you choose to you won’t be lonely.

      All the best to you!

    • Kristy

      The hardest part of traveling solo is overcoming the initial jump. As a single woman I was scared to death to travel alone but it was either do it or never get to see the places I’ve always wanted to see. It is more than possible to travel solo and why give up on your dreams because no one else shares them with you. My tip is to start small. Start taking short solo roadtrips near your home and gradually add longer trips. Guarantee once you get out there and start traveling, you will be hooked and see that it’s not as scary as you think it is. What I found is that you are never really alone. There are always new people to meet if you just be friendly and open to others.

  • ray Nic

    Hi guys and girls, somethings to consider. One, the author is not necessarily saying to make this a lifestyle for the rest of your life, which I hope he isn’t advocating( I mean he’s working and making money by writing this article, right, he’s actually contributing toward something or being part of a system and collecting greenbacks in return and paying taxes.(Which is actually a good way to support a travelling life style is by writing about it.) I believe as the article states, ‘traveliing’ for free or cheaply is what’s implied. Also, he suggests barting your skills for lodging, food, water and transportation.. Which again is not free, but a transaction of ‘sweat equity’. Actually this is all kind of good again as a temporary thing and then next year you can host for some else, while your working.
    As a young man of 17, I had similar ideas of breaking free of the Nowhereville, USA that I grew up in, surburbia. What I did was join the US Navy, I sailed 1/2 way around the world, learn a trade that I could use any where in the world, did some growing up, learned alot about my self and some other cultures and religions. At the time that was ‘my’ way of breaking free.
    At some point you need to pay your own way and possible for others to, like your children if you get your girl friend pregnant. So dont think you can dodge eventually being ‘a part of society’, but that doesnt mean you have to do it according to set a formula and in the current western cookie cutting way.
    If do go vagabond travelling, be kind, give more than you receive, be kind, dont be a bum, be kind, always have a book to read, philosophy and or religion are excellent topics, and learn to practice meditation. And this isnt a bad idea to do this after you get a college degree, as this point your a little wiser and a little more disciplined.
    When do ‘settle down’, you can live a Zen live style and you dont need to be a heavy consumer. You dont NEED a $500.00 smart phone, custom rims on the car you drive, the biggest house on the block or the latest fad in clothing or tatoo’s.
    Again, read and learn, many wise people have walked this earth long before you got here, seek them out.

  • josh wilkinson

    im from the uk i take it most of you are from america but wouldnt you need visas and stuff to go traveling ?

  • Spring Wills

    i did another trip in 3 and half months , traveled
    15 countries by hitchhiking and play music to support my trip. people are very good. God is graceful God!

  • Avatar_Addictt

    Two points:

    1) Visa ?
    2) Plane flights?

    please help i would love to travel for the rest of my days when i get out of high school but i want to form some type of plan, please and thank you :)

  • Scouser

    yeah ok, the best things in life arent things, they are experiences and memories, we all get tied up in the materialist world and we are all guilty of it, either if its buying a designer clothes or wanting to upgrade our car and house. Lifes all about being happy and making others happy, thats my religion PEACE

  • haaaa

    Bull fucking shit

  • Sparhafoc

    While I agree with much of the underlying philosophy behind this diatribe, the article has very little to do with the title “How to travel the world for free (seriously)”.

    The only actual specifics on how to travel for free presented is number 5 – which seems to boil down to ‘get other people to pay for you’. Worse, these other people are complete strangers. Personally, i don’t consider this to be ‘travelling for free’ – it’s more like being an international bum. It also seems to be more mystically naive than of practical use – breakfast? lunch? water/coffee? travel? electricity? etc. all still need to be paid for, so it’s not ‘free (seriously)’.

    The article is basically a message of thrift – humanity definitely needs to learn this ethic and quickly to cut down our excessively conspicuous consumption and root it entirely out of our cultures. We don’t need more stuff to live more valuable lives and flourish. Learn, love, and aspire to achieve something that betters the lives of those around you. Money’s just a means to an end.

  • Kirsten

    I love what you have to say! I moved to the UK from Canada for a job that travels several times a year into Europe. But when I’m not working, I like to explore the UK country side. Castles are free to see. History of battle fields, music legends, and so much more are just outside my door. It’s about embracing where you are. Even in Canada you don’t have to go far to find some amazing travel experiences.

    Me and few friends last summer found cheap bus/train tickets up to Loc Ness and backpacked around the lake for a few days, went wilderness camping (free) and enjoyed the culture, wilderness and life of northern Scotland for less than $30. But the experience was priceless.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom. I hope those who travel often will take a few pointers from this article. As a well travelled individual, what you have to say resinates so closely to the truth.

  • Cameron Goldenberg

    I was born for this, I have had this “fernweh” crave my whole life. I’m only 16 and my parent are successful hard working people, they want me to be like them and say stuff like this is silly and childish, but I refuse to let myself end up in a cubical or doctors office for the rest of my life. I make my own future. I just don’t know how to put it to them that i want to live free. Any good ideas on how to break it to them?

  • worldtraveler

    Hello to everyone out there, what I would like to know now is: did anyone who was involved in that conversation go anywhere with anyone????? I am really curious to know. I will go in a few years when my kids are away from home….so…please let me know

  • Wes Auch

    I’m am a Canadian Male, my name is Wes, I’m 29 years old. I have done very little traveling, and really want to go overseas, but I’m willing to go anywhere. I am looking for a travel buddy to at least start my journey with. I have a couple bucks saved up to get the ball rolling and for emergencies. The other main belonging I have is my laptop, it helps connect with other travellers and for safe places to stay and eat. I’m am ready to go anytime, if I get a response. I live in Edmonton Alberta, but am currently in a township called Eastman, its about and hour and a half (by car) from Montreal. I have done a little hitch hiking, and travelled a bit throughout Canada. Otherwise I’m really new to travelling. I am laid back and never in a rush. I have worked as an electrician for many years, which might come in handy for bartering lodging and food. I would love someone who has already had experience travelling to take me under there wing and show me the ropes, so to say. But I would be just as happy with a new traveller, like me, to at least start my journey with. if anyone is interested my Email is

  • Al Allington

    I just read the book “How to travel the world for free” (Mike Wigge) and its an insult and embarrassment to the budget traveler. Its really a book about a very capable man begging food, rooms and rides from some of the most poor people in this world. Rather then learning and enjoying the cultures he exploits their kindness and generosity while patting himself on the back for traveling with no money. He is nothing but a wealthy man begging from the poor. He owes all those poor working people royalties from his book, films and TV engagements.

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