Everyone should be able to travel. We don’t all have budgets for an around-the-world ticket, or 4 months in Japan, but if you’re willing to sacrifice immediacy, you can still experience great adventures. I’m defining this category as approximately $500 for an epic travel adventure. This is loosely based around the amount of savings a low-income couple (real circumstances) can accumulate over a 6 month period.
All you need is time, and if you’re not making any of that, that’s really nobody’s problem but your own.
The internet caters beautifully to this idea, providing us with avenues to connect with our peers, share knowledge and rooms, cars and workspaces. We live in an incredible time for affordable anything really, it just comes down to us taking advantage of the tools we are given.
Below I’ve outlined some of my personal go-to services for affordable accommodation and transportation.
• Secret Flying can find you a $200 ticket out of the country (almost any country).
• With HitchPlanet, you can get across the country (Canada or USA) for around $200. If you’re new to the world of ridesharing, be sure to check out RideShare for Beginners.
• BusBud is a great way to find the cheapest possible bus fares on any given route. You can occasionally catch some crazy deals on there for getting around Canada or the USA.
• HipCamp offers unique campsites on ranches, gardens, peoples wood lots, etc, all for a small nightly fee.
• HostelWorld allows you to connect with hostels everywhere, and search based on location and availablity for nightly or weekly dormatory bed rentals.
• Purple Tent is a pretty cool idea. Rent a tent in somebody’s backyard for a small nightly fee. They’ll even send you a free tent if you’re willing to host travellers.
Now, anyone truly can travel, regardless of budget. All you need is time, and if you’re not making any of that, it’s really nobody’s problem but your own.
This category requires a few more sacrifices, but if you want to travel, and you can find the time, you really can do it for free. A clear schedule helps a ton when it comes to taking advantage of free travel opportunities, but you’ll always have to be flexible when it comes to travel.
These are some of GoHobo’s top choices for free travel, so dig in and enjoy. Be sure to let us know if you end up using any of these services, we would love to hear about your experiences!
• TransferCar or HitTheRoad.ca will even pay you to drive yourself across the country.
• RV Relocations can be one of the best (although hard to find) means of getting around a land mass. If you can get yourself one, they often include daily road allowances and all your camping and sleeping gear.
• If you’re on your own, Couchsurfing will get you a free couch to crash on.
• HouseCarers can find you a place to stay for up to 6 months almost anywhere in the world, for the mere price* of dogsitting a family pet, or maintaining the residence at an automated bed and breakfast somewhere in the jungles of Costa Rica.
• Staydu offers rooms for rent around the world for a small labour exchange, and often for free.
You can volunteer your time, and have your room and board covered for as long as you want to stay and work.
I’ve had the chance to try out similar programs both in Mexico and Australia and had spectacular experiences in both places. Some truly life-long memories were born out of these adventures. If communal living, farming and free travel sound good to you, consider this your new currency.
• Projects Abroad offers some pretty interesting programs and initiatives for volunteers. They have a global network of organizations offering internships and volunteer opportunities on almost every continent.
• World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms offers a straight-up work exchange program. You get the chance to work and learn on an organic farm, anywhere in the world, in exchange for food and accommodation.
• WorkAway is a grassroots program, offering budget travellers opportunities to connect and work (in exchange for food and accommodation) for local communities all over the world.
• HelpStay offers accommodation and hospitality on ranches or farms, hostels and more, in exchange for all sorts of skills.
Cheap travel vacations are a great way to enjoy a week or two of relaxing in the sun, ordering all your meals from a menu, all day casual cocktails or playing water polo, all while you take some time away from whatever it is that you need time from. Who doesn’t love cheap travel?
These packages work well as a home base to explore another country. Some people fly in, stay at the resort for a night, and hop on a bus, exploring the countryside for several days, before making their way back to the resort. This is a great way to catch a last minute getaway, and interact with the local culture as well - which is by far, one of the most valuable assets when travelling.
Here are a few of the usual suspects when it comes to cheap travel:
Hotwire has some reasonable deals when it comes to hotels, and vacation packages.
If you can fly out of Canada, Trip Central offers last minute deals for as little as $350 for a week on a sunny beach.
Expedia Last Minute is a trusty dealer of cheap travel; cars, hotels, flights and package deals.
GoHobo is always happy to share or talk about resources and experiences with the community. We strive to be the number one destination for all things alternative travel and are massive adventure enthusiasts. Adventure for regular people.
If you think we missed something or have anything to add, feel free to email us at email@example.com or hit us up on Twitter.