Forget credit card rewards points, teaching English, entering contests or being a tour guide to travel for free. Here are seven options to travel on someone else’s dime from MyBankTracker.com, a financial comparison site helping consumers make smarter banking decisions.
House swap - there are a bunch of websites that allow you to swap homes with someone else. The sites may require a registration fee to advertise your home, but if you get to spend a summer in Italy, who’s complaining?
Become a WWOOFer - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms gives you the chance to volunteer on a farm in exchange for food, accommodation and learning opportunities. Among the places available are Australia’s Kangaroo Island and Northern Thailand.
Exchange and accommodation programs - sites like GlobalFreeloaders or BeWelcome provide cultural exchange, free accommodation and an “inside” perspective on where you’re staying. Participants can choose the level and amount they want to interact with their guests, so anything from serving a home-cooked meal to a tour of the area might be offered.
Apply for scholarships or fellowships - recent college grads can apply for a Marshall Scholarship. Students, scholars and journalists can apply to receive a Fulbright fellowship. These cover many travel costs while you gain scholastic or professional development.
Volunteer or apply for an exchange program - travel shouldn’t be your primary motivation for volunteering, but if you’re interested in giving time to a worthwhile cause, some organizations fund service trips abroad. Websites like Idealist or Workaway have several volunteer options listed online. Others like the Lions Club or Rotary Club may support community service work with a grant or offer cultural exchanges.
Crowd fund a passion project - maybe you have a passion project that would benefit locals in a developing nation or want to volunteer to help people but can’t afford the travel costs. If you need to raise funds, try using a crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo.
Get creative: freelance or barter - if you have good bartering skills maybe you can pick up part-time or casual work in exchange for accommodation or to make a quick buck. Perhaps you can carpool across a country or you can sell your work or freelance in exchange for accommodation or free travel.
Bonus Tip: Consider switching to an online bank before traveling abroad - they tend to charge fewer fees than traditional banks and many don’t charge any fees when you use partner ATMs for cash.
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