Have you decided not to go on a vacation this year because you are either saving your money or you just can’t afford it? Well you might still be able to travel this year without spending a fortune or maybe even get paid to do it. How does that sound? It’s for real! Let me explain more…
There are a number of ways that you can go about this, from volunteering, teaching, working or by organizing a group of travelers, just a little effort can go a long way to getting yourself traveling abroad without breaking the bank.
There are organizations around the world that are looking for you to come to them and help their organization out. In return, they will provide accommodations, food and sometimes even travel expenses. Here are a few examples:
Do you speak English? If you do, your in luck! There is an organization called Diverbo that will send you to Spain or Germany to help locals there practice their English skills. They even prefer if you don’t already speak German or Spanish before you travel. If your like me, my German and Spanish is not fluent.
Now if you are looking for a laid back beach vacation, this is not it. You will be working daily along side the locals in places like Munich, Madrid and Frankfurt however it’s still fun because there are parties to attend in the evenings where you get to meet new people and dine in their food and culture.
If your a teen, they even have a program for you as well to sign up to. As they say on their site, how would you like to have a fun holiday in Spain, meeting other teenagers all over the world and without your parents lurking around? Sounds like a parent nightmare, but for the teens its sounds like a blast!
Here are a couple more companies that can help you travel and teach English:
- TEFL – Founded in 1997, they represent over 21,000 employers that will hire you to teach English around the world for a set period of time.
- ESL Cafe – Post your resume to see if you qualify for one of the teaching positions located around the globe.
The word volunteering dates back to the mid 1700’sand so as it goes, this is not a new concept. However in today’s world it could mean opening your horizons to new cultures, people and ways of life and you may get to travel for free or very low cost.
Here are a few organizations that you can join where with a little bit of volunteering, you get things like food and accommodations included. It’s the new sharing economy.
- Workaway – This is a cultural exchange program where hosts around the world welcome you into their homes and villages to volunteer a few hours a day that could last a few days or even months.
- Helpx – This is a lower budget web site that was started back in 2001 by Rob Prince of England. This site helps hosts and helpers to connect together to volunteer and be rewarded with housing and food for their efforts. The cultural experience that follows is priceless.
- AdventureWork – This site lists opportunities around the world that are either short term or long term in nature. Most of the opportunities are close to adventure related activities like skiing, wind surfing or other outdoor instruction.
- WWOOF – This organization was formed in 1971 with the goal to unite organic farmers with people through out the world who would like to volunteer and help sow seeds, make cheese or gathering herbs. In return accommodations and food is on the house. Gather with people from around the world, experience the culture and learn something new.
Do you want to work with Husky sled dogs and give tours in Norway? How about operate a working horse farm at a horse farm in Sweden? How about doing some gardening in southern Italy? These are all legit volunteering opportunities that you can participate in and all accommodations and food are provided.
Host a Trip for Students
Are you a teacher? This one could be for you! There are a number of companies that have popped up that will help you as a teacher organize a trip for students and the best thing is that you as the teacher gets to go for free! Here are some companies to consider:
- Educational Tours – This company started in 1965 with a goal to immerse children in the cultures through out the world and to build authentic connections through real experiences. This is their core educational philosophy and you can be a part of it. This isn’t just about getting a free trip, it’s also about inspiring a next generation of students through education that you just can’t learn in a book.
- Explorica – Founded in 2000, they have helped more than 400,000 students and teachers create incredible educational tours.
- CHA Educational Tours – Also known as Cultural Heritage Alliance was founded in 1969. You can travel for free by enrolling just 6 students to travel with you.
Host a Trip for Others
If your not a teacher and just educating others while on vacation isn’t your thing, you can try organizing a vacation for others and get your trip for free.
There are many travel companies that will cover the cost of your trip if you recruit a certain numbers of travelers to take the same trip you are embarking on.
Here are a few companies that have run these type of trips in the past:
- YMT Vacations – Become a group leader and get free airfare, free cash and get your entire trip free. If you organize a group over 22, you even get 2 free trips, so the sky is the limit here for free travel.
- Grand Circle Cruise Line – Want to go on a cruise? This company will give you a free trip if you recruit 8 people to go with you.
- All Aboard Travel – Here is another company that will give you a free trip if you recruit some friends or family to go with you.
- Merit Group Travel – This company will create a trip customized to your group. The best part, if you get enough recruits, your trip is free!
Nursing Free Travel Opportunities
If you are a nurse and looking for a change of scenery, then this might be your chance. Over 100,000 nurses participate in this program and you could be a part of it too!
TravelNursing.org is an organization that partners with top nursing companies through out the world to connect nurses with opportunities around the world. Not only do you get to travel and see new places, you also get paid with benefits (401k, time off, bonuses, insurance benefits and more).
This isn’t just a chance to travel, it could be a career move for you long term.
Be a House Sitter
People from around the world are looking to get away on business and personal travel and need someone to watch their house, water their flowers and take care of their pets. This can be expensive depending on where you live or they can just offer their place to stay for free in exchange for doing this for them. A win win situation, especially if they happen to live in a place where you are looking to travel in the first place.
Here are a couple companies to start with if this is intriguing to you:
- Trusted House Sitters – This organization caters to pet owners who are looking to get away but want their pet cared for by someone that they can trust to leave their pet with. You then live in their place for that period of time and all you need to do is take care of their pet while they are away.
- House Carers – This organization is more general and you may just need to house sit depending on needs.
This is a great way to take a vacation and get your accommodations for free.
Explore Your Heritage
Did you know that there are home country organizations around the world that want you to come back to your home country to explore your roots? Seriously it’s true!
Here is a list of organizations and countries that participate:
- Hungary – The Hungary Birthright Program provides scholarships to take these trips for people ages 18 – 28 years of age to explore the history and traditions of Hungary.
- Greece – The Heritage Greece Program is a 2 week cultural and heritage immersion odyssey as they call it for college students. Be sure to sign up early because it fills up quickly.
- Armenia – The Birthright Armenia Program provides host families, travel reimbursements, excursions and more for students to travel to the country.
- Taiwan and China – Offering over 60 programs, the Love Boat Study Tour offers students, youth and adults an opportunity to travel and learn the heritage of Asia.
- Israel – The Birthright Israel program offers a free trip to Israel for the taking. Sign up early, the sessions go quickly.
So there you have it, 23 ways you can travel for free this year. Don’t take my word for it, start contacting some of these organizations that line up with your interests and go for it.