“I wish I had the luxuries of going places like _____ does.”
“It’s just too expensive.”
“I don’t have the time for that.”
Here’s the truth: Anyone can travel! Yes really, you did read that right. Now, before you light your torches and throw your pitchforks my way- angry about my blinding privilege & ableism- just hear me out.
Traveling is not always filling up at the pump and joyously driving off into the sunset. It’s not always grabbing an adorable suitcase and calling an Uber to drive you to the nearest airport. Traveling is not always going to be something that is picture perfect, or in this age- ‘instagrammable’ (why yes, I did just make that up). If you’re just wanting to travel for the pictures, this isn’t for you, and you really do need a lot of money and time for what you want. But if you want to travel for the experiences? Read on.
Sometimes traveling means you cut off your cable & wifi, move in with a roommate, downgrade your vehicle, or eat out less to save money to afford to go out.
Sometimes traveling means you quit your job for something that gives you more time managing freedom. Maybe you become a freelance artist, or a writer, or you quit your 9-5 to do odd jobs instead.
Sometimes traveling means an uncomfortable combination of the two.
• work for a company that demands you travel a lot, and pays you to do so
• couch surf (more on that later!)
• swap houses
• get creative with your traveling methods
Jobs that Pay You to Travel
- Become an athletic recruiter. You travel & search the nation for the next professional athlete.
- Become a Peace Corps Volunteer. Don’t let the ‘volunteer’ fool you- you do get paid for this. You’ll work to help benefit different locations across the globe in different ways, from agricultural development, to education, to economics and more. You get room and board, and assignments last two years.
- Drive for a trucking company. This is how my husband and I are getting to travel 24/7! Here’s what it’s like. The company typically pays for your training if you agree to drive for them for a year. After 70 hours (about a week of driving) all drivers are required by law to take a 34 hour restart- meaning wherever you run out of hours, you get to explore, every week, for as long as you’re a professional driver.
- Work an online job or freelance. I do this, and it’s a great opportunity. Check out IZEA, Upwork, and Fiverr (I’ll probably do a more post on this later!) Wherever there is free wifi, there is a job. If you can minimize how much you own, you can travel as much as you’d like, for relatively cheap.
- Become an au pair if you’re bilingual. You pair up with a family who will be living internationally (in a region where your second language is most used), and assist their children with the transition by helping them with their schoolwork, and by babysitting them. The family typically pays for your room and board, as well as a small salary for you to eat off of.
- Work on a cruise ship. Simple enough, you may not even need a high school diploma to be accepted to be a clerk, serve food, or clean cruise ship cabins.
Wanna couch surf?
This one is fun. Check out Couch Surfing This site lets you find people who are willing to share their couch (and sometimes refrigerator) for free. The catch? You can just stay one to three nights as a courtesy to the host. This is a really awesome opportunity though, because it lets you travel and make friends from all over the world. Your host, in exchange for keeping you for a few days, gets a new friend, and gets to hear your awesome travel stories. Some charge, but most do not.
What if your stay was absolutely free? All you had to cover was your food and gas/airfare? That’s a reality with AirBnB! If you’re comfortable opening up your home to other travelers while you’re gone- you can save a bundle. With AirBnB, you can rent your house out for your stay, and then live in someone else’s home, rather than a hotel. For more information, check out the AirBnB website.
Wanna get creative?
Just up & leave! Some people panhandle, but just today I saw a traveling man and his wife willing to shine shoes for cheap outside a gas station (check out this great resource for finding the best truck stops with the most rewards). They walk and hitchhike wherever they go, and get to interact with lots of people across their travels. They eat and shower at truck stops like truck drivers, and they walk/hitchhike to their destinations. They may look homeless but they’re doing what they love and seeing the world on a shoestring budget.
Now do you want the ultimate traveling experience?
Check out World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). I found out about this AMAZING organization while in Poland (check out my trip by clicking this link) on a bee farm. The gorgeous farm is a participant in WWOOF, and had 3 travelers at the time of my visit. They had couch surfed their way across Europe to the farm. So what is this WWOOF organization? It’s the ultimate way to travel! You typically couch surf from your home, to the nearest WWOOF participating farm. When you arrive, you’re greeted by the farm’s owner with open arms and tools in hand. You work on this organic farm in exchange for a place to sleep and eat. The farm I stayed at had you feeding cattle, checking on beehives, maintaining gardens, milking goats, and cooking for yourself, the family who owns the farm, and the other travelers. Usually when you stay it’s for a few months at minimum, because you usually have to be taught how to live and work on the farm. These farms can be strictly plants only, or just raise animals. Some have horses, some have beehives, and some of them are a combination of everything. No prior farm experience is needed. Hosts get cheap labor, and travelers get wonderful experiences, and lots of farm knowledge for next to nothing. Wanna know more? Check out WWOOF for more information. I truly recommend this to anyone who even remotely likes the outdoors and traveling.
I think this has sufficiently covered the many methods that can be used for traveling. Do you have anything to add to the list? Comment below! If you liked this article, please share it to your friends who have been bitten by the travel bug! As always, thank you for reading!