How to travel with no money

22nd December 2018by Joanna White

When asked what the one thing that was preventing them from travelling, almost everyone said it was because they had no money, or very little money to be able to afford to travel.

Realistically speaking, you probably couldn’t travel the world with literally no money at all; travel doesn’t come cheap and there are many unexpected expenses that you can incur along the way.

However, you certainly don’t need to be rich in order to travel the world; there are so many ways to explore everything the world has to offer at incredibly low costs, and often even for free.

This guide will show you how to travel with no money; don’t let money hold you back from achieving your dream of travel!

How to travel cheaply

This post has been split into two main sections; how to travel cheaply and how to travel for free. The two may sound similar but there’s actually significant but subtle differences between travelling cheap and travelling free.

Travelling cheaply is all about utilising the likes of websites, apps, promotional codes, discounts and offers, as well as finding as many ways as possible to reduce your expenses. While everyone may want to visit Australia, not many people are willing to casually hand over the £600+ that it costs for the plane ticket there…

With that in mind, there are a number of different ways that you can travel the world with significantly reduced expenses on the likes of transport, food and accommodation.

Make the most of student (and other) discount and loyalty cards

If you’re a student, a mature student or even a teacher in some cases, you can make the most out of student discount cards in a vast range of places.

Even if you’re not eligible for a student discount card, there are still so many other discount cards that you can take advantage of.

As well as discount cards, many businesses also offer you loyalty cards, whereby you can receive a free gift or something similar once you’ve collected a certain number of points.

While this may not sound the best way to travel cheaply, it can actually save you lots of money when eating out at restaurants and bars as many places will accept discount and loyalty cards.

Student discount cards:

  • NUS
  • UNiDAYS
  • 16-25 railcard
  • International Student ID Card
  • Student Oyster Card
  • Student Beans

Get railcard passes

Railcards are an excellent way to travel cheaply. The UK offer many types of railcards; their most popular probably being their 16-25 card.

If you plan on travelling by train a lot on your travels, then this can be a great way to travel cheaply. Make use of the Eurail travel railcard if you’re exploring Europe via train as you won’t have to pay extortionate flight prices, and you can even save money on the price of your train tickets.

Make your own food

While travelling may be all about experiencing new cultures and getting to know the world more (which will most likely involve trying new cuisines) the price of eating out all the time can soon rack up.

Instead of visiting a new restaurant each night, or dining out for breakfast each day, try to visit a local supermarket and cook your own meals as and when you can.

Of course, this will largely depend on the type of accommodation you’re staying in, but more often than not you should be able to make your own meals occasionally which will really help you to travel cheaply.

How to travel with no money (free)

Now for the most important part; how to travel with no money at all! While it may seem impossible, it’s actually remarkably achievable when you put your mind to it and are truly determined to make your travel dream a reality.

Here are some of the best ways to travel with no money.

Volunteer

One of the easiest ways to travel with no money would be to volunteer while you travel. While you won’t be able to pay for your flights this way, you will be able to take advantage of the likes of free accommodation and food.

Many hotels, hotels, farms and even bars around the world will offer you free food or accommodation in exchange for your work.

You may have to work a couple of hours each day while travelling, but it would be worth it in order to obtain a free meal or a bed for the night!

You may find that many places are also incredibly flexible when it comes to the work you have to do; for example, you may only have to work four hours per day in a hostel in order to receive free meals and accommodation.

This way of travelling might not suit everyone’s taste, but it certainly is an ideal way to travel with no money.

Travel miles

Obtaining airline miles, often also referred to as travel hacking, is an excellent way of travelling without any money.

The way it works is that you can earn free flights by signing up to things like travel credit cards or reward schemes.

It may sound a little unorthodox at first, but there really isn’t any hidden cash to it. If you sign up for a travel credit card, then many companies will offer you sign-up bonuses which you can then use to buy flights with.

You’ll have to build up your airmiles, but once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to enjoy a free flight somewhere, all because you’ve collected enough points!

Free accommodation

One surprising thing that you can get for free while on your travels is actually accommodation.

There are a number of websites that provide people with the opportunity to ‘couch surf’; whereby you can stay at someone’s house for free!

The concept works in a similar way to Airbnb, but you don’t actually have to pay for the room or bed that you’re staying in.

Free walking tours

Travelling is all about enjoying as many incredible experiences and adventures as possible, but with a lack of funds, that could prove to be fairly tricky.

However, there are still a number of ways to make sure you enjoy as much of a city as possible; one of these ways is to take part in free walking tours.

Most of the main cities in the world will offer free walking tours; whereby you can embark on a tour of the main sights and locations in a place for free.

You’ll still be able to enjoy all the wonderful historic sites, spectacular sights and incredible attractions in a place, but without it costing you a fortune!

House sit

Another way to travel with no money is to house sit. This is a similar concept to that of obtaining free accommodation, except that you’ll likely be looking after someone’s property while they’re away.

You can find a plethora of sites online that offer house sitting services such as Trusted Housesitters and Home Exchange; each person on the platform is verified so that you can rest-assured you’ll be staying in a safe place.

Hitchhike

Hitchhiking often gets a bad reputation in the media, but it can actually be a great way to travel around for free.

As long as you have your wits about you, and are equipped with common sense and patience, you can find that hitchhiking can be an excellent way to travel with no money.

Conclusion – how to travel with no money

In order to travel with no money, you’ll likely need to conduct a fair bit of research in order to make it feasible. Try your hand at house sitting or embark on a free walking tour in order to travel the world with as little money as possible!

You may also need to find some cheap travel insurance to cover you for your trip. Bear in mind if your travelling to multiple destinations you will need annual or multi trip travel insurance to cover the time you are away.