The internet has spawned some incredible resources, not least in travel – broadening the way millions of tourists experience other countries for less money than ever before.
Airbnb is the most famous example of how the traditional model of flights and hotel has been changed. Normal people can rent out their property – or even just a bedroom – to users of the service for a relatively small charge, all over the world.
What the internet entrepreneurs have shown us is that cheap holidays don’t have to mean a living frugally.
So what other services exist that allow you to travel the world on a shoestring? Here are ten other ways…
Sign up to Couchsurfing.com and you join a community of over 14 million locals and travellers. This service might be a young person’s game, but it’s a fantastically fun and cheap way of staying in some of the most exciting places on the planet. This is perfect for anyone backpacking or looking to see the world on a budget. Couchsurfing has developed to not just provide a place to sleep, but meet new people, hang out, get tours of the city and have conversations with people you may not necessarily meet under other circumstances.
Transport is costly, but if you’re going across continent, carpooling or hitching is a good idea. Standing on the side of a road with a sign is risky, so luckily there are some sites that match up drivers with travellers so they can get to their destination cheaply and safely. Sites like blablacar.com let you organise a car share where you’re in control, can book in confidence and with some services, fully insured.
Crew a yacht
Check out crewseekers.net for a life on the ocean waves. Working as part of a yacht’s crew will let you have a completely unique experience whilst travelling. Pick a journey you want to help out on and enjoy the adventure!
Home swapping with a service like HomeExchange.com allows you to stay in a home rather than a hotel and have all the creature comforts that a household has. This site covers the whole world, so there’s some really exciting opportunities to be had.
Housesitting is becoming a popular alternative to other traditional forms of travel accommodation. For the traveller, it provides a safe home in which to use as a base for your exploring of a particular area. For the homeowner, it’s a great way to make sure your house is lived in in your absence, your belongings are looked after, pets are cared for and plants watered. The deal is all managed by the website like housecarers.com, and a deposit may be requested – but it is a much cheaper and more comfortable alternative to renting a holiday home or a hotel.
Drive someone else’s car from A to B
Transport companies offer people the opportunity to take someone else’s vehicle from one destination to the other. This is a cheaper way of transporting the car for the vehicle owner, and it’s a brilliant way of going on an epic road trip for the driver. As long as you’re flexible, have a clean driving license and – in most cases – are over 21, it’s can be a great experience. Some websites like autodriveaway.com can set you up with a vehicle and a destination – you’ll just need to provide the fuel.
There are countless backpackers and travellers who choose to teach English or another language to school or college students in a given country. Services like diverbo.com or doing a TEFL course is a great way of exploring new countries and being able to help out. You can do this across a variety of countries – and you might like teaching so much you want to make a career of it.
Get a job
Pick up some work in the place of your choice. Work as an au pair, office worker, fruit picking – there’s a wide choice of opportunities. The pay will be a much needed boost to help subsidise your travel and allow you to experience another side of the place you’re visiting. Plus, working is another great way of meeting people.
Se7en is a service that allows volunteers to visit places as far flung as Bali, Namibia or India and help out on projects on anything from orphanages to farms. In return, you may get help with accommodation, food and travel – depending on the charity or body you’re working with.
If you have a digital job, you should explore the idea of working remotely. This will give you the ability to upsticks and leave the confines of the office to experience life overseas, and especially freelancers, you can decide where and when you want to work. Digital nomads are growing in popularity, and places like Surf Office in the Canary Islands or Remote Year allows you to join in on the movement.