How To Travel The World For Free
The Debrief: Can't afford a gap year? No problem
Galloping round the Pyramid Stage in your finest denim shorts and crop combo might have seemed like a good idea at the time - but one brand new tent, copious amounts of Carling and several shots of Sambucca later - your bank balance has definitely seen better days. Now the fun of Glastonbury is over for another year - you want a little sun in your life. Your Facebook feed is overflowing with snaps of that girl you went to college with backbacking in Peru and you’ve lost count of the amount of pictures that lad from your old psychology lecture has uploaded of him riding an elephant in India. Show off. No matter how many times you check your online banking, refresh the Expedia homepage or beg your parents for money - you still don't have the funds to jet set around the world with them - but fear not - whether you want to stroll through the streets of Australia or explore the Oceans of Africa - here’s a few ways to be a globetrotter - even when you’re broke.
House sitting in Australia
Nothing beats a Sunday morning Neighbours omnibus right? Hungover day dreams of laying on the Summer Bay beach, surrounded by hunky surfer types and tight trunked lifeguards invade your mind as you’re viciously brought back to reality by your splitting hangover and your housemate removing the remote from your hand because Spurs are about to play Man U.
What if we said you could actually spend your summer on the golden beaches of Australia - for free? Well not quite free, a girl's gotta eat and you’ll have to pay for your own flights - but by signing up to reputable sites such as Mindmyhouse.com and Trustedhousesitters.com you can look after other peoples homes and not have to pay a penny towards accommodation. You’ll need to provide references, a police check and you’re not guaranteed to get everything you apply for - but other than that it’s a total winner. Head to Cheapflights.co.uk for a list of trips to numerous Aussie locations from £555 (London to Perth) and an overview of how much things are expected to cost in your area, such as a McDonalds meal in Melbourne (£4.37), a Perth pair Nike trainers (£76) and a fixed taxi fee in Sydney (£1.75).
Crew a Yacht from Africa to Asia
Whether you want to dip your toes into the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, experience the exotic climate of the shores of Mauritius or feel the sea breeze cascade through your hair as you speed through the South Atlantic waves - crewing a boat could help you see some fascinating places. It’s not exactly Kim and Kanye and it won’t always be sipping sangria on deck - but sites such as Findacrew.net and Crewseekers.net have adds for deckhands in the Seychelles and posts for stewards in the Caribbean. Sometimes no sailing experience is necessary and usually you have to purchase your own flights - but with Emirates offering journeys from London to Mauritius for £511 and journeys lasting anything from two weeks to almost a year - that’s a bargain price for such a lavish adventure.
Couchsurfing in France
Website Couchsurfing.com has revolutionised traveling; you can rock up in almost any country and be guaranteed a sofa bed at the click of a button. Sign into the site with Facebook and browse endless destinations - with over £200,000 towns and cities to choose from - it’s an amazing way to see the world with no hostels or hefty hotel bills.
If you don’t fancy a long haul flight, and want to keep costs as low as possible - shack up in a chic chateau in Paris. The romanic destination welcomes tons of visitors from all over the world on a daily basis due to its rich culture, Roman architecture and fine wine. Keep safe and stay with hosts who are verified with plenty of good reviews. Kipping on someones couch also means, when your not sipping Pinot Grigio with a fresh croissant in a Parisian bistro, you will have a local on hand to show you the best restaurants and hidden haunts of their city. With flights from London to the French capital starting from £97, we’ll meet you at the boarding queue at Heathrow!
Be an AuPair in America
After a week battling with last minute coursework deadlines, early morning meetings and a Saturday night drenched in a haze of Strawberry Daiquiris and cigarette smoke - there’s nothing you love more than vegging out on the sofa with a family sized bag of Doritos and a Friends marathon right?
Well what if we said, instead of wiping nacho crumbs from your PJ’s you could be sipping a latte looking over New York city? Website Aupairamerica.co.uk offers 18 - 26 year olds the opportunity to live and work in the USA for 12 months - with a family providing you with flights, food and accommodation in exchange for 45 hours of childcare per week. Whether you want to explore the stunning streets of San Francisco, tan your skin on the beaches of California or soak up the culture of Washington - the site will find you a family that suit your needs. It’s a visa condition that you attend classes during your au pair year but your host family will provide a yearly contribution for you to attend a local college. You will also receive two weeks of paid vacation, access to transport and a weekly allowance.
Volunteer Overseas in India
Browsing volunteering opportunities can be a little disheartening - £1,900 to work with Orphaned Monkeys at a Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa? We just need to pay our student loan off first thanks! A lot of schemes have some sizable fees attached to them - but after some serious Googling - we stumbled across International Citizen Service (ICS). If you’re aged 18-25 you can apply to take part in 10-12 week schemes funded by the UK government to help fight poverty in overseas and UK communities.
Placements to India occur regularly with an estimated 2.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS - the third highest in the world - and 30% of its population living below the poverty line. To volunteer abroad with ICS you don't need qualifications, skills or cash - just a sense of adventure and the ambition to make a different. You’re asked to raise some money before you travel - but none of this comes from your own purse and a member of staff will guide you with how to do it.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in: Rome On A Budget (Prepare For The Best Pizza Of Your Life)
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Photograph by Ada Hamza
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