5 Ways to Travel for “Free” as Young Adult
Do you love to travel but are on a budget? Are you a young adult, newly graduated from high school or college and are looking for your next move? Do you need a little break from reality for a little while? Well I am going to tell you how you can do all this and more through these 5 ways to travel for “free” as a young adult.
1. World Packers
Have you ever heard of the organization World Packers? World Packers is an organization that is based world wide and is a great opportunity for solo travelers, small groups, or couples to work and see the world. There is a yearly fee of $49 for a year long subscription for applying to work exchange opportunities. You can freely explore the website and opportunities currently available before having to pay the annual fee. The fee is just required for applying to the programs. Many of the programs include hostel work, nannying opportunities, house work, farm work, gardening, etc. The point of World Packers is to exchange some kind of work for a place to stay anywhere around the world. Something that sets world packers apart from other competing organizations is that they offer international insurance in case anything goes wrong. You will need topay for airfare, but once you get there many meals are provided and you have a free place to live. Based on the reviews this is also known to be one of the best organizations for solo travelers. It is a great opportunity for post graduation people who are not ready to hop into career life quite yet. Go check it out!
Workaway is another organization that is similar to World Packers but is said to be for more experienced travelers. Just like World Packers there is a annual fee that allows you access to applications for various programs. There are also opportunities for paid positions where on top of having a place to stay you can get commentated for your work. Not all of these programs offer insurance, but Workaway is known to have more European based programs which may be a great fit for you. You do have to pay for airfare to get to your destination, but after that the costs are slim. Many programs even offer meals or daily breakfast! Go explore the programs on the website!
3. Au Pair
Another great way to travel for little to no cost and actually make money as well is to au pair. Essentially au pair, for those you are not familiar with the term, is a live in nanny. You will be offered a place to live and get basic need such as laundry, and usually some meals, I’m exchange for childcare. Many au pairs do get paid on top of all that as well, it just depends on the place, and family situation that you are in. I know a lot of people that have been au pairs and the most important thing is the relationship that you have with the parents hosting you. Make your priorities clear so that they can do the same. Make sure that you feel comfortable and safe in your living environment. And lastly make sure that they are kind. Kindness is huge and although this is a job, it is also your home.
4. Home Swap
When I hear the words “home swap” the first thing that pops into my head is the movie the Holiday. You know where Cameron Diaz, the Los Angeles movie producer swaps homes with Kate Winslet the corporate publishing executive living in the English countryside swap homes for Christmas time. Well yeah, this is kind of the same thing minus the dreamy Jude Law of course. There are couple of different websites to check out if a home swap sounds like your jam. First off we have Home Exchange. Essentially how this company works is that there is an annual fee of $175 that unlocks thousands of homes around the world for the possibility of an exchange. You can choose to either do a reprisal exchange where they live in your house, and you live in theirs or an exchange with guest points. the exchange with guest points is basically if you want to stay in their home they do not want to stay in yours or vise versa. You have the ability with this company to offer them guest points where they can stay at another members home of their choosing while you stay at yours. Overall a very cool opportunity.
Another company that works in a similar way is called Love Home Swap. Love home Swap is the same concept of swapping homes with other people for vacation, but it targeted more towards families swapping homes with other families. This organization also offers a free trial before you become a member and pay an annual fee. Love Home Swap also makes it very easy to chat and communicate with other home owners, insuring a great and safe experience.
5. Crew a Yacht or Cruise Ship
Now this idea in my opinion sounds like so much fun! Another great way to travel for basically free is to work on a yacht or cruise ship. For more information check out the organizations, CrewSeekers, Yacrew, and Find a Crew. It is a great way for you to travel around to many different locations but still have a home base. Most of these opportunities are paid as well so you would be actually making money to work and travel. Since you have a place to stay, on the boat of course, you will really only need spending money for when you dock the boats and a plane ticket to get to wherever the ship takes off from. Think about all the people you will meet! You will have the amazing opportunity to meet other crew members, yacht or cruise ship customers, and people at the locations where you dock. Sounds like such blast!
I am a 22 year old student at Depaul University living in the heart of Chicago