How to See the World Without Spending a Dime (And Why No One Tells You This)

2023-01-14 07:27:05 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Over the past year, I've been able to travel the world without spending a dime. In this post, I'll explain exactly how I've done it and how you can, too.

Of course, I've seen countless people on social media who are apparently having the time of their lives. Where they seem to do nothing but travel for the rest of their lives. Truth be told, I never had any interest in that kind of lifestyle because I always assumed it to be phony.  

Nonetheless, ever since I uncovered the secrets to budget travel around the world (which nobody ever told me), it has completely altered my life, and I do not believe I will ever go back to the way things were before. This article is not meant to provide a comprehensive list of free travel opportunities. That information is readily available on the web.

Since I have been traveling and living the nomadic lifestyle for the past 15 months, I can provide concrete examples of how I have been able to do so without spending a dime. Knowing the profound difference this can make in someone's life, I can't contain my enthusiasm about passing it along.  


I can totally relate to the skepticism that some people feel before they come to understand what I mean by it. To be honest, if a complete stranger told me I could travel the world for free, I would probably think they were trying to scam me. Nonetheless, I was unaware of it until now. I did the legwork and discovered it for myself; now I wish to aid others in doing the same

I decided I needed to see the world, so I gave up my job and took off. That would mean there was no income at all, creating a very precarious financial situation. Thus, I came up with a plan B: providing free lodging and food.

In this piece, I'll show you how to do just that, along with how to get paid to do the things you enjoy and travel the world on the cheap.

You may also find this interesting: the 14 cheapest countries to visit with Worldpackers.

Beginnings of Free Travel

I woke up one day and realized how much I detested being an ordinary person. And yet, despite the fact that I was putting in an absurd number of hours at work and bringing in a substantial sum of money every week, I was miserable. I realized that it was up to me to make my own happiness a priority. And that means exploring uncharted territories and locales for me.

I resigned in February 2019, giving four months' notice. Mostly, I just wanted to know I had a date and could start planning my escape from the 9-to-5. In July of that year, I packed up my life and boarded a one-way flight to India to volunteer.


I told everyone I cared about that I was leaving Australia forever, and they understood why. Even though I had no plan for the future and no idea how I would fund my travels or feed myself, none of that mattered to me. The fact that I had fled a life I despised in pursuit of one I cherished was all that mattered.

Then I found out the greatest secret in the world: how to see the world without spending a dime. After 15 months of living abroad, I can say without a doubt that I have had the time of my life.

With the exception of Covid, I can go wherever I like. in this world, and be secure in the knowledge that I can make it without worrying about money. Using the two strategies I'll be discussing, I'm able to cover nearly all of my living expenses without having to worry about money.  

To fund my travels and new experiences around the globe, I write for about two hours a day.


The key to free international vacations

Worldpackers is, without a doubt, the best time-saving innovation in the history of the world.  

Volunteers with specialized skills can find hosts in need of their services through Worldpackers. The concept is based on "work exchange," in which volunteers work in exchange for free board and lodging.

Having no expenses for lodging or sustenance while abroad has allowed me to visit many countries on a shoestring budget. In addition, it has allowed me to expand my artistic reputation in India and Sri Lanka.

I am so fortunate and appreciative to have stumbled upon Worldpackers as a young woman who had always wanted to see the world without spending a dime.

Essentially, for the low, low price of $49 USD, you can use all the hosts for an entire year. To put that in perspective, in most countries, the cost of a single night's lodging and food would be significantly higher than $50 USD. Then, whenever you like, you have a year of free lodging and meals at your disposal.

To not do it properly seems insane. However, there is usually a significant cost associated with the experiences you forego in exchange for the opportunity to travel the world for free. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved. When you use Worldpackers, you can see the world without breaking the bank.


You can see the world for nothing if you volunteer your time.

There is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities to choose from. It's therefore inevitable that you'll come across something that speaks to your soul. I've decided to collaborate with some of these entities:

There are a plethora of other choices, but these are the ones I've had experience with. Whenever I'm looking for something to do, I usually keep an eye out for art projects because I enjoy painting There are times, however, when I apply for jobs that interest me, especially when they involve saving the planet, like working on eco-projects.

For my part, I've been fortunate enough to have volunteered in a variety of settings, most often in the realm of visual arts (primarily painting). It never occurred to me to try my hand at mural painting.

When I finally got around to doing my first one, I threw myself into it wholeheartedly. As a result, I was able to apply for additional artist positions at Worldpackers, where I was provided with free lodging and food.

As someone who has been on the road for the past two months, this is a dream come true. I didn't know how to make money, so I just tried to save as much as I could and invest as little as possible. By doing so, I have made wonderful connections across many communities, and I have been invited back to many of them, which is incredibly rewarding.

Here's how to volunteer abroad and see the world without spending a dime, all while having a meaningful experience and increasing the value of your contribution to society. Options for volunteering exist all over the world and cater to a wide variety of individuals and interests.


Make Money While You Explore the World

In spite of the fact that I can cover the vast majority of my bare-bones living costs with Worldpackers, there are a few exceptions. This means that I will have to shell out my own money for travel, visas, attractions, and socializing.

I became close with someone at my first volunteer job who ended up being instrumental in helping me figure out how to put my skills to use. Two months into my trip, I finally told her where I was. That I didn't have a strategy for juggling my work and travel commitments shocked her. It seems crazy now, but at the time it made perfect sense. Put in your notice at work, gather your belongings, and leave your country immediately, all while being completely destitute.

So, she led me into the world of independent work. In all my years, I had never heard of this! She told me that many people, including herself, work from home for companies like the one she used to work for in Germany and get paid to do so.

She asked me to do it, but I told her I couldn't because I was hopeless with computers and had no marketable skills. She assured me that I didn't need anything else because I already possessed both fluent English and a tablet on which to record my thoughts.

She recommended a few freelance platforms, so I joined Freelancer and Upwork. After that, I began applying for jobs, but I never heard back. I had been applying for entry-level administration jobs, but so was every other unskilled person, and I was getting lost in the shuffle.

I told the girl who told me about freelancing that I had decided to write a novel at the beginning of the year, and that I was still working on it. Since she knew I was always hard at work on my novel, penning at least one chapter on most days out of sheer enthusiasm, she encouraged me to look for content writing jobs.  

In other words, "they can only say no, and if they do, at least you'll be getting paid to travel." "

Somehow, I was able to secure a trial with a company. It turned out that they really appreciated my writing and wanted to keep me on staff.

how -to-travel-the-world-for-free

Turning into a Digital Nomad

The quality of my work is unparalleled. Incredibly adaptable, I can set my own hours and do only the tasks that interest me. My clients include corporations from around the globe. It could take me three hours per task, but I'd make $50 in U.S. dollars. It's not a lot, and compared to the other jobs I have, the pay at this one is particularly bad.

But my relationship with money is very different from what it was when I had a "normal" job. I don't care about getting rich; all I want is enough money to pay for my bills from the previous month and maybe take a nice vacation to a tropical island.

It's a whole new ballgame to set your own hours and deadlines as a freelancer, and the extra cash is a nice bonus. It's not uncommon for me to go a week or more between posts. Simply put, I don't care about financial security. On the other hand, there are weeks where I do nothing but write. What a wonderful benefit of independent work!

My weekly output ranges from two to ten projects, depending on my mood. That works out to a maximum of 30 hours per week, which is more than I usually need to put in because I don't have a lot of financial obligations. On average, I work about six hours per week.

By combining this meager income with Worldpackers' policy of spending zero on international travel, I am able to keep most of my travel funds intact. That's insane, right? That's completely out of my mind.

One additional gain from working as a freelancer is the education you receive about the scope of online employment opportunities. In just 15 months, I went from being a girl who didn't know how to use a computer to the owner of my own digital marketing agency. For this, I rely on the skilled independent contractors I've hired along the way. You don't need an entrepreneurial spirit or commitment greater than five hours per week to succeed as a digital nomad.


Freedom and inspiration: striking a balance

My time in Australia was spent as a successful businesswoman. Dressed professionally but perpetually frazzled and pressed for time No one from my previous workplace or the clients with whom I had worked closely would recognize me now. I have complete freedom of expression, which I sometimes abuse.

My hair is now a vibrant shade of blue, and I'm slowly amassing a collection of tattoos. Having the freedom to pursue goals that are authentic to who I am is something that fills me with joy. To avoid limiting one's happiness within the bounds of conventional culture. This, however, does not absolve me of my duties.

I can go wherever I want, wear whatever I want (within reason, depending on the country), and alter my appearance however I see fit. Plus, I only need to put in five hours of work per week to achieve that goal. Therefore, you'd spend an average of 5 hours a week volunteering and working.

It's tempting to ditch my volunteer work as soon as I'm done with work and go hang out with my friends, but I remind myself of the bigger picture. Each day, you'll devote an hour to this. And if I plan things out, it won't affect my day much but will have a profound impact on my life.

I find that making plans helps me the most. My day usually consists of yoga, breakfast, work, volunteering, lunch, novel writing, and then relaxation time. Keeping a schedule and practicing yoga have helped me maintain my motivation whenever I've found myself needlessly stressing out.


Where have you been hiding?

If that's the kind of life you want to lead, there is a way to do it legally and without breaking the bank. I handle it personally and I'm just a regular Joe. It's easy to get caught up in feelings of luckiness, but then you have to remind yourself that luck had nothing to do with getting where you are in life. After doing some investigating, I decided to take a chance on it.

I've learned a lot about myself and the world through my travels. And I wouldn't have been able to do this for as long as I did without discovering some of the greatest life hacks ever so soon into my journey.

Fortunately, I tracked them down, so you won't have to. What are you waiting for, then, that you have discovered the secret to cost-free global exploration?

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