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Free/Cheap Travel

The Best 23 Resources for Cheap, Free, or Paid Travel (Part 1)

On 23, Feb 2011 | 114 Comments | In Free/Cheap Travel, Paid Travel, TEFL, Travel Resources | By Jacqueline Boss

Welcome to Escape Normal! If you came here looking for ways to travel for free, you are in the right place. From volunteer trips to vacations to short term jobs abroad, this list covers the spectrum of affordable and paid travel opportunities. Pair it with my eBook, “How to Become the Jack of All Travel: A Beginner’s Guide to Traveling the World for Free,” and you will be well on your way to living your travel dreams.

1: Work Away

Definitely my new favorite site, I haven’t yet signed up for membership but I plan on doing so immediately after I graduate. This site is a travel-for-free heaven. It provides you with a list and pictures of beautiful places, from beachside retreats in exotic countries or family owned campsites in rural France, who want to give you free food and housing in exchange for some volunteer work. I have a feeling I’ll be traveling the globe this way for literally years.

2: Escape Normal Jobs

Search for seasonal jobs all over the world, from work-exchanges on exotic retreat centers in Costa Rica to adventure kayak tour-guide positions. Many of the employers include food and housing as benefits, so much of the headache of planning your travels will be taken care of for you. The job postings are laid out in a very user-friendly way and with information about what you can expect your new adventure life to be like, what seasons the employer is hiring for, etc.

3:  Back Door Jobs

This is for the adventurous type who still wants to make money while traveling. Here you’ll find a bunch of crazy short-term jobs in interesting places, from a cheese-making apprenticeship in Colorado or a volunteer gig maintaing a national park, to travel camp counselor position for the more experienced folks.

4: Coolworks

This site is so simple to navigate and has all the seasonal job listings you could ever think of in one place. You can filter your search by job type (restaurant, volunteer, ski, state park, diving) or pick a job in a specific season. It’s a great way to finance your travels-hop from one place to the next in the on-season. If you are outdoorsy, its the ultimate way of getting paid to travel without making a long-term commitment.

5: Couchsurfing

Instead of spending money on a hotel or hostel, other travelers around the world welcome you to stay on their couches for a few days, and sometimes even offer to show you the sites in their town. Everyone is extensively rated and recommended in a very personal way so you know you are staying with good, safe people. It took me awhile to join this site because I am not interested in couch surfing myself. But I finally did, and it is a goldmine of information. The community section of the site has groups who discuss a huge variety of travel categories, and I can spend hours looking through the collective information to find great ideas about travel, from raising funds, to eco tourism and volunteering, to TEFL and luxury travel.

6: WWOOF

This is a great resource, especially for younger people. WWOOF, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, is a group of hosts and volunteers dedicated to sustainable agriculture. What you give is your time- you get to work on a farm, either with plants or animals, or both, and in exchange you get food, accommodation, and an education. I will try this at least once- it seems to be really gaining popularity and everyone who tries it seems to love it.

7: Help Exchange

This is very similar to WWOOF, except the opportunities have a slightly wider range. There are the farm gigs, but you can also find people with bed and breakfasts, hostels, and even sailboats who are willing to exchange food and accommodation for your volunteer work. Help Exchange seems to be one of the most popular free volunteer sites.

8: Footprints TEFL

I wish I had found this sooner. For those of you looking to teach english as a foreign language (TEFL) while traveling to generate income, this site has you covered better than any other TEFL site. Its the only site I’ve found so far that guides you through the process of finding a job and getting to the country, and even has a bunch of job openings with schools that will pay to fly you to the country and house you, on top of paying your salary. You need a commitment of a few months. It gets even better though, because the only required qualification is that you are fluent in English. Of course more and better-paying opportunities will open up if you get a TEFL certificate, which can be done online in 50 to a few hundred hours.

9: Kibbutz

I first heard of a Kibbutz while watching the Nanny on Nick at Nite. Kibbutzes last for a few months, around 2-6, and you can have any number of different experiences. This program really tries to foster a sense of community and family among the volunteers. Kibbutz volunteers need to pay fee to reserve a spot, but they get a small stipend in addition to room and board in Israel.

10: Peace Corps

As you probably know, the Peace Corps is not for the weak-willed or commitment-phobic. People stationed to volunteer in one place for 2 years. There are benefits to being a part of this program- in addition to a monthly stipend for food and housing, you get a small stipend at the end of your stay to tide you over while you look for a job, and you can get your student loans deferred while you are participating. And of course, the Peace Corps stands out because there is no financial cost to you, unlike many other volunteer programs. While many people find working with the Peace Corps to be a life-chaning experience, and it is also great for resume building, I’ll be honest- I wouldn’t join. While it is a viable option for many travel-hungry personality types, if I wanted to settle down in one location for 2 entire years, I would just get a job.

11: Summer Camp Counselor Jobs

Perfect for those of you who like to experience a variety of things and make long-lasting friendships. There are positions that require little to no experience, and just ask that you have a love of working with children. These are great to get your foot in the door, and as you gain experience you can work your way up to an elite international adventure travel camp job. I was a camp counselor for 4 years as a teenager, and it was a wonderful experience. Now, as I graduate college, I want to do it again. Not only is it something I know I will love, but I will get to learn with the kids in activities like dance, rock climbing, trampoline and gymnastics, dance, martial arts, swimming- you get the idea. These are obviously paid jobs and I like the idea because it is a summer thing- so each summer I can do it again, at a different camp if I want, and then afterwards I am free to continue my travels.

12: Au pair Jobs

This is a great way for young people to experience another culture. You spend a year or so living with a host family in your country of choice and taking care of children. I had Norwegian au pairs each year when I was growing up, and me and my family loved them. We are still in contact with them and I finally was able to visit them in Norway 2 years ago. They made plenty of long-latsting friendships in America and I know they all loved the experience.

13: Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

It is much easier than you would expect to find a job as an English teacher abroad. English fluency is one of the most highly-demanded skills in the world. Sometimes you need certification, which you can easily get online. I became a certified TEFL and “younger learner” teacher via this site in only a few months of work on my own time- a few hours a week.

My roommate and I volunteered to teach English in a Thai high school for a week. There we met English teachers from other English-speaking countries who were living in the town and making big bucks (by Thai standards, but not by American.) So while they were not able to save up money for the future, they were living like kings in Thailand, with good food, and at the nicest place in town.

14: Yacht Crewing

I would love to give this a try one day. Many people have heard about jobs on cruise ships, not so many know about jobs on private multi million-dollar yachts. But there is a pretty large demand out there for people who can help out on yachts that are traveling to exotic places. This site is like the craigslist of yacht jobs for potential employees with little or no experience. Some employers really just want company.

15: Americorps

Another long-term volunteer program- you can serve for up to 3 years. Americorps is more focused on social issues, like poverty, so this may not be the bright, exciting adventure that avid travelers are craving. But there are definitely benefits, including a stipend for food and housing, as well and training, healthcare, and having something unique to put on your resume.

16: Se7en

This is a database of nearly-free volunteer opportunities worldwide, similar to I-to-I but cheaper, and frankly a little more difficult to navigate the site. But it gives you access to a variety of volunteer work in places like Kenya and Cambodia, and is definitely worth looking into.

17: Home swap

Heres an interesting thought- when you want to travel, but don’t want to pay for accommodation, find someone else who wants the same thing and trade homes for awhile. While definitely not for everybody, this is a unique experience and will give you a lot to talk about and stories to tell when you come back. The catch is, it certainly helps if you live in a desirable location to begin with so that people will be willing to swap homes with you. So for those of you living in Middle of Nowhereville, Kansas, you may want to pick a different resource from this list.

18: Caretaker

So how do I put this… well…you get to live in a beautiful mansion that you have all to yourself on a private island and get paid for it. Such is the life of a caretaker, who babysits the homes of the wealthy, and sometimes their pets, while they are away for weeks and months. You do a few hours of work a day and can spend the rest of your time exploring your surroundings. The catch is that they tend to hire older people, who tend to be more responsible.

19: Craigslist Rideshare

I can’t link you to the exact page because there is a different page for every location, so just choose your location on the site. Rideshare allows people to carpool for a small price to the passengers, which can help you save a lot of money getting from point A to point B.

20: Vantage

Probably for the older, more settled crowd, this site offers a range of amazing vacations and journeys from intimate charter cruises to safari tours of Africa. Though the trips may not be anywhere near free, they are for the trip leader. That is, if you get a bunch of friends and plan the trip, they pay, but you go free.

21: GVI Careers

GVI is a very well laid out travel site with volunteer and travel opportunities. They have a job board that has some really interesting and unique experiences that I haven’t seen elsewhere, but some of them do require a bit of experience in the field. The jobs tend to be managerial- Head SCUBA instructor, a TEFL certification course instructor, manager of a field expedition in the Amazon rainforest, etc. But there are also some really cool volunteer and internship opportunities that I would like to try myself, like a wildlife expedition in Africa.

22: Idealist

This is a great site with both employment and volunteer opportunites. What makes it unique is that the positions are all focused on causes, from saving the environment to working with mentally handicapped individuals, and a ton of non-profit companies are represented. The positions range from the general to the specific, so whether you are looking to gain experience outside of your field or advance your career, you should be able to find something here that appeals to you. The search feature on this site is excellent and makes it one of the most user friendly options.

23: How to Become the Jack of All Travel: A Beginner’s Guide to Traveling the World for Free


How To Become The Jack Of All Travel is your gateway into the world of free travel, seasonal travel jobs, and voluntourism at home and abroad, perfect for those seeking to live their own real-life adventures like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love.

“An excellent starting point for adventurers-to-be, this book gives you the inspiration, resources, and knowledge you need to travel long term for free- to teach English in Thailand, volunteer in Hawaii, work as a ski instructor in the Rocky Mountains, help maintain a national park, intern in Europe, harvest fruit in Australia, and explore the world.”

Available on Amazon Kindle


 

 

 

 

 

Continue to Part 2 –>

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Comments

  1. I LOVE your blog. For years now I’ve been wanting to travel, which I have sporadically, but I want to do it on more of a long term basis. I got fired last week, and now I feel free! This is the perfect opportunity to travel, but I want to volunteer as well, so I’ve been looking for some options, and here I am at your website. Thanks for writing and please keep it coming!

    • Congratulations! That’s wonderful. I’m glad you’re enjoying my posts, hopefully you’ve been able to get some good ideas. There are so many sites out there with lists of hundreds of expensive volunteer and travel opportunities that a lot of people just automatically assume that traveling has to be expensive. But as you know, you can do it for free! Enjoy your new unemployed life and happy traveling!

  2. Hey! Thanx so much for playing ‘Round the World’!! And this is a wonderful resource for travellers and wannabees!! Come back & visit anytime!!

  3. Really useful list. I’m checking out the links as we speak!

  4. Great tips! Can’t wait to check them all out :)

  5. Good list, the only one I’d heard about before was I-to-I.

  6. Would it be bad if I dropped out of college and became a professional house caretaker

    • Deanna

      You could take online classes. That’s what I do

  7. R

    Hey Jacqueline,

    Great list! Been searching for such opportunities for quite a while now. Thanks!
    Also, I noticed that you had taken up a teaching assignment in Thailand. It will be great if you could fill me in with the details, I tried a few sites but unsure as to how to proceed.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Have you gotten Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate online? Generally those programs will help you with job placement after you complete a course, plus its good to have taken a course if you want to teach english long-term. (I met the english teachers in the high school in Thailand, some of them had even less qualifications than my online 100-hr certificate, and they had full time jobs, and were living like kings in the town.) If you are only looking to do a short-term thing, you could volunteer (which you can do without a TEFL certificate), but you will probably have to pay a fee. Here is a link to get you started on finding info: TEFL jobs abroad

  8. gaurav

    hey! loved the info..could you help me..i am from india and a chemical engineer…and i am travel hungry…how can i achieve this? i want to hone my management skills along the travelling as i wish to do an mba later…please help!! im confused..
    thanks

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Are you just out of college? A good choice might be to find internships in your field in other countries. I did an internship in Germany this summer for business, and I met someone in the same program was doing a paid internship for engineering.

      This program is a good option and helps you find internships if you speak the language of the country you want to travel to: http://www.cdsintl.org/

  9. Lindsay

    Coolworks.com is another cool site much like back door jobs.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Thanks Lindsay! Just looked at it- thats a great site. I’ll add it to the post soon.

  10. Wow, thanks for sending so many new website links our way! I have heard of a bunch of these like WOOFFing, etc but it’s always nice to add the bookmarks.

    And kudos for encouraging people to get out of the comfort bubble. travelling isn’t just for the uber wealthy, it’s for those who don’t mind giving up the comforts of home and taking a leap.

    I have spent the past three years abroad living on various scholarhships and fellowships in India, New Zealand, and now in Indonesia… let me tell you the book that helped me find these opportunities and motivated me to skip a 9-5 US east coast life is called DELAYING THE REAL WORLD.

    its a great little book that motivates you to get out the door and has a whole host of ideas from scholarships to cruise ship jobs…

    do you know of any good resources for cheap ways to learn or improve a foreign language?? i really need to work on my french…. :)

    • Jacqueline Boss

      it sounds like you’ve got a great life set up for yourself. excellent! i’ll look into that book. thanks for the tip!
      as for languages, I’ve mostly just learned them in school or with rosetta stone, but that is very expensive. there is of course getting a job in the country and living there, which is always the fastest way to learn a language, but what I like to do in order to keep up with languages I’ve learned- mainly german, is watch movies in that language. I usually watch them with english subtitles unless I know the movie really well, it helps me catch words I don’t know. Also, I started reading harry potter in german alongside the english version. I can get through a lot of it, which is really encouraging, and it is fun to notice the little differences in translation. i’ve had a few moments of “aha! that’s not what that really means!”

      so those would be my two main cheap language learning methods- movies and books. let me know if you come across any good resources! good luck with your travels and learning! :)

  11. shoma

    great website. hope to contribute about travels in india… keep it up..

  12. Graceie

    Hey Jacqueline,

    Thanks so much for this amazing site! I too have just graduated and am off to explore the world. Luckily I was just starting all my research when I came across your resources, blog and other inspiring and fun ideas. I have checked out other areas on your site and have enjoyed all of it, (like the straw bale home and bossaball) both are extremely awesome! I didn’t even know straw bale homes existed; now I can’t wait to build one someday. :P
    My many adventures will be starting this fall and continuing for 1 year + until I go back for more school. After all I found with your help I have all these huge ideas. Maybe I will drive off on my motorcycle and volunteer/work my way up to somewhere like Alaska, then find some yacht to work on and catch a ride overseas where I will continue to help and learn my way across the globe using many of the resources you’ve provided here. I’m pretty free about exactly where I go, I just plan to go and seize these sorts of volunteer opportunities as they arise. I can’t wait! Thanks again for being awesome and posting this! I hope you have a great time in your travels and businesses, I will continue to check out your blog and updates. :D

    Graceie

    • Jacqueline Boss

      I’m so glad I was able to give you some good ideas! Isn’t it great to be free of school for awhile? I’ve got the same plan as you- just have an open mind and take the best opportunities as they arise. I’ll keep posting my ideas and stories as they come, and hopefully soon I’ll be able to write about my straw house :) But I think that’s at least a year off. Enjoy your travels and let me know if you have any amazing experiences!

  13. Sher

    Hi this was a great list! Another nice site is http://www.thesca.org/ where you can volunteer in gift shops and camps all over the U.S and get room/board.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Thanks for the tip, I’ll put that site on the list soon. :)

  14. Hi,

    I like the blog, nice broad list of different ways to travel. I am surprised that you added i-to-i however, they are just an agency and charge a ludicrous amount of money. For those interested in side-stepping agencies and volunteering independently check out http://www.volunteeringforfree.org. I set up this site so volunteers dont need to go through agencies, it lists hostels worldwide that are willing to assist their guests with finding volunteer work with local projects for no extra cost. Very much welcome any suggestions and additions too please!

  15. Ali

    Hi great post! I would like to add one more resource to this list, http://volunteerstays.com/, it is a great site if you want to cut down on your expenses by doing work exchanges in return for local food and accommodation. The site uses the platform to bring together the hosts and the tourists to find each other based on their needs. Do check it out.

  16. Danivilly Carvalho

    Hi, I’m from Brazil and I know another cool website where travelers can stay with hosts in return for money, for work or for free! It’s called http://www.staydu.com ! I just found a cool job in Australia.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Thanks for the tip! I’ll be looking into that one. :)

  17. Zoe

    This is an amazing article. Thank you for writing it. I only knew about four of these places. I don’t know how you managed to find so many amazing sites and well priced volunteer opportunities. I’m so sick of searching for overseas volunteer work and coming up with programmes that are $1000 or so a week. This is a really useful article. Thank you.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      I’m so glad you found it useful, it makes me feel good when I can help out other travelers! Honestly it took me quite a while to find all of them, which is why I thought it would be a good idea to post them all in one place. :) Thanks for your input! Happy travels.

  18. Thad Shaffer

    I love to travel, and I am single. The only thing that might be a hindrince is that I am on Social Security, I am 100% disabled. I still can do alot of things, and I can make up to $900 a month and still get SSI. I want to stay busy, and I like the change, so let me know if there is anything out there that I can do. Thanks

  19. Steph

    WOWWWW!!!! This is fantastic!!! Will be passing this on to all my travel buddies and way to go on creating your own e-book! I’ve done a lot of traveling, but hadn’t heard of all of these. Some things you could add: Ride Share sites or other sites similar to Craigslist (leboncoin.fr in France, apartager.com to find roommates in France and other countries in Europe), but that are specific to certain countries/regions.

    There’s also a great program in France and many other European countries (Spain, Germany, Slovenia, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria that I know of, and I’m sure others too) where you can go to teach English (or another language, whatever you are a native speaker of). You are called a “language assistant”. I just did this in France (www.ciep.fr) for the past two years, and taught English to Gr 3,4, & 5 the first year, and German in high school the second year (grew up speaking German at home). You get paid about 900EUR/month, and work 12 hrs in a classroom/week. Sometimes you teach by yourself and are essentially the only teacher (in Primary), or you help the teachers as a “native expert” (high school). 900EUR does not sound like a lot, but it’s totally manageable – bc you can apply for a rent subsidy from the government, where you will often get 100-400 euros back, groceries are much cheaper and if you are under 25, you can travel for MUCH cheaper all around France, and they generally have lots of “under 25″ deals for museums and even cell phone plans! Maybe this will help some people, and keep up the great work!

  20. Lee

    Have you ever heard of world ventures? It’s the only way I travel and tons of volunteerism too! Check it out at http://www.dreamtripslife.com

  21. Christina

    Your #12 says #21. Great info!!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      wow thank you. I can’t believe it took so long to catch that. Fixed!

  22. Hey Jacqueline,

    Thanks for sharing Cool Works with your readers. I wanted to share our social network, My CoolWorks, with you as well. We have weekly chats about seasonal jobs and topics related to work and travel. It would be fun to have you join us to cover teaching English abroad. Email me if that sounds interesting to you.

    Thanks again and cheers!
    Kari
    CoolWorks.com

  23. Veronica

    Hello everybody,

    Great tips! I have been doing a little traveling myself by teaching English as a Second Language with my TEFL certificate. I think I’ve been lucky enough to get the jobs that I’ve had, because I started with very little experience. If any of you are interested, you can go to the following websites and you can find great opportunities, if you don’t hear from someone right away, keep trying, that’s what I always do. Good luck. http://seriousteachers.com (got me a job in Brazil) and http://www.tefl.com (got me a job in Italy).

  24. Hi! I am so glad I found your website! I love to travel – been to Scotland, London, and Ireland. And next week I will be on my way to China! My parents instilled the desire to travel in me a long time ago when we went on family trips across the US. This particular post is wonderful and quite helpful! I’ve been wanting to find ways to make my interest in traveling a part of my career and this is certainly a great way to start! I have also recently started a blog, and am trying to find where exactly I will be going with it. Anyways, thank you for inspiration and great information!

  25. Elle Mel

    Wow. I’m about to graduate and have no clue what it is that I want to do with my life, except I LOVE to travel. Thank you thank you thank you for posting this. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my day studying these sites!!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Awesome! I hope you come up with some really exciting travel plans.

  26. Nora

    Thank you for the suggestions!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      de nada. :)

  27. Eileen

    Awesome sight! I’m an AmeriCorps Alumni and have used coolworks and backdoor jobs to find fun seasonal work. I’m excited to take advantage of workaway for my next adventure!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      great! sounds like a good life you’re living. keep it up!

  28. Hi Jacqueline, I just found your great blog here and wanted to thank you for all the helpful info. I also wanted to let you know that I am 27 years old, and have been using http://www.caretaker.org for years, and have found some great rent-free gigs from their site, so you might want to revise your description you have about needing to be an older person to successfully use their site.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Cool, that is good to know. Thanks! :) Maybe I should look into it myself…

  29. Don’t forget that most schools ask for a degree along with a TEFL certificate if you’re teaching abroad! The days of the backpacker teacher are over!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      True. I guess I take for granted that that’s a given for most jobs.

  30. Theresa

    “[Peace Corps] Volunteers are taken with no experience…”

    This just isn’t true. There are fairly stringent requirements and a very long application process involved in becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer. You need to have a 4 year college degree and previous experience associated with whichever program you apply to. You also have to be a U.S. citizen. However, you get vacation time that you can use for traveling around the region.

    As you mention, Peace Corps involves living and working abroad, not traveling for free.

    Otherwise, thanks for this great list of resources!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Good correction. But you’re welcome for the resources!

  31. so awesome! i’m trying to work out a way to do one of these this summer.

    is a visa required to participate in most of these? if so, what type?

    • Jacqueline Boss

      It completely depends. I don’t know much about Visas to be honest, but it will be based on a few factors such as the country, length of stay, and whether you are working or traveling. You’ll have to do the research based on your specific trip, but if you go through an employer or some agency they will usually help explain what you need.

  32. Nichole

    For the TEFL, do I need a bachelors degree? I don’t have one but that sounds like something I really want to do.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      That’s a good question, a TEFL company actually just made that comment. For the most part you will need one. It will be much harder but not impossible to find opportunities without a degree. However you don’t need a degree to become certified in TEFL, and there are many more volunteer opportunities than paid jobs that involve TEFL for people without degrees.

  33. Hi!! Thanks to you I’m on my dream backpacking trip. I used workaway and it has been the greatest experience! I love you!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      That’s wonderful! Congratulations! I’m glad I could help.

  34. Hi there, I really enjoyed your article and would have loved to have this kind of information available when I was younger. Being older (27) and having a family now (1 husband, 2 children) travelling is much harder(and more expensive). Do you have any information about extended trips / vacations for families which don’t cost thousands and thousands? Thanks, Hollie

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Hi Hollie,

      From what I’ve read and seen, it seems like there are a lot of voluntourism type trips that would be good for families. There are a lot of organizations now putting together packages specifically for families so that everyone gets a good mix of volunteering for some cause and vacation/relaxation time. Most of those as you’ve probably seen are pretty expensive, but there are ways around it. It definitely helps in the searching stage if you can think of something very specific you’d like to do and then google that rather than just searching “voluntourism for families.” For example, I’ve been looking for retreat center jobs, and the google search results that come up are expensive and not what I’m looking for. If I get more specific and search “work-exchange at a retreat center at ‘location x’” (can be anywhere), that helps a lot. I’ve been getting more and better results; some places even offer a small stipend instead of asking for a few hundred dollars per month per person.

      A retreat center might actually be a good thing to consider; they usually have a strong sense of community and interesting classes to take, and your kids have a safe place to run around and play if they don’t want to/ are to young to participate in a work exchange program.

      Hope that helps a bit, good luck with your search!

  35. Great post! Will definitely look more into a lot of these sites to keep traveling on a budget! I’ve studied abroad as well and am currently in the process of teaching abroad via Footprints. I have a section in my blog about the entire process thus far: http://theworldismybackyard.weebly.com/teaching-abroad.html
    Thanks for the great info:)

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Thanks. :) I just took a look at your site and I really like the look and the layout. Especially like the way you set up the bucket list… I think I may copy your idea. Keep up the adventures!

  36. what website did you use to become a tefl?

  37. Hi! great tips and blog. I d like to know if you have any tips about europeans wanting to travel around. specifically about tefl certifications for non native speakers and visas for the US. thnx!

  38. Thank you for this comprehensive list!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      No problemo!

  39. Hi, I am currently working aboard yachts and am happy to help anyone who thinks they would like to get into it. I am busy writing a series of articles for new crew / people looking to become crew. You can check the first one out here http://allatseamandy.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-be-yachtie-part-1.html

  40. What a great article! Thank you for this, it’s a great help! Good continuation

  41. Hi! I have fell in love with everything that I have just read.. I’m a 19 year old who has always had a passion for traveling and seeing more of what our world has to offer. I was just going to come to you for your honest opinion and any advice you may have. As you can tell by my age, I have recently graduated high school (well, almost a year ago now) and I have taken a year off from school. My reasoning of doing this is not only how indecisive I am, but I haven’t exactly considered myself ready to start school again yet. I’m in love with the outdoors and I love helping people and even animals. Those three things are my passions in life. (alongside family of course!) :) I was trying to find ways to travel and explore the world, but also either make money at the same time, or volunteer solely for being rich in happiness. I was assuming almost everything you have listed and talked about here are for anyone over the age of 18? I really hope so.. I’m in love with the idea of traveling the world and making a difference at the same time. I’ve always wanted to become a person who worked for the World Wildlife Fund, but everything on here sounds far more rewarding of an experience! I was just wondering if maybe you could help me out and maybe give me your two cents about being able to travel abroad and work and volunteer? That would be so great. Like I said, I’m just infatuated with everything I have just read! I’ve been reading it over and over since I discovered it this past Tuesday! I’m hoping you can help me! I’m kind of stuck on where I want to go and what I want to do with my life.. and this seems like the PERFECT fit for someone like me! Thanks in advance! – Jaci :)

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Jaci! I completely missed your comment! I think it’s great that you’re taking a gap year! Yes, many of these jobs and volunteer positions only accept adults, but there are also plenty of positions that accept younger people, allow children on site, etc.

      I’d say just pick an adventure and go for it- the planning makes travel seem harder than it actually is. Feel free to email me if you need specific information and good luck with everything!

  42. I would Really like to read your book but I have no ebook ….
    Is there an other way to read it ?

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Thanks for your interest! Unfortunately at the moment there isn’t, as I listed my book with Amazon and it is exclusive there for 90 days (though you could download a Kindle reader to your computer and read the file there). When the 90 days are up though, I will put the eBook on sale on this website again as a PDF file.

  43. Hello Jacqueline

    I love your website, it has great resources and information on it. I love to travel, i traveled a lot during high school and fell in love with it, just going to the airport gets me excited. I’m 23 and currently going through a divorce from my husband. We have two children together, who will be with me for the most part. I sacrificed a lot for our marriage and since he has asked for this divorce I realized I can try to get back to doing some of the stuff I love but I have to still think about our children. Do you know if teaching English in other countries can work if u have children, I already have a college degree and don’t think it would be a problem getting tefl certification. If not teaching English, do you know of any other opportunities that pay and would work with children. Thanks so much for any advice.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      I’m sure you would be able to make teaching English work if you really wanted to– it would be similar to being a teacher in America, you’d have your own place with you and your kids, go to work during the day, come home at night. Though the pay is usually less, but enough to live on in the country you are teaching in. I haven’t heard of anyone in particular who has done it with children, but I’m sure it has been done. As I don’t have kids, I haven’t done much research on it, but if you find out something interesting, I’d love to hear about it! Good luck!

  44. Thanks for all the resources, I’m considering taking a year to travel the world but I don’t quite have the money! My only note would be about yacht crewing: I have several friends and a little brother in the industry, and there are far too many people and not nearly enough jobs. Additionally, a lot of the guys that take on these jobs are looking to travel the world for cheap (just like you said!) and they are in for one heck of a surprise when they learn that while they may be traveling to exotic places, they sometimes are stuck 12 hours a day in the engine room, or spending 6 hours cleaning the boat top to bottom while their employers explore. One of my friends works on a charter boat, and when it isn’t being used, he just lives with the captain on a 125 foot yacht. When he isn’t working on keeping the boat in tip top shape, he can go wander wherever he pleases. He’s got a great setup, but it took him years to get this far. If you’re looking for cheap world travel for a year, yacht crewing is not the best idea. It’s a fun line of work, but if you don’t love it, not a good idea.
    Sorry… All the other ideas are fabulous though! I can’t wait to check some of these out in more detail!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Thanks Sam, that’s good to know. It’s the same with cruise ship jobs- when you get to leave the boat to explore, it’s great, but it’s easy to get stuck working when everyone else is out having fun, and you might not get as much time for adventure as you want. But there’s a good variety of jobs out there, so it’s just a matter of weighing the pros and cons of each.

  45. I want to go

    Search any list of top ten favorite cities in the country (or the world)

  46. Hello :) im a student in high school and i really want to travel abroad but can not find an affordable way to do so while still going to school
    Anyone got any ideas? Please help.

    P.S love the post it is amazing that you can travel so much for free!

  47. This is a really helpful list for anyone! So many people see long-term travel as an unattainable, over-priced luxury and I can’t stress how easily accessible it really is. I recently spent a year and a half traveling all around and spent the first four months as a WWOOFer in Hawaii. This was probably one of the most authentic (and cheapest) experiences I had in all of my time away.

    By living with a family you are instantly exposed to their community of people in the area. They tell you all the best places to go, where to eat and are generally extremely welcoming and generous. For the most part I worked 3-5 hours/day, 5 days a week leaving me with the afternoons to explore the island. They provided accommodation and basic food so I spent hardly any money yet got off the beaten track and met amazing inspirational people.

    For anyone new to traveling and somewhat interested in sustainability, I highly suggest trying this out! Happy travels :)

  48. These are great tips! I actually just recently bought a home in Bali and will be moving in a few months. I work with a team called Project A.W.O.L which allows me to travel as much as I want while earning upwards of $8000 per month. It’s amazing! I will definitely be utilizing some of your tips here, though! If you’re interested in joining my team at Project A.W.O.L (another way of life), check out my website: http://dream-life-now.wix.com/alisharenee

  49. I taught ESL in South Korea for 6 months and in Japan for 1 year. Between both jobs I traveled around Mongolia, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. What an AMAZING experience. Before that, I have traveled all over Europe. I love travelling. It really opens your eyes to what the world really is like, other than what you see on tv.

  50. Shoot, I thought there used to be a link on this page to retreats around the world. Where’d that go?

  51. What a great list. I took a 4 week in-class TEFL Course in Thailand and currently teaching English in Phuket. And you know what, I love my life. lol. Thank you for this great article.

  52. Thank you SO much for this list of resources! I have been a travel agent / agency manager for over two years now but I’m ready to be the one on the travelling end, not watching from behind a desk. My husband and I are in our early twenties and have always dreamed of living abroad and would like the chance to give our son the opportunity to experience all the amazing cultures across the globe. Our biggest goal would be to live in Ireland but to be honest I want to see it ALL! Are there any sites that we could use as a way to find family-friendly opportunities?

  53. I didn’t see it on the list, but I have also done a lot of airbnb and have had awesome experiences with it. It’s like couchsurfing where you get to be centrally located, with the locals, instead of off in a hotel/tourist district, but provides more guarantee and stability than couchsurfing as far as the plans not falling through. It’s crazy affordable compared to hotels, but is not free like CS, and operates a lot like bed and breakfasts (except rarely with breakfasts :P )

    But best of all they are located in some of the coolest, most unique places in the world as well as metropolitan hubs

  54. I appreciate the list, but have a quibble: GVI is _not_ free, cheap, or paid. I searched four categories and ALL the listings had costs. The lowest one costs $850 paid to GVI, and then you still have to pay your own plane fares and other such fees. Rough estimate for the two weeks: two thousand U.S. dollars.

    Have you considered putting your book in e-pub format for iPad? I have the Kindle app on the iPad, but I don’t like it.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Have you followed the link I gave to the careers listings? It seems like almost all of those are unpaid work-exchange positions that GVI doesn’t ask for a fee to apply to.

      Hm, I have not considered an iPad version, but that’s probably a good idea!

  55. Hi Jacqueline
    This may sound a bit like promoting a project but my Uncle runs a volunteer and internship project in south west France. Prices start from 20 euros per day all in and you only have to volunteer work for 21 hours per week.
    The project is putting together a place for students from around the globe to learn French and learn about France and the French way of life.
    Over 400 volunteers have helped so far so it has a very good reputation which can ve checked out at http://volunteer-france.lagiraudiere.com/volunteers_testimonials.html
    hope you find this comment of intrest and I am sure my Uncle can supply further information. The email address belongs to him.
    Regards
    Lee

  56. Thank you so much for this brilliant post. You really showed some of the great ways for cheap travel. This is something that everyone should keep in mind while traveling one additional suggestion from my side is to cut off all you additional expenses.

  57. Do you have, or could you write a page on how to get a visa to do all this travelling? I would love to go but am having a very hard time knowing how to get the visa! Would jump on that plane tomorrow if I could!

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Ah, it would be very hard to do a post on that. Every county has its own Visa laws that vary dramatically, so really all you can do is look up the laws for the particular country you are going to. In general though, if you are volunteering for just a few months, a tourist Visa is fine. Work Visas are usually more complicated (often prohibitively so), which is why it’s a lot easier to just travel to a new place in your own country. Australia also has a great work-travel program that makes it much easier for Americans (I’m not sure about Europeans) to stay there longer-term and find work.

  58. Farah Saleem

    HI Jacqueline

    Thankyou for this post. I would like to know if there any specific resources/places that accepts married couples for the volunteer work? My husband and I have a pledge of traveling the world together but we dont have much money. Can you suggest something?

  59. Tanaya

    Hi my name is Tanaya i am a medical (Mbbs) student from India. I love travelling. Though i don’t have any experience of travelling out of country but i am really looking forward to it. I want to explore world and while doing that i want my medical knowledge to be of help. Can you please guide me please??

  60. Anonymous

    I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer and I take pride in what I do and why I have joined. When you said, “If I wanted to settle down in one location for 2 entire years, I would just get a job.” Two years is nothing in the grand scheme of things, clearly, many people are commitment-phobes and I think it’s great that that very idea scares people away because we wouldn’t want those people to join and just end up quitting. If your reason to apply to Peace Corps is to go on a paid-vacation, then PLEASE DO NOT APPLY. It’s a volunteer position and we work to help with community development, malaria/HIV aids awareness, and various health and water sanitation projects. Don’t do it if you plan on just bumming around at some beach. It’s annoying when I see Peace Corps included in lists of self-proclaimed “travel bloggers” who are painting an image of Peace Corps as a free trip to live abroad. No. It’s hard, that’s why many people don’t join.

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