Do you think traveling is always connected with money? You might also believe that the more money people have the longer they can travel.

Not so.

Traveling does not depend on your high salary and income, it depends on time, particularly on your holidays and days off. You cannot travel unless you have time off, but you can travel and visit other countries even if you do not have money.

In this article, Amalie, a journalist and keen ex-traveler, is going to share her experience about  inexpensive traveling and having very short holidays constantly throughout the whole year. Over to Amalie!

Amalie’s story

I earned twice as much in 2018 than in 2017.

However, paradoxically, I could travel only for two weeks in the summer of 2018. I don’t have long holidays as my job is full-time.

In comparison, when I was an EVS volunteer (European Voluntary Service) in Lithuania in 2017, I managed to travel to 14 countries, some of them I even visited twice. I would travel every single month. 

Although I always had a small amount of money, that never stopped me from traveling frequently because I had something much more important at that time- ten days off each month. By contrast, now being a full-time employee, I have only two weeks of holiday and weekends for the whole year. 

This is the paradox of traveling: without money you can still travel, without time you cannot. 

If you love traveling and you have time or you are currently unemployed, don’t miss the chance of visiting other countries and cities since you might start a full-time job like me and turn from a travel-crazy person into someone who hasn’t traveled for many months.

Still hesitating and thinking that you do not have enough money to travel? Here I will share some tips on how to travel completely for free. 

Hitchhiking

Why should you spend half of your earnings on buses, trains or planes when you can hitchhike just by taking a card stock and writing your destination on it? A very kind driver might stop soon and drive you even to faraway lands for free.

In my experience, the drivers who stop are mostly people who love traveling and they have hitchhiked at least once in their life. You would not only reach your destination fairly free but you might also find quite much in common with the driver and spend productive hours by talking to a nice person. 

Once a super friendly person drove me and my friend for free and even treated us to a cup of cappuccino!

Couchsurfing

Why spend your whole money on expensive hotels when you can find a cool Couchsurfer who would like to host you for free and sometimes even be your guide to the most important places in town? Couchsurfingis a social networking service that connects members to a global community of travelers. Members can use it to find a place to stay or share their home with travelers.

By using Couchsurfing, I always stayed at very cozy apartments, and twice (!) I had a free room that was even better than my own, at my parent’s flat. Some of the Couchsurfers even trusted me with the key to the flat and let me be flexible with hours for leaving and coming back home. 

Foodsharing 

Can you believe that you can eat the same food that was placed in supermarkets and bakeries totally free? If you organize your trip well, you would not even have to spend money on food. 

There are movements like Foodsharingin Germany when people fight against food wasting. Through cooperation with restaurants and supermarkets, movement volunteers take the “not fresh” food and place it in public fridges from where everybody can take it. There are also lots of Facebook groups where people post what they can’t eat and offer you to meet up and take it. 

A friend of mine who is a Foodsharing volunteer gave me free croissants when I met him in Berlin.It was the last day of my trip and I actually lacked money for sweets!

So, before starting your trip, just google this information using keywords like free food, food sharing and the city name. You can also ask locals who might know about such movements and simply direct you there. 

Check out free events 

Before arriving in your travel spot, see on social media which free events (like concerts, museum visits, meetings and workshops) are available. 

Believe it or not, all the best events and museums I have visited so far have free entrance. 

Even if the event does not seem to be very interesting to you, I recommend you to still pay a visit because you will definitely meet locals there who might tell you about new, better free events that you could not find on your own. Besides, by meeting local people you will get to know their culture and enjoy your free time. 

Moreover, as a journalist, I had free pass to many public museums, so if you work in the media as well, do not hesitate to use your badge if an opportunity springs up.

By the way, you might get a free coffee, tea or sweets at these events that you can drink or eat for free instead of spending money on it.

So, do you need time or money?