12 Ways To Travel On A Budget, Cheap & Free

1  |  F L Y  W I T H  L O W  C O S T  A I R L I N E S

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy flying business or first class, it is truly one of life’s pleasure being waited on hand and foot 40,000 feet in the air. However, life is about choices and personally when I take my time and budget into consideration at this stage in my life I elect to travel on low cost carriers when venturing internationally like Scoot, Air Asia, Jetstar, Easy Jet and Ryanair etc. These airlines are not always considered the best when it comes to customer service but regardless I appreciate that these carriers are available to take me from point A to point B as cheaply as possible. By flying with low cost carriers I am able to direct my money elsewhere by freeing up my budget to see more for less. Be sure to always read the fine print when travelling on low cost airlines particularly in relation to online check in times, ticket issuance and cancellation policies.

When flying with larger airlines like Emirates, Qantas or Cathay Pacific be sure to maximise your spending power by joining their frequent flyer programs and through point accruement by flying with them or spending with their partners you will be able to spoil yourself with an upgrade in no time. Last year I flew business class from London to Sydney having accumulated enough miles through Qantas… it was aviation heaven to say the least and the only fee I had to pay was a mere $200.00 booking fee which is nothing when compared to a full business class fare. Also keep in mind that if you have secured an economy class ticket, larger carriers might have upgrade deals available on the day of departure subject to availability. The prices on offer on the day of departure (advertised at the check in counter or simply by asking the cabin crew) are considerably cheaper compared to when booking an upgrade in advance. However, if you are travelling during peak seasons the chances of securing an upgrade in this manner is limited but it doesn’t hurt to ask your crew the price of an upgrade as they would have been informed during pre-flight briefing of the costs involved for that particular flight. Naturally this does depend on the carrier in question.

2  |  C O L L E G E  E X C H A N G E  P R O G R A M S

One of the best things you can do during your college years is to participate in an exchange program through your institution. Having participated in two programs myself I can guarantee this is an experience that will only serve to enrich your life and future employers look on this resume addition favourably. These programs typically come with partial financial support granted by the college you attend but further assistance can be found though community based scholarships. In addition, depending on the conditions of your student visa you might also be able to work minimum hours in your host country to aide daily costs. Exchange programs are not limited to tertiary students, as high schoolers also have the opportunity to study abroad or perhaps you can participate in a language exchange as an adult.

3  |  B A C K P A C K I N G  &  A I R B N B

Backpacking is not everyone’s cup of tea but with that said not all hostels are awful, filthy or lacking in security. In fact using websites dedicated to sourcing cheap accommodation like Hostel World or Airbnb will leave you pleasantly surprised when you see the rooms on offer for budget conscious travellers. Of course, it all depends on location for example some of the best hostels can be found in Lisbon whilst Laos has some questionable choices on offer, but it is all part of the experience. For couples, private room are not always available in some hostels but when they are they are an affordable alternative to hotel rooms. When choosing a hostel I always am guided by the rating afforded to them by other travellers, if female doorms are available, security, location and cleanliness. Be sure to read the reviews as some hostels attract a noisier crowd whist others are designed to cater to a more quiet traveller. There really is something for everyone out there if you look a little deeper. Airbnb is a great option for those wanting a more local experience, however a profile is necessary which unfortunately can lead to discrimination. Personally, as a solo female traveller I only elect to utilise Airbnb when travelling with a group or a partner for safety reasons. Lastly, if you are travelling in seasons where tourism is high plan ahead to ensure you have a place to stay and expect prices to be inflated.

4  |  W O R K I N G   H O L I D A Y   V I S A S

The number one way to see a country or continent is to spend time living and working there. As a generation we are incredibly fortunate to have access to government work exchange programs that permit those between the ages of 18-30 to reside in a country between 1 – 2 years on a working holiday visa. This method to long term travel is very popular amongst Australians, as time spent in London on a working holiday visa almost considered a rite of passage. Once provided these visas cannot be reissued so be sure that you are ready to make a commitment to  make the most of the opportunity to live and work overseas. It can be quite daunting as the decision and ultimately the move requires careful planning and budgeting. In order to ease those feelings of anxiety regarding finding work be sure to read my blogpost My Top 10 Tips For Finding Work Overseas and to assist with your planning Going Overseas | The To Do List. For further information on working holiday visas, which countries offer them and how to get started visit Global Goose or click here.

5  |  W O R K   I N   H O S T E L S

A resourceful way to subsidise your travel budget is to reduce your accommodation costs by working at the hostel you are staying in exchange for board. This is more geared towards those among us who are planning to backpack for a long period of time as most hostels offering work placements require a commitment of one to two months. However, this is a fantastic method in which to truly become immersed into your new environment, live like a local without the hassle of a working visa and retain your pennies. This mode of budget does require planning, communication and a resume ready to go with a focus on administration and hospitality skills. Also keep in mind that many websites dedicated to connecting volunteer workers with hostels require a small membership payment for their service. On the contrary, you can opt to investigate hostels in your choice destination and contact management individually but is more time consuming.

www.hosteljobs.net

www.hosteltraveljobs.com

www.backpackerjobboard.com.au

6  |  B E C O M E  A N  A U  P A I R

If you love children and want to improve upon you languages skills then consider spending time abroad as an au pair for a host family. Participants in return for child minding, cooking and light house work receive free board, meals and weekly pocket money typically governed by their representing agency. Unfortunately, due to visa stipulations au pair programs do have an age limit and at time vary according to nationality.

Australia 18 – 30 years old
Austria EU: 18 – 28, Non-EU: 18 – 27 years old
Belgium 18 – 25 years old
Canada 18 – 30 years old
Denmark 18 – 29 years old
Finland 17 – 30 years old
France 17 – 30 years old
Germany EU: 17 – 30, Non-EU: 18 – 26 years old
Iceland 18 – 25 years old
Ireland 18 – 30 years old
Italy EU: 17 – 30, Non-EU: 18 – 30 years old
Luxembourg 18 -30 years old
Netherlands 18 – 30 years old
New Zealand 18 – 30 years old
Norway 18 – 30 years old
South Africa 18 – 24 years old
Spain 17 – 30 years old
Sweden 18 – 30 years old
Switzerland EU: 17 – 30, Non-EU: 18 – 25 years old
United Kingdom 17 – 30 years old
USA 18 – 26 years old

One of my biggest regrets is not participating in the Au Pair program in France because I wasn’t aware of the age limit so if this something you wish to do be sure to get on top of it right away. One of the most beneficial aspects of the program is that you relocate to a country with a support network in the form of your agency and host family. As such this is brilliant for those wanting to venture overseas on a working holiday visa but don’t yet have the confidence to go it alone.

www.aupairworld.com

www.greataupair.com

7  |  U S A  S U M M E R  C A M P S

If you have three months to spare and are eager to experience life in the American landscape and particpate in one of their greatest traditions becoming a camp leader might just be for you. With placements extending over their summer period for 9 – 12 weeks this is a travel opportunity that will help build you interpersonal skills and is a great addition to your resume particularly if you are in your early twenties and have limited employment experience. Camp leaders travel to the USA on a J1 visa which will give you an additional 30 days at the end of your camp experience to explore the country on your own. Unfortunately substantial costs are involved in order to apply and be approved to work with children. A rough guideline of expense are provided below:

  • Flights to and from the USA
  • Medical evaluation
  • Police Check (AUD $42.00)
  • J1 Visa Application (US $265.00 inclusive of MRV fee and issuance fee)
  • Program Fees (varies between $600 – $750)
  • Application Fees (US $99.00 roughly)

As previously stated you will be provided with meals and accommodation and roughly be paid US $1500.00 for your time which can be put towards your sight seeing adventures post camp. Should you be interested in expanding your camp counselling horizons to the UK, Russia, Croatia or Canada click here.

www.campleaders.com

www.usasummercamp.co.uk

www.ccusa.com.au

8  |  T E A C H  E N G L I S H  O V E R S E A S

In order to teach English overseas participants will need to gain internationally recognised certification either online or in a classroom environment. There are two types of certificates that can be obtained, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), both of which are offered by numerous companies. However, when electing a company be sure to find one that offers placement assistance, provides substantial support before and during your stay and gives applicants substantial teaching experience as finding a job is dependent on certification and adequate practical experience (anywhere between 100 – 120 hours).

www.goabroad.com

www.tesolau.com

www.statravel.com.au

www.interexchange.org

9  |  M A K E  T R A V E L  A  C A R E E R

Do you have a passion for travel and working with people, maybe becoming a flight attendant or working on a cruise ship might be suited to your personality and skills? For my fellow dancers out there, working on a cruise as part of the on board entertainment is a perfect way to combine talent with travel and certainly provides career satisfaction. For those with sailing skills you potentially qualified to join a small crew aboard private yachts. Working as a flight attendant was one of the most rewarding chapters of my life, but please keep in mind this form of work whether it be onboard a plane or a cruise ship is demanding and your time in each port will rarely exceed 24 hours. However, you will fly back/sail back to these locations multiple times so you will become an a city expert throughout the course of employment, just pace yourself. For those looking to relocate for work, Emirates, Qatar and Etihad all take international crew but fluency in English is a must. Should you be fluent in both German and English, Lufthansa also take on international crew. For further information about the realities of a career in aviation be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

www.allcruisejobs.com

www.cruisejobfinder.com

www.emiratesgroupcareers.com

www.cabincrewhub.com

10  |  S E A S O N A L  E M P L O Y M E N T

Ever wanted to ski the famous mountain ranges of Europe, New Zealand and the USA but the prices make that dream near to impossible? Why not find seasonal employment on the slopes? With various positions available from management to instructors and everything in between to keep the ski season running smoothly you are bound to find something that suits your skills and qualifications. However be realistic with this experience as you will be required to work hard to retain your keep but this is an excellent way to save some money in a picturesque location to fund further travel.

www.seasonworkers.com

11  | W W O O F I N G

WWOOFING (commonly referred to as World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a global program that connects willing volunteers with host families in need of farming assistance on their organic properties. In exchange for food and accommodation volunteers work anywhere between 4-6 hours a day for a period negotiated between both parties. With over 100 countries participating in the program this is a fantastic opportunity for those over 18 years of age to see the world on a budget, meet new people and be exposed to a new language and culture. Please keep in mind that WWOOF organizations and visas vary according to country and that work volunteers are responsible for all their everyday travel costs excluding meals and board. For the best place to start be sure to check our the following links as they have an international focus.

www.wwoofinternational.org

www.wwoof.net

12  |  L O N G  T E R M  C A R E E R  P L A C E M E N T

Lastly, if you are someome who is serious about becoming an expatriate you need to have solid plan in place to secure a job overseas beyond a working holiday visa. The market is competitive and most countries require international employees to be sponsored by a company before a long term visa can be issued and is dependent on job shortage, politics, language skills and finances. The best way to work overseas in a secure profession and to develop your long term career is through an inter-company transfer, so prospective expatriates will want to look at finding employment with international companies like KPMG, PWC, Deloitte, Zurich Insurance to name a few. Furthermore, look at the skills you have to offer as there are some professions that will never go out of style e.g medicine, teaching, nursing are always on employment short lists. Therefore, if you have these qualifications you will be more successful at securing a sponsorship visa. To read about first hand experience from a London based expatriate with a booming career read my interview news cameraman Oliver Clarke.

Happy travels

Xo

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