How to Travel the World When You’re Broke AF
Have you ever dreamed of spending your morning in a balcony of a hotel with the view of Eiffel Tower while you’re enjoying your much-needed macchiato and fresh-baked croissants?
Have you ever wanted to have an “authentic” selfie of the Statue of Liberty as your background?
Or travel the world and spend your Sunday on a solemn mass at St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague?
If no…then why are you even reading this? Get lost!
If yes…then what’s stopping you?
After asking my twenty-seven imaginary friends, their common answer was…
Jace, I am just an ordinary worker with a minimum salary, how am I going to travel the world like pilots, Noachian sea captains and multi-billionaire CEO’s do?
♣ Law of Equivalent Exchange: Priorities and Sacrifices
You don’t need to be a pilot, a sea captain (or even Jack Sparrow) or own your company to travel. You don’t need to have a million in your bank account to see the world.
Most of you must be rolling your eyes right now. Thinking: Jace must be in dreamlandia.
I always am, but today… I am not.
How? How is that even possible?
Calm down fellas. Have you ever heard the Law of Equivalent Exchange? Yes. It is from the famous anime: Fullmetal_Alchemist_(film)”Full Metal Alchemist…and no, I won’t teach you alchemy or teleportation here.
“Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return…”
Yes chaps, sacrifices. No. No. Not virgins. Not those poor lambs. Come on! This is not a fiction!
If you really want to travel…make it your priority. If travelling isn’t your priority, you will always have some other things to spend your money on. Like the new release of iPhone series…or the new trend of clothes on your favorite mall…or…yeah…you’ve got it! FOODS.
Chill! I know the food is a necessity. It is actually more important than other necessities like clothes and shelter…but hey! You can survive without the Starbuck’s Caramel Cinnamon Latte you’re having every week, or without the Burger King’s Whooper for your lunch!
Sacrifice, fella. Save. Look for a transparent jar, label it for travel and save those money you intended to spend other things. Give up those non-priority expenses for a while.
♣ House swap / Rent out your home.
But look, I just work as a part-timer in a fast food chain, I am still studying, I have a kid and my money kept on mysteriously disappearing in my wallet. How am going to save? Blah. Blah. and Blah.
Maybe you’re furious with the first part where I am telling you to save. Like: the hell Jace! Your title is how to travel when I am broke AF means I am here because I am broke as fuck! Where will I get the money that I will actually save? You piece of little…
Okay! Calm down! (How many calm down is it already? My imaginary friend is too hot-headed huh) I will actually share more tips, so stay right there and keep on reading. No, I am not begging for you to keep on reading…but…okay…okay…fine! I am! So let’s start.
House swap or rent out your home.
Do you have a house or a place you actually stay? (Okay, the place should actually be yours and no one will stay there while you’re on vacation. And sorry, those who stay with their parents should skip this tip…unless your parents will be comfortable and much willing to accept complete strangers to stay with them.)
So yeah, this tip won’t work when you stay with your parents or someone else. Your place should be empty when you decided to travel. You can offer it to someone else while you’re away (could be another traveller who will travel there in your place and looking for a free or cheap accommodation). It is a great source of cash or you can swap your place with someone…for example you’re from the Philippines, and you will travel to Australia, you just need someone from Australia who wants to travel to the Philippines and you two will use each other’s place.
It may perhaps too much hassle since you need to prepare your place for someone else (you know, securing your important things, clearing and hiding those porns…just kidding.) Not to mention, how risky it is. You might go home losing your thirty inches Plasma TV or without your LG 1001 Liters French door-in-door refrigerator because you trusted them to a stranger. But well, you know, there are actually people who tried this and actually enjoyed it.
Swapping works but for people with great places to offer…and those who can trust strangers their home (you won’t like to spend a vacation worrying about your house, don’t ya?)
A great place to stay? It doesn’t mean a mansion in London or a beachside villa in Hawaii. It can be just a simple apartment in town…what important is…your guests are comfortable and the places they wanted to visit are accessible in your area.
These are the websites I found if you want to look for a swap mate: HomeExchange.com and HomeLink.com
♣ House sitting or Petsitting
Do you want a free accommodation in your vacation? (Of course I know you do.) Can you tolerate animals or you’re actually a pet lover? Have you heard of house/pet sitting?
House/Pet Sitting, it is the word itself…oops, nope, you won’t sit on the house or pet. All you have to do is to look for a house that offers house/pet sitting and look for their house or pets while they are away. You can stay for free and some may also pay for looking out for their pets.
Why would anyone even leave their pets to a stranger?
Great question. As a dog-lover, I would never leave my dog to a stranger, but to some, leaving their beloved pets at home is inevitable.
Reason #1: Some pets, especially cats are territorial and they hate being moved to new surroundings.
Reason #2: Pet sitters can also watch over their home. Their property is occupied, the risk of a break in is reduced (unless the pet-sitter itself is the robber. Beware!)
Reason #3: The pet owners might be going to a seminar, a retreat or somewhere where they are not allowed to bring their fur babies.
Reason #4: No relatives available to take care of their house or pets.
Reason #5: Who would bring their pet snakes or tarantulas in a vacation?
Here are some websites I found that offers house sitting:
and http://www.pawshake.com.au – this website is awesome, they have nineteen different countries you can choose to house or pet sit. (plus: insurance included!)
♣ Work Overseas
You want to earn more and want a new job…a new environment…new people…new culture… Then why not work overseas?
There are plenty of jobs in the world where you don’t need a certain kind of degree or even experience.
You are a professional whatever? So what? These jobs won’t be your long-term career. You’ll just take these jobs to earn money for your travel and travel at the same time.
A – Teaching English
If you are a native English speaker, this job is definitely for you. This job is everywhere, the pay is great, it is easy and some even offers benefits. If you are not a native speaker…don’t worry because you can still teach English as long as you’re fluent on it (you know…the grammars, pronunciations, etc. are all right).
B – Working Holiday Schemes
These programs tend to be for young travelers usually under the age of thirty. Most of the countries that offer these programs are Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand.
The visa application is simple, but comes with proviso that you can’t work in one place for more than six months.
Most of the jobs they offer are office assistants, laborers, bartenders or waiters. The pay is never great but will be enough to support your stay for a while. Some may also give you a little extra money for a cup of Dulce de Leche Latte.
C – Au Pair
Here is the overview of what an Au Pair is: You should be a young adult willing to work as a domestic assistant from a foreign country. Also be able to provide up to forty five hours per week or up to ten hours a day of childcare for a family. You should be able to live-in with the host family for a year or could extend, it depend. You should be able to perform childcare related tasks or housework, again…it depends.
So yeah, if you are like me who hates children, well, don’t even think of being an au pair. You might be the next internet sensation who will be caught in the camera dribbling those sneaky brats.
D – Crew a cruise ship or a yacht
You don’t need to be a sea captain to crew a cruise ship or yacht there is zillion…(okay, that’s exaggerated, there are millions of jobs that are available on cruise ships such as being a bartender, waitress, culinary staff, casino worker, entertainer, etc.
Crew jobs might not be glamorous. I mean, who wants to work for long hours, stay below decks (you won’t be able to meet those yummy businessmen and women! But there’s a chance…so…), and you won’t be allowed off the ship that often. Hey…I intended to travel in the first place! Gah! I know…I know…but you’re broke! Look at the brighter side! This is just another way to see the world on someone else’s dime!
Caution: If you have seasickness, motion sickness…or just afraid of the sea…look for another way! I think they only hire those who know how to swim, in case Titanic II will happen…I said in case!
E – Tour Guide
So how to be a tour guide? Well…of course you should have some training and certifications. There is this International Guide Academy in Colorado, as well as many online options…often, has fees (of course), but they guarantee the money back you paid will be back for you in your first couple of tours.
You should study and educate yourself on the area which you will be working. (You will be providing assistance and information regarding the culture…history…and whatever your tourists wanted to know.)
So yeah…you should be ready for a lot of questions…you should know how to talk effectively (you should be convincing and looks legit of course). You should also have a sense of direction. LOL
♣ Hitchhike | Carpool
Even it sounded dangerously risky…hitchhiking is a somewhat safe and fairly common free way to get around destinations. In a nutshell, you can get on board with someone going in the same direction or if you have a car (wow…I thought you’re broke?), you can look for people to join you, thereby offsetting fuel costs (if they are not too thick-face not sharing a dime for your fuel, lol)
Unlike hitchhiking where you will just thumbs up on the side of the road, carpooling requires some advance arrangement. (And since I already compared these two, carpooling is actually safer than hitchhiking where you might hitchhike with some drug syndicates that will sell your kidney or ghosts…).
So…let’s go back, why does it require advance planning? Well, you should advertise or the carpooler should advertise in advance of the departure for travellers who will go in the same direction. Check their id’s, clearance…or whatever you wanted to check just to ensure your safety.
It is a great way to meet new people. You might even meet your soulmate! Just kidding— but well…who knows right? On the other hand, if you are unlucky enough, you might meet a psycho killer who will sell your kidney in the black market…yikes!
It may sound like a dog or something, but WWOOF has nothing to do with dogs.
WWOOF is an organization who connects you to local farmers who can give you a free room and board (and sometimes even foods) in exchange for working in the farm.
WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It is a large network of non-profit organizations…all over the world (you read that right!)
Just don’t forget to enjoy and wear sunscreens!
From the word volunteer and tourism, which means you can volunteer to a something for a tourism. You can teach English or if you have a degree on something, you can also teach it to the locals. You can volunteer in building schools or houses in a community, and you will have a place to stay as your compensation.
Here are some voluntourism sites: voluntousism.org, GlobalAware.org and ProjectsAbroad.org.
♣ And a lot more.
Wanderlust. (n.) A strong desire or urge to wander or travel and explore the world.
There are a lot more ways to travel even if you don’t have that much money. Like what I’ve said, you don’t need to be rich just to wander. Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can because life is not meant to be lived in one place. The purpose of life after all, is to live it.
They said when you are about to die, your life will flash before your eyes. How do you want it to be? A flashback full of the time you had a coffee in your office cubicle (but a lot of material things at home, and money) or a flashback full of your adventures?
What do you want to tell your grandkids as they listen to you while you sit on your rocking chair in front of your fireplace? Is it the iPad that worth a thousand bucks? All your time working? Will they even listen to that? Or do you prefer to tell them the time when you WOOFed in New Zealand and had a skydive after it? Or the majestic feeling you felt when you watched the sunrise in the Grand Canyon? You choose.
Live. Taste life, experience it to the utmost. Travel far enough until you meet yourself.
Rester, c’est exister; mais voyager, c’est vivre.” – “To stay is to exist, to travel is to live” – Gustave Nadaud
This is Jace Sinclair, signing out. Von voyage.