Little money for big travels

This post is about web­sites that have changed the travel game in the past 5 years. Why? Because money, or the lack of it, was the cause that kept so many travel enthu­si­asts at home, instead on the road.  Those flex­i­ble to give up the tur­ist stan­dard pro­file, of pre­paid hol­i­day in shiny resorts…have ben­e­fited loads from these web­sites.

Have you heard of couch­surf­ing and sky­scan­ner? I think you did, at least of one of the two. I shall tell you about more.

So, how much money do you need to travel like me, for exam­ple? I travel 8 months per year, with money I save in win­ter work­ing in a ski resort.

If you are ready to sleep on the beach in a sleep­ing bag, in a tent in a camp­ing, or in people’s’ homes in exchange for some of your time, than it will come cheap. Why? Because accom­mo­da­tion is the money burner. You can buy a flight ticket with 20 euros if you know when and how to search, but accom­mo­da­tion prices, rarely drop to 80 % Off.  So check me out from time to time, to see that I haven‘t been eaten by a croc­o­dile, kid­napped by pirates or abducted by wild beasts..If you still see me, it means that sleep­ing out­doors is still safe.

cheaper or free accommodation

YS3A0986 Work exchange programs – long-term

WORKAWAY is one of my favorite pro­grams. You get a room and meals, in exchange for 3–5 hours of your time each day, 5 days/ week (more about my work away expe­ri­ences, soon in a future post).

HELPX is sim­i­lar, mem­ber­ship costs 20 euros, for 2 years

WWOOFING is sim­i­lar to work­away, is just that its more focused on organic, self sus­tain­able farms. The Wwoof­ing web­site charges per coun­try, so its an AM of 15 euros for each coun­try you are inter­ested to got to.

accommodation  for free, stay with locals, short-term:

COUCH SURFING – is a plat­form for those who want to offer their sofa (or if your lucky, bed) for free, to enthu­si­as­tic trav­el­ers. You will con­tact the host, and if they are avail­able and like your pro­file, they will host you. Its free, so no annual fees. All you have to bring with is com­mon sense, a smile and maybe a token of grat­i­tude. So far, I had amaz­ing couch surf­ing expe­ri­ences.

same are: 

GLOBAL FREELOADERS

HOSPITALITY CLUB

STAY4FREE

Stay for free and Housesit, long-term:

House own­ers all over the world go on hol­i­days, study, leap years or just away from home for a week or 2 years. So, they need their house, pets and plants to be well cared of in the mean time. They need some­one to live in their home. That could be you. You could find a hous­esit on any con­ti­nent, but you will have to go through an inter­view and be accepted by the host, which usu­ally get a lot of requests. So check,

TRUSTEDHOUSESITTERS – is my favorite, 92,4 euros AM,

MIND MY HOUSE – 20 euros AM and its mostly for UK,

HOUSE CARERS – 50 euros AM,

LUXURY HOUSE SITTING – 25 euros AM

here is an exam­ple of hous­esit­ting des­ti­na­tion: Tus­cany

Stay in a Monastery:

Monastery stays around the world (CNN)

Pay for accommodation but low fares:

AIRBNB – “book homes from local hosts” is their motto, so locals rent a room in their home with access to all util­i­ties or rent the whole house or apart­ment.  The beauty of it is that you live where the locals live, not in a neu­tral touris­tic hos­pi­tal­ity resort.The Host meets you to hand you the keys and that is when you get to know about the local salt & pep­per. Ask them where their favorite fresh mar­ket is, where they dine out, where they eat ice cream, where do they go in the evenings.

HOUSETRIP – same con­cept as airbnb, and I can only rec­om­mend them. I have stayed in loca­tions booked on house­trip in Uk, Spain, Hun­gary, Roma­nia, Italy and I had only pos­i­tive expe­ri­ences. Great cus­tomer sup­port also.

Travel cheaper

Barcelona-1

By car:

shar­ing your car with strangers or being a stranger in somebody’s car can be fun. I did it a few times and I will tell you why it’s fun: you are not alone on long dri­ves, you get to talk, share, wit­ness some­body else’s life expe­ri­ences. Share the cof­fee table at stops, eat together and get some extra lit­tle cash for it.

www.mitfahrtgelegenheit.de

www.blablacar.com

Or hitch­hike!

By plane:

Be smart and check web­sites like sky­scan­ner and cheap­flights for any of your desired flights.

How I do it:

  1. check the flight cost
  2. reg­is­ter for a price alert-so when the price drops, they let me know
  3. check the same flight with all low cost  com­pa­nies I know (Ryn­nair, Wiz­zair, Blueair, Ger­man­wings etc) by going directly on their web­sites
  4. reg­is­ter for noti­fi­ca­tions of ticket sales or daily sales. Wiz­zair  and Ryn­nair offer  reg­u­larly  sales when you get your ticket for 10–30% of its value
  5. I am  flex­i­ble: if on my dates, the flight from Budapest to Corfu is too expen­sive, I try to fly to Zakyn­thos or Athens and I will take a ferry or find my way around to where I wanna be. After all, being a trav­eler is about lov­ing to be exposed to adven­ture.
  6. Buy the tick­ets, early in the morn­ing, as early as 5 am, and on Tues­days – this is a tested hint. For some rea­son, the air­line com­pa­nies reassess their sales at the begin­ning of the week. Of course, you may find the same price on a Fri­day, but chances are it is going to be a bet­ter price between Tues­day and Wednes­day.

Lately, I have paid  30 euros for  roundtrip to Ams­ter­dam, 35 euros for a round trip to Rome, 68 euros for a roundtrip to Sardegna, 70 euros for one to Zakyn­thos.

So,

hitch­hike, sleep in a tent, in the car, in a ham­mock, travel at night and you get to sleep on the plane, in the train, or in the bus. The next day, just take a dou­ble espresso and a deep breath and you’re as good as new to start the day.

Travel is only expen­sive if you choose to make it that way.

All these web­sites have changed the travel game and made it acces­si­ble to every­one. The shar­ing con­cept has been around for years now, as Couch­surf­ing was founded in 2003 and Airbnb in 2008, but became main­stream in 2015 and con­tin­ues to grow.

websites saved in my favorite List:

Work­away (work exchange)

Couch­Surf­ing (free accom­mo­da­tion)

Airbnb (paid accom­mo­da­tion)
Trust­ed­hous­esit­ters (hous­esit)

BlaBlaBla (car ride shar­ing)
Eatwith (dine with trav­el­ers like you)

Nomadlist (remote jobs, city reviews)

Sky­scan­ner, Wiz­zair, Ryn­nair, Cheap­flights

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