How to Travel the world for free

roadtrip travel pics girl Kombi

How to Travel the world for free

This past week I’ve had a dozen emails, many from solo travelers and readers asking the same question:

I have just started traveling and want to continue but I ran out of money- how can I afford to keep traveling?

This post is an insiders guide for you to learn how to travel the world for free!

I started my blog recently and I am not yet a ‘professional travel blogger’ in the sense that I am not paid to write posts. I started blogging purely out of passion for writing and telling a story in hope to inspire others, in particular solo travelers and female travelers to travel more and get out of their comfort zone and see more of this beautiful diverse world we live in.

You can follow my personal journey as a solo female traveler through India, here in Dear India

Guide how to travel the world for free:

In this guide I will provide you with detailed scenarios of how you as a solo traveler or a female traveler can choose to live in a different country and see it for free:

Step 1. You must decide: What interests you? What kind of cultural experience/lifestyle are you looking for?

Scenario 1: I want to explore Africa, go on safari and work with wild animals in their natural habit:

Solution: Volunteer in a conservatory. I have also considered this for myself  and this is by far the most comprehensive site, actually its fantastic, it offers training with animals and even work as a Safari Guide-many option here check it out: resource for finding Conservation Jobs/ Volunteer work in Africa is:  this site is comprehensive and offers many options in this field.

Asiatic Lions roam in Gir Forest Gujarat
Two Asiatic Lions roam in Gir Forest Gujarat

Scenario 2: I want to learn to speak Japanese / Chinese / Korean and explore that part of Asia:

Solution: Teach English in any of these places: I signed up for one in China years ago and they still send me emails for job placements. This is paid work. If you are interested in working with Children and experiencing another culture at the same time this scenario would be ideal for you. They pay for housing and you earn a salary. Start here:

Find Work Abroad offers positions in six countries. I had a bad personal experience with JAL (however others have worked with them successfully).

Tourists and Temple, Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, Beijing, China


Personal story-Don’t let anyone reject you there are other options available: After I graduated with a BA in Journalism I was interested in moving to Japan to teach English. A girl from my university who actually dropped out and her boyfriend (sans degree also) moved there while I was in my final year of study. I went to travel around Japan for a few weeks and take the opportunity to visit them in my university break. Needless to say, I fell head over heels in love with Japan. It was like a whole new world for me and I wanted to see more of it. Returning to Australia and finishing my studies (graduating with high-marks) I applied for a position as a teacher. I gave my referees to the company. Later I discovered one of my referees (who was a manager of mine) didn’t like me at all! Boy, was that a mistake. Needless to say, she gave me a terrible reference and I was not given a teaching place!

I was disheartened, as someone who excelled in English and reading and writing, and also worked as a volunteer with children, I thought I was an ideal candidate. It just goes to show that If one person has a negative opinion and chooses to manipulate others into thinking a certain way people will follow like sheep. Remember, 1% of people are free thinking, the other 99% you will meet, are sheep here to breed, work and follow in line. If you are a part of that 1% don’t let others discourage you. If you are being criticized, it means people are paying attention to you and you are standing out to them, often causing their own jealous head to rear.

I decided to go off on my own and saved enough money for rent and living in Japan. I decided if anything I would go and learn the language. I will save this story for another day as it is personal and too long a story to tell for this post.

Let’s just say I fell on my feet. I ended up walking into a well-paying job that I simply loved and had the most amazing experience living in Japan! I’ll save that full story for another day when its relevant to you!

Girl camera Sakura 'Cherry Blossom' Season Tokyo Japan
Enjoying my favorite time in Japan: Sakura ‘Cherry Blossom’ Season Tokyo, Japan


Scenario 3: I am longing to go back to India and see more of that vast country. I miss the exotic spices, the vibrant colors and the warm people (I had this exact email this week). India seems to get a hold of you and somehow gets into your skin, once leaving true travelers always wish to return:

Solution: This depends whether you are looking for a city/rural experience. I personally would much rather save up and volunteer or teach in smaller place as opposed to working in a big city, saying that, we are all different and have different needs.

If you want to work in a city as a skilled worker start here, they post jobs regularly.

If you would like to try your hand at teaching and this is something you are qualified, start here, this site posts jobs in this field.

If you would like to volunteer in India and help make change, put your skills to use, whether they be interpersonal skills or professional, volunteers are always needed. Start here.

If you want to read more about India and see my travel recommendations you can do so here: India Travel Guide

Girl teaching Yoga Goa, India
Teaching Yoga in Goa India, Palm Discovery Beach a boat ride from Palolem Beach Goa, India

Scenario 4:  I want to explore the natural wildlife of Australia and improve my English at the same time

Solution:  My friend from Lyon (France) who is a photographer by trade, wanted to earn some money to open a photography studio in France, travel Australia and improve his English all at the same time.

The beauty about this scenario is it is possible in Australia! Wages are relatively high compared to other countries making it a great place to visit and save money at the same time. My friend chose fruit picking as his job. He also bought a van and traveled through the entirety or Australia and then returned to France where he now runs his own studio- talk about a good experience! A working holiday where you’re not broke at the end!

Start here- do some research on this. Make sure you make the right choice. Australia is a vast country and there are many opportunities. Decide on where you would like to be stationed as well, this will be an important factor.

Girl bikini beach Australia
One of the many natural beauties of Australia. Lucky Bay Esperance

Personally I always try to contact past workers as well, just to make sure that everything is above board and conditions are good- this goes for every country and every single level of job!

After you have already achieved living in a different culture: Step 2. Ideas to explore:

  1. Start a travel blog and vlog- You-tubers who have left their country to explore other parts of the world and live in a different culture have succeeded in becoming ‘professional you-tubers’. They have a passion for travel and the culture in which they live. This is the key to their success online.

2. Make documentaries about that culture- not only will you be doing something productive for yourself you will also be doing something positive for that culture.

My dear friend Ebony Butler, who I worked with in Japan, loves traveling to Africa to volunteer and make a difference she has done two incredible things that I admire and respect her greatly for.

  • started a charity ‘bikes for life’ that literally has enabled people in remote villages to have access to water. Check out Ebony’s charity here: Bikes For Life
  • Recently won a myriad of awards for a documentary feature revealing untold stories from the 20 year long war in Northern Uganda. Check it out here: A Brilliant Genocide

I am proud to call Ebony a friend she is a what I call a true life ‘game-changer’. PS. A game changer is not someone who sits in front of the TV all day, a ‘game-changer’ doesn’t spend all their free time looking at other people’s pics on social media to be a ‘game-changer’ you need to make a difference in other people’s lives-you need to get off the couch and make a difference!

A Brilliant Genocide Movie Ebony Butler
A Brilliant Genocide Movie Ebony Butler

Its only when we feel truly uncomfortable and are on the edge that we can do great things. Out of comfort, has never come anything remarkable. If you keep living the same routine then nothing will ever change!

Here is some basic, yet important advice I want you to remember:

  1. Shake things up! Don’t be afraid to be the black sheep and step away from the pack.

2. Don’t listen to ‘haters’ (I can speak from personal experience you have no idea how many people questioned my intention to move to India- I received many nasty comments and I still do).

All I can say is:  ‘would you want to swap lives with the person giving you negative comments?’ In my case the answer was ‘Hell No!’

3. Greatness never comes from routine.

4. Don’t be materialistic. Do you find yourself constantly thinking about things you can purchase online? That next purchase/lipstick/dress/hair cut will make you a better person and happier- NEWS FLASH. Materialism leads to depression. Buying things constantly will make you UNHAPPY not HAPPIER- it’s a scientific fact. Break the cycle.

I am often chastised for helping others and giving everything away (I will talk about this in another post), but I don’t care be yourself- If that means physically giving someone your only coat when they are cold or walking barefoot for a day so someone else does not have to- Do it! I say be yourself, don’t ever let someone dictate how you should feel or how much of yourself you should give to others!

Often people are scared of the unknown, and will put down and degrade people who are trying to do something new or make a difference in the world or in themselves.

There are people that go on ‘holidays’ once or twice a year, that’s great if that’s what you’re interested in. If you are truly a traveler you will want to delve deeper and see more of the world.


Good luck on your journey. I hope this guide on how to travel the world for free has enlightened you and opens up opportunities. If you love this share it with a friend and join my community online. Never stop exploring.

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  • Hi Sommers,

    Your site is truly informative.. I’m from Tamilnadu India… By any chance you’d be visiting in near future?. And there by share the Natural and Cultural beauty of my home State in this Site… Keep Rocking…

    • Hi Ashok,
      I visited Tamil Nadu last trip to India, I stayed in a village and visited the local temples. I will be blogging about Tamil Nadu soon. My clip here on Street Food India is filmed in Tamil Nadu. You can join our Eat Stay Live youtube channel to see the Tamil Nadu clip.

  • Dear Sommer,
    I am a big fan of your Quora answers. I really enjoyed your travel the world for free idea. I am from India, did Master’s in Computer Science from USA. I know that I may not be happy with a desk job, still I tried really hard and got my Master’s degree with good grades.
    I tried very hard, but I am almost ready to accept my defeat and failure now. After reading your blog, I am seriously considering going to some island like country(like Carribean – laid back), teaching English(or even a little bit of programming that I know as a volunteer to do my bit for the world) and work part-time as a bartender or something of that sort.
    The pressures of life and the materialistic desires are little overwhelming for me right now and would like to the try this route. Please let me know your suggestions if you know any such countries like this.
    Thank you

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