Save money travelling
Everyone loves to travel but what's even better is when travelling is no longer a major expense. If paying triple the price for tourist busses is your thing or if you have more money than you no what to do with then in the nicest way possible, fuck you. But for those of us out there who find the cheaper things in life hit the ding button, I'v listed a few tips that can help you stretch your money out to its limit.
Workaway.info <== LINK
Ok this organisation has pretty much been my life saver whilst traveling. Not only has it managed to keep my travelling budget on the low it has 100% given me the most amazing experiences that I wouldn't of had without Workaway and its growing community. There are two ways to participate in workaway, either hosting, or volunteering. And the amount of different opportunities to chose from are endless.
To sign up as a volunteer just register your details and then either pay the £19 annual subscription for a solo traveller or £25 for a joint account. Now I no what your thinking... I have to PAY to volunteer ?! But seriously what's 20 quid when you can spend a year experiencing the world as a local for free?! I've looked in to some organisations that charge as much as £2000 for 2 weeks volunteering with 12 hour days, CRAZY!
The majority of hosts give you free accommodation and breakfast in return for 4-5 hours work a day. Some hosts will include lunch and dinner and maybe even free activities which means you can really save your pennies, and after work is done you can spend the rest of the day trekking, horseback riding, kayaking or just checking out the surrounding area/city. Now when I say work, it's not pain staking, blood shedding work. The hosts understand that all your work is voluntary and really appreciate everything you do for them, so the majority of time spent working is in a chilled out, relaxed atmosphere. And if you really don't like what your doing then tell the host, no one will force you to do a job you don't like.
Some hosts do require a small fee but this is only to cover things such as water, electricity and food. Workaway strictly feels hosts should not profit off volunteers and that's the way it should be, however some places can't afford to feed 5 mouths and shower 5 bodies (or more) a day so in situations like this a fee will always be written on the host listing. When I used Workaway for volunteering in The Amazon we had a fee of 60 Bolivianos a day (£6) which worked out a hell of a lot cheaper than the 900 boliviano 3 day tour, this was my most amazing experience with Workaway so far, we lived with Monkeys, saved a baby Osalot and even spent our week helping out with the indigenous community. If monkeys aren't your thing hit up a surf camp in Chile, teach English to children in Cambodia or help out a Sushi Restraunt in Japan. There is something on there for everyone, I can't stress that even if your not doing it for budgeting, do it for the experiences a tour company can't provide.
Wwoof (World wide opportunities on organic farms)
Wwoof or wwoofing is purely for organic farms around the world seeking volunteers to help them in exchange to learn about organic lifestyles. Farming is such an interesting way to learn about the different cultures and traditions. From helping harvest the rice fields in Vietnam to picking coffee beans in Colombia there is so much variety in this field (excuse the pun) The days can be hard work but the experience given is second to none.
Free accommodation and food are provided and you can spend weeks, months or even years helping out. Each country has their own website, listing all the opportunities available with a years subscription costing £15 for an individual or £25 for a joint account. As each country has its own website, this means that the fee paid will be only for the selected country, so make sure the kind of farming your looking for is covered there. Unfortunately there is no way of paying for an account that can be used worldwide so unless you want to fork out per country it's best just to stick to one. There is however Wwoofindependents.org, it's the same start up fee of £15 however this site provide 349 hosts in 57 countries that don't have their own national Wwoof site so this is best if you want to be a globe trotting Wwoofer. If you've got an organic farm and are wanting volunteers then sign up for £25 and it won't be long before you start receiving requests.
We all know that that cycling from place to place is one of the best budget ways to travel with no carbon footprint and totally free (Unless your a crazy ass motherfucker and walk or run between destinations, this is the next best option). But for those of you still wanting to eliminate or reduce the bite transport takes out you budget here's some help
Hitchwiki.org <== LINK
An alternative for those who don't want to travel by bicycle and still get a free ride is HITCHHIKING. We all know what it is, but to me it seems like a grey area in a lot of people's books. When travelling through Bolivia I got speaking to a fair few people who told us we were crazy if we DIDNT hitchhike around Chile. A friend told us about Hitchwiki and now I love this website, It gives you all the info you need to no and more about Hitchhiking.
When I told my mum I was hitchhiking in South America she wasn't exactly over the moon. It's always something I'd been made to feel very wary of (he will end up being a serial killer sort of thing) but there are certain places eg. Asia, New Zealand and in South America where it's considered totally normal, and I can see why. It's cheap (if not free most the time), you get to meet new people, share experiences, learn new things and maybe even get free breakfast, lunch and dinner like we did on our 24 hour hitch to Santiago. Holaaa ! Why would you say no to that ? It's totally changed my opinion about that serial killer waiting for a lift on the side of the road because in reality they just want a ride.
Register for free and check out their website. Each country has a ton of information about the history, currency, language and population of your chosen destination and of course, Hitchhiking - the best places to hitch, wait times, dangerous places/no go zones, camping safety, and personal experiences. It's awesome. Some country's can be very dangerous which Hitchwiki have stated but they are always looking for new experiences to share with the rest of us, so if you have any let them no.
Shareling <== LINK
If Hitchhiking isn't your thing and your not up to riding a bike (i don't blame you) then why not use shareling ? A brand new website (and a funky little one at that), with a free sign up made for people to split the cost of driving between city's and even country's. It's worldwide and in most cases will cost a fraction of the bus price, plus you get to make a new friend along the way and who knows where that could take you. Just create an account and enter a search for where you going or take a dive and pick a random place already listed. Alternatively if your driving somewhere and want a bit of company or need some help splitting the cost, put up your departure date and destination and hopefully you will get someone heading the same direction
Back to basics
The tent is a glorious invention created by man to feel at one with nature and explore mother earths back garden . Ok, I'm taking the piss...either that or the ayahuasca has gone to my head. But seriously, it's the best way to save money on accommodation and who doesn't love camping ?! I wish I had started our trip through South America with one of these bad boys because
1. You can pretty much camp anywhere that's not private in South America (fields, beaches etc. (just check the law of the country first)
2. I'v seen loads of groups pitching up together (Yay friends)
3. I had some shitty situations where I could of done with a tent (the time I tried to camp on lake Titicaca with just a few blankets)
4. I could of spent the money on other fun stuff
If your Hitchhiking or on a bike it would be stupid not to take a tent because you will defiantly need one, I picked up a sleeping bag and a pretty crap tent from the markets in La Paz all for Bs.200 (£20) but I'd advise getting a decent waterproof one that can withstand wind as Im not sure how well mine will hold out on the mountains of Patagonia. There's always hope right.
Couchsurfing <== LINK
Couchsurfing is a booming community. With thousands that are already members in most countries, i would be shocked if you can't find at least 1 person in the area your looking to surf in. Again this is an awesome way to check out the place from a locals point of view, even if your host can't show you around I'm sure they will share their inside knowledge to make your stay even more adventurous.
Couchsurfing is totally free to sign up and only costs money if you would like to become a verified user. This means that people are more likely to be trusting in you and feel more comfortable when applying to surf. The idea of Couchsurfing is that even though at the time of travel you are using it to stay with people, one day when you have a place or a spare room, you use this to become a host and give back to the community that helped you create your travel adventure.
There are literally all kinds of people on Couchsurfing. Some are staying with a whole family, some offer spiritual ayahuasca ceremony's, some are yoga houses. The list goes on, but what ever your looking for, chances are you will find someone on their that can provide it or host in the country your looking to stay in. It's a great way to make new friends from around the world and even if the person can't host you they will most likely give you a load of info if you ask for it, or possibly still meet up with you to show you around. Not everyone finds it that easy to get to grips with the Couchsurfing community so for some top tips have a read of my post Couchsurfing for Idiots.
Warmshowers.org <== LINK
For any cycle fanatic out there you guys have a whole lot of other cycle enthusiasts around the world who want to reward you for your efforts by offering you a place to stay. Warmshowers is a free community to sign up to as either a touring cyclist or a host. We all know how difficult riding a bike for a few hours can be, let alone a few days, so for anyone with the strength and determination to cycle through parts of the globe, warmshowers have created a website just for you.
Although I haven't actually used warmshowers myself, I have a few cycle buddies who rely on it as their means of accommodation between destinations. The majority of hosts are cyclists themselves however some hosts just like to invite people to stay and hear all about the stories they have created along the way. Staying with a host is totally free, you should never have to pay for your stay. Most hosts will offer you a bed, a couch or a place to pitch your tent and obviously a shower to get clean. Any traveller knows the horrible feeling of being grotty and this will probably be the first thing on your mind after you've been shown where to leave your stuff.
Warmshowers also have a free app that makes life even easier to organise and communicate when bike touring.
Trustroots.org <== LINK
A website created by the same group who started Hitchwiki, Trustroots is a place to find a bed either when your on the road or if your wanting to stay for a few nights. Aimed mainly at hitchhikers but welcome to everyone, Trustroots is a growing community of people welcoming you in to their homes. There is also a chat forum for you to put your Hitchhiking questions and quires out there, we all know how daunting it can be so ask away and members will be more than happy to answer. A lot of members have hitchhiking and travel stories of there own, they want to give back to the people who want to see the world on a shoestring, just like they did. Nights can be spent drinking beer, swapping stories and enjoying hospitality, after all it beats sleeping on the highway.