I am one of those who think it is easy to travel with or without a budget. The only big budget required is, without doubt, the flight’s cost! The rest can be done at low cost (and even very low cost). Sceptic? Believe me when I tell you that it is easy to travel despite my debts. Ideal? Surely not, but who said that I was reasonable? Of course, there are expensive and cheap destinations. But I truly think that it is possible to travel everywhere anyway! On my counter, 4 Eurotrips with 4 different experiences (than hostels) that have allowed me to travel for longer and for cheaper!
So here are what I experienced (and what I recommend!):
1) Chantiers Jeunesse / Work Camp Experience
Chantiers Jeunesse, Quebec organization is affiliated to the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations.The concept is simple: become a volunteer for a few weeks in or outside your country and share this experience with other young people from all over the world. The only expenses are the registration fee and the flights. You will be hosted, fed and entertained by the organization.
My Work Camp Experience:
(6 years ago …)
I open an envelope. This is not a random envelope. This is my response from Chantiers Jeunesse. I am selected to go to Germany! After few happiness’s jumps, happiness’s tears and happiness’s shouts, I finally attend this registration day to choose my Work Camp Project. Limited by the dates of my vacation, I chose the only available project: renovation of an inhabited house to create a perfect place for an art exhibition. Three weeks of cleaning and painting shared with 7 other travellers. Three weeks to visit Dresden and surroundings, to build relationships, to share our different cultures while enjoying Germany. Three weeks in the small town of Chemnitz where our organizers bring us to a «soup kitchen» and make us discover the “vegan” food. Three weeks of having a hot shower every two days / or a daily cold shower.
For those who have not tried Couchsurfing yet, what are you waiting for? Couchsurfing has been my favourite mode of travel for a long time! Is there anything better than meeting a local who can give your some recommendations, show you the hidden marvellous spots and let you experiment the culture in the comfort of his own place? Bonus: if your host has time for you, you will have a free local guide! Couchsurfing is more than just a couch where to sleep; it is also an experience about sharing and lots of passionate conversations. It is another way to find activities, to meet other travellers and to share a ride somewhere.
Through Couchsurfing I have been able to:
– Set up a “free camping” trip in Greece on two non-touristic islands with other Couchsurfers;
– Have a free guided tour of Istanbul in Turkey by a local who wanted to practice his English;
– Live a dream trip in Switzerland (even if this Country is considered very expensive!).
3) HelpX / Workaway
If you know Wwoofing, HelpX and Workaway are in the way of thinking, except they offer more options and not only farm work. If you do not know about it, the idea is that you will share a few hours of your time in exchange of food and accommodation. You will have the chance to get into the local culture and you will also develop new skills. Some places require you many hours of work and other places will ask for almost nothing. I have a preference for HelpX because the interface is easier to use, but several projects are found on both websites.
With HelpX / Workaway I had the chance to:
– Work on a farm in Greece (2 hours a day) / Appreciate the Greek beaches nearby;
– Work in a Hostel in Turkey (15 to 30 minutes a day) / Explore Istanbul;
– Do some gardening in Australia (5 hours a day) / Survive during my job’s hunting.
4) Travel at night
If you are able to say Goodbye to your comfort, the best way to save on accommodation is to travel at night. So you can say Hello to night trains, buses, flights and you will need to learn how to get comfortable for a night at the airport.
My comfortable tricks:
– To travel with a travel pillow / or a jumper during the day-pillow at night;
– To sleep with your music to avoid waking up constantly;
– To arrive at the airport early to get the best spot to sleep;
– To have an eye mask for any uncomfortable situation.
Have you thought about trying the Outbound application?
Outbound is a free application that lets you connect with other travellers or locals! This is an efficient way to share his adventures with a “travel buddy”, find hot spots, display ads and attend to events.
If you are travelling to Australia on a budget, check this out!