With so many options to choose from, probably more than a thousand of different options… and counting, traveling has never been easier and cheaper. You can find ridiculously cheap flights to almost every corner of the world by checking out the deals on the Secret Flying website, share your ride with folks with Bla Bla Car or use a 15-day bus pass for around 200 euro and travel unlimited to 53 destinations within Europe.
But what should you do if you don’t have any money to spend on traveling? And you wanna see Europe in a completely adventurous way?
Sharing economy travel websites
Couchsurfing is the most popular sharing economy travel network for hosting and getting hosted by strangers. The best way to start using it is to open a profile and host someone yourself. Get reviews. Upload your current pictures to your profile. Send more detailed requests and tell your future host why you would like him/her to host you, what you have in common etc.
Do it the right way, and you’ll have a free place to stay in every destination of your adventure. Make a good plan and send requests to your hosts some time ahead of the date you were planning to start traveling.
Trustroots has a very cool Tribes option – where you’ll find likeminded Trustroots members – guys who are into hitchhiking, vegans and vegeterians, nomads, musicians, punks, hackers, cyclists…
BeWelcome – a non-profit, open source network, exclusively run by members in a transparent and democratic way. Search for their members from a specific country or a whole region by their age, comments, date of login… here
Don’t forget to pack your tent and sleeping bag. If you’re traveling during the summer season, you’ll find so many places along the way to pitch a tent and in some countries, like Sweden, wild camping is actually legal. “Do not disturb, do not destroy” – a unique freedom of access to Sweden’s countryside and wild places. Learn more about “Allmansrätten” in Sweden but also similar laws in other European countries here
The Travel School Project
Visit Travel Club’s Travel School they organize every summer. Stay for free in the destination of their choice, max. for three nights, with the main criteria for accepting guests – a participation in a minimum of one workshop, as well as a good level of English language.
Hitchhiking is your best option. And if you’re planning to go solo, check out these tips that will definitely answer some of your questions on how to stay safe while hitchhiking (36 tips for solo female hitchhikers + what about hitchhiking says one of the most inspiring budget travelers here from Europe).
For the European cycle route network, check out this page here
MEALS, JOBS, MONEY, VOLUNTEERING
Workaway. Okay, I know, this one is not completely free. Its membership actually costs 29 euro/per year for a single person and 38 euro for a couple or two friends. But, you can always ask people to buy you this subscription for your birthday or for any other significant date/reason – and this will certainly give you a head start for your trip.
What’s Workaway? It’s “a database of families, individuals or organizations in an extensive range of different countries who have registered and are looking for volunteer help in a huge range of different fields. From painting to planting, building to babysitting and shopping to shearing, Workaway.info aims to introduce working travelers and language learners to likeminded hosts, without having to pay expensive agency fees. “ (source)
Besides a place to sleep and regular meals, Workaway also enables travelers to find paid positions to help them to continue to fund their travels.
A great way to experience different cultures and make new friends – volunteering as helping others and learning new skills is something that will benefit your life in so many ways… The EVS program activities last a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 12 months and are open to all between the ages of 17-30.
SO, WHY IS TRAVELING SO IMPORTANT?
Simply cause “it’s one of the best things that you can do for your health. It helps your physical and mental health, with many travelers saying that it’s also excellent for the soul.
Sure, there are some stressful and worrying moments. But overall, when you get out on the road and visit new countries you gain in far more ways. This isn’t about just international travel, either. Traveling your own country and being a tourist in your own town can be so beneficially at the same time…”
Find out more about it here
Featured photo: Caitlin Regan