In some parts of the world, there is a ritual that most high school students dream of; to travel the world with just a backpack for luggage. Since these children are still probably in their teens, they rarely have any money to spend on travel or accommodation. So they are forced to find ways to live on next to nothing.
That is how the “Lonely Planet Guide” for travelers on a budget came into existence. When Tony and Maureen Wheeler got married, they found that they didn’t have enough money to go on a honeymoon. They went ahead anyway, planning to cross Europe and Asia as well as travel to Australia, on a shoe-string budget. It took them several months, but they did it. This experience inspired them to help others in the same situation, in the form of guides, the first one of which was “Across Asia on the Cheap”.
Currently, we have several methods of cheap travel including free accommodations in various countries. Global freeloaders is an online community that brings together people who prefer to live in free accommodations when they travel. This site was created by Adam Staines, an Australian citizen who decided that in every destination, there will be hundreds of generous, kind people who would host tourists for free, even offering them food and other assistance. On this site, you can become the host and guest so that when people require accommodation, you can offer it (as a host) and when you plan to travel, you can request accommodation from others who will then host you! A true give-and-take situation. The only considerations are that the guests behave in a decent manner and that both guest and host can take as much time to become familiar before they avail of the exchange. There is no charge for this service and it is based on cross-cultural respect and an eagerness to travel and meet people in peaceful, harmonious ways.
Chat rooms, forums and a FAQ will help you to get accustomed to the rules and regulations which keep these exchanges running smoothly except for occasional glitches.
Again, this site runs on nothing but the love of travel and the eagerness to blend cultures together into a seamless Universe.
The hospitality club is a site that brings people together and helps them find free accommodation. Membership is free and there is a huge database of people interested in traveling inexpensively.
- Free-Stay also helps travelers with hotel swaps, free stays and travel help in 45 countries around the world. When members request free accommodation, this site finds three suitable matches from which the member can choose. This is a secure way of finding accommodations and also allows the members to get acquainted by email before meeting face-to-face.
- There is also a wiki that takes us step by step on where to find free accommodations. http://www.wikihow.com/Exchange-Your-Home-for-Free-Vacation-Accommodation/ helps us to first search the internet, then narrow the list to only the countries you are interested in and ways to prepare your house for a guest who will be using it while you are away.
Some countries consider travelers to be God in disguise. They believe that God comes down to earth to test whether we are good Samaritans. Some of these folks have permanent hammocks hanging inside or outside their homes which are very convenient in hot, humid climates.
There are also many studies abroad programs that will enable students to get grants or loans to travel across the world or work in a country that is alien to them as a learning experience. If this study experience is part of the coursework in a reputed college, then the accommodation is usually free because it’s paid for by the university.
Some charity organizations recruit people to work as roaming fundraisers. They will be provided accommodation and transport for free as well as in some instances, weekly salaries! Passionate youngsters with good personalities speak to hundreds of people raising money for charities such as Oxfam, Amnesty International, WorldVision and Shelter.