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A Guide to Traveling When You Have No Money

Traveling doesn’t have to cost your lifesavings to be a rewarding experience. All it takes is the right mindset and the determination to explore. When you have no money but want to travel, try out the following tips and tricks that’ll help you cut some corners, shift your budgets, make the most of your activities and earn the cash you need to go on one-in-a-lifetime adventures.

Earn Travel Rewards

If you’re looking to travel but don’t have the actual hard cash readily available to do so, sign up for travel reward programs and credit cards. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card gives you double the points for dining- and travel-related spending, not to mention, you can shop through their Ultimate Rewards site to gain extra points through partnered retailers. You’ll be surprised at how many points rack up and eventually, you’ll be able to put them towards flights and hotels.

Put in the Research

When you’re trying to save money on travel, make sure you put in the time to research and exhaust all options before booking. Look at trends for when you should buy. provides data on buying behavior of when people tend to book flights at certain times of the year. Also monitor and download apps like Skyscanner or GTFO (Get the Flight Out). These tools provide last minute flights with deep discounts. And if you’re the flexible and spontaneous type (which you likely are, given you’ve got the travel bug), why not put in a bid on Priceline? The website’s “Name Your Own Price” feature lets you enter a cost you’re willing to pay on a flight, hotel or rental car, and if you’re the highest bidder, the trip is yours for the taking.

Work Remotely

Taking off work while you travel means losing money. If you can swing it with your company, work remotely so you can still make money, no matter what time zone you happen to be in. The rise in connective technology has paved the path to working remotely. The latest 5G technology is the newest wireless network coming to the forefront. It’s beginning to be integrated in our everyday mobile, smart devices, providing significantly faster connection speed which is perfect for the video conferences you might need to take abroad and the many emails you’ll need to send to ensure proper execution of a project.

Get a Local Gig

If you’re staying in a foreign country or city for an extended amount of time, why not really get to know the locals by getting a job in town. Perhaps a bartender or serving gig is available at the pub next to your hostel. You’d bring an international feel to the establishment, plus, drinking and eating is a universal language, right? It’s the perfect way to make your connections with new friends abroad. Becoming a tour guide is another job that you could nail. Not only would you learn about the city you’re staying in, but your ability to speak English gives you an advantage in engaging other English-speaking tourists that’d like to learn about the lay of the land.

Settle in at Low-Cost Staying Accommodations

Instead of staying at expensive hotels wherever you visit, consider the alternative option of house sharing or even couch-surfing. You’ve likely heard of Airbnb, well, this is your opportunity to get the true local experience by staying in one. Staying in a native resident’s actual home will give you a different living perspective that can be extra enlightening. For the low-maintenance, super adventurous folk, couch-surfing (literally crashing on a stranger’s couch) is a fun option. Check out the Couchsurfing app to find people willing to open their homes and couch to you for a few days. You can make some friends and meet people you never would have crossed paths with otherwise.

Take Advantage of Free Activities

Fun doesn’t have to have a high cost attached to it. Walking and roaming is a free activity and can be extremely gratifying when doing so in foreign territory. Pack a light backpack of your essentials and set out to walk around and explore a city. You can also look for many free tours that are often available in countries where the government has invested in heavy tourism promotion. If you’re a student, many museums and cultural centers offer student discounts, so don’t forget to pack that ID and take full advantage of your learner status.

Eat In

Of course you’ll want to wine and dine at every local eatery you pass as you venture throughout a new country. This, however, can be a major money drainer. Pick a few days a week to eat in. Buy ingredients to cook with from the market down the street. You’ll save a great deal of dough that can be better put towards other travel expenses.

Purchase a Tourist Pass

Although tourist packages seem like a lot of money up front, they may be worth your investment if you’re trying to see multiple attractions in one city. Many of these passes get you a better deal when going to a string of city highlights and cultural spectacles, compared to purchasing individual tickets to each. Additionally, many come with transportation included, which is a bonus and an ideal way to save in that particular spending category.

These various ways to save and earn money for your traveling adventures will stretch your dollar the farther. Try a few or all and get on the road untraveled for the ultimate travel experience of a lifetime.

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