If you love to travel, you know it can be tough to fight the urge to explore when it strikes. However, when you’re low on money, the logistics of actually taking a trip can seem downright impossible. While traveling without much cash to spend isn’t easy, it’s certainly doable with a little effort – and, in some cases, a little luck. Here are five ways to travel when you’re flat broke:
CONSIDER HOUSE-SITTING OR HOUSE-SWAPPING.
Often, your accommodations are the most expensive part of your travels. Find a way to cut the cost of your hotel stay, and your vacation suddenly becomes much more affordable. If you can be flexible around your travel plans, look around online or reach out to your network to see if anyone needs a house-sitter. There are people out there who will let you stay in their home for free – or even pay you a small fee – to look after their space and, in some situations, their pets.
House-swapping – trading your primary place of residence with someone else for a few days – is another excellent option. If you have friends who live far away, this could be a fun, and easy way for you to both enjoy a relaxed, affordable vacation.
When you don’t have much cash to spend on vacation, another great way to keep costs low is to look at local destinations. Filling up the gas tank and driving a few hours is almost always more affordable than packing your bags and boarding a flight, and you might be surprised just how much fun you can have without going too far from home. Many people can easily find a vacation-worthy destination within a few hours’ drive – challenge yourself to find a spot that looks exciting and check it out!
CONSIDER CREDIT CARD PERKS.
While you should always use caution when opening credit cards, many offer excellent sign-on bonuses for those with good credit – think things like points that can be used to cover airfare costs or free nights at a hotel. Do some research and keep your eyes peeled for special offers if you’re looking for a way to travel without spending much cash.
ENTER SOME SWEEPSTAKES OR CONTESTS.
It’s certainly no guarantee you’ll get to take a trip, but if you’re flat broke, you can always try to win a vacation for free. After all, someone’s got to win, right? You can find contests and drawings for travel-related gift cards, weekend getaways, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on Facebook, Instagram, and websites across the internet. Sign up for a few a day and keep your fingers crossed – you might get lucky!
START THAT SIDE HUSTLE.
Another way to fund your vacation when you’re flat broke is to find a side hustle that works for you. From freelance writing and flipping houses to personal shopping and selling products, there are hundreds of ways to earn money in your spare time – provided you have enough time to get started. See if you can find a side hustle that works with your schedule and stash your extra cash earned toward an upcoming trip.
The idea of taking a vacation when you have no extra cash can seem a little unrealistic, but with these tips, you should be equipped to make it happen! Consider your options and put a plan into place, and you’ll be on your way to kicking back and enjoying a few days away from your day-to-day responsibilities.