7 ways to travel for free and which travel websites to use

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The ability to travel the world is a dream for many people. However, they cling to the cost.

What if you could travel for free? If there was a way to travel the world without spending a fortune, would you take it?

You might be surprised how many ways you can earn free trips. Here is an overview of your options.

1. Work programs

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Various work programs allow you to provide a valuable service to someone else in exchange for help covering your travel costs, especially accommodation.

Work programs like Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) and Search Associates can help you find work places overseas, with your fees paid. Additionally, websites like Workaway can connect you with overseas jobs, work exchanges, and other opportunities to travel for free while using your skills.

2. Volunteer Programs

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Another option is to join a volunteer program that covers your costs. Depending on the program, you may be able to travel to another country for two years (or more) or manage a getaway for a shorter period.

The Peace Corps is one of the oldest ways to volunteer for free travel. It requires a two-year commitment, but travel costs, living conditions and health benefits are covered. In addition, you receive a small allowance.

For shorter stays, a site like Go Overseas can connect you with volunteer opportunities to help teach English, build infrastructure, or provide healthcare services. The United Nations also has a volunteer program that you can access to travel for free.

3. Other people’s houses

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These days, there are plenty of sites designed to help you get part of your trip for free if you’re comfortable staying with other people.

Rather than paying for a hotel, you can use Couchsurfing International for homestays. If you’re comfortable letting someone stay in your home, you can use HomeExchange to swap homes with someone else. There are annual fees, but it may be worth saving on accommodation.

There are also several websites that help you connect with people who want their homes and pets taken care of while traveling – and who are willing to let you stay for free. Start with Trusted Housesitters or MindMyHouse.

4. Learn about your heritage

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Want to know more about your roots? Some countries offer to cover travel or part of your travel expenses to help you learn more about your heritage and the culture of your ancestors.

There are Birthright programs for Israel, Macedonia and Armenia. In addition, Hungary, Greece and Cuba offer their dispersed descendants the opportunity to travel to their country. Look for programs that emphasize accommodations, cultural experiences, and even airfare.

5. Drive someone’s car across the country

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If you want a free trip closer to home, consider driving someone’s car across the country. You may be able to get them to cover your gas, accommodation and other expenses.

According to HireAHelper, up to 24% of county-to-county moves are at least 500 miles away, so it’s possible to find someone who needs help transporting their vehicle. This could translate into opportunities for free road trips.

To get started, look for positions at companies such as Auto Driveaway and Driveaway USA.

6. Ask others to help you

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Celebrating a big milestone? Ask for travel assistance rather than gifts.

From graduation to wedding to any other celebration, ask your friends and family to donate to your GoFundMe or provide you with travel gift cards. Rather than creating a gift registry for more stuff, let your loved ones know you’d rather have an experience.

Depending on the loyalty program, they may even send you airline or hotel points. You might be surprised at what is available to you when you reach out to your network.

7. Use credit card points and loyalty programs

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Remember that you can earn free trips through programs when you make regular purchases.

Various travel credit cards can help you quickly accumulate points and redeem them for free travel. On top of that, if you sign up for a new credit card, you might be able to get a big signing bonus that you can apply to airfare, which will result in a free trip. Offers are constantly changing, so be sure to check back regularly for the best travel rewards credit cards.

Loyalty programs can also give you free travel. Many hotel chains offer you the opportunity to earn points for free hotel stays. You can also earn points and cash back using programs like Swagbucks. Even travel sites like Orbitz have loyalty programs you can use to save money on travel. With the right strategy, you can use your credit card and loyalty programs to plan a free trip.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.

About Vicki Davis

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