Frugal Nomads: Creative Ways to Travel the World for Almost Nothing

If you’re like a whole lot of people, you dream of experiencing the world with your own eyes. Travel documentaries and foreign films can be fun to watch, but nothing compares to trekking the world on your own. From the thrilling moment when your jet takes off to touching down in an exotic location, traveling is what the good life is all about. Do it for almost free, and it’s even better. Here’s how by people who have actually done it.

Creative travel on the cheap

Don’t mind working whilst traveling? Get a job on a cruise ship. If you are an entertainer or can contribute handyman or cooking skills, you can set sail to all sorts of exotic destinations and get paid at the same time, says Travel Dudes magazine. If you’re more into staying on the continent, check into house-swapping opportunities. There are several online sites where you can find a for-swap house in a location you wish to visit. If the owner is amenable to the trade, they’ll take care of your plants and feed your pets in exchange for you doing the same for them.

Carry the proper plastic

Before you apply for a credit card, shop around for a card that offers plenty of frequent flyer points and automatic upgrades on hotel stays. Ask the human resources department at the company you work for if they can give you a corporate card to use when you travel on business. Many enterprises allow employees to collect points without spending any cash of their own. Adding accrued business points to your private rewards account can help you travel for free, say travel experts at Entrepreneur magazine. Some credit cards grant you access to premium lounges, and make waiting around airports a little bit classier, too.

Get paid to talk or teach 

Are you an expert at something? Can you speak comfortably and eloquently in front of a crowd of listeners? Schedule a speaking engagement at a conference in a place you’d like to visit. Search online for upcoming conferences pertaining to your area of expertise and get in touch with the promoter. If you’re open to speaking anywhere in the world, you may find yourself booked to give informative presentations and get paid for doing it.

Join a global volunteer group such as the United Nations Volunteer Program or the Peace Corps. Your shelter and sustenance will be provided, and you’ll feel good about helping fellow humans in Asia, Africa, South America and other faraway locations. Teaching English in China or other foreign countries is another way some people get paid to visit exotic lands while earning a nice living. This sort of language tutoring gig can last for weeks, months or years and is guaranteed to be as educational to you as it is to your students.

If you think you can’t afford to travel the globe, please think again. Use a few creative and frugal tips and tricks, and you could be seeing the world before you know it.

Brooke Houghton has been described as a ‘Hippy Mom’ and it’s not so far off the mark; she homeschools her 3 kids. She takes her family off on cultural learning experiences all over the world, and she went green years ago!



  1. Thanks for this great article, I really enjoyed it from beginning to ending this is very interesting.

  2. may I add housesitting? This is a fantastic way to travel with no rent or mortgage and allows me to see parts of the world I would never have otherwise been able to see.

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