Travel Without Money

Break the rules and throw away your preconceptions. This page is all about travelling without money. Sprawled across the internet are heaps of pages about free travel and ways to travel the world for free. Normally they relate to bonus schemes or getting someone else to pay for your travel. Getting paid to travel is difficult to do and it defeats the idea of travelling without money. One could ‘easily’ get a difficult job, and then travel with money instead. This page avoids that idea and instead offers you a true way in which you can enjoy travelling the world for free.

What I will say about this page, is that it isn’t complete. It never will be. The idea of travelling without money is more about an idea for life in which material possessions are not really necessary. This is a constantly evolving thought that relates to how you can enjoy yourself and be happy in the world. Sometime in the future, I will be combining a lot of my material into a single article which can be picked up or put down at will and that I hope will help to convey the idea of immaterialism to those who wish to read it. For now, I simply offer you pieces of advice from a long and winding journey.

This piece is about how you can travel the world with the smallest possible amount of money. It doesn’t claim that you can travel the world for free, because unless you are breaking the law, you cannot. If you choose to break the law, I won’t be angry. I simply won’t be held responsible for it. Every country has visa restrictions and although many of them may be free, some of them charge you. I advocate the idea that when travelling the world, there are only two necessary large expenses. Visas and travel insurance. All other expenses need only be minimal or non-existent.

If you like you hotels and your home comforts, this page is not for you. You must go back to your job, work hard, and then pay for your time away from home. This page is tailored to those who do not mind roughing it and having a bit of an adventure.

I have also condensed this information into a video if you prefer to watch, rather than read. Here it is. The extended (text) version follows the video.

I will now break all of this down into manageable chunks so that you can handle it. I detail how you can travel for free, or failing that, how you can travel for the minimal possible expenditure.

There are only five things that we need for survival:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Food
  • Sleep
  • Health

When travelling the world, the list is not so clear cut. I claim that we only need:

  • To See Remarkable Things
  • To Meet Beautiful People
  • To Experience the World
  • To Get From One Place to Another
  • To Not End Up in Prison

I will begin with necessities. Then I will progress.

What you need for survival

Air. Air is free. No matter where you go or who you’re with, don’t let people charge you for it. The only exceptions to this would be underwater or in space. If you find yourself in either of these locations, pay anything for air. Air is life and life is great. Without it, you’d be dead.

Water. Water is essential to life. Drinking dirty water can make you very sick. Personally, I drink tap water from most countries that I have ever been to without problem. This is because my body has adapted to this existence. You will notice that locals can drink tap water much easier than tourists can. If you are not used to this, it is normally possible to find safe-to-drink water at public fountains from which you can fill water bottles. Simply ask around and people will help you out. For this reason, it is important to carry empty water containers. These containers might simply be empty plastic bottles. If you are not able to obtain safe drinking water, the best option is to boil water in order to kill all of the nasties inside. If you have the resources (a friend’s stove for example), let the water boil for a full minute before you bottle it for consumption. Failing this, take water treatment chemicals / tablets. The cost of these is minimal (compared with buying bottled water) and they can treat large volumes of water. With a little bit of forethought, safe drinking water is free / very low cost to obtain.

Note: if you drink dirty water, it is possible that it is contaminated with E. coli, cholera, salmonella, protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium), viruses (such as hepatitis A, polio and rotavirus), or chemical pollutants. These make you feel somewhat unwell.

Food. Our bodies may be able to survive for a week without food, but that isn’t a very pleasant experience (not that I have ever tried). When I travel, I like to eat. One of the ways I have received great food is by hitchhiking. It is important to never expect food, but when people offer you a lift, it is not uncommon for them to offer you food in addition to a lift (particularly truckers). Expecting something is one thing; graciously accepting is another. If this opportunity arises in any situation, say thank-you and enjoy the food. Never rely on other people’s kindness as a source of nutrition however.

It was only after years of travel that I realised one could eat for free when a friend of mine introduced me to the idea of skipping (otherwise known as dumpster diving or freeganism). This involves going to the waste bins at the back of supermarkets and collecting the food that has been disposed of due to it approaching it’s sell by date. This may sound terrible at first. When this idea was first suggested to me, I was shocked and appalled, causing me to reject the idea. Then I found out that most food in the bins has gone out of date that day and is sealed. Look at what you are collecting and you should be able to find some fantastic food for free. Trash wiki details some of the best locations and techniques to find free food in major cities around the globe. Skipping is a major growing trend and I have found that the people who normally do it, do it not for economic reasons, but for prevention of food wastage. We produce and dispose of far more food than is necessary.

When walking in rural areas, it is easy to find fruit or vegetables. Try not to steal, but in many countries, wild apple and plum trees (amongst others) provide you with delicious and healthy snacks throughout the day.

If you really cannot bare the thought of skipping, you can always buy the ultimate budget travellers food which consists of plain bread or carbohydrates such as pasta (when you have access to cooking facilities). Nutritionally it isn’t very sound, but it will provide you with a form of sustenance.

Sleep. It is possible to survive on small amounts of sleep. I once tried a polyphasic sleep schedule during which I slept four times a day for only thirty minutes at a time. This totals only two hours of sleep a day and I felt fantastic. My friends that I lived with at the time said that I constantly appeared in a state of euphoria, as if under the influence of high amounts of drugs. Thus, this may not be the best idea. However, it is very possible to find free beds around the world. If you want free accommodation, please read my free accommodation article to find money free ways to put your head down for the night. The free accommodation page lists short and long term options. If you only need one to three nights accommodation in a specific location, you should consider couchsurfing or free-camping. Free camping is a wonderful experience in which you sleep outside for free and really start to appreciate life. It sounds less than ideal until you try it. If you are staying in a location for slightly longer, you should consider volunteering or house sitting.

Health. If you lose your health, you have nothing. This, above all things, is the most important part of life. I previously stated that we need air, air is life, and without it, we’d be dead. Without health, food, or water, we’d be dead. Medical treatment is incredibly expensive wherever you go in the world. For this reason I cannot support travelling without health (travel) insurance. This is the first of the two expenses that you should pay. Even if you only get the most basic policy that covers nothing more than medical fees, get travel insurance. I wrote an article about travel insurance in which it explains why you need it and offers suggestions of which travel insurance policy you should purchase. Do I sound a bit repetitive? I hope so. If you go anywhere, get travel insurance. It isn’t a problem until you get sick and your parents have to sell their house to pay for your private jet home. And then you find out that you only had food poisoning. Is all that trouble worth it for the cost of a bungee jump or two? No. I broke my back in France a few years ago and my several thousand pounds of medical bills cost me a total of £65 (in addition to the policy cost) because I was covered for accidents.

Also in the health category is prevention of diseases. Visit your local doctor to see what medication or vaccinations you need for the places that you are visiting. You should get all that they recommend although there are decisions to be made when it comes to rabies injections and malarial medicine because these are optional. If your country has a national health service, many of these immunisations are available free of charge.

What You Need To Enjoy Yourself

To See Remarkable Things. A starry skied mountain top, a waterfall in a forest, or sunset on a beach. These things are beautiful to most people and you can do them for free. With a little bit of effort, you can find some wonderful places. No doubt that wherever you find yourself in the world, many of these things require nothing more than simply taking a little bit of commitment to go and see them. It is far too easy to sit inside and do nothing. However, beauty is in the eye of the perceiver. You do not need to spend every day in the mountains or on beaches to find beauty. You can find it everywhere. Testament to that, look at some of the photo albums that I have uploaded. You may not find them to be to your taste, but I liked the subjects that I was photographing at the time. Keep your eyes open and find beauty in the world. In people, places, or things.

I must now call upon a quote from If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by John McGregor. “You must always look with both of your eyes and listen with both of your ears. He says this is a very big world and there are many many things you could miss if you are not careful. There are remarkable things all the time, right in front of us, but our eyes have like the clouds over the sun and our lives are paler and poorer if we do not see them for what they are. If nobody speaks of remarkable things, how can they be called remarkable?”

Wherever you are now, I challenge you to go somewhere and see something remarkable. I would stake everything upon the idea that no matter where you are in the world, city or countryside, you cannot be in a place where you cannot find something remarkable within walking distance. Put one foot in front of the other and then do it again. You will find something remarkable. Or it will find you.

To Meet Beautiful People. People are everywhere and when you give them time, they can be wonderful. The term beautiful people does not refer to physical beauty. It simply refers to the whole of people in general. I’m referring to that little moment where you make a connection with a stranger because you are open to the world. This connection might be nothing more than a word or a smile; it might be less. If you want to spend more time with strangers, start with hello and a smile. If you are friendly, most people will be friendly back. Many of the people I meet when travelling are through hitchhiking or couchsurfing because they provide instant connections that allow me to spend an extended period of time with a person to see if I like them. Quite often you know that you will never see the people again and that can be quite a liberating experience because you are free to be who you want to be.

To Experience the World. Wherever you go, say yes and try everything. You cannot know if you like something until you have tried it. You do not have to do what every single tourist does when you visit a famous place. On my one trip to Paris, I visited a special bookshop, climbed atop a museum, and camped under the Eiffel Tower. My brother was led into the catacombs via a manhole at night. None of these experiences cost a penny and they are different from what most people do. Throw away your guide books and let both your instincts and the people around you guide you. For certain places in the world, you can also read my beyond budgeting guides which offer free and alternative ways to enjoy specific locations for a couple of days. My country guides offer money saving advice specific to each country as well as advice about what you should see and do in different places around the world. The activities listed on these pages are not always free, but they are deemed good value for experience.

To Get From One Place to Another. Get over your fears and try hitchhiking. I wrote a whole guide to hitchhiking in which I included safety information and how to find a hitchhiking partner online. Rather than repeating myself here, read that guide and remember that hitchhiking is not limited to land. It is more than possible to hitchhike a boat and I have done so several times in the past. Using hitchhiking (the art of obtaining a free lift), you really can go anywhere in the world. I realised this during my 24 country hitchhike in 2012.

To Not End Up in Prison. This is where your other expense comes in. To legally enter a country, you must acquire a visa. With a little bit of forethought, you can visit countries with cheap or free visa entry. However, if you do not want your route limited by the cost of visas, you simply have to pay. The only way to get a visa without paying is to find a job in advance and have your employer secure a visa for you. However, this involves a lot of work and thus, it is not actually free and I do not recommend it as a way to travel for free.

An Addition: Luxuries

Toilets. I put toilets into the luxuries section because it is quite possible to go to the toilet without going to an actual toilet. If you are in rural areas, get over your shyness and go outdoors. In cities, look for cafes and fast food outlets. Walk in like you are buying something and go to the toilet. If there is a lock, you can wait for someone else to use the bathroom and catch it before it closes or look at an old receipt on a table because they often print toilet codes on these. Ideally, just go up to a member of staff and ask for access to the bathroom. It is rare that someone would normally be so petty as to deny you access to the toilet, even if their boss instructs them to do so.

Washing. Cleaning both your clothes and body can be done in one of two ways. Firstly, you can wash naturally in rivers or lakes. I have done this for several days before when hitchhiking and free camping and it actually feels great. Alternatively, find yourself free accommodation and use the facilities while you have the opportunity. If you ever end up in a truck stop or large service area, you may be able to find free showering facilities.

Electrical charging. You can find empty sockets in shopping malls or at people’s houses that you meet along the way. When charging in shopping malls, try not to look suspicious. Simply walk up to a socket, plug your device in and sit down with your bag like you belong there. This works better outside shops and cafes if you can find sockets in the throughways.

Internet. Free wi-fi is available all over the world if you have an internet capable device. You simply have to look for it. A great option is picking up the wi-fi from outside cafes. They normally require a password for access, but most paying customers don’t actually mind helping out a traveller by telling them the password for free. Ask nicely or look at old receipts where you might find the code printed. Alternatively, many libraries and tourist information centres around the world provide a free period of internet. It’s normally around half an hour which is more than enough to send an email to your family and ensure that your online banking is useless due to lack of funds. Once again, if you are staying with people as you travel, use the internet at their homes while you can.

Alcohol. You might just have to learn to get by without this one. When hitchhiking with truckers, I get offered beer fairly regularly. Vodka and whiskey less so, but it happens. I politely accept. Once again, accept generosity but don’t expect it or go looking for it.

Cigarettes. When spending extended periods of time around people that smoke, they may offer you cigarettes. I found this happened an awful lot while hitchhiking. Once again, accept don’t expect. Better still, save your lungs.

As a closing remark, I would like to say that it is possible to travel the world completely for free by not getting travel insurance or skipping country borders and entering without visas. For the safety net that travel insurance provides, I would not recommend travelling without it. As for entering countries without proper documentation, I feel it might be unwise for me to publicly advocate illegal behaviour. If you choose to do so, I didn’t tell you that you should.

Please remember, this page is only a seed for your imagination. Go out into the world, overcome financial barriers and live your life.

Travel free, be free, live free, live life, love life.

You may also be interested in reading:

The Avant-Garde Life (a free ebook about disregarding society and living the life you want)

The Boy Who Was Afraid of the World (a true story about hitchhiking and learning to live without money)

Free Accommodation Around the World

A Guide to Couchsurfing

A Guide to Free-Camping

How to Hitchhike

How to Hitchhike a Boat

Touch My Toes for Free Travel Advice

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101 Comments

  • Hello, i love your blog, my name is Mathew am from Nigeria…..I wish to travel to USA or Canada for work to help myself and to surpot my family but I have no money and no connection, I hope you can help me out.

    • Hello Mathew. Thank you for reading my site – unfortunately I have no specific way of helping individuals, other than posting the advice on this site, but I hope that you find something that is useful to you. Best of luck.

  • Hello Jamie , I’m interested in travelling Europe , no destination , just place to place , for as long as I can , I just want see what’s out there before i settle down , I want to start in Belgium or Germany , are there ways pof earning money on the road or tips you can give me on the journey overall ? Should I bring a guitar ? With travel insurance is it different for each country ? Please get back to me thanks

    • Hello Ryan. I started earning money on the road by writing travel articles. I now do other online work associated with this website, but I also do whatever work I come across when necessary. Generally my bank account runs super dry continuously, but I make up for it by travelling on a tiny amount of money. A guitar might be a good idea for busking – I have met people who travel by playing music. Make sure you get a permit from the council though as it is necessary in many countries and may result in a fine if you don’t get one. Travel insurance is generally valid for a wide region – here is one that I use that is not country specific. Best of luck with your journey.

  • hi bro , i’m from indonesia , i want to travel europe . and i want to travel without money , what do you think ? can i ? and how i have to start , and from where ??

    to exit the country , I have to get on a plane , and it was not cheap . when taking a ship is less expensive, I was able to singapore , but I had to pass malaysia , thailand , myanmar , Bangladesh, Nepal , india , pakistan , afghanistan , iran , turkey . from some of the country there is still the country with the conflict of war , how I can get through it all ? maybe you or any have suggestions?

    sorry for my english.
    thank you guys .

    school 12 years and then working till die ??? its not my lane 😀 , i want to see the world before i die..

    • Visas are the trickiest thing as you are in big trouble if you don’t have one. As for travelling, hitchhiking is the cheapest way and I met a guy who hitchhiked from Australia to UK, so it’s possible. War torn countries are something I am unfamiliar with, but I would think it best to avoid troubled areas if possible. You could pick a land route that avoided more dangerous places, ideally in summer so you can camp for free.

      Working until you die doesn’t sound fun. Good luck with your journeys – I would be interested to hear how you get on.

      • Thank you bro , Can you give me suggestions country / place great and the good ppl in Europe , which I could visit ???

        • It sounds cliché, but every country in Europe that I have been to has great places and great people if you are looking for them. Of course, there are less inspiring places, but even they can have their charm.

  • Hey my man! Great article and it really pulled the trigger on this idea for me. I plan to do this when I get out of high school. Take a year, make some more money, and go. But how much are visas usually? I have plenty of time but I’m new and am wondering

  • (I’m From Pakistan) I wanna travel the whole world but have not enough money to cross borders and for visas(as because of bad reputation of my country there might be many countries who cannot allow me to enter) any tips can i travel without passport and visas ?

  • Hey. I’m Zhenya from Russia. I tried to cross the Finnish border, but border officer turned me back cause I had got only 20 euros and I had said that I’m going to stay in Finland for a month. They put a stamp to refuse entry. Jamie, can you give me advice to cross the border?

  • Hey Jamie, I was wondering how do you travel across borders? Do you have to show your passport, or do you need any papers?
    I do love the fact of free travel.
    Thanks you Jamie for making this!

    • I always use my passport and am lucky that it allow me visa free access to nearly 200 countries / territories. Certain parts of the world make it more difficult, as do certain passports. I hope one day there will be no borders and free movement across the world.

  • Hi Jamie about the water issue I remember when I was in Tenerife and drank the tap water there. I got sick in my stomach, puked a lot and couldn’t stand up. Later when i wasn’t sick anymore I heard from my sister that it was poluted and could have hepatitis A. which I didn’t get luckily. And i wonder if you’ve ever experienced something like that.

    • That is unpleasant. For the most part, I have been rather lucky. I drink water from most places I go to and have almost always been fine, but I did get very sick in Morocco (I think it was from some ice I had in a smoothie). Some places are easier than others to get clean water, but boiling the water or adding some sterilisers should help.

  • Hi Jamie….thanks a lot for this beautiful post…actually i needed some advice on travelling without money…the thing is i am from bombay (india)…and i wish to travel to jerusalem…maybe..walking through different countries..but ….how to obtain visa…if you do not have enough money in your bank account? and how to work out this whole plan of walking …you think it can happen? would it be advisable to walk through..pakistan, iran iraq.? need help!

    love.peace.
    sunil.

    • There is often a way around most things – except visas. I don’t know how to get around visas without breaking the law unfortunately. I think the walking itself would be a wonderful experience, however I have never been to Pakistan, Iran, or Iraq, but the pictures look beautiful. A friend of mine travelled from Slovakia to India through Iran and Pakistan, and I am sure there will be some good stories on the internet of other people who have done something similar. They might be able to offer better advice. Sorry I can’t help much – I don’t want to pretend I have good answers when I have never been to that part of the world. Please do let me know how you get on. Good luck.

  • Hey I am 23years old woman..I love to travel with different people.. People from different culture or people who have similar thoughts like me..but I am really looking forward for company.. Because I can’t travel alone..I find it little scary.. And i want to travel the world and I don’t have enough money for that

    • Budget is relative to what you are willing to put up with – I have met people who have travelled for years without any money. This often involves ‘roughing it’ or ‘going without.’ As for company, I hope you find someone to share your journeys with you.

  • This is something too comprehensive! Thanks for taking your time to write such a story. By the way, did i tell you the video editing is fantastic.

    Nevertheless, i totally disagree with the heading.. “traveling without money”.. it’s a sort of suicide. in fact, nobody actually does it, right? Traveling shoestring is okay, sometimes it’s fun, but traveling without money, no good. I saw people in Khao San Road in Bangkok, they were like scavengers, lots of westerners, took shelter in shady hostels, ate one or max two meals that also shared, and looked like beggars. If you are not living a monastic living, what’s fun in this type of torture living.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the video. I personally don’t travel completely without money, more like for a couple of euros per day, but I have met people who do travel completely without money. Read this book, The Sunhitcher, for a positive story of someone who chose to travel without money for many years.

  • Hi jamie, I appreciate the advice you have given me through your videos. I have a bad past and am looking to make a better future. My friend showed me you videos and told me he wanted me to join him as he traveled the world. At first I thought he was crazy but now I can see how amazing it would be. I am looking forward to traveling as soon as I graduate in 4 months. Thank you for the advice, I am sure it will come in handy. 🙂

    • That sounds exciting, Chris, and I am glad the videos had a positive effect. I hope you have a wonderful time on your travels.

  • I love your blog! Very inspirational, great advice but no matter how you put it it’s still pretty scary. I’m in high school with no money but I think I could use the money saved up for college to travel instead. Do you think it would be better to go to college? Any suggestions?

    • Thanks, Talula. I don’t think there is a magic answer to this question. I went to university (what Americans call college) and although I haven’t used my qualification very much, I am happy that I went as I learnt a lot from being there and got some great travel opportunities. Do what you think is right and figure everything else out from there!

  • Jamie, I’m a 18 yr old from India and believe me I have planned everything in a similar way as you’ve done here, I just think I need to gain more experience and should complete my education first before I can do this, this blog was very inspiring and I am relieved to see that more people with similar views exist! come to India, sometime! and I hope we meet someday

  • I’m checking on google some advices on how to travel without spending a lot of money, then it brings me to your blog. 🙂
    I’m 22 now and never been experience to travel. Can you give me advice how to start? 🙂 I really want to explore the world. Haha
    But since I don’t have much, I just visit the internet to calm my mood by seeing beautiful places. 🙂
    Hope you can help me. Thanks! ☺

    • I quite like going on trips alone. I also like going with people. Try a bit of both and see what works for you. When I’m alone, I find that it makes it easier to meet new people.

  • Hi Jamie,

    I like your blog and is really interesting and, I really want travel around the whole world but I don’t know how to coz I have no idea what to do and I’m only 17 years old plz help me I always think about training is the only the dream I have.

    • Hello Amal,

      There are an infinite number of possibilities. Pick something you want to do, do that, then pick something else different after. Sometimes when we look at the big picture, we get a little overwhelmed which is why I try to break things down into pieces. For example, you might want to try volunteering or CouchSurfing for friendly, cheap options to start. I hope this helps a little.

  • Hi Jamie,
    I love your blog. A few years ago when things turned south with the US economy, I sold all my possessions, reduced my life to a backpack and bought a one way ticket to SE Asia. What an amazing year I had traveling around Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand. For the fist time in a long time I stopped worrying about The American Dream and started just experiencing different cultures and an entirely different way of life. It was such a life changing experience and I wanted to find a way to share the spirit of adventure with others. After coming back home, I started Bondi Buddha, a clothing brand that is about loving your life and going on adventures. I shared your blog on my Facebook page…hope you don’t mind. I want to infect the world with the sprit of adventure. I am now in my early 50s, so you are never too old to have amazing world travel experiences.

    Take care mate.

    Rob

    • Absolutely Rob, we’re never too old to try something new. Glad to hear of your awesome story and I hope the clothing brand works out.

  • hi Jamie
    thanks to write all this. Im living in India. Im alone and i want travel all over India but without hav much money. Im graphic designer so i do work where i go to find some money for spend all what i need. I want enjoy freedom and challenge in my journey alone without much money .. please give me some suggestions .. 🙂

    • Everything on this page is what I suggest. And use your common sense – that takes you far in life. Happy adventuring.

      • Amit Gupta, I cycled through North and Northeast India for more than 1 year as a solo female, most of the time I stayed with local people, or free camping, or at local temples,….and I realized that Indian saddus in fact are the best travelers. My budget was US$100/4 months in India. I did some writing about this trip on my blog but unluckily it is written in my language, so I don’t think you can read it. When I have a chance, I go back India to cycle other parts I haven’t reached yet.

        Good luck to you! I was safe in India as a solo female foreign cyclist and you will be safe too because it is your country. India is always in my heart because India changed my points of view and gave me another life.

    • Hey amit i also have the same thought i would love to travel all over india but i have no money at all but i heard from many people that we can travel without money i dnt understand how it’s possible, i guess may b India has very less options. By the way where r u from in india? Im from Hyderabad

      • I just added a new video to this page which I hope you guys will find useful. I will be posting other similar videos soon too.

  • If you have a skill, such as cooking, animal husbandry, massage, musical ability, or basic carpentry, you can barter for free food and accommodation as you travel the world.

  • This is exactly what I need at the moment. Thanks a lot, Jamie! I found this article truly inspirational. For a young girl, born and raised in a Vietnamese traditional family (by traditional, I really mean it. My mom’s still texting me everyday asking what I’m having for dinner even though I’m 23 and living far from home), the idea of quitting my job to travel around the world is something I cannot share with anyone since obviously most of them would think I’m “crazy”. But honestly,that’s what I’ve always been dreaming of. The only obstacle was financial statement. I’ve done lots of reading, researching about backpacking for free and more or less, you’ll always need money at some point. But now thanks to your article, I feel like I know more about how to minimize that amount and focus more on enjoying myself.
    I think I’ve cleared my mind and will just do it. Leave everything behind and go on a lifetime journey.
    And imma share with my friends about your site. It’s very helpful.

    • That’s wonderful Sunny, I hope you have the best of times. All you really need is a decent sleeping bag and a bit of belief in the world. A CouchSurfing account is pretty useful too. No matter how old you get or where you go, people will still think you’re crazy. I am sure my parents still wonder why I do what I do. I suppose it goes both ways – I think it’s crazy that people don’t follow their hearts and do what it is that they desire. Go, you.

  • Hi Jamie – I stumbled upon your site while research couchsurfing.com for my son. He is 17 and he and his best friend are embarking on an adventure in Europe for an unknown amount of time this summer. They are open, ready to meet wonderful people, explore new cultures, hike, camp etc. Your site is perfect to help prepare them for their trip! Thank you! We will be reading it in detail. I’ve learned so much already in a few minutes. – Cool Mom (yes, I think I’m a cool mom!)

    • Rachel, you do sound like a cool mum – and having the support of one’s family is very valuable. I hope you can find some useful information on the site and that your son has a similar experience to mine – it restored my faith in humanity in the best possible way.

    • WARNING!: Do not, I repeat, do not go to a toilet without asking for it while you’re in the Netherlands. It is heavily frowned upon! If you do have to use the toilet at least have the decency to order a cup of coffee, or ask really nicely and they will tell you it’s oke.

  • Articles like this are informative but make me sad because so much of the info/advice is inaccessible to disabled people, not to mention women – sure, women can follow a lot of this advice, but for women, the top of the list should be SAFETY, because in my experience that’s the most difficult aspect of free travel.

    • I try to offer generic advice applicable to the majority of the population who are in a similar situation to myself as we can only offer opinions based upon our own experiences. Offering advice tailored to disabled people or woman would be very valuable, but as I am neither disabled nor a woman, I won’t pretend that I know about these topics. However, much of my free travel advice has been learnt from females and I met several females who travel in the same way as I do without problems.

  • I love this a idea of free travel around the globe.its my dream travel around the as far as possible.its lovely to be part of unknown places their foods,custom,language.

    I wanna go around and experience new dawn of my life.
    I’m happy to talk any one who are interested these kind of idea,well,I’m from India which people are more conservative they won’t accept these kinda of aspect of traveling.

    I’m happy to talk with whom have same passion i do

    • Most people in the world are conservative and find these ideas strange. I hope that you can find some kindred spirits along your path. Try not to worry too much about the naysayers.

  • Hi 🙂
    I am really glad after reading this, for a long time I want to do it and all that everyone always told me was to give up cause this kind of stuff doesn’t works. But what I relize once again, is that are lots of people into this.
    Unfortunately, I live in Brazil, and don’t know anyone around my city that has this dream. I’m still fifteen, so I intent to travel when I finish school, what scares me, is that I might go alone. So, my first step may be getting out of the country, if you or anyone here could recomend the most solidary cities you’ve been, would help a lot ^^

    • It is difficult, but it can work if you are willing to make some sacrifices. And then the rewards you get are incredible. Most people do not think like this, but we must all live a life that is true to ourselves. There are good things and bad things about going alone, but I quite like it. On my first big trip, I didn’t go alone however. What do you mean by ‘solidary cities?’

      • Sorry about my grammar haha. I mean, cities where people were nice with you or that you can find hostels easily.

        • Every place has good and bad parts. Personally, I am not a fan of big cities mostly as I don’t like how busy they are, but you will find many that you like. As for beds, I normally find free beds by Couch Surfing or free camping. Generally, I don’t plan things much, I just go and see where I find myself.

  • I have a dream that is traveling the world , but most things in here that I do not have money . I want to make friends with you so that we will make this dream !

    • Ha, sure! Nice to meet you. I wish you the best with your adventures. The world is a great place and it doesn’t have to cost lots of money.

  • Hello!
    All that you are doing is very inspiring. I’m from Latvia and together with my girlfriend we are planning to backpack across europe, but not all at once, we would like to start slowly. Which countries do you recommend us first? Also how big research about countries, cities before travelling you do and should be done? Before you go, do you already know which sites you’re going to visit?

    • Thanks Tom. I love so much of Europe and I am sure that you will love wherever you go too. I almost never research places, I just look at a map and chose a place – or sometimes I go wherever people are going. I don’t really go to tourist attractions, but I listen to the people I meet and go to places that are reccommended to me. If you want to hitchhike, Poland is a great place to start because it is amazing for hitchhiking and being in Latvia, you don’t have to go far. Happy adventures to you both.

  • Hey there, absolutely love the website dude. My girlfriend and I were doing pretty much exactly this around Australia and New Zealand. Now we have broke up after coming home to england. Not gonna lie mate, I love england and being home but I would of still been adventuring had my girlfriends visa’s not been such a hassle. Now I’m all my own, and desperate to get back out there and just adventure it all again, then there’s your blog about travel for free. I was just curious how much money you actually had when you started to explore? I have just over £1500 to my name and I fancy going straight to Norway and making my way down to the med. would you say that’s possible?

    Cheers, olly.

    • Glad you like it Olly. Sorry about your girlfriend – on the plus side, sounds like you have some great adventures planned. My budgets vary. When I spent a month in Norway, I volunteered and spent less than £50. When I hitchhiked across Europe in 9 days, I spent about €2.50 a day. On my big hitchhiking journey around Europe (about 6 months) when I didn’t know much about travelling cheaply, I probably had a similar amount of money to you. Now I could make it stretch further. Check out this book for someone who has travelled without money for years. Good luck, you’ll have a blast. Just remember to take a hammock (or tent – warmer, less comfy) and a decent sleeping bag.

  • You sound like you have a really great life ethos, I’ve got a load of your posts bookmarked and can see myself buying your book after reading them!
    I’m starting my first fully-free (no commitment to return to, like uni etc.) adventure next month in Argentina and can’t wait :).
    Love and happiness my friend x

  • This is absolutely amazing. I hope someday in the near future pursuing something as great as this. BTW I’m only 19 years old. It’s a big world out there, so much to see, so much beauty. You just have to go out there and find it.

  • Really great post! I hope i can learn something from it!
    I would like to travel with friends or anyone, rather than alone!

  • Jamie,
    Alrighty, so I love being independent and unfortunately don’t have friends who would like to travel like this with me. Do you think it would be extremely dangerous for an 18 year old girl from the States to travel by myself to countries like India, Isreal, Egypt, Italy, and actually most of the European countries? I plan to take a gap year and and do this. Not planning on telling my family and friends until I leave… they’ll just convince me not to go if they know beforehand. I really want to do this before college so that I have a more open mindset. Also, what are the rules with dogs? I have a Yorkie who I wouldn’t want to leave back home if at all possible.

    • In my experience, Europe is wonderful and I know many girls who travel around Europe (and the world) by themselves – several who hitchhike and free-camp. I know little of the other countries you mention as I have never been. Maybe check out forums on CouchSurfing and HitchWiki to get better opinions. Of course, bad things do happen – but the are VERY unlikely – driving a car in your hometown is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do. As for dogs, you can take them, but it is an arduous and expensive process. Start it ASAP because you have to get vaccinations, pet passports, and find an airline that allows dogs – I’m sure speaking to a vet or searching the internet will reveal more – sorry I can’t be more useful with this issue.

    • hey Gabi,

      I am an 18 year old girl from belgium… and i dream of just packing my stuff and go where ever i want to go! my parent’s don’t like the idea of me leaving 🙁 i was just wondering how things are working out for you?

      • Anke,
        Well so far I haven’t made any plans. My parents are really wanting me to go to college after I graduate from high school in May. So it’s a bit hard to get everything together… or even decide if I really want to do this for that matter. College is definitely something I plan on doing, I just want to get another perspective of the world first. I want to explore, take chances, see things, and basically just live extraordinarily before college. Hey, maybe we could meet up or something! Feel free to email me: gabi.keister@gmail.com 🙂
        -Gabi

    • Hello Gaby!
      I hope you don’t mind but I sent you a email sharing some things and hoping you will give me your thoughts.
      Have a nice day.

  • I really would like to travel the world once I’m out of college (currently in high school) I’ve been wanting to for a long time…as long as I can remember. I’m just not sure where to start…Do I just save up and go to one spot in the world and go from there?

    • There are no rules (and if there were, you can make them up as you go along). Do anything that excites you. Happy adventuring!

  • I have always had the dream of traveling the world free of material possession n money..but is it possible in country like India, where i stay??

  • Jamie,
    First of all this is inspirational enough to make my blood boil. Totally starting planning ASAP. Question though: i live in the united states and i would like to travel overseas, namely to Eurasia. Do you think there’s a feasible means of getting there short of purchasing a plane ticket?

    • Apologies for the late reply, I missed this message. There is a chance: ask people, maybe even hitch a boat. Websites like floatplan and crewseekers also offer the chance for people to work as crew on boats and cross oceans in this way. All you need is time and determination to keep going when people are turning you down.

  • The idea seems romantic but in practice this sort of traveling would probably suck, I don’t think i would have much fun smelling and going hungry because i damn sure aint eating out of a fucking garbage bin.

    • It’s not for everybody, but challenges in life are good. As for eating out of the rubbish, it’s an experience that you should try to fully appreciate. Most of the food is sealed and perfectly good to eat: sadly our modern world is very wasteful.

    • If you don’t have much money how do you afford to host this blog? Or do you just use a free host?

      • I go through periods of having very little and working when I can. This work funds much of my travels and the hosting. This page is intended to show how you can travel without money, based upon my experience gained at times when I have little. I myself have never travelled completely without money, but I know people who have.

        • So does the money go into a bank account or is it more cash in hand type work? Or both? Really enjoy blogs like this & am planning on pursuing a lifestyle like this very soon, just would like to be prepared beforehand is all.

          • It completely depends on where and what – if it is online, it normally goes through digital channels, but if not, it is often in hand. Best of luck with your new lifestyle.

  • You are just…I can’t find the right word to describe you…fucking freaking awesome! That could be it! 🙂
    You haven’t talked about how safe is for SOLO WOMEN to travel in poor/dangerous countries like Central America with no money, though…are you able to tell me something about it please?

    • Ha! Thanks for your kind words. As for solo female travel, I won’t say much because I don’t know much. All I know is that I have met some awesome girls who have travelled alone through ‘dangerous’ places and came back to tell wonderful stories. As for the danger itself, it (in my opinion) occurs in cities or when mixed in with the wrong kind of people.

  • Jamie your blog is pretty damn amazing, you see, you have a great sense of humor and you’re an excellent writer! You really know how to inspire!
    Thanks xxx

  • I am about to turn 18 in september and this is also my last year of high school, I am so thankful i found your blog. I feel like it has really inspired and opened my eyes and made me realize that maybe i can make these wild dreams of mine come true despise everything. Thank you Jamie. Maybe we’ll cross paths someday.

    • I am glad it has been useful Gianella and I wish you the best of luck in the future with your wild dreams. Aim higher than you ever thought was possible because only you can stop you. I hope to see you on the road someday.

  • I did not know that it was possible to travel free or almost free… I love how many articles on this site challenge common perceptions about the world. Thank you Jamie!

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