Yellow funicular tram in Lisbon — Getty Images

3 simple ways to make traveling cost nothing (or very little)

Travel hacks

By and

By and |

We let you in on how to travel for free by utilizing travel hacks, getting alternative accommodation, and finding things to see and do on any vacation that don’t cost a penny

Is it possible to travel for free? Here at, we’re constantly looking for hacks and loopholes that take the expense out of seeing the world — that make the answer to this question “yes”, at least in part. For example, check out our recent article on countries that’ll pay you to travel there to live and work. For more short-term adventures, meanwhile, we’ve summed up the art of traveling for nothing (or nearly nothing) in three straightforward ways.

1: Find free accommodation

There have been websites available for years that offer places to stay for the bare minimum of your good company — Couchsurfing being one of the most famous. Our World Travel Hackers have taken advantage of this in order to save big bucks, but if you don’t want to intrude on someone else’s space to that degree, consider the following.


@worldpackers When you decide to volunteer on ranches ✨🐴 All my ranch trips have been through @worldpackers 🌍🎒 would you also live an experience like this? Just choose your destination and let’s explore the world! #worldpackers #volunteer #travel #backpacking #ranch #usa 📹: @horsegirltravel ♬ original sound – Worldpackers

Worldpackers offers free accommodation in exchange for skills. You can stay at one of thousands of social projects, NGOs, ecovillages, hostels, campsites and communities in over 140 countries. They’re always looking for people with skills as varied as languages, photography, administration, cooking, gardening, social media management, childcare and more.

House sitting

@kiwi.comimagine this life: taking care of cute furry friends and traveling the world💚♬ original sound –

House sitting is sort of like babysitting, except you’re looking after a house while its occupants are away. From chic, city center apartments to sprawling farmhouses, there are loads of options out there from a bunch of trusted websites, and many of the house sits come with pets too, so you get the added fun of a cat or dog friend to keep you company!



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Workaway (@workawayinfo)

If you’d like to learn something new while you’re traveling, consider a Workaway scheme. In exchange for around five hours of work a day, you’ll get accommodation, food, and sometimes an allowance as well. It could be helping on a farm or a building project, learning yoga skills, giving classroom support, or a bunch of other things — all you need to bring is enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Workaway schemes also allow you to sign up with a partner, travel buddy, or in a group, so you can all go on an adventure together!

2: Look for free things to see and do at your destination

There’s so much going on almost everywhere if you know where to look. Do a bit of digging and you’ll find that most cities have a swathe of free attractions, it’s just that often these aren’t widely advertised.

Museums and galleries

Tourist taking photograph of Ancient Egyptian artifact at the British Museum — ShutterstockMany museums in major European cities are free to enter — Shutterstock

Even the biggest museums and galleries in the UK, for example, are often free to visit. Even the ones around the world you might not think have exceptions. While the Met in New York has abandoned its Pay What You Wish policy, there are still many websites for major cities — such as this one — which will not only let you know on which days which places are free (or pay what you wish), but also how much you’re saving on those days over a regular ticket. In other major cities like Paris, almost every museum or gallery is free for students, or EU residents under 26 (just remember to bring your student card and ID), and the first Sunday of every month they’re free for everyone! There’s a lot out there if you just spend a bit of time looking for it.

Walking tours

Friends on a walking tour of New York City — ShutterstockA walking tour is a very cost-effective way to get to know a new city — Shutterstock

As above, every major city — and some regional ones — offers free walking tours to get to know the place. These are generally conducted by locals who know the city inside-out, and can be a valuable insight into what to do, where to go, and things that might be a better alternative to the obvious. They’re also a good way to meet fellow travelers in a relaxed atmosphere, and as a former walking tour guide myself, I [David] can guarantee that for the price of a beer afterward, the tour guide will be more than happy to give you a bit more of their time and knowledge!

Public transport You read this text = you are a true budget traveler! #cheaptravel #budgettravel #cheapflights #traveltheword #traveltok ♬ original sound –

Some transport systems can seem intimidating, especially at busy times, but don’t underestimate the value of simply sitting on a bus or a tram to get the feel of a city. Often for mere pennies you can get a ticket and watch the city go by as you rattle through interesting neighborhoods you might not otherwise have seen. Some cities even recommend it — the Architecture Center Amsterdam, for example, has maps of tram routes with notable buildings marked on them, so you know exactly what you’re looking at; while Lisbon’s famous Tram 28 (Martim Moniz — Campo Ourique) passes through almost every major area of the city and is pretty much a tourist attraction in itself.

3: Make use of travel hacks



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by (@kiwicom247)

To avoid getting stung by hidden fees, download Revolut for the best exchange rates and easiest international money transfers. You can also use it to set up a daily or weekly budget, and the app will ping you when you’re nearing your limit. It’s also great for avoiding disagreements when traveling with friends — you can set up bills and Revolut will keep track of who’s spent what, doing the math for you.

Psst! New Revolut users can get cashback, plus three months of Revolut Premium for free(!), if they use their new account to book with Click here for more deals on how to secure this great deal.

The cheapest flight prices

@kiwi.comwhen people say traveling is expensive…👀♬ оригінальний аудіозапис – –

Play around on, of course! As we’ve previously mentioned, people seem to love our unique Search to: Anywhere feature because it finds the cheapest prices to destinations you might never have even considered. For multi-stop trips, you have to try Nomad, our revolutionary search tool that runs on our powerful Kiwi-Code technology. Just enter the places you’d like to visit and how long you’d like to spend in each destination, and Nomad will find you the cheapest possible route between them. You can then see all the journeys that make up your itinerary and book the whole lot for one low price in one single click. Go on — try it now and see just how cheap your next adventure could be!

And that’s far from all we do to get you the best deals out there on flights. Learn more here about all the ways in which hacks the system so that you can travel for very little.

Do you want more travel articles? Visit Stories.

Related articles

David Szmidt

David is a lead writer for, as well as a football-watcher, music-listener and beer-appreciater. @UtterBlether

Hana Leakey

Hana is Europe’s number-one fan. No, not the band — she thinks the band is only “alright”.