There are many ways to see the world for free. To see the world for free you might not spend any money but you will likely exchange your precious time or do some work. However, where there is a will, there is a way. In addition to the following, happy travelers might know other free travel opportunities. If so, please leave a comment.
6 Sensational Ways to See the World for Free
See the World for Free: Win Contests
As someone has has won a vacation to Hawaii, $500 voucher from Expedia, and many other travel and non-travel prizes, I know that people do win. Matt Long of LandLopers, before he became a full-time and prominent travel influencer, won a trip to Galapagos with Alex Trebek. Howard Blount of Backroad Planet won a trip to Iceland through a Johnny Jet contest. This “See the World for Free” category requires the most luck.
See the World for Free: Use Points
Perhaps the most popular free travel opportunity is using points. Countless websites cover the intricacies of learn, earn, and burn: two McCool favorites are Pizza in Motion and Points With a Crew. I once flew for free for two years across four continents, using bumping, points, and other strategies. Please read my article: My 4 Continent, Flee Flight Adventure.
See the World for Free: Work
Savvy travelers can leverage business trips to explore destinations. Since the company has already paid airfare and lodging, once meetings are over, use your per diem meal allowance to eat where you want to. On your own non-work time, explore parts of the city away from the business hotels.
Suzanne Wolko would regularly add personal vacation time onto her business trips to London. She told me, I knew going to Amsterdam with a return via LHR [London Heathrow airport] would be cheaper [than flying directly to London]. The company paid for the flights and I used points for the hotel stay [in Amsterdam].
For Loudoun County Virginia road trip ideas, please read Explore the Unpaved Roads of Loudoun County.
See the World for Free: Free Lodging
Two times I have Couchsurfed (Casablanca and southwest Florida) and know of people who have exclusively used Couchsurfing for long trips. The Wuebkers of PassingThru are permanent nomads and leverage house sitting gigs to see the world for free.
Betsy Wuebker told me: We’ve gone on to house sit in England, Belgium, Germany, Australia, and right now we are in China. Total time spent in the last eighteen months on house sits: about 9 months. You can certainly fit time in to discover the special things about a location, and you’re “living like a local.” Another way to find free lodging is to participate in home exchanges. Stay in someone’s Tuscan farmhouse while they stay in your suburban house.
See the World for Free: Promote
What can you offer to companies in exchange for free travel? Last month I met a photographer on assignment for Viking Cruises. Travel writers regularly pitch destinations and travel suppliers for comps (complimentary travel) in exchange for coverage. Perhaps you are an art, auto, or sports blogger with a massive Instagram following. Offer to cover Basel, Daytona, or the Pro Bowl and you might find yourself in a sunny, warm destination in the winter.
See the World for Free: Sell
Most travel companies will offer you free flights, spots, stays. or trips when you sell a certain number. Not as a travel agent, but as a regular person. If you organize a trip to Europe for 15 people, you can negotiate to have your airfare and lodging for free.
Do you want to see the world for free? Any other ways I did not cover?