How to Travel the World When You’ve Got Absolutely No Money  -

How to Travel the World When You’ve Got Absolutely No Money 



My all time favorite question to ask someone I’ve just met is “If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?”


Tonsai Bay


The reason I love to ask this question, is that I believe it instantly reveals someone’s deepest desires. It reveals what they’d be doing with their lives if they removed the barriers of limitations and looked through the lens of possibility instead. When people imagine having all of the money they could ever dream of, immediately they see a life without limits.


Without fail, nearly everyone I ask answers, “I would travel the world.”


Kuta lombok


Indeed, money seems to be the main factor that prevents people from leaving a job they don’t love, a life that doesn’t make them happy, and chasing their dream of traveling the world.


But it doesn’t have to be that way.


This American Girl


A few days ago I shared with all of you How I Afford a Life of Constant Travel, And You Can Too. Since then I’ve been positively stunned by the number of shares, comments, and messages I’ve received. One thing became overwhelmingly clear: people want to know how a nomadic lifestyle is financially possible.


koh phangan


In that post I share lots of advice for how to financially sustain a life of constant a travel. But how do you get started when you’re flat broke? When you’ve got nothing saved? When your feet are so itchy you can barely stand still, but you’ve got absolutely no financial reserves to get up and go?


This is Not the End - 65


If there’s one thing I’ve learned in three and a half years of travel, it’s that nothing, literally nothing, is impossible. So today, I’m here to tell you, that even if you’ve got absolutely no money at all, you could pack up your bags and set off to travel the world tomorrow. You can live as if you won the lottery, even when you’re flat broke.


Here is how:




Sell Your Shit


The first step in quickly getting money to be able to travel, is selling your stuff. Not only will this help you pay for your trip, but it removes the baggage you still have at home. If you don’t have any stuff, you don’t need an apartment to keep it in. You don’t need a storage unit to store it in. You have one less thing tying you to a physical space.


Selling my belongings was the initial step that helped me make my dream of traveling long term a reality. I did anything from sell my leather boots and dresses to consignment shops to sell my car and furniture on Craigslist.


Assess your belongings and ask yourself what you can let go of. Rather than losing something or having less, consider it an exchange. By selling your belongings, you’re essentially exchanging a material possession for a bigger piece of freedom. What is freedom worth to you?


Do you still own a car? How would it feel to let it go? Do you still have a house? How would it feel to let it go? Big items will certainly help you save the money quickly, but no item is too small. What do you have that you are willing to exchange for freedom? Have a garage sale, sell on Etsy, post on Craigslist, auction on Ebay, and put the word out to your friends on Facebook.


Four Thousand islands


Travel For Free


Would you believe me if I told you that it’s not only possible, but fairly easy, to travel for free? I never would have believed this to be true until I started meeting people, all over the world, who were really doing it. I’ve witnessed that traveling for free, or at least on a budget, can actually yield richer, more authentic, and more life changing experiences than organized, luxury travel. Why? It requires resourcefulness,  human connection and trust, and embracing a more down to earth way of living. Here are some of the best ways to travel the world for free:


Lonely Beach Koh Chang


Couch Surfing


One of the simplest and most popular ways to sleep for free is through couchsurfing. If you’re not already signed up with couch surfing get on there now! You can search for hosts offering a free couch, a free bed, sometimes a free bedroom, with no expectations in return. Some hosts will even cook you breakfast and show you their favorite parts of the city. Let me say it again, FOR FREE! It’s particularly helpful if you want to travel in more expensive cities like Singapore or London, where even dorm beds can cost as much as $50 per night.


Admittedly, I’ve not done much couchsurfing, but I have many friends who swear by it. My friend Anna, from The Legendary Adventures of Anna, has couchsurfed all over the world and made tons of friends in the process. I stayed with one of her couchsurfing hosts in San Jose, Costa Rica who was totally sweet, gave us our own room, and even made a full Costa Rican breakfast in the morning! A friend of hers took us out to his favorite bar overlooking the city, he ended up staying with me down in Puerto Viejo, and we’re still friends to this day.


That said, you certainly need to take some precautions with couch surfing, especially if you’re a woman traveling on your own. There are plenty of men who use couchsurfing as a way to pick up chicks, and I had a very uncomfortable experience in Munich with a guy who advertised a couch, yet when I got there he expected me to share the bed with him. Try to plan ahead and look for hosts with good reviews and common interests. Couch surfing at the heart is about making friends and being part of a community, rather than just a free bed.


For more on Couch Surfing, check out: The Comprehensive Guide to Couchsurfing


little corn island




Nature lovers rejoice, there are tons of places all over the world where you can camp for free. One of my friends, Foster Huntington, is basically the king of “vanlife” and has lived and traveled all over the world in his campervan. I’ve met travelers who backpack with lightweight tents and either pay a small fee to pitch their tent at hostels or camp in the wilderness. A great option in the tropics is to simply travel with a hammock and a mosquito net. I met people who did this all over Southeast Asia. Of course, safety is certainly something to consider, and be sure that you’ll be secure where you choose to camp.


Here’s a great resource on getting started: Travel For Free By Camping Around the World 






Far and away the most luxurious, comfortable option for free lodging is housesitting. I know tons of people who have afforded long-term travel by looking after people’s vacation homes. In Costa Rica I know expats who leave during the rainy season and have long term travelers stay for free in their home during that time. Recently I stayed with a friend of mine who has been housesitting at a beautiful place in the countryside of Spain for over a year. In exchange for looking over the property and feeding the cats, she lives for free in a big two-bedroom house with a garden and a courtyard among the olive groves of Andalusia. Many travel bloggers, particularly families and single parents, travel and live abroad through housesitting opportunities across Europe, Bali, Thailand, Mexico, you name it.


You can sign up now with Trusted Housesitters to start looking, or if you need more infomation for getting started, read this house sitting guide.


Bocas del Toro


Free Transportation


When I’m traveling I walk almost everywhere. I’ll happily walk for hours to get to the best hidden beaches, hike into the jungle to discover the waterfalls, and wander around the city all day. Walking is not only FREE transportation, it’s also my favorite form of transportation because it allows me to connect with what’s around me, take tons of amazing photos, and get exercise at the same time.


I’ve also met travelers who put their bicycle in checked luggage and cycle from one destination to the next. It’s not easy, but it’s totally possible and a great way to see a lot on a low budget. If you don’t already have a bicycle, you could always show up to your destination and buy a used one, then sell it when you leave. This is what I do every time I go to Costa Rica. For around $60 I find a bicycle that I can take into town and out to the remote beaches. Then, I sell it for exactly what I paid when I leave a few months later.


When my parents were traveling in their 20s people hitchhiked, these days it’s all about carpooling. Today there are tons of ride share and carpooling resources online, where you can pay a small amount, or sometimes ride for free. You can find reputable drivers all over the world through Bla Bla Car. Also look up different Facebook groups. In Costa Rica we have local rideshare groups where people post when they’re driving to different destinations across the country.


Bocas del Toro


Travel Hacking


Think of travel hacking as knowing how to work the system. By understanding the way that reward points, frequent flier miles, and credit card offers work, you can rack up enough credits to be able to get free flights and hotels anywhere in the world. Nomadic Matt is the expert on Travel Hacking, so get started with his guide on Time, The Incredibly Simple Guide to Getting Totally Free Flights and Hotels, or if you’re serious about learning, buy his eBook The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking.


Koh Rong


Work Trade


I’ll never forget the moment when I realized that even if I drained all of my funds, I could still keep traveling forever. That happened when I learned about the incredible world of work trade. Hundreds of thousands of establishments all over the world are looking for travelers to come and volunteer on their farms, in their hostels, at their retreats, and for their organizations in exchange for free room and board. Even if you have money saved for travel, this is an excellent way to extend the length of your trip.


You can organize work trade ahead of time by contacting hosts online and planning your trip accordingly, or make last minute plans when you find yourself in a country that you’d love to stay in longer. It’s even possible to walk into businesses, especially hostels, and simply ask at the front desk if they’re looking for work traders.


Here are some resources for finding work trade opportunities:


koh phangan


Work Away and Helpx


These are the most popular and comprehensive websites out there for work trade opportunities. Both require a subscription fee to directly apply for jobs, around $25/year, and with Work Away you can still browse the jobs for free. You can find trade opportunities in nearly every country in the world, ranging from working reception in a hostel to pouring drinks in a beach bar to playing music in a nightclub to growing vegetables on an organic farm to teaching yoga at a resort in the jungle. If you want to volunteer specifically in Latin America, check out Volunteer Latin America, a socially and environmentally sustainable organization that connects volunteers with programs in South and Central America. Their opportunities are typically free and many include free food, accommodation, living stipends, and sometimes even free flights!


Koh Rong


Yoga Trade


If you’re already a certified yoga teacher or body worker, there are tons of retreat centers, resorts, hotels, and studios looking for work traders. Many of the hosts pay money in addition to free room and board, especially if you offer massage or reiki. Yoga Trade is, to my knowledge, the only resource out there with work trade opportunities specifically for the yoga field. An opportunity on yoga trade was actually how I managed to work for my 200-hour yoga teacher training last year. Since then I’ve discovered amazing yoga teacher options through Yoga Trade. Some examples include leading retreats at a surf and yoga villa on the coast of Morocco, teaching yoga at a retreat center on a deserted beach in Costa Rica, and teaching yoga at a nonprofit for women in a riverside town in Cambodia.


Finca Tierra




Want to learn about organic farming, or simply like the idea of getting your hands dirty in a foreign country? You should definitely take a look at Woofing, where hosts offer free accommodation, meals, and training in exchange for hard work.


Otres Cambodia


Get a Job Overseas


For travel to truly be sustainable, you’ll need to start earning some income sooner or later. Check out my article How I Afford a Life of Travel, and You Can Too, for ways that I’ve made money on the road, especially by working online. The list below focuses on job opportunities overseas that you can sign up for before you even leave home.




Working Holiday in Australia


Working abroad in Australia is practically a backpacker right of passage, and a great way to experience life in Australia while saving up a lot of money. I have friends who spent six months to a year earning high wages in Australia and saved enough to spend a year traveling in Southeast Asia. The job options are limitless, it all depends on your skill set. One friend of mine was already a trained barber and had an amazing time cutting hair in Melbourne. Another taught at a yoga studio by the beach in Byron Bay. A copywriter friend worked in an office for an internet marketing company. And I meet tons of travelers constantly who picked bananas on farms, worked in bars in Sydney, and did all kinds of odd jobs. There are two caveats, however. One is that you must do it before you turn 31, so sign up while you’re young. The other is that Australia is very very expensive, so if you want to actually save money, you will have to live frugally in an expensive country. Working outside of the cities on farms makes this much easier, and you’ll often have room and board included in your compensation and few temptations for spending money.


Find out how to apply for a working holiday visa here.


Cambodia Broke My Heart - 29


Teaching English


When you literally have no money and you’re looking to save a lot of it quickly, teaching English overseas is an amazing option. Some programs will even pay for your flight, your training, your relocation costs, your housing, and you’ll get a decent income to top it all off.


Last month in Morocco, I met a couple from the UK who are both gym teachers, moving to Japan to teach English for a year. Two of my friends from High School teach English in Saigon and earn enough to travel around Southeast Asia often. Popular travel blogger That Backpacker taught English in South Korea and managed to save $17,000 in just one year!


If you’re already a teacher, the opportunities will come easily for you. Some schools will pay for your training, a great option if you want to go quickly and you don’t have a teaching background. Though you will have better teaching options if you invest in a TEFL training program.


Find out more information on teaching English overseas in this guide.


sairee beach koh tao


Be a Tour Guide


Perhaps the most fun way to travel and earn a living at the same time, is by being a tour guide. Yes, you will still have to work, but you’ll get to experience a lot of different places, meet people from all over the world, and make a decent income. Contiki is a popular option for young adventurers, Beach Travelers is a great choice if you’re into the island party lifestyle, and Stoke Travel focuses mostly on festivals all over Europe. Other popular tour companies to contact include G Adventures and Intrepid Travel.


Punta Uva


Work as an Au Pair


I remember about five years ago when I was working a desk job back in the states and my best friend was a nanny. While I spent the summer in an office in a basement, she was exploring London, living in her own beautiful flat, and taking vacations to Greece. When she was working back in the states, she would take the kids on trips to Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Mexico. Since then, that same friend has started a company called Adventure Nannies, connecting adventurous families with experienced nannies. They even have a specific section for travel nannies. If you’re already a qualified nanny, spend some time researching different sites for au pairs in countries you’d like to travel to. However if you’re looking to get into the field, read this guide How to Become an Au Pair.


koh tao


Work on Cruise Ships


Friends of mine who have made the most money on the road, and have seen the most of the world, are the ones who worked on cruise ships. I know people have been anything from a captain to a steward to a private chef. The work can get intense, the hours can be long, and you might go crazy out at sea, but you can save a lot of money quickly, develop solid relationships, and have the chance to travel to some of the most coveted destinations in the world. If you’re serious about getting a job working on cruise ships, popular blogger Wandering Earl has an entire guide to getting jobs which you can purchase here.




Trim Weed in California


Disclaimer: I’m in no way endorsing that you do something illegal, I’m simply letting you know what’s out there. One extremely monotonous, though extremely lucrative way to earn money for travel while having a new experience is by trimming marijuana in the good ol’ USA. Humboldt County in Northern California is the epicenter, where it is indeed illegal. I’ve met many many many many more people than you would ever imagine, who fund all of their travels by trimming weed for just a few months of the whole year. How much money you make depends on how much you trim, so it’s possible to make a thousand dollars a day if you’re really fast, $200 a day if you’re really slow. Your experience will vary wildly depending on where you decide to trim and how you plan ahead. I’ve heard many horror stories, but I also know people who trim at very laid-back farms run by families. If you do decide to trim, try to find a personal connection through friends to ensure that you’re in a safe situation.


This guide will help you get started: Everything You Need to Know About Trim Camps But Were Afraid to Ask


manuel antonio


Crowd Fund Your Trip


There are people all over the world who are traveling because other people paid for it. No, they don’t have trust funds. They’ve created a trip that adds enough value to the world, that people are happy to support them.


Years ago Kickstarter completely changed the way that people approach business by offering an easy fundraising platform. Nowadays there are crowd funding websites designed specifically for travel. Trevolta is one where you can propose trips with a purpose and offer different donation levels with different benefits for your donors. The cool thing about Trevolta, is that it targets not only your network, but also potential sponsors who may want to get involved.


A friend of mine who I met last year in Southeast Asia, The Nomad Barber, raised enough money through Kick Starter to go on a year long trip around the world to make a Youtube series about barbering. His project became incredibly successful, some of his videos have over a million views, and he leveraged this success to get investors on more of his projects.


If you’ve always dreamed of writing a book, or making a documentary, or starting a blog, whatever, create a campaign through one of the many crowd funding websites and get people to support you. Remember, money is simply an exchange in energy, so create something valuable, full of worthwhile energy, and people will want to support it.


This guide offers some clear directions in creating your own crowdfunding campaign: How to Crowdfund Travel


Manuel Antonio park


Phew, that was a lot. I sincerely hope that this article has shown you that traveling the world, even when you’re flat broke, is entirely within reach. And even more importantly, that the more you see beyond the limits and into the possibilities, the more expansive your entire world becomes. Everything is possible if you believe in it enough.


pavones beach jumping


Now, go! Live as if you won the jackpot. Because the truth is, you already have.



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  1. Wow, this is such a comprehensive resource – thanks for including our house sitting guide! We have had great success with house sitting, travelling the world and living rent free for the last four years! It is a great way to immerse yourself in the communities you visit and of course saves a huge amount of money on accommodation!

  2. Great Article! I fell in love with Costa Rica last year and Im dying to get back.
    Please tell me what camera & lens your using to take your pictures. I love it!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 10, 2015 at 8:08 am

      Thank you so much Rae!! I actually just use a canon powershot automatic camera. I shoot in their “miniature mode” which emulates a tilt shift lens.

  3. These last two articles have been so wonderful and truthfully, so critical to my commitment to reading your blog. I was enchanted with your story at first, but over time grew suspicious and a bit cynical of how easy you made traveling the world appear. Having real information like this not only validates (for me) your experience, but also gives me food for thought on how I can one day pursue my own wanderlust dreams.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 10, 2015 at 8:09 am

      Thank you Marissa I really appreciate your honesty. Money is one of those things that I’ve felt uncomfortable talking about in the past, hence the reason why I haven’t written about it! But I know it’s sooooo important to bring it out into the light, which is why I’ve chosen to write these last two posts. Please let me know anything else I haven’t written about that you’d like to know. xx

  4. Thank you for all this inspiration! I will certainly make use of some of the ideas in the near future :) I just have one question: what do you do when you get sick? Or what would you do if you would get sick on the road, I mean seriously ill or injured? You dont have any kind of insurance, do you? Thank you! Elena

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 10, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Elena, you’re so welcome :) A lot of people have been asking this question, about healthcare, so I definitely am going to put together a blog post about it. Stay tuned…!

  5. Chris G. Says: June 10, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    This may be a silly question, but… do you need to fluently speak the local language to teach english? I’d imagine so, just making sure. Great read!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 10, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      Absolutely not! I have friends who taught English in Latin America knowing a little bit of Spanish, and a lot of my friends who taught in Asia don’t speak a word of the language. They’re looking for more advanced teaching, so assume that the students already have basic English knowledge.

  6. Very nice article… It Covers it all. There’s however another way to get free accomodation, free transport to some of the most remote place on earth and in some instance even work: get a sailboat or crew on one. I started as a volunteer crew on boat, kind of like a work-away thing, and then I bought a 10m sailboat for 200 US$ (I admit i got luky on that one but it happens..). I fixed it up for a bit more than that and now I’m cruising in the Andaman sea for almost a year. Anchoring is for free, the wind pushes the boat to his destination (also for free), wind and sun generate the electricity needed on board (again free), if you’re good (which i’m not) you can catch fish to sustain yourself and if you can’t catch fish you can still make money to feed yourself by bringing backpackers on a budget cruise… Pretty cool…

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Yes thank you for sharing!! I can’t believe I forgot that one. I’ve met many people who have done live aboards, and especially in Bocas del Toro, Panama I’ve met sailors who make money from taking tourists down to Colombia or around the Caribbean, whatever. Thanks for pointing out yet another possibility :)

    • Can I join you?

  7. Are you no longer a resident in the US? Do you have a domicily somewhere? How can you have a bank account without an address anywhere? Or don’t you have a bank account anymore? This is what I don’t understand from all the stories I read from nomads like you. And nobody addresses this topic. Please, enlighten me!

    • You don’t need a permanent address to have a bank account. You just have to be a citizen of a country. She is still an American citizen despite traveling around the world, so most probably she has a bank account in USA.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 8:12 am

      I have a permanent address at my family home where I have mail sent, etc. I do still have a USA bank account. I think most “nomads” have home bases and they set themselves up there, as well as keeping a permanent address in their home country.

  8. Vivek damani Says: June 11, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    I am like so much convinced and truely amazed by the way this works, travel has alwaysz been my forte, so looking forward to try it at an earliest, but how do u manage visas around coutries?, I am an indian citizen.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 12, 2015 at 8:40 am

      That’s great! I’m not exactly sure how the visas work for Indian citizens. As a US citizen I’m very fortunate that I can visit many countries as a US citizen. I recommend researching the visa restrictions in the different countries you want to travel to. Good luck! :)

  9. This is all well and good, but what about the people who only get 10 days of paid vacation per year? You can’t do much international traveling with so few days.

  10. I just found your post How to Travel the World When You’ve Got Absolutely No Money and it was great! They say if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. It looks like you are having fun!

  11. WOW. I cannot express how much I appreciate your incredible article! Like many, I’ve got a traveling bug but have a habit of blowing my money on experiences rather than saving it (ain’t even sorry). My best friend and I plan to au pair in Spain next year but I definitely wonder about staying there more than a year and moving around. I know there are so many recourses out there but who’s to know what is legit, what really works, etc. Youre article not only gives so many people hope because you have (or you know someone who has had) personal experience with each travel method, but you also provide a list of practical ways to get up and GO! From one full life-seeker to another, thank you so so very much for taking the time to share your wisdom!!!!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 13, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      You are so so so so welcome!! This is what my blog is all about, showing you that everything is possible <3

  12. Matt B. Says: June 13, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Don’t just assume you should get an English teaching job. Many English teaching organizations are scams that exploit and profit on your passport.

    As somebody who actually has a teaching degree and has taught at actual international schools, I’ve seen many English instructors who know nothing about education and don’t care about their students. If you’re just looking to travel then please find something besides teaching to fund it. It does a disservice to my profession and, most importantly, the students. English language learners need stability and not a new person every couple months of year.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 13, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you for your personal and practical experience. It’s true, some of these jobs I’ve listed are not to be taken lightly. Friends of mine who have done teaching overseas all committed to a minimum of one year. Several have been doing it for 5 years in Saigon.

  13. This is such a good post! I’ve been someone who has been limited by the belief that you need to have a lot of money to travel, but after being extremely poor overseas, I just put everything I had into travelling the world. Not only do you get your travel done, but also heaps more exciting experiences along the way!
    And the walking tip – I definitely abide by this! It’s cheap, exciting and you get excercise! Win win!

  14. Camille

    Thank you for including us in the article.

    It is a good read with some really useful tips. Particularly like the part about selling stuff. I have sold numerous things in the past to fund my overseas trips, including a canal boat, a VW Beetle, and two large cases of ‘white label’ records.

    Best wishes


  15. Yay for not needing to be rich to travel! Haha. I’ve been asked if I was an heiress…seriously people? I just work and don’t spend a lot of money. lol. Good article Camille, love your style of writing :) travel on <3

  16. I am so interested in all your articles on your website.I started by reading How I afford to live a constant life of travel & u can 2.But, then I saw your article what the f@ck 2 do with ur life…i am already doing nothing with my life because am disabled supposedly bipolar, I have panic attacks and take many meds, but now physically also do to kidney stones, reoccuring UTI’s, and I have had so many surgeries I have lost count , do to the operations from removing the stones. I have also broken my tibia and wrist. But, I dont get money from being disabled because I tried so many times, I gave up. Here in Florida its hard to get it. Plus, I am the mother of a beautiful and very smart 7 yr old daughter. What’s even more sad is I live in one of the most beautiful, fun, and relaxed places , Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral, Florida. It very realistic that I received a scholarship in high school for writing bring editors of the Newspaper and Yearbook. I love to write! Now, after crying and your article I believe I can do it for a living! I used to make beautiful hemp jewelry, but I had a baby and stopped. Its funny that I even started doing Yoga on my Windows Phone. Thanks to u I am convinced that my true calling in life is not too far away. Hopefully, my bliss is very close. Thanks for the links that I can use to try to make some money. I really need to reread and read more of your articles and I am starting today. So very grateful for you :-)

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 15, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Awww Sarah that warms my heart SO much to hear! You can absolutely do it!! That’s the great thing about writing, you can do it from anywhere and you can start small and build up your portfolio. Also, if you’ve taken a lot of medications and had surgeries for stones (which btw are caused by medications as well as other toxins in our environment) I highly highly recommend you start adding some holistic healthcare and cleansing. You can start basic, simply try to include probiotics ( to support your immune system and drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning. In the coming weeks I’ll be posting more health related content too :) xo

    • visionque Says: November 2, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Most kidney stones are made of calcium and oxalic acid.
      These are both present in the urine. In the presence of Vitamin B12 they will stay separate. If the body is low in B12 they will combine to create the stones. Before the internet I searched for 2 years to find this information. I am so happy it is freely available now.

  17. Curious… how many people of color have you met living this way? One of the down sides of traveling in the past for me is that once people see that I am black they often rescind their invitation or make excuses, happened to me in Belgium, Paris and England and I was paying….I loved your article but wonder how practical it is for people without the privilege of being white? This isn’t about “racism” but the way the world works at least for now….any ideas, suggestions, information will be appreciated.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 15, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Hi Evelyn, thank you so so much for raising this question. It’s an important one, and something that I admittedly don’t have the answer to. You’re right, I often see travelers who are white, perhaps Latino or Asian, but rarely black. In fact, in Costa Rica, if you’re a black traveler the locals immediately assume you’re a local from Limon (the Caribbean side) rather than a tourist. I’m really sorry to hear about your experience with prejudice, a treatment which you most certainly do not deserve. Personally I find that Europe is the most racist part of the world I’ve traveled in. I highly recommend you read this post “Traveling While Black” ( and reach out to the blogger who wrote it, I’m sure she will have tons of great insight.

      • Thank you for that thoughtful, kind, mindful response. I will check out the link….I want my granddaughter to travel and thus my concern. You are very kind, may blessings spring forward to you. Warmest friendship, Evelyn

      • Thanks Camille for adding our post as a resource for Evelyn. Hope it was helpful Evelyn! If not, or you want to ask more questions feel free to email us!

      • Christina Says: June 17, 2015 at 7:19 am

        I had the exact same thought! I read this whole article and it all sounds amazing but as a black woman I know if I tired to do all that was suggested, my experience would be quite different. Not to take dig at you or anything but, your “white privilege” affords you to have this lifestyle (and it’s not really your fault) but it’s the facts. I wanted to teach English in Thailand but I quickly learned the ideal “American” is a white person. I’ve also heard first hand stories of blatant discrimination in countries like Greece, Spain and Italy and it saddens me because I want to see these places and more! But who can really ENJOY the travel if I can’t get service, I’m getting dirty looks, being called names or no one will help me simply because I’m black. It not an excuse not to go of course but it’s something I keep in the back of my mind. I know there is not much you personally can do about it but the dirty little secret of the lifestyle the article implies can be afforded to anyone is that is can’t…blacks need not apply.

        • Camille Willemain Says: June 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm

          Hi Christina, I hear you. While of course I can only truly see the world through my eyes, I do understand where you are coming from. However, I have friends and fellow travel bloggers who are black and from many other ethnicities who have done many of the things mentioned in this article. Soon I’m putting together a collaborative post featuring some them, telling their story along with tips for how you can do it too. xo

        • Hey Christine, I just want to say that what Camille mentions in her article can be achieved as a black women, because I am doing it now and working on traveling for free for the rest of my life. I am a couchsurfer,I have traveled for 5 months already with limited amount of money and I have already bought my ticket to go to Thailand in March. I would say to you, that you shouldn’t let other people’s bad experience or some dirty looks stop you from visiting Greece, Spain, Thailand or the rest of the world for that matter. Blacks need to apply, because I believe the more black people travel and educate others,the more the stares, and discrimination will decrease. The amazing people you meet and the positive experience you will have will more than make up for the few stares and dirty looks you get for being a black women traveler. Travel because it is possible if you make it possible.

          • Camille Willemain Says: June 18, 2015 at 11:23 am

            Jazzy, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Your sense of empowerment is so inspiring. I’m STOKED to be featuring you on the blog Monday!!

  18. Danielle Says: June 15, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Merchant Marines! Just spent four months traveling to Europe, the Americas, and across the big blue to Japan. If you’re on the right ship (grain typically) you’ll be in port for a couple days at s time giving you time to see everything. In addition you get to see the subculture that Americas economy thrives on.

  19. Thanks for this, and I’m so mad you wrote it. Thanks for it, because I am always trying to explain to people that money is the least of your worries when traveling. I’m mad at you, because I really want to travel but am in the middle of planning a wedding, haha.

    Also, I WWOOFed in Belgium and it was one of the best experiences of my life….everyone should do it!

  20. Sunshine Says: June 15, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    how can I travel for free

    • You could join the navy and get paid to travel. Or you could earn your CDL and drive a truck and live in it.

      Having some basic equipment helps reduce expenses a lot.
      Warn sleeping bag, a bivy sack and some bushes to hide behind will take care of accommodation when you are not couch surfing. A water bottle and a water filter will take care of fluid needs. A p-38 can opener and a spoon will assist you in food needs. A lighter will help you get a fire going, a stainless steel cup will heat water for coffee, tea or ramen soup. I carry an immersion heater coil when electric is available. Toilet paper and a trowel will take care of the other end. Hitch hiking or ride sharing or walking will provide transportation. I pulled a dozen bananas out of the trash bin. They were delicious. Only a few minutes before they were on the shelf for sale in the store. You don’t have to go to these extremes but open your mind to the possibility. Say why not instead of if only.

  21. Wow, I’ve never heard of Yoga trade before. So you were able to complete a 200 hour course in exchange for work? Can I ask which country? I had a look at the website but don’t want to pay for it until I know all the facts

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 15, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      Hi Nikki, that was in Costa Rica. The work trade was in exchange for social media and blogging help. It didn’t cover the entire cost of the program but it was a big help! That position was rare though, typically the work trade opportunities are for helping out at retreat center and yoga studios. Most jobs are for yoga teachers but there are some for massage therapists, health cooks, receptionists, you name it! Anything that’s in the health/yoga field.

  22. Julie Evans Says: June 15, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    My husband and I have often considered a drastic lifestyle change like this, but honestly it usually comes down to being unwilling to leave our pets. They are very much a part ofmoving our family and movig with them seems incredibly complicated from the research I’ve done. Mexico doesn’t seem to be an issue and I expect Canada might be equally as simple, but overseas looks to be difficult and expensive. Any advice for afamily duet children?

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 16, 2015 at 7:49 am

      This is a great question. I don’t have any pets, so I’m not an expert, but this article has lots of detailed info: As far as traveling with children, I know many people out there are doing it. Typically they do homeschooling and/or commit to at least one year in each location with summer breaks for travel. Many of them do housesitting since it provides a much more stable environment for the family.

  23. If your interested in this type of lifestyle check out the book The Man Who Quite Money by Mark Sundeen! He writes about a man who “quites” using money and basically sees the world and lives for free!

  24. great information! I love all of those ideas and I’m sure I could pick out a handful which would apply to my current situation easily

  25. Two words. Plane ticket. How do you get one of those for free?

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 16, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Hey Autumn, check out the section above on Travel Hacking. Also, read this post:

      Finally, flights can be MUCH cheaper than you might think, if you have flexible dates. Especially if you’re willing to buy multiple one way tickets to major hubs. For example, rather than pay $900 to get from Morocco to Seattle one way, I bought a $80 flight on Ryanair from Marrakech to London, then a $300 flight from London to LA, then a $100 flight from LA to Seattle. I spent $480 to go halfway around the world.

  26. Thanks for taking the time to post all of that information for everyone to see! I stumbled upon this because I have friends sharing on Facebook. My biggest question to you is: How do you afford the transportation required to get to said destinations? Airfare is so expensive these days and for me that’s my biggest hurdle from pulling the proverbial trigger on going on trips.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      You’re welcome Shawn, thanks for taking the time to read. I hear you on the flights, and that seems to be a big question for many people on this post. I’ve found that if I plan it right, the airfare is really not that bad, the most I’ve ever paid for a flight was $500. If that’s for a brief vacation, yes it’s a lot, but if you’re traveling for 6 months? A small expensive. Further, I know lots of people who do travel hacking to get free flights, and some credit cards have great offers to help you get a lot of points off the bat. I’m not an expert on travel hacking by any means, but if you look at that section in the article, I have some links to free guides as well an ebook by Nomadic Matt who is very knowledgeable on the subject.

  27. This is a great and comprehensive “how to”. I just got back from a 24 Europe tour and everyday back I’m already planning on how to see the rest of the world. Thanks for sharing this, it’s truly awesome. Needless to say I found myself saving a ton of your link references to my reading list and this article in particular. Thanks again and safe travels.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 17, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Ah you’re so welcome! Hope you will become a regular reader and will keep us up to date on how your planning goes! :)

  28. you forgot a crucial first step: be a conventionally attractive white lady.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Keep thinking that’s true and that will keep being true. I’m friends with other world travelers and travel bloggers who are from all over the world, all different nationalities, ethnicities, gay straight man woman conventionally gorgeous and not conventionally gorgeous. We all have different challenges in life, and we can dwell on them and assume others have it easier, or we empower ourselves and empower others. I choose empowerment.

      • Or you could acknowledge your privilege, but hey, guess that’s too much to ask.

        • You could also acknowledge an attractive white women could be in more danger because she’s attractive and may get more attention. Maybe there is a little privilege but it comes with an extra side of risk.

          • Camille Willemain Says: June 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm

            Sometimes harassment is indeed worse when you’re a white woman and everyone is staring at you. I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to not be white the same way someone who isn’t white can’t pretend to know what it’s like to be white.

        • It’s her fault for being born white, yes you’re absolutely right…..Not to mention all the “colored” men and women I’ve personally met at hostels enjoying the same “privilege” as she is.

    • You’re just angry you haven’t got the balls to do what she’s done.

  29. Hey there fellow traveler, I’m managing a yoga retreat center in Koh Phangan. feel free to come swing i the hammock and practice yoga if you make it back to Thailand…
    Happy trails !

  30. Amazing post!!! This is such a great resource for people who don’t know where to start with budget travel.

  31. Love it! I believe in what your doing an am doing something similar. Look me up and let me know what you think! Keep living the dream and explore your world!
    Balling on a budget
    Facebook, YouTube an all that technology

  32. Does work trade require working visa?

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 17, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Nope. However you do need to keep in mind how long your tourist visa will allow you to be in the country for.

  33. Excellent article and such a comprehensive list, even trimming weed!

  34. Excellent Article Camille!

    It really surprises me that I forgot about all of these opportunities when I was just in Costa Rica and now Nicaragua without a job and an empty bank account. (I posted a very similar blog post 3 years ago with many of these same items but your list looks SO much nicer!).

    I read this just when I needed to as well since I started in Costa Rica until I went broke. I was too connected to my things and only thinking about teaching jobs/call centers. Of course I had a ‘game-plan’ to restart this blog that I’m just now working to relaunch and also offer photography workshops and tours.

    I’ll be looking over these opportunities again in the hopes of finding some answers on what I’ll do after my housesit finishes in July and I have no income.

    If you hear of any great opportunities back in Costa Rica for a well-seasoned traveler and photographer (but a not too savvy web-developer) send some love! I’d be thrilled to go back and find a place on my favorite beach of Santa Teresa while doing whatever it takes to keep this dream going.

    Happy Travels!

  35. Lane Steppe Says: June 17, 2015 at 7:55 am

    I loved this!
    The idea of it, the content, and knowing other people want to see the world as I do!
    I did have one question, however.
    Have you met many flight attendants who are able to book cheap flights to wherever they want while recieving benefits?
    Just curious, please reply:)
    Thank you!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 17, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Lane, thanks so much! Yes, in fact a good friend of mine used to be a flight attendant, now works in the airport, and he and his wife get free flights all over the world!! They travel several times a year this way :)

  36. You can also join the peace corps. While the process is lengthy the rewards from the experience are endless and now potential volunteers have the opportunity to not only select the place they want to serve but also the type of work they could be doing.

  37. The title is mussleading – this article is merely about how to travel without money. It is about where to get some extra money from to afford to travel. There is no such thing as travel for free.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 17, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Cata, actually the article includes ways to travel for free and ALSO ways to make money while you’re traveling. I’m not really sure why you consider this article misleading. There also is certainly such thing as free travel, I’ve done it, and I know tons of others who are doing it too. Limited thinking leads to limited living.

    • Salesmen and women travel all over the world at their employers expense.
      Can you sell? Can you sell your skills? Repair technicians fix products sold by their company. Find a company with international customers.
      I work in IT and my company has locations in 3 countries. I travel domestically frequently. Company car, company credit cards, meals and hotels on the company dime.
      My son works for a software development company. He travels to train customers how to use the software. Can you train people?

      I took a family vacation over July 4, which happened to be 4 hours from a company office. I offered to stop by the office and do some service work. I was given the use of the company car and they paid the gas. Bonus for both the company and me.

  38. Tara Tresolini Says: June 17, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    You are literally living out my dream and reading this gave me so many ideas and thoughts on how to live it myself so for that, thank you.

  39. greetings ms willemain
    i admire your hutspa! (to say the least)
    continued happy travels sistah
    Godspeed and one love

  40. Wow what a great and comprehensive post! Money is the go to “reason” people don’t travel. But if you strip that away, it’s usually fear of some kind that prevents people from following their travel dreams.

  41. So I absolutely love your article a great read!! I’m actually I the process of yoga teacher traing certification. And when I’m done look out world!! Here I come!! But there’s a problem. I have a beautiful well mannered amazing blue heeled. She’s my best friend of course!! Is there a way I could manage to travel freely with her?? I’ve come to realize it’s not lookin to good….

  42. This article has dug me from the deepest hole and ultimately saved my life.

    Thank you.

  43. This is inspiring, but I am curious about how you then save for retirement or the future?

    I know I am a planner and so I am already focused on putting away 15% for my future every month. But how do you do that when you are somewhat living hand to mouth and without tangible assets like a home (which admittedly is not a very good investment as we have seen lately) or are you still able to save for the future?

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 18, 2015 at 11:25 am

      I hear you Walla. These options are more for people who want to go off and travel for a year or who just need a boost in getting started. In my opinion the way to do this sustainably is to build your own online business or find a place in the world that you love where you can invest in property or vacation rentals, hostel, etc. A lot of people first just need to get out of their current routine and environment to begin to see those possibilities, and that’s what this post is all about.

  44. Grace Wells Says: June 17, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Love this article! I’m studying in San José, Costa Rica this summer and I’ve quickly realized how much traveling can add up if you aren’t careful. What is the name of the bar in San José that overlooks the whole city? Any other recommendations for San José?

  45. Mariaan Says: June 17, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I wish I was young!!!….
    Do it now girls when you are YOUNG!!!!

  46. GReate GREATE artcile !

    Im about to finish my Master degree and quit my job in a few weeks, I am seeling my stuff and want to go back to Canada, I actually want to travel all around Canada and USA and then South America, I definatly will follow this guide !

    Thank you !

    Best regards from France,

  47. Saiprasad Shetty Says: June 18, 2015 at 3:01 am

    Amazing compilation Muah to the author :)

  48. Saiprasad Shetty Says: June 18, 2015 at 3:03 am

    And thanks a ton :)

  49. I feel like reading this article changed my outlook on traveling but, it definitely inspired me and possibly changed my life forever. I’m 22 and I’d give anything to see the world. I have no children, no significant other because I still feel like I’m “finding myself”! Yeah the party every weekend phase has just about come to a close for me at this point and I’m so curious about what lies out there. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how people have been outside of the country yet, I’ve never seen the ocean. It’s time for a serious change. There was no way I was born to work a 9-5 my entire life! It’s time I start living the “free spirit” life that I’ve always wanted. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You have no idea what you’ve done! :)

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 18, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Kiera you just gave me chills. I’m beyond humbled to serve as this inspiration for you. Go out there and discover what makes your heart flutter.

  50. Melissa Says: June 18, 2015 at 6:48 am

    This article was absolutely amazing. Filled with so much direct information , it’s everything I’d want to know and then some, after considering travelling on a budget.
    I aspire to do everything you have done and hope one day I will be able to share my stories too

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 18, 2015 at 11:05 am

      Thank you Melissa!! Stay focused on that goal and it will become your reality I’m sure of it xo

  51. Hey Camille

    How are ya? I don’t know if you remember me but we met in September at OM in Puerto Viejo. I was with my Aussie friend Bridget and I live in Isla Mujeres, Mexico (which you should come visit!). I just wanted to let you know that I came across a post of yours today (shared by an Isla friend) on facebook. What a small world! Hope you are well. Maybe we’ll cross paths again one of these days. Stay travelling 😉 Jen

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 18, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks dear! I love love Isla Mujeres. I’ll let you know when I’m in that neck of the woods again 😉

  52. You forgot escorting – it will take you many places – both male and female. I once got a trip to Dubai in the UAE for 10 days just because I was tall American with super long brown hair. No sex! If you got the looks use what God gave you.

  53. This isn’t “travelling the world on a low budget,” its called selling all your shit and being a homeless person. An easier way to do it is go try meth a couple times and you’ll be “travelling the world” in this fashion very quickly…

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 19, 2015 at 7:36 am


    • My son works for a county detention center. More lives have been shattered by drugs and alcohol than any other force outside of an earthquake. The world is a beautiful place and it is worth visiting. Work hard, save some money and see the world your own way. Find the peace inside of you and you can be happy anywhere.

  54. KosmicKolibri Says: June 19, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Couchsurfing is not just receving FREE but the guest should respect and give the best too… As civilized guest we bring a gift and we cook for our host, HONOUR the HOSPITALITY pls..

  55. is there any way I can private message you?

  56. What an amazing article ! So much useful information :) Well done, and thank you for sharing. From one nomad to another, Aloha

  57. Brittany B Says: June 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    I just wanted to reach out and say that I absolutely LOVED your article!! Very informative to anyone wanting to travel, regardless of their money situation. I’m currently working as an AuPair in British Columbia (originally from Southern Ontario) and it’s the ideal situation for cheap travel!
    I will definitely be passing this on to all my friends :) cheers!

  58. great article – thanks for sharing the tips! I sold my car before travelling in South Amerixa for 5 months – mainly so I could afford to get to the Galapagos- a once in a lifetime opportunity!

    Travel adventures, including Galapagos on a backpacker budget on my blog at

  59. Nobody Anon Says: June 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Stop adding Tilt Shift to your photos, you’re making them look awful.

  60. Great article, wonderful travel tips and thoughtful advice. However, I feel I must comment on the “trim weed in California” part.

    I lived in the “emerald triangle” for many years. I was involved in the Medical MJ trade in about every way one could be without actually being a landowner. (Though I lived on farms) I have NO PROBLEM with travelers, or as we locals referred to them, “trimmigrants” coming to our beautiful neck of the woods looking for work. But as someone who lived there, let me clear up a few things for people who might be living in other countries (women especially) who might read this article and go, “hey! That sounds fun and lucrative! I’m gonna do it!”

    •the medical marihuana trade is sketchy at best. People do get busted, and trimmigrants deported. I’ve seen it happen.

    •claiming that being “fast” can net you a $1000 a day is wildly inaccurate. Most growers pay around 150 a pound, and most new trimmers (who are slow) do a half- to one a day at best. The fastest I’ve seen and heard of, talking one on a thousand trimmers, maybe do 4 a day. Do not go there expecting to make $1000 a day. But, you can expect to make more than a hundred a day, which is pretty cool for sitting around with your friends working.

    •it’s usually not very comfortable, because of the illicit nature of the business and being way out in the woods, and can be dangerous. Women traveling alone, even in pairs, beware! There are lots of lonely mountain men out there, who live hours out on dirt roads and would love to take a pretty little foreign girl to their cabin. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FOREST.

    •THE LOCAL PEOPLE MAKE THEIR LIVING GROWING, AND SOME PEOPLE, TRIMMING POT! So don’t be surprised if people are annoyed with you showing up looking to pay for your vacation. People there do this to feed the families. Every October small, rural California towns are invaded with people with backpacks and dreads looking for work, AND MANY DON’T FIND IT. If you are male, or don’t speak English very well than the chances you’ll find work are even less. BE RESPECTFUL, and if you do find work, please don’t complain about what you’re getting paid/ quality of the work. Be grateful you have it.

    That being said, Northern California is beautiful. Being on a farm can be fun, and magical. But it can also be miserable and dangerous. Not for the faint of heart.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 20, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you so much for offering a very detailed on point account of what trimming is like. I’ve never actually done it myself, so my description is based on what I’ve heard from others. We truly appreciate you giving your first hand insight :) Thank you!

  61. I’m confused about this article. The title of it is, “How to Travel the World When You’ve Got Absolutely No Money” yet the vast majority of points are “make money by selling things”, “work so you can afford things”, and “obtain money from other various ways”. Pretty much every single thing on this entire list involves needing money aside from “walk places”.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 21, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      The point isn’t “how to travel without money” it’s how to get unstuck when you think that you need money in order to set off and go explore the world.

  62. Jorge A. Illingworth Says: June 21, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I am a public employee and I am always without money. Not enough money for a car.

  63. […] lately, some people have burst my optimism bubble. After reading my post How to Travel the World When You’ve Got Absolutely No Money (which has already had over 750,000 views!!) They’ve insisted that my ability to believe in […]

  64. […] entirely possible. There are plenty of ways to travel for free or work abroad (check out my post How to Travel the World When You’ve Got Absolutely No Money) however for freedom and sustainability, eventually you’ll need to create your own […]

  65. Thanks for sharing these awesome tips. Working holiday in Australia is definitely a way. When I was living in Toowoomba, Australia, I met a few friends who were solo travelers and they shared with me how they can afford to travel around Australia for a year. They were on holiday working visas and they found part time jobs every where they went. Jobs like fruit picking, restaurant customer service, etc.. is every where. This is definitely one of the way to travel without having a lot of money.

  66. Caroline Says: June 25, 2015 at 9:40 am

    If I was still in my early 20s this would be great but I have 2 dogs and 3 cats. It would be nice to find ways I could travel with little or no money with the dogs but I’d still have to pay someone to house/pet sit the kitties. These travel tips are really only for someone who has no responsibilities or don’t have other lives dependent on them. :/

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 26, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Caroline, I disagree. Everyone has responsibilities. It’s choosing whether you want to release yourself from certain responsibilities in order to make travel possible or not.

      • i agree Camille. I have been adventuring for 4 years from England and ive done pretty much what you have in order to travel. I love you blog , i really do! its spot on and i wish everybody could understand / Experience. I totally understand why people dont it at all, people think im crazy for what i (and the way you travel) do, but i think its crazy people dont follow there dreams :). Go You! Keep going. Im exploring your Country next in the new year after my trying to reach northan norway for free to forfill my dream of shooting the Northan lights :)

        • Olly, Again.. Says: October 13, 2015 at 3:19 am

          Sorry for the horrendous spelling / Grammar. my laptop has taken a beating in my backpack and i have to really concentrate on my keypad as it plays up, ALOT. lol

        • Camille Willemain Says: October 13, 2015 at 5:01 pm

          That’s awesome Olly! Thank you so so much for your comment :) xoxo

    • You can find a good home for your pets and be at peace. You will be free to travel.Or you may value your pets more than traveling.
      This is a choice you make.

  67. I’ll be interested in know how to travel the world.

  68. This is great – a lot of awesome information!

    The one issue I have is one facing many people – the giant student loan albatross.

    Unfortunately those payments don’t stop and neither does the interest just because you travel. Going on income based repayment isn’t a great option because you are just stuck with the capitalized interest payments after that.

    My question is – do you think you can make about $1,500 a month while traveling? I ask because if loan payments are about a grand (for me they are) – I assume you would need something like $500 a month to live on, give or take. What’s the best option there?

    I have been a working professional now for some time, but the travel bug I caught when I was 19 has been biting. I want to go on a long-term journey, but also don’t want to backslide on the student loans.


    • Camille Willemain Says: June 26, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Hey JM, I appreciate your question. Sorry to hear your student loan payments are that high, that’s nuts! If you plan to live on just $500/month, you’ll need to do some sort of work trade arrangement and or lots of couch surfing. A $1000/month budget backpacking in a cheap part of the world like Southeast Asia is more realistic. However, it is absolutely possible to make $1500/month especially if you work online. Just doing freelance writing I was making $1500/month and only working about 10 hours the whole month!! So I definitely could have made more. Check out my post about How I Afford a Life of Constant Travel, it has more advice for working online:

  69. John Constantine Says: June 26, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Great article!

    I just wanted to add a word about hitch-hiking, you made it sound like it’s a thing of the past. It’s still well possible at least in whole of the Europe, Turkey and Morocco – That’s where I used it. I just crossed all the way from Belgium to the balkans just using my thumb. I also know a French girl who travelled like this all the way from France to Papau New Ginea.
    There is a lot of fear about hitchiking, but 99% of it is bullshit created by media. Anyway, there is a webpage called which contains all the info you will ever need if you want to try doing it, including detailed guides how to get a ride out of biggest cities.

    And then for money making on the road there is also busking, if you play an instrument, sing, do breakdance, magic shows etc. you can always make some money on the streets. It’s also a great way of dealing with stage fright, and you improve at your act when you do it. But first of all it’s fun 😉 I managed to pull off something like 60 dollars in 2 hours in some places, and at the moment it’s my only source of income.

    And for free food there is always skipping/recycling/dumpster diving. There is a webpage for that too, . While I’ve done it many times myself – I realise it’s not for everyone, but it’s good to know your options. But trust me, at least in europe and the states – there are tons of perfectly good food in supermarket’s dumpsters, it’s all still sealed in it’s package and perfectly good to eat 😉

    So just that, thanks a lot for giving us all this information about how to do this. I remember that when I started travelling I couldn’t find too much articles covering this on the web, so keep up the good job!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 26, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Absolutely thanks for all of your tips John!! I agree, however I must say the precautions with hitchhiking are certainly different for a woman than a man unfortunately :/

  70. Hi Camille,

    I’ve had several friends ask me to put a donate button on my blog or to start a crowd funding campaign. Do you have to have any kind of non-profit status to do this? Or just claim any income on your taxes? Or is it considered a gift and therefore only taxable if a donation is over $14,000? Any info is appreciated, thx :) Lynn

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 26, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      Hey Lynn so technically paypal considers it payment unless you have an actual verified nonprofit. Therefore I consider it taxable income. However, perhaps there are ways around this, admittedly I’m no tax wiz…

      • Thanks, Camille, I’ll check with my tax lady if/when the time comes that I actually receive any money :) And thanks so much for your great comprehensive articles on traveling long term on a budget. I’ve shared them on FB, as I often get asked if I’ve won the lottery, and it’s a long explanation to tell them that no, I have hardly any money & describe all of the ways we can manage to have this lifestyle.

  71. Hi, when I looked at the Working Holiday eligibility requirements, it looked like the U.S. was not included in the countries eligible to apply for the visa. Did your friends have passports from other countries? I want to apply for a visa but not sure if I can. Thank you!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Hey Janae, hm that’s strange. You can definitely do it as an American… Look again, and if you can’t find it, perhaps google “USA citizen Working Holiday Visa Australia (or New Zealand)”

  72. So it is cool you can do this… have pets which I am responsible for and parents as well. And I had responsibilities like this when I was in my 20’s as well.

    So while this works for you, I still find it a bit selfish. Just my opinion. and now you are making money from it….for doing nothing.

    I love your pictures but there is NO WAY you can travel;, have relationships like you have and have no $$.

    • Camille Willemain Says: July 21, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Sue, I’ve been hearing this message from you for the last 2+ years. The fact that you’re still reading my blog, obviously means that something about it speaks to you. Perhaps you’re living vicariously through my travels? Since day 1 you’ve posted comments that it’s not possible for you to do it, so I’m selfish for doing it myself. I’d say it’s about time you decided what you really want in life, and took the agency to make it happen. You are powerful. You are limitless. You can do anything. The only thing in your way is the negative chatter in your mind, blocking you from being your authentic, beautiful self.

      • What a nice and positive response, Camille. As far as your “not doing anything,” I wonder if this person has ever written a blog. They may not take long to read, but there’s a ton of work that goes into them, between shooting, editing, writing & putting it all together. And judging by all of the responses you get, you’re obviously touching a lot of people. When I debated about going on my round the world trip, I hesitated for fear it was selfish of me, but a friend put it this way. She said, “It’s a lot less selfish to follow your heart & dreams and put positive energy out into the world, than to stay stuck and share your negativity.”

  73. Micheal Mahmoud Says: July 23, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    wow you are great.
    Universe has called you N you
    heard as well.

  74. Another great post! Ashley and I are definitely close to be very broke on our 6 year around the world trip. Ash has a little money coming in but not enough to keep us both going. So we are switching things up and taking some risk and hopefully it pans out so we can complete our goal. If that does not pan out then we switch things up again until we finds something that works. It wont be the first time for us running low on funds. Im hoping to grab a wine harvest job in Croatia for a few months. I have also been thinking of doing a crowd funding project as well. I have a couple of ideas floating around in my head.
    If I won the lotto what would I do?
    I think I would put at least 25% into charities. Then what ever is left I would take a million to travel and the rest I would put in savings and live off the interest. I would then spend the rest of my life traveling the world and become and expert in world cuisines and just live life to the fullest. I would still write my blog. I think the only thing I would buy is a house on a remote beach some where. The rest would be for food and transportation and maybe new close when I need them.

  75. Hi there thanks so much for all this great information. I just checked the visa for australia which gave me a shock. So i think it does need some safe up money to getting started. But i’ll try to follow some advicec.

    • Camille Willemain Says: August 6, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Yes the Australia route takes some planning, but I know people who put the visa fee and the flight on a credit card, then paid it off within a couple of months earning high wages in Oz.

  76. Thank you so much for this! You are amazingly inspiring! I WILL travel the world now, and, while I have some other people in my life to thank for making me consider the nomad life, I have you to thank for showing me how. Know that you touched my heart and fueled my desires today :)

    • Camille Willemain Says: August 16, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you Kevin, that means so much to hear. Travel you will, and you can 100% do it. I believe in you <3

  77. Hug A Tree Says: September 1, 2015 at 2:43 am
  78. Cool post Camille, really great detailed info about all the awesome free travel options out there. Makes me want to grab my backpack & get out there! Thought you might like to know about Culture Go Go – it connects travelers & hosts to make a simple & fair exchange of free room & board for free English practice

  79. this blog inspire to think beyond normal excuses and to persue dream of travelling .

  80. Wow! I have wanted to travel the world long term for so long and I have been so hung up on the money issue and wondering if I should get a good job first and save up and have something to come back to ect!

    But it all seemed so pointless considering its not what I want, what I want is to travel! I have made up my mind im selling my shit and soon as my lease is up im going I don’t care how little I have saved ill figure it out!

  81. I have let everything go. I am traveling starting today. Bus ride.

  82. I came upon your website today and it was so well timed. I am a soon-to-be 50 year old woman and I would love to be able to travel. I know you said to just sell your stuff and pick up and go, but what do you really do first and especially as an older person? Do you save to get that ticket to wherever and hope to get a couch or house sit and wait for that to come through or get the ticket and just go? Sounds silly, but some fear involved as I have ALWAYS had to be the responsible one and old habits die very hard. Love that you all are out there and not afraid to LIVE!!! Good for you all.

    • There seems to be lots of travel advice out there for and by 20 and 30-something year olds but not so much for us in our 50’s and up. A lot of the advice is relevant to all ages, but traveling in your later years, there do tend to be some differences. Check out Rita Golden Gelman’s book, “Tales of a Female Nomad,” as she was in her late 40’s when she took off. And feel free to check out my travel blog – I was 56 when I took off almost a year ago to travel around the world. I bought a one-way ticket to Australia, and winged it from there, after selling almost everything, so I did have a little nest egg, but it’s amazing how the path appears once you’re on your way…

  83. This article has truly given me hope for my future!

  84. Your article gave me a hope that I can travel the world , too. I am so glad that I have found your post! You made me daydream. Thank you! Keep posting!

  85. Rylie Byrne Says: December 9, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Thank you for this. I see thousands of people’s dreams coming true because of you :)

  86. Tanya Nohemi Says: December 11, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I just bought me ticket! I’m outta here!

  87. The author failed to mention the simplest and easiest way to travel when you have little or no money: have a vagina.

  88. Alan Manning Says: January 15, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    This is right on point. Thanks for sharing. I want to explore the crowd fund option. I’m a traveling urban sketch artist and had made a living supporting myself by selling my sketches as postcards in Spain. There truly is multiple ways to make it. Cheers!

  89. Cláudio Freitas Says: January 16, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Hey, what an amazing work.

    Love your sharing and for sure is a inspiring way to people like me, that are on the merge of going, but still have many doubts…

    Like if everything around is saying.. it’s your turn .. Go for it 😀

    Big Hug from Madeira Island for the moment.. hopefully the world in the near future;)

  90. This gives me hope! It seems so easy and really I think it is….The thing is that you just got to DO it! Its all about the resources you will find once at destination!….I was wondering how do you deal with working/traveling visa if you are broke? Or even travel insurances?? I mean you kinda need it at all time if something happens with your health and its costly!

  91. This article should be renamed “How to travel the world and not need a real job as a spoiled, white, conventionally attractive, middle-class 20-something female with a U.S. passport.” Ever notice how all these articles and blogs about traveling seem to be written from the same demographic?

    Most people live in the real world and can’t afford using their looks or privilege to get by (just look at Marti’s comment). Try being a brown/black male of a humbler background or a non-U.S./non-Northern European citizen and see how that pans out for you. Quit your day job and see how long your unemployed ass will last. Sure, there may be exceptions to the rule, but they’re called exceptions for a reason.

  92. […] How to Travel the World When You’ve Got Absolutely No Money […]

  93. I have been traveling for over 10 years now. Your advice is great and well presented. But, a bit confused at your “weed trimming” advice. Honestly, I find it insane. $200 to $1000 a day? You realize that the standard is $150 to $200 a pound? You think you are going to do 5 pounds a day? Obviously you have never trimmed and whoever has given you this info was fluffing your pillow. Plus, giving people information to go rolling down to cali looking for a grand a day is doing nothing but harm. It is dangerous for not only the seeker but also for the grower. The industry is changing. Not only because of new players on the scene but also for the irrespondsibility and misunderstanding of folks like you. Please do not continue to suggest to random people that they go to cali looking for dough. Thank you! I do appreciate the rest of your info. Bravo!

    • Camille Willemain Says: January 26, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks Nicole I appreciate your comment. You’re absolutely right, I’ve never gone trimming so this info is totally based on what I’ve heard from others. Though, I’ve met SO many people who go trimming and most have had good experiences. I also link to an article that’s more informative from someone who has actually done it. Many people I meet say that the minimum requirement is usually 1-2 pounds a day, and yes I have heard of people doing 5lbs a day, though I know that 1lb a day is more typical. I def appreciate your comment though because it’s not something to take lightly, and I’ve personally chosen to never do it. That said, TONS of travelers do it all of the time with no problems, so it’s certainly worth mentioning in this article. xx

  94. This is such pure gold, thank you! I am starting my own journey and saved just about every link you posted. You are wonderful!

  95. I’m in Thailand right now and this past weekI just met a couple from Germany who spent 6 months in Australia where the girl was working on a farm picking tomatoes, and the guy was working construction. They made enough money to travel for the rest of the year.

  96. Hi,

    Great article.

    I wanted to share it on facebook but all the shares seem to only let me “pin it”. Maybe a glitch on my computer??

    Just thought you’d like to know.

    • Camille Willemain Says: February 26, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks so much! At the bottom of the article there is a facebook share button. let me know if you have any troubles xx

  97. I am 52, HIV +, just had a triple bypass, and am tired of living day to day paying for rent and utilities and other stuff I can’t own. So I am thinking about packing my backpack and just walking away from it all. Your article makes me believe it is possible. Although I am in good health now, I am not sure how wise it would be for me to just take off , damn the doctors and health institutions that try to hold me back. What is your advise?

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 9, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Marvin, wow I am so inspired by your bravery and strength. Phew, that’s a tough one. I’ve never been in your shoes, so it’s hard to say, and I certainly can’t tell you what to do. But I will say that you deserve to live however you want to live, no matter any diagnosis that was given to you, and you deserve to follow the beat in your heart. Go with what feels right and trust yourself. You know what you need, and you know where you are meant to go <3

  98. This an amazing guide! Traveling the world does seem like something that would cost a lot of money. But this guide has made me one of the happiest people ever!

  99. How to Travel the World Without Money.

    Step One:
    Get some money


  100. […] April Harris began this journey several years ago and has started her backpacking journey in the United States to prepare for backpacking the globe. From hiking parts of the Appalachian […]

  101. Pooja Pal Says: April 5, 2016 at 4:29 am

    Very Nice Post! Thanks for the valuable information.

  102. You didn’t tell us about food?

  103. Thank you for the article!
    I am going travelling with less than £2000 (I will be going to Thailand, to Cuba and through South America).
    Wish me luck :)

  104. Carmela Says: June 3, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Hello ! This sounds like my dream come true but I have questions. While you are working in other countries or doing house sitting ecc. ecc. how do you find the time to see places when you are working. Also how do I pay my rent back home when I’m working in other countries making little money or no money. Just curious if anyone has any tips.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 3, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      Hey Carmela most people who go and work trade or house sit abroad aren’t still paying rent back home, either they’ve given up their place or are renting it out while they’re away. When you do work trade you do have time to explore and experience the local culture. It’s pretty nice actually you get to experience what it’s like to live there, totally different from backpacking from place to place or vacationing however. I hope that helps.

  105. What a great post! I’ve been thinking to follow my dream and travel the world too. You’re tips gave more confidence that this lifestyle is possible. Definitely will follow your advice. Thank you :)

  106. […] Money is nothing but freedom units in this world and if you have enough units to do what you really want to do then stockpiling more and more of it really is for show unless you want to do something grand with it. Skills are the things that make humans confident in their life. If you have skills and you know how to market yourself then money won’t be an issue . If you lack any marketable skills then all you need to do is find the thing you love and start learning it. Right now you can find almost everything you need to know about a discipline on the internet. Maybe not all online courses are free but most are and almost all the paid courses don’t charge much and if they do read the reviews and see the rating for them and make sure you are taking a course whose reward is so huge that the amount it charges pales in comparison. Read this for knowing how to travel without money. […]

  107. […] Money is nothing but freedom units in this world and if you have enough units to do what you really want to do then stockpiling more and more of it really is for show unless you want to do something grand with it. Skills are the things that make humans confident in their life. If you have skills and you know how to market yourself then money won’t be an issue . If you lack any marketable skills then all you need to do is find the thing you love and start learning it. Right now you can find almost everything you need to know about a discipline on the internet. Maybe not all online courses are free but most are and almost all the paid courses don’t charge much and if they do read the reviews and see the rating for them and make sure you are taking a course whose reward is so huge that the amount it charges pales in comparison. Read this for knowing how to travel without money. […]

  108. Rosanne Says: June 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Camille,

    Been following you a while and keep coming back to this post. Big things will happen in the coming months but it could go one of two ways: find a job, save up and book a one-way ticket to Peru in Feb 2017 to do the YTT that I signed up for (two days before losing my job – I need to somehow gather $3000-3500 more to make this happen) OR sell what I can, give up my house and just go somewhere. That will entail working online (which I’ve been setting up already) and completely surrendering the yoga training in Peru, knowing that it may or may not happen. I’m still torn at this point.

    However, it does bring me to my question: that opportunity you found on Yoga Trade, that allowed you to complete your YTT, that probably wasn’t listed explicitly as a work trade for YTT, was it? I’m very interested in how your experience with that came about. I read in a different post that you shifted your mind set and worked with affirmations leading up to finding the opportunity but I’m also curious about the factual stuff :)

    Much love to you, Camille. I love where you are at in your journey at this point (post training in Guatemala) and am also grateful for everything you’ve shared up till that point – it inspires the stuck and struggling, like myself 😉

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      It sounds like you have so many amazing options, I’m excited for you!! Which makes your heart flutter more? Do you see the connection between signing up for your YTT and losing your job shortly after?? Sounds like a big energy shift :)

      The opportunity I found on Yoga Trade was genuinely divine manifestation. I set the intention that I wanted to do my training at that particular school, the Pavones Yoga Center, but I didn’t have any money. The next day a friend sent me a link to the yoga trade website and I found a posting for the EXACT school I wanted to attend, Pavones Yoga Center, with a listing for blogging in exchange for 200 hour YTT. I know it sounds too perfect to be true, but that is honestly my story. It’s one of pure magic and destiny.

      Perhaps you can reach out to the school you signed up for, explain your situation losing your job, and see if they have any work trade opportunities given your skill set?

      Thank you so much for your words of love and support <3 I’m also really excited to see how my journey unfolds in this new skin. I have lots of ideas and inspiration xx

      • Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Camille. The universe seems to be sprinkling some of its magic my way again so i’ll continue to trust and surrender and see where rhat leads. Pretty sure it’ll become clear which is the right way to go (the fact that I will become a first time auntie shortly before I’d head out to Peru might factor in to things 😉)


  109. What a fantastic page. Great ideas and invaluable links. I’m 54 and you’re never too old!

    Thank you.

  110. Thank you for this information. I am an older traveller and want to see the world before I get too old to travel. I know some of this information is geared towards younger travellers but there are still some great information for people in my situation. Thank you.

  111. Nice, i enjoyed what you wrote. I am thinking of spending a few month per yes travelling the world as a body healer😊

    Thank you

  112. This is the best guide I’ve encountered about travelling without money (and ways to funding it). There were some amazing tips and you actually give me the extra-push I needed. Thank you!

  113. Very inspiration!! I love seeing post like this. Keep your hard work and enjoy life! I hope i can figure out my plan soon.

  114. i,m very serious looking for that oppturnity to archeave my dreams

  115. Nice tips!
    I’ve started a travel around the world with low budget, and your information on how to get some money in the way will help me a lot!
    Thank you for the post and congrats for the blog!

  116. Feeling all motivated already! I read the whole article in front of my computer in my desk at work and I gotta tell you, I am far from happy of being in here, but now reading this is all I needed it! And reading the comments below made me more comfortable about the idea of travelling all around the world ASAP

  117. Thank you so much for writing this post. It was full of all the information I was looking for to start the nomadic life with my wife. We are Argentinian expats living in Israel. I really liked your blog, very helpful. Thanks again and keep traveling! :)

  118. Most of this stuff, only a woman can do. The things that man can do to travel the world are highly competitive and probably still require a lot of money, even after that the destination might not even have been a desired one.

    Women can just be pretty and go around from place to place, be a little bit of a flirt and have fun and BOOM – everything is handed to them.

  119. Hi there!
    Well! It is an awesome guide for people like me who are planning to explore overseas with a limited budget. I have been readying a lot and exploring how to have success when you don’t have too much money to expend traveling, and I found website.
    I want to travel to Europe next year, March 2017, and I haven’t done anything like this before, so I decided to take a look online and read what people with the same conditions like me had done before. I am living in Costa Rica, my plan is to take a flight to Spain and explore the country; then, get to France and take a flight to Iceland, where my best-friend lives.
    Finally, I will be returned to Costa Rica having a great story to tell, memories to save, and a experience to teach.

  120. Meagan Browno Says: October 5, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Travel with no Money!!!! Wow, what a great idea dear. I have become a big fan of your blog. Thanks dear for sharing your unique ideas with us. I hope it will help in my next trip.

  121. Raj Somaiya Says: October 8, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I think you just showed me a pathway to paradise!
    I mean these resources are just so amazing.
    I just have one question to ask you. Did you work while travelling to earn money? And what if i got broke while I am travelling?

  122. Great