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Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. By using a few easy tricks, you can travel for free. And even make money traveling.
How to Travel for Free
Here are 8 ways to travel for free and 2 ways to get paid to travel.
1. Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses
You can earn free flights from credit card sign-up bonuses. Signing up for one new credit card with a large sign-up bonus, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, can mean a free round-trip flight to Hawaii, Europe, Asia, or some other place on your bucket list.
You could also earn free airfare without flying or without leaving home. The fastest way to free flights is by applying for credit cards with big sign-up bonuses.
Even better when it’s one of 13 credit cards with no minimum spending requirement. You could even go out on an AYCE (All You Can Earn) airline miles and credit card points binge.
2. Airline Companion Passes
Some airlines help you to travel for free by offering companion passes.
With the Southwest Companion Pass your travel companion can fly with you for free for up to 2 years. Yep, two years of free flights on Southwest Airlines! Think Las Vegas, Florida, Costa Rica, and Belize, just to name a few of the cities that you can fly to on Southwest. Never been to Belize? Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Belize.
Other airlines like Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, and Lufthansa offer one-time use companion passes. Even with a single use companion pass, that’s one free flight.
3. Free Hotel Stays
Getting free flights can save you money and so does free hotel stays.
Just like airlines, the hotels offer credit card sign-up bonuses where you can get free hotel nights.
You can get 2 free nights at Fairmont, and Hilton when you apply for a credit card. While other hotels like Starwood, Marriott, and Club Carlson give you 25,000 to 80,000 points which can get you 1 to 10 free nights.
4. House Swap
You won’t always have to sleep on a couch. Sometimes you’re sleeping on a couch, floor, or even a spare bed. It depends on your host.
I had a great experience couch surfing in Bend, Oregon.
If the idea of meeting locals appeal to you and you’re willing to work in exchange for free room and board, consider WWOOFing.
WWOOF connects you with a local organic farm where you can volunteer to help for as long or as little as you and your host farm agree.
8. Free Car Rides
Instead of renting a car, you can get free car rides using BlaBlaCar.
You can get free road trip if you’re willing to drive from Florida to Washington, or from California to New York. That’s because car rental companies need to move their fleet to other locations.
9. Teach English
Traveling for free is great, but getting paid to travel is even better.
If you’re a fluent English speaker and have a TEFL degree, you can make a lot of money teaching English in other countries. Some countries will even pay for your flights.
10. Tour Guide
If you’re an extrovert and like meeting new people consider becoming a tour guide
You can pick up extra cash by hiring yourself out as a tour guide while you’re traveling. Contact tour companies like Viator for their freelance tour guide requirements.
You can travel for free (or close to it) and even get paid to travel if you know these eight tricks.
Big sign-up bonuses on credit cards can score you free flights without flying. And you can get up to 10 free hotel nights when you sign-up for hotel credit cards. Some credit cards have no minimum spending requirement. This means you get the miles immediately after you apply. How’s that for instant gratification!
Your partner can fly free with you thanks to companion passes from Southwest, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, and Lufthansa.
Get free accommodations through home swaps, housesitting, couchsurfing, and WWOOFing.
And if you need a little spending money while traveling, you can teach English or work as a tour guide.
These tips a little too tame for you? Try your hand at extreme mile and point collecting.
Which of these eight tricks have you used (or plan to use) to travel for free?
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Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.