It’s hard to cure the wanderlust, that I can vouch for. I’ve been looking for ways to travel on a budget, wherever I am. Along the way, while Couchsurfing in France, Germany, Belgium and U.K., I’ve met world travellers that have been there, done that.

While I’m still impressed at how carefree and bold their escapades are, I’ve come to know a thing or two about sites that make travelling cheap possible, whether it is over food, volunteering or cycling!

Burano, Italy
Burano, Venice, Italy

1. Work/ Volunteer to travel for free!

Want to stay for free? Sure, food and accommodation can be provided for free, in exchange for some manual labour or service. These are some sites that put up hosts who are looking for additional help.

Ever wanted to try your hand at farming, living in the countryside or experience living in rural settlements? Now you can! Volunteer to teach English in Vietnam, tend to a family in New Zealand, or do some organic farming in Switzerland.

If you have a second language, that’s even better! Countries like Italy, Japan and France will favour applicants who can speak in their language.

2. Eat for less!

This concept is similar to Airbnb, but instead of paying for a roof under your head, you get to taste local food cooked by locals!

What better way for cultural exchange and to socialise than over food?!

Websites such as Meal sharing, Cookening and VizEat are platforms to go to sample international delicacies and cuisines, and organise get-togethers over food!

Now you’ve got a way to show off your culinary skills!

3. Stay for free!

Milos, Greece
Milos, Greece

If you want free accommodation, while immersing in local cultural exchange, check out Couchsurfing or Hospitality Club. They are platforms that allow you to look for hosts in whatever country you like.

You’d be surprised to find that there are even hosts from developing countries willing to host you, all in the name of cultural exchange!

Of course, you should be wary of hosts with dubious motives, but otherwise, if you meet kind hosts, you get to enjoy home-cooked meals or be taken to places where locals hang out, away from tourist traps.

Experience living like a local in their shoes!

Look out for cheap accommodations on HotelsCombined, Agoda and

4. Meet up – it’s costless!

Montserrat, Spain

Want to experience local cultural exchange without the fear of bunking in with a stranger in a totally foreign home?

A milder version would be Meet Up, where anyone can meet up anywhere in the world with a bunch of like-minded people with interests like yours.

Read: Why It's OK To Travel Without Wifi

5. Cycle for free!

This was a pretty cool idea when I first heard it. Some countries provide free bicycles.

One such example is the Free Bike Project. They do this for free, all in a bid to improve the mobility in rural communities of developing countries by sending bikes to them. Very noble cause!  


6. Hire a tour guide for free!

Read: How to hire a tour guide for free?

Instead of socialising virtually, why not try it the real way? 😮


Read other useful posts about travel tips:



Get your FREE travel expense sheet and track your expenses!

Region(s) you’re most interested about?

Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on


Leave a Reply