How To Travel The World For Free
You'll be amazed at these smart, effective ways to cut travel costs you thought were unavoidable—whether you're planning to WWOOF your way around the world or embrace the brave new world of travel hacking.
Join the Peace Corps
If you are an American citizen who happens to have 27 months to spare and a strong desire to make a difference in the world, consider signing up for the Peace Corps. Originally started in 1961 by President Kennedy, the Peace Corps relies on volunteers to work with local residents on projects that help to promote peace and understanding between global citizens. Most positions require a bachelor's degree or similar applicable experience and volunteers are matched with available programs depending on their background in volunteering and level of skill—you'll find opportunities in education, youth and community development, health, business and information, and communications technology, as well as in environmental and agricultural areas. Five percent of volunteers are over the age of 50, as there is no upper age limit to volunteer. Other perks include possible student loan deferment, paid travel to and from your country of service, medical and dental benefits, a monthly living and housing stipend, graduate school opportunities, 48 paid vacation days, the ability to take leave for family emergencies, and a "readjustment" allowance of about $7,400 upon completion of service. Not too shabby.
How to get started: Don't just sign up lightheartedly for this, as it does require a 27 month-long committment between training and time served in the field. Visit the Peace Corps website to read blogs written by current volunteers, attend any and all information sessions, and try to talk to someone who has previously volunteered for a better idea of what you'll be getting into. Fill out an application online, meet with a recruiter for an official interview, and be prepared to be sent to wherever you are needed if you get accepted.