Traveller – Shubham Kumar Panjyara
Yes, you read it right. I am 17 and travelling the world with no money… almost no money!
Actually, when It comes to travelling, we always have an excuse of not having money. But based on my recent experience of travelling in Russia I can say that money is not important for travelling. Here are the tricks and tips for travelling without money.
If you see the total cost of travel, there are mainly three elements of expenditures.
- Food & Drinks
If you minimize these expenses, it is cheaper to travel than living in your own city. Let me tell you how to do this!
1) Accommodation: How to stay for free while travelling?
I am writing this article in November 2018 and I have been travelling for the last 120 days. My plan is to travel till March 2019. During the last 120 days, I almost stayed for free. I paid for my accommodations only for 2-3 nights where I had to stay in a hostel/ hotel/ homestay. So now the point is how did I stay for free! Most of the time used Couchsurfing.
CouchSurfing.com – What is it?
Well for those who don’t know about it- it is a website where you can host travellers from around the world in your own home and you can stay with other people as their guest for free.
Couchsurfing for me
It is not only free but also it gave me a lot of amazing experience and stories. My hosts picked me up, shown their city, gave me local food and many times I also cooked for them. Because of them, I got to see a few offbeat places where I could have never gone by myself.
Is Couchsurfing totally free!
You don’t have to pay for a stay at your host’s place, but I think it is altogether about getting a different experience rather than just a source of free accommodation.
Just giving an example, I was in Russia. I was doing hitchhiking all day and reached the city at 7 pm. I was badly tired. Feeling sleepy. I already had a host in that city where I could have gone, but I didn’t want to act like – “Hi, nice to meet you. Where is the bed? I want to sleep”. So, I decided not to go to their house and camped in a park in that city. Next day, I woke up and went to their home.
wwoof.net – What is it?
I tried this in Malaysia and stayed in a local village, doing some work on a farm, generally cooking & cleaning the place. People from all over the world do Wwoofing. So you can live with them like a family. I learned a lot of things about farming during this stay. I was supposed to stay for 2 nights but stayed for 8 nights.
So in this way, you get free accommodation + food
Worldpackers.com – What is it?
It is also a similar website where you can get accommodation for free in return of working for a few hours a day. I tried this one in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. I stayed in a hostel for free. I cooked for them and I love it. They loved Indian food.
Can I Work with a Tourist Visa
No, in most of the countries you can’t work if you are visiting on a tourist visa. But working this way is different. You don’t get money to work, instead, it is just like working at your home.
Stay at Fuel stations
Many times I stayed at gas stations. When you are travelling with no money, don’t hesitate to ask for help. I did this in 3 countries.
Stay at Police stations
You can also stay at Police stations. I slept some nights in Police stations. Just request them & they will help you. I found that Police are helpful with foreigners.
Stay at Temple
While I was travelling in Thailand, most of the times I stayed in Temples. I must say it was some of the amazing experiences I had. Monks were so nice. I learned a lot of things when I was there. In Temple, you can also get free food. But sometimes I helped them to make food. If you are in big cities, then they can also give you a private room. I got it in Krabi.
I always carry a tent with me, so that I can sleep wherever I want. But always look for a safe place to stay. I camped in police stations, temples, mosques & churches.
In this way, you can save money for accommodation.
2) Food: How to save money on food while travelling?
While Couchsurfing your host will generally offer you food. I usually avoid eating in restaurants. I just buy things from the supermarkets and eat them wherever I get a place. I feel glad that I had never had to buy a single water bottle. I always drink tap water. I always carry a bottle. I just request hotels/ shops to fill it.
I generally got food in the fuel stations. When they came to know that I am travelling with almost no money. Even police offered me food.
I will divide this is two parts.
A) Cheapest way to travel inside a city
I use local buses in every country. I never used a taxi. I prefer walking. So if the distance is less than 5 km, I walk.
B) Cheapest way to travel between cities
I love this part of travelling. I hitchhike to travel between cities. I have hitchhiked more than 10,000 Km in 5 countries. I never used a public transport to travel to another city. While hitchhiking you have to have a lot of patience. I still remember those terrible 36 hours on road in Russia, when I didn’t get a ride while going to Moscow. But at the same time, I get to meet a lot of amazing people. Most amazing was meeting a Mayor of the city in Kazakhstan.
My experience while travelling
My friends ask me how do you feel while travelling, I generally tell them I feel rich. I have to struggle to get a place to stay, but my every night was comfortable and relaxed. I do not know where will I go tomorrow! what will I eat! whom I will be going to meet but I like this way of travelling! infact, I got a lot of amazing experience while doing this type of travelling.
How are the people around the world!
I learnt that in general people around the world are helpful. No matter how which religion, race or country you belong to. They welcomed me everywhere with a big smile. I learnt not to trust the mainstream media and their horror stories.
Is travelling this way always good?
While hitchhiking sometimes I have to travel in a dirty car. I don’t like sandwiches if someone offers me a sandwich I have to accept it. But the hospitality, love and care I got during this trip, I am sure won’t be possible in any hotel. I cried while leaving someone home. I miss Chris, a 72-year old lady who is just like my grandma. I miss a 5-year old Katya. What a sweet girl she is!
When travelling this way please travel with a mindset of giving to others. I always think what can I give to this person, my enthusiasm, my story, my smile. Meeting people is always a priority in my travelling. This way I enjoy the moments with them and keeps me travelling the world with no money