Broke and Beautiful Abroad
I am a penny-pinching, coupon printing, money hoarder, but all for one reason: travel. Everytime I see something lavish that consumes me on the internet, my brain’s first reaction is to scream like a toddler with tourettes, “I need it! Jesus H. Christ I want it! Gimme Gimme Gimme!” Then the other voice in my head calms me down with “But that hunk is 1/10 of a vacation in Europe; one afternoon of museums, or 3 months of chocolate?” Sometimes chocolate gives in, so I found a few different ways to travel. Working overseas is, of course, the easiest way to do it, but if you just want to travel for fun, there are still hints tucked away in this article for you.
If you want to live somewhere for awhile and somewhere inexpensive, I would recommend working for a resort. They provide housing and airfare, and they pay you on top of it. Some require you to pay for your own flight and will reimburse you later. If you like the idea of swishing around quaint European villages, then working at a resort is for you. However, be sure that you are okay doing hospitality work since it’s not for everyone and can be frustrating. If you are jacked on customer service, I would recommend checking out Edelweiss in Germany or their sister property in Korea.
Also, make sure to ask if flights will be reimbursed, if not, I would recommend using Google Flights to find a good airline. It gives graphs for what prices are by month, a map of nearby airports and their price, and helpful hints (if there are deep discounts for dates around your flight). This equates to big savings, like round trip flights to Paris for around $600 level savings.
If you don’t think you can hoof it in a resort town or want to immerse yourself into the culture thoroughly, working as an au pair will help you find free housing in the foreign country if you help with the child and housework. There are a wide array of options when it comes to finding au pair work, from using an online agency, which organizes by country and cost, to using connections you may meet during college, or even utilizing your network of friends. However, always expect to help out around the house and assist with any children. The family that picks you up may also want to take you traveling with them!
If you are travelling alone after your time as an au pair, I would recommend staying either at hostels or utilizing TripAdvisor’s vacation rentals section. You can find apartments for as little as $310 for 10 nights (that’s less than my rent!).
If you’re looking to move somewhere to fully immerse yourself into the culture and get a true perspective on living somewhere for a solid length of time, you can teach English by being hired as a professional teacher. You can also be given room and board in exchange for acting as a conversational coach. These positions are more common in Asian or African countries, but keep in mind, you may be hired as an English teacher in Africa but may be teaching any nationality at international schools.
When exploring foreign countries, utilizing a combination of corner stores and street food can not only save you big bucks, but will lead to a varied, local taste. I recommend getting at least one of the following: something that looks bad but smells great, something sweet, something that you see other people eating, or something tucked away.
When you’re dead-broke or a coupon cutting cheap-skate, travelling is still fun and rewarding. Even if working doesn’t sound glamorous to you, you can have a lavish 10 day vacation in Paris for as little as $900 when using the tips outlined above. Travel broke, travel cheap, but get out there and breathe a different air!
Photos courtesy of goway.com