Lifestyle

Want to travel for free? Here are 3 of your best options

Want to travel for free? Here are 3 of your best options

Washington - You want to travel, but you don't have the money to travel. 

It turns out that this classic conundrum doesn't have to keep you at home. Looking to solve labour shortages, population declines and other economic issues, destinations around the world are offering people the opportunity to travel in exchange for labour, not money. 

Here are some of the best options if you want to travel free or even get paid to do it.

Europe

Small towns in Europe are having a tough time competing with the alluring appeal of bigger cities. Every few months, a headline pops up with another small town's efforts to lure in new residents by offering perks like $1 (about R14) homes, free plots of land to farm and more. 

It's happened in Antikythera, Greece, Albinen, Switzerland, and now the region of Molise, Italy. Regional councilor Antonio Tedeschi developed a plan to offer people more than $27 000 to relocate to one of Molise's population-deficient villages in an attempt to revitalize the local economy. 

That payment will be made in 700 euro-per-month payments over the course of three years to chosen applicants who also agree to start a small business in the region.

Antarctica

Travelling to Antarctica is not an easy or affordable feat. Most travel opportunities fall into the luxury category. 

The loophole to getting down to the world's southernmost continent (for the creative set at least) is through the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program (AAW). The programme was developed to get more eyes on the US Antarctic Program (USAP) efforts there and to get the general public to better understand and appreciate those efforts. 

Photographers, sculptors, historians, painters, science writers and children's novelists have been among the chosen programme participants given the opportunity to travel to Antarctica on the National Science Foundation's dime.

Anywhere

There are plenty of options around the globe for the taking, and for every travel style. You can search Workaway, an online community for sustainable travel and cultural exchange, to find opportunities to volunteer or work in 178 countries, like helping out at an alpaca farm in Estonia or working as an au pair in Andorra.

For travellers who enjoy farm life, there's World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, (WWOOF). Originating in Britain in the '70s, WWOOF was once an acronym for Working Weekends On Organic Farms but has expanded to become an international community to connect farmers and temporary workers. 

WWOOF volunteers are expected to work about four to six hours a day in exchange for boarding, food and the chance to experience local life in their temporary home, whether that's somewhere in California or Koes, Namibia. 

To access the WWOOF database to find an opportunity, you'll have to pay a membership fee that ranges from $20 to $50 per year.

The Washington Post