You can essentially travel for free, if you’re willing to put in a little work along the way. Here are a few ways:
Swap your house: I stayed on the Italian Riviera with my kids in a free apartment. My friends just swapped with a family in London and even traded cars. I use www.homeexchange.com/en, but there are many others out there, including ones that specialize in teachers, kosher families and the like.
Be an RV adventurer: Want to travel the country and earn money, too? There are employers who specialize in using RVers for short-term and temporary assignments. Drive in, plug in and work, then unplug and head off to the next location.
Amazon.com hires RVers for seasonal packing and shipping at its regional warehouses, providing free camping spaces and small salaries. Details: www.amazon.com/camperforce.
And check out the national parks. For example, work as a seasonal store clerk at the Stovepipe Wells resort in Death Valley. They'll deduct $50 per week from your pay for your RV space rental, feed you in the staff cafeteria, as well as provide access to the staff gym, lounge and pool. Details: www.coolworks.com/jobs-with-rv-spaces.
Be a caretaker: For $29.95 a year, the Caretaker Gazette offers an online subscription that specializes in these positions. Post your own qualifications or just read the listings. You might be dog-sitting in Australia, ranching in Hawaii, house-sitting a star’s home in Aspen or grooming horses in Patagonia. Learn more here: www.caretaker.org.
Work on an organic farm: Do you enjoy being outdoors? You can trade room and board for your work on an organic farm in a country of your choice. You have to pay your own way, but once you’re there, the farmer will feed and house you in exchange for your agreed-upon work. Details: www.wwoof.net.