Is there a hitch in your travel bug due to finances, civil uprisings, an epidemic or anything else that might keep you at home? Worry not! Even if it is unsafe to travel, there are so many other ways to travel for free and explore. You may wonder why you ever thought about leaving.
13 Ways to Travel for Free
Scour Destination Websites
If you have a specific location in mind, the first place to go would be on their website. Let’s say, for example, you have always wanted to go to New Zealand, but your plans keep getting put on the back burner or there is a travel warning.
You can still participate virtually in what this amazing country has to offer! Google the place you want to go, such as entering “visit *insert country here* virtually” into the search bar. All you need to do is fill in the blank.
View the World via Webcams
Did you know the world is full of webcams? Destinations want you – their potential visitor – to get a taste of what there is to see and do.
What better way than by showing you a live-streamed movie? From the streets of New York City to watching animals care for their young, webcams are mesmerizing to watch, even when travel advisory levels are heightened.
There are a handful of websites that specialize in webcam tourism. Have a look at one or more of these for starters, and you never know what you will come across.
Each one of the above sites offers virtual ways to travel for free to beaches, mountains, museums, and national parks.
Binge on a Series
Love to travel but your budget demands that it be free and so far, you haven’t won the lottery? Then take a peek at what the web has to offer! If you want to know how to travel the world with no money, then this may be it.
Go along with the show’s host to discover what a country or city has to offer. Take a peek below at a few sites that offer shows for you to watch.
- Lonely Planet offers a series of videos – both location and tip based – that will take your mind away to somewhere new, even under self-inflicted quarantine.
- Matador Network has fun shows, each with a different focus. Topics include traveling with toddlers, location-based shows, and food-centric themes.
- Have a streaming service? Just search “travel” for documentaries and movies that will help you discover a new locale.
Turn on Your TV
If you don’t have a computer, but you have a TV. There are channels that include documentaries, reality TV, food emphasis and more!
Of course, the Travel Channel is the first choice, but other channels – such as the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Destination America – also showcase content from around the globe.
Dust off Those Travel Guides
If you are anything like me you have dozens of travel guides at home. Have you been to all of those places? If so, then reminisce by looking at all of the places you’ve been.
If that country is still on your bucket list, then leaf through and make plans about what sites you would see if you were there.
Listen to Podcasts
If all of that watching is having your eyes going buggy, then listen to something instead. There are lots of podcasts out there on where to go, what to do, and personal travel experiences.
Rick Steves is a very well-known public radio personality, he has a radio show, but also an expansive presence on the internet. Visit his website to see all he has to offer.
Soak in the Tunes
Speaking of listening, your mind can take you away by listening to cultural music. How many times have you been to a Mexican restaurant, and you feel transported to Mexico as you eat guacamole and listen to cheerful Mexican music?
I guarantee if you even hear kettle drums and upbeat music, that you are instantly transported to the Caribbean. Let your mind wander as you soak in some ear candy!
Oh, and it doesn’t have to be upbeat! Some of the “white noise” apps can send your mind adrift and have you feeling like you are wandering in the woods or sitting oceanside with the waves. Try it!
Turn to YouTube
There is so much available on YouTube, it’s hard NOT to find what you’re looking for. Just put “travel” in the search bar, and you’ll be burning dinner you’ll get so engrossed!
Here is just a sampling, and don’t forget, based on your choice, there are more recommendations on the right-hand side of the screen.
- 25 Best Places to Visit in Europe
- Iceland Vacation Travel Guide
- 10 Best Places to Visit in Canada
- 200 Days – A Trip Around the World
- Drink Tea & Travel
And the list goes on!
Scour Your Photos
Ok, if you are like me AT ALL, you have a gazillion travel images. Whether they are on your phone (check!), on your computer (check!), or in an album (not yet, but if you want to easily make one from your phone check here!)
Visit Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture is a personal favorite of mine! Tour museums and get up close to art without having to leave your house.
Not only can you look at paintings, but you can also learn a great deal about them through their interactive explanations of the details of certain pieces and the thought process of the artist. Not only is it beautiful, but these virtual tours are
Transport Your Tastebuds
Assuming that you have ingredients on hand or can easily and safely obtain them, scour the web for recipes from a culture you love or want to discover. Some of the dishes are easy to make and/or require minimal ingredients. It would make a fun couple or family project, too!
Head to the Library
Ok, you do have to leave your house but not your area in order to do this, but don’t forget to head to your library for free travel information if you have to stay home. The men and women manning the resources counter can direct you to find just about anything.
Wondering what are the cheapest ways to travel around Europe? I’ll bet there’s a book about that! Question about travel with no money? Well, we all realize that you can’t really travel with NO money, but these folks can lead you by the hand right to the best source if there is one!
Peruse a Bookstore
You’d like a book but one that you can keep? Pop down to the travel section of your local bookstore. You’ll find an endless array of choices on just about any aspect of travel you can imagine, and some of the most beautiful photography you’ll ever come across!
No library close to you? Just go to the web and enter “travel books” in the search bar. Suddenly, you’ll have 90,000 books to choose from! This one might catch your eye – Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel.
Travel Ban and Advisory Information
If during one of your living room travel excursions you see a place that you absolutely don’t want to miss visiting in person, it’s always a good idea to check travel advisories before booking your trip. Going here or here will give you the best up-to-date information.
Next time you’re dreaming about going somewhere, don’t let not being able to leave home keep you from experiencing the world! And consider travel insurance – brush up by reading my article on why it’s important.