General Question

start's avatar

How can I travel for cheap? (see details)

Asked by start (9points) March 28th, 2011

I would like to travel to a different country (I live in the U.S.) and do volunteer work this summer for a week or two. However, I don’t have a lot of cash and want to find a program that would not be too expensive. Any ideas? I looked up Habitat for Humanity but most of the international programs are at least $1500 for 10 days. It’s funny how expensive it is to volunteer.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

yankeetooter's avatar

If you’re involved in a church, you may get to join a mission trip. I’m not sure what kind of costs that would incur…

Nullo's avatar

I second church mission trips. Depending on the size and relative wealth of the congregation, they might be able to subsidize you. If you’re in the Southwest, “missions trip” probably works out to Mexico. Or at least it did back before Mexico got worse. Be warned that church missions trips are not for sightseeing.

The thing is that people are expensive. You’ve got to feed them, shelter them, and move them around (and gas is insane these days). Your best bet in terms of money would be someplace where the local currency trades horribly against the dollar. Mexico is favorable in this respect, as are most African countries. And maybe Southeast Asia, but I can’t say for sure.

start's avatar

I appreciate the suggestion, but I would prefer a secular opportunity and would definitely not
want to be involved in a mission trip.

shared3's avatar

This article is not exactly meant for your situation, but includes the unconventional tip of using an American Airlines Citi card to buy absolutely everything to earn a “free” flight.

This guy highlights the best promotions at the moment.

Both of these sites target an audience of frequent travelers, but with some adaptation, you should be able to get a pretty cheap flight.

I would also suggest that you consider going with a church, like the others have said. I’m not religious myself, but the mission trips my friends have been on have not been particularly religious, and they got to go for about ½ the price of comparable programs. Is your preference for a secular opportunity worth a couple hundred or even a thousand bucks? It also takes care of having to find a volunteer opportunity yourself.

Also, depending on your reasons for wanting to volunteer, you may want to consider volunteering locally. If you just want to do some good or add to your resume, then volunteering locally is at least just as good, if not better, precisely because it is so expensive to volunteer internationally. Honestly, you may be better off simply donating the money would spend directly to a charity. However, if gaining some international experience is important to you, of course, it might be well worth the expense.

susanc's avatar

Or just buy a ticket and then use couchsurfing to find places to stay for nothing. You’ll make local friends that way and find volunteer opportunities on the ground.

mea05key's avatar

Get a temporary work permit to New Zealand ! You can work in farms, plucking strawberries etc, earn enough and you can travel. The minimum wage is quite high and many came back with some savings even after traveling.

Otherwise, get a europe rail pass. My trip to 10 countries in Europe including transport, meal and accomodation cost me less than GBP 2,000. I would say its very interesting to backpack around east europe because it is less city like and its so much cheaper than west Europe. If you want cheaper deal still, go during off peak season, winter is the cheapest but all you get is the cold. So travel 1 to 2 months before or after summer.

If you like to broaden you horizon, visit Asian especially South East Asia countries. The exchange rate is pretty low.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther