Living a fast-paced life can take a toll on your mind and body sometimes. Is your boss stressing you out again? Are the kids crying for the umpteenth biscuit and you need some time for yourself? There are many reasons why you might need a holiday or a change in your surroundings. Whether you fancy a one week desert island getaway or a few months’ break doing something different, there are ways to do so on the cheap: even for free.
Below are some ideas:
Enter competitions for a holiday of a lifetime
Magazines and the internet are flooded with competitions such as a week in the Maldives or a romantic weekend for two in Paris. Sometimes even companies whose products that are not holiday-related will have interesting deals. For example, Euro Palace Casino promotions include a free cruise for two, and plenty of other companies have similar prizes. If you have the time to fill in some forms, answer simple questions or send a coupon attached to the shampoo bottle you were going to buy anyway: do it. Check the internet regularly for deals and if it doesn’t take too much of your time, you should go for it. Some people are lazy and think that no one ever wins, so you’ll have even more chances to get that dreamy luxury trip. Oftentimes the flight and the hotel will be paid for – just read the small print to see what’s included and make sure there’s no catch.
Volunteering for overseas organizations
Do you feel like doing your bit and help to build a school in an underdeveloped country? Or work on a conservation project? Many organisations will provide you with accommodation and meals. You will also have the chance to learn more about the local culture and feel like you are making a difference. These opportunities will also look good on a CV as they show initiative and that you are interested in growing as a person.
Asia is one of the best places to settle in an English-teaching job. The cost of living is cheap and if you do your research you will find the better schools will sometimes pay for your flights and accommodation and help with your visa. Obviously this is a long time commitment: a 6-12 months contract is the norm. If you are a native speaker you will find a lot opportunities but it’s recommendable to have a teaching certificate first – you can acquire one over a one-month course. Japan and South Korea will have the highest paying jobs and if you are careful you might even be able to save some money.
Use your air miles
Credit card companies give big sign up bonuses and points on your spending to use towards air miles. So if you made some big purchases recently, it’s worth checking how many points you accumulated: it’s possible that you have enough to pay for a flight somewhere nice.
Get free accommodation
Is it the price of the hotel room that’s putting you off spending your hard-earned cash? Why not try couchsurfing? This website has like-minded people from all over the world offering a place in their home to stay for free. If you join the site you will be expected to offer your couch or spare room in return: this is a great way to meet new friends and learn about different cultures too.
There you have it: you have no excuses. There’s plenty of ways to go abroad without breaking the bank. So, start by entering that competition send those coupons and get your flip flops ready.