You know what it takes to be a true adventurer. You've got to be willing to try new experiences, go off the cuff and rough it a bit. You've got to be flexible and willing to change your plans as you encounter the unexpected. And you've got to have a bit of bravery, whether it's ziplining over the rainforest or sampling food from street carts. But even modest travel can be taxing on your resources-- although you can use that same adventurer's ingenuity that makes you a great traveler to find the resources for your trip. Here are a couple great ways to fund your travel, even when you're super broke.
Petsitting or housesitting can get you free digs for your stay and possibly even a little extra cash.
The requirement is absurdly low; usually watering plants, minding cats and bringing in the mail. Line up a few housesitting gigs and you've got yourself a pretty cushy itinerary. Get started on TrustedHousesitters.com, MindMyHouse.com, and HouseCarers.com.
Voluntourism: build something or teach a skill in exchange for room and board.
Work off your travel expenses on the farm.
You can have your stay paid for in exchange for farm labor in an organization called WWOOF: World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience a country way, way off the beaten path and you'll have plenty of downtime to go on excursions.
Travel is required for some jobs, like an au pair, cruise ship or sales.
Places like Elance, Media Bistro and even Craigslist are great for finding telecommute jobs so you can work while you travel.
Many employers are open to discussing a telecommute option if it's possible for your work. Groups like Remote Year and Surf Office seek to gather remote workers together for bulk accommodation in traveling.
If you've got a plan and a story, why not crowdfund your trip?
People will be more apt to donate if you've got a hook, so consider writing a book, volunteering, creating a photo essay, something tangible that your donors can get behind. Check out Kickstarter, GoFundMe and FundAnything.
If you're smart about it, you can actually use Air BnB to fund your trip.
If you list your own home at a higher price than the place you're staying at, you'll actually be making money to fund your travels. This works especially well when traveling abroad and if you live in a city with a lot of tourism.
Check out your credit card's reward system and game it to score airline travel points.
Walking tours give you a street-view look at your destination, chances to mingle with locals and plenty of opportunities to stray off the beaten path.
You can always pay for a guide, but a little internet research will go a long way. Check out the Free City Tour that has a long list of global freebie walking tours.
Barter your talents.
Whether it's photography, web design, musical performance or handyman work, hit the internet and see if small independent hotels, motels and hostels would be open to bartering. You'd be surprised at how often this works.