As you probably know, I’m a bit of a wanderlust. I’ve hitchhiked my way through a huge part of the world, and most of the time I was able to get my sleep without paying a single dime.
In fact, if you take the average monthly rate for a hotel room of approximately $150, you can save over $4,000 a month using these exact techniques!
Beyond the direct monetary savings, you’re bound to find that traveling in this way opens you up to a deep and thorough education that you more or less can’t achieve by any other means.
A major takeaway from all my travels – you don’t need to be rich or well off to see the world. Heck, you can be broke!
Something else that my experiences taught me is that you can gain so much perspective of the world by traveling and seeing other cultures. It’s truly amazing and you won’t realize the full potential without traveling!
There is only one way to get a comprehensive understanding of the world around you, and that is to go out and make the best of it.
I’ve done my best to try to distill all of the experiences and takeaways from my time traveling and I do my best to keep absorbing as much as I can on a daily basis. As I sit on the couch in the French Riviera, I’m letting it all sink in so that I can write it down and put it into a useful form for you.
At the end of the day, I’m trying to help you live an independent lifestyle.
I hope this article will make you realize something. You have the power to get up and explore the world right now, regardless of how much money you have. This roadblock that holds back so many simply won’t cut it here.
In case you are putting off your travel to “some day” – consider this: you will also die “some day”.
I get it, maybe travel is simply not your thing. Maybe you are so busy with family life that it’s the last thing on your mind. Perhaps you do have a bit of wanderlust, but your idea of vacation is balling out on some fancy hotels with nice wine and world-class meals. That’s fine too, but this article is probably not for you.
This article is intended to reach people who are itching to explore all that the vast world has to explore – for people who haven’t hit the big bucks and are tired of the same old lifelong promise of a 9-to-5. For those who are ready to get up and change their lives for the better and just need a little motivation and a tip in the right direction.
Does this sound like what’s on your mind? Perfect, then you’re in the right place by reading Adventure Sauce, and this post was made specifically for you. I’m almost certain that I can give you what you need to accomplish this dream.
Finding a place to lay your head without spending precious cash is an amazing accomplishment, though some people may not find it suitable for them.
You might be surprised to hear that it can be incredibly difficult and may potentially even pose some threats (that said, what you stand to lose by watching cat videos on YouTube all day long may be a bigger threat…)
There have been occasions where I found myself sleeping in a penthouse suite, wearing a luxurious robe and slippers as I watched the sun come up over the horizon. There have been incredible meals that I’ve had with people I hadn’t known until that very same day. On the other hand, I’ve slept in places so sketchy I don’t even want to go into it.
Keep in mind however that as you get more familiar with living in this way, you’ll get better at finding more accommodating places to stay. You’ll find here all that you need to avoid sleeping in an alley. Don’t be put off by the effort it takes to step outside your comfort zone and get used to this way of living.
Ready to get started?
5 Techniques For Sleeping Without Footing The Bill:
Technique #1: Reach Out To Your Friends
This one more or less goes without saying, and you’ve probably already implemented it multiple times. More importantly though, if you want to do this for the long haul you’re going to need a portfolio of friends who will take you in.
Can you imagine what it would be like if you had countless friends welcoming you into their homes when you need it? I’ve built up a network like this, and there’s no reason why you can’t as well.
Get out there on social media platforms to keep up on your relationships with people all over the world. Building a website for people to read like this one is another great way to stay in touch. Be a great person, and your friends will be more than happy to change their schedule to accommodate you when you’re in town.
Not all of these people are going to be your closest friends. You may not find yourself at their intimate events, nor expect them to fly out to see you when you overcome one of life’s greater challenges. Perhaps we should refer to this as a network of internet pals just to be on the safe side.
The main point here is not to make friends that will last a lifetime (however, when that does happen it is a nice added bonus)! What you’re trying to accomplish is building a support network where you can find a place to stay for a few days here and there when you’re traveling somewhere new. Plus, you can bring your experiences on the road to your host, so it’s truly a win-win. Make sure to help out around the house too, it’s a great way to give back.
Now, it’s entirely possible that you are nowhere near this level of socialization, and frankly, it can be a bit difficult to get started. I’ll be real with you – the challenge gets even more intense when you’re trying to maintain these relationships. Stick with it and be patient. Here are some things that have helped me in the past:
- Make online contact with people who like the same things as you. Make an insightful comment on someone’s awesome blog or YouTube video, and don’t shy away from following them on Instagram or sending them a friend request on Facebook.
- Stay in touch with friends you’ve made in the past using messaging platforms. You don’t want to commit a huge amount of time to this – reaching out once or twice a year should do the trick. Make sure to stay in touch when big things happen, like children, marriages, new jobs, etc.
- Have a positive web presence. Nobody wants to listen to you complain about being poor and homeless, nor do they want to hear your opinionated viewpoints of the world (you can get into this at the bar if the moment warrants it).
- Spread the cool stuff you learn from your experiences. People love nice photos and interesting stories – I do, and I’m sure you do too, so why wouldn’t others? Let people know where you’re headed and make sure to actually ask your friends if they want to get together.
- Reach out to your contacts when you’re in the area. People have a lot going on, and it doesn’t hurt to send them a polite note to bring your travel plans to their attention.
Important note: don’t forget that the key to success with this technique is that you have to be a good person and an honest, true friend. This is not a transactional relationship. If you come off as such, why would anyone want to put you up for the night?
Technique #2: Get Comfortable With Couchsurfing
When pigs fly, things might change. Until then, Couchsurfing is an incredible resource, and it has made so much of what I’m discussing in this article possible. Big thanks to the creators of this website, I can’t possibly express my gratitude enough for all it’s done for me.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Couchsurfing before, haven’t you? You haven’t? Hold. The. Phone. Open a new browser tab right now and get over to their website. Make an account, dig in, and see all that it has to offer. Of course, once you’re done I have loads more tips for you, so make sure to finish reading this article.
Couchsurfing is an online resource that brings people on the road together with welcoming hosts in a way that makes it easy and secure while keeping everything free.
I’ve slept in countless accommodations using this website and built even more relationships across the country with their get-togethers. Everything has worked out great, albeit not every accommodation has been a luxury hotel (some quite fare from it).
Side note: While Couchsurfing is great, there are tons of similar resources out there on the internet that provide similar networking opportunities. They’re worth looking into, but make sure they are safe.
Technique #3: Find Locals To Sleep With
No, not like that (but then again, who doesn’t like a little excitement now and then?). What I’m referring to is being put up in a guest room, a garage, or even just finding a safe place to pitch a tent.
This is fairly similar to couchsurfing on the go, and it’s really reserved for those who have become pros at living on the road.
This can be a difficult technique to implement throughout the United States. The majority of people living in the USA aren’t particularly welcoming to people they don’t know, and they’re reluctant to change their mindset.
As a result, this technique constitutes only a small portion of my free hospitality. However, there are plenty of countries that are more welcoming to travelers. If you’re traveling overseas you might find you can have quite a bit of success.
You never know what you’re getting into using this technique, so you always have to be aware and on guard. That said, when you succeed in this fashion there’s simply no better way to experience life to the fullest.
Who knows, you may even find yourself on a billionaire’s yacht in the Mediterranian, drinking Dom Perignon and throwing uneaten lobster tails overboard just because you can.
It may sound like a bit of a stretch but the world is a crazy place.
Helpful Insights For Finding Locals To Sleep With:
Look Like A Wanderer
For example, your travel bag can be a huge beacon to like-minded folks. Others with wanderlust will likely sniff you out and start a conversation:
“What’s next on the itinerary?”
Don’t be shy and show who you are, don’t be afraid of scaring away most of the normies around – they aren’t who you want to connect with anyway.
You may have been raised to shy away from people you don’t know, but even if you’re more introverted it’s important to put yourself out there. One way to break to ice is to ask for help navigating the streets or a train station.
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to be approached by someone without you initiating the conversation. Get off your phone, engage in the conversation, and act like a normal human being for crying out loud.
Beware: Women will often get approached more frequently, and make sure to stay on guard when something just doesn’t seem right. If you’re living this lifestyle already I’m sure you know the ropes, but I just wanted to bring awareness to it.
Sometimes a potential host’s hospitality just doesn’t seem right, and it’s important that you say no.
Technique #4: Next-Level Camping
If you’re traveling around the United States there are tons of fee-free campgrounds where you can make a home for the night. You can also take advantage of all the free land the country has to offer.
If you’re going to be aggressively camping at the next level, you need to learn how to pitch a tent literally wherever you are. Hopefully, you can find a place owned by the government or a welcoming homeowner. Throw dignity to the wind, at times you might look like a pile of garbage.
My mom might not be proud of this technique, but it’s one of my personal favorites. This is another form of truly experiencing life. Sometimes you might not get a full night’s rest, but it certainly feels exciting and liberating.
There has never been more truth to the saying: the world is your oyster. So many have written about living this truly liberated lifestyle, there’s no reason you can’t live this way too.
Keep in mind that while the main goal is to sleep without a hotel bill, you should always strive for having a sense of comfort as well. Spend a portion of your precious monetary resources on high-quality camping gear, because you’re going to be making use of it.
Unfortunately, this is another one of those techniques that can pose some serious risk, so it’s important to keep your wits about you. I usually make up between a quarter and a half of my traveling nights using this technique.
Important Tips For Keeping Your Camping Next-Level
- Respect the land. If it’s painfully clear that someone doesn’t want you camping somewhere, keep moving and find another place. You don’t want to get in trouble – or even worse, get hurt.
- Ask around for local camping tips. People will be happy to help you find a campsite if they know where to go. Remember, you are on a quest to see the world, so don’t be shy! Some cultures will even be envious of your spontaneous lifestyle.
- Camp Like A Native American. Leave no footprint from your stay, and whenever possible clean up your campgrounds so that they look even nicer than they did before you pitched your tent.
Next-Level Camping Guidelines
- I try not to stay in the heart of civilization. Government-owned land where camping is permitted is best. Most of the time you’re going to have to get quite a bit out of the city, but it’s good to get a walk in any way so don’t be a wimp. Find a place where you can camp undisturbed.
- When this is not possible, look for vast, public land. Somewhere that has trees and plenty of vegetation to keep you concealed is sufficient.
- When this fails, try near government-owned buildings. Large patches of grass can be surprisingly accommodating, and government buildings are usually untraveled in the evenings.
- Don’t be afraid of religion. Land owned by the church is another option. It’s rooted deep in the nature of the spirituality to be hospitable to those in need, so it’s often worth asking.
- Private properties are another option. Keep in mind that you’re technically trespassing. I’m not going to give advice here due to legal reasons, but you could hypothetically get creative. Just be sure to be cleaned up before anyone goes looking.
Bonus Tip: Whenever you’re in a pinch, you’re going to have to sacrifice some sleep so that you can get in and out before the rest of the world wakes up.
Technique #5: Get Your WWOOF On
Any good hippy is likely aware of the beauties of WWOOFing, but others not so savvy to the ways of peace and love may not have heard of it. This can be a particularly enticing option if you have a bit of a green thumb, or if you’re simply one with the land. The WWOOFing organization is beneficial to both parties, so it’s another win-win.
The great thing about WWOOFing is that it’s available all over the world, and you’re likely to meet some like-minded folks.
There is a wide variety of opportunities you can choose from, so you can probably find something that will work for you. Keep in mind that some of these opportunities require more work than others, so you should get the full scoop before you dive in head-first.
But Wait, There’s More! Here are 5 Additional Techniques For Sleeping Free
Bonus Technique #1: Take Advantage of Credit Cards
The perks that come with using credit cards can be mind-numbing to comprehend, but if you can crack the code you can find yourself in the comfort of a hotel absolutely free. At the very least, you can wind up with reduced rates or a better room than you would have otherwise. You can also use this technique to get free airfare.
Bonus Technique #2: Sleep In Transit Stations
It’s certainly not glorious, but you can catch some quick shut-eye while waiting for your plane or train to your next destination. It’s a last resort option, but sometimes you’ll be more than thankful to have the opportunity to give your body a break.
Bonus Technique #3: Sleep In Your Ride
If you’re traveling by automobile, there’s no reason you can’t make it dual-purpose. In fact, it’s a fairly common practice, and there are actually quite a few perks to having your own place to call home.
I’m a bit too mobile for my own car at this point in the game, but who knows. Things might change for me someday and for you traveling by car might just be the best option.
Bonus Technique #4: Watching People’s Houses While They Are Away
If you happen to know someone who is in need of watching their home while they travel, then you’re in luck! Alternatively, there are tons of websites out there that connect people like us with homeowners in need.
Bonus Technique #5: Abandoned Houses
Is this bordering the lines of legality again? Probably. Nevertheless, it’s something that you could take advantage of in theory. Search around the internet for a wealth of information, again this is not something I’ll cover in this article.
Bonus Technique #…6?
While these options won’t be free, they are certainly cheap. If you have the luxury of freeing up some extra cash you could always stay a night in a hostel or a paid camping facility. You can often find a way to pay for it by exchanging your labor as well, as long as you don’t mind getting your hands dirty.
Is there anything I glossed over or omitted entirely when it comes to sleeping for free? Please let me know, I’d love to hear your input. If you have something valuable I may even include it in this article – and of course, I’ll give credit where it is due.
Did this article get you riled up to go out and see the world? It would mean so much to me if you shared it on social media, with your mom, your dog, or whoever listens!
Best wishes and safe travels,