Alternative Ways To Travel That Will Give You More Than Just Vacation Photos
I’ve been traveling for more than 10 years now, and I’ve done every kind of trip that you can imagine. From backpacking and road tripping to luxury stays and crashing with locals. Along the way, I’ve uncovered some alternative travel methods that helped me leave each destination with WAY more than just a few photos.
In fact, I look at travel completely differently than I once did; as less of a vacation and more of a learning experience. So, if you are ready to start traveling in ways that are going to enhance your life instead of leave you with a bunch of dusty photo albums, check out these alternative travel methods.
It’s actually a social networking platform, slightly similar to Facebook but focused on travelers and local hosts. Travelers can connect with people in destinations all over the world and then request to stay on their couch when they visit. The entire transaction is free and the people involved usually use it as a way to meet people that they otherwise wouldn’t. A German Couchsurfing host in Berlin may open up his home to a Cambodian traveler so that he can learn about another culture, show someone around his city and listen to their stories!
What can you take from this experience? New friends, an understanding of new cultures, a local perspective, intriguing stories from faraway places, new skills.
It stands for Working on Organic Farms and is a platform that extends all over the globe. Farmers post listings for outside help to come give them a hand with their farms in exchange for free room and board. Travelers can visit various countries while working with animals, planting trees, digging up veggies or clipping vineyard grapes.
What can you take from this experience? Farming skills, a local perspective, new friends, resume experience for agricultural jobs.
Volunteering both at home or abroad will give you the chance to give back to a local community while traveling to a new place. Volunteer opportunities range across a HUGE spectrum and can include anything from teaching English as a foreign language, building houses for impoverished communities and disaster relief to working on farms and helping animal populations.
What can you take from this experience? A large variety of marketable skills, resume boosting experience, a local perspective, networking opportunities, lots of feel good experiences!
Getting a few internships under your belt is one of the best ways to score jobs after college. But, no one said that you have get one in a stuffy office in your hometown. Organizations like Maximo Nivel, run full internship programs to several international countries that include courses across different disciplines. From education, human rights and business to medical, hospitality & tourism, and special education, you can grow your resume while traveling.
What can you take from this experience? Resume builder, marketable skills, networking opportunities, career development, career experience, a local understanding of your destination.
Getting a paying job in another country is a great way to not only afford travel but also to really dig deep into the culture. There are tons of websites that offer international job boards where you can find all sorts of positions. Some of them require minimal skills, like teaching ESL, but others require more specific experience that you just may have. Don’t be surprised if you find a work abroad program that helps you find housing and a community of other expats to get you started.
What can you take from this experience? Money, a local experience, friends and connections, a resume booster, a new career path, long-term travel.
Have a hobby? If so, there is probably some kind of retreat out there that revolves around it. Yoga, wellness, and writing retreats tend to be the most popular, but you can find all sorts of retreats in stunning places that are revolved around the things you love.
What can you take from this experience? Fun, new hobbies, wellness and health, new friends, networking opportunities, relaxation.
Another great way to travel is to house sit. It’s free and involves an application process from home/pet owners who need someone to look after their properties while they are away. The screening process may take a little while but it’s certainly worth it to post up in a stunning house in Italy and take care of the plants and the homeowner’s cute dog.
What can you take from this experience? Long term travel, new skills, a local experience.
Which of these alternative travel methods have you tried?