Don’t listen to the all-money all-corporate entity that is, the tourism industry. Their very existence depends on you, the consumerist, to buy their all-inclusive packages, buy-one-get-one-free tours and commercialised cruises. You DO need to be wealthy (and gullible) to buy into these, but the concept of travel is something that stretches far above and beyond expensive spas and soft towels – it’s something accessible to everyone and anyone at anytime, and it has been for many years. Here’s how!
1. Don’t spend money on vending machines or other crap
Annual revenues for the vending machine industry (yes, it’s a real cash cow) is estimated to be in the double figures of billions – that’s a lot of suckers spending their money on processed garbage. If you don’t have enough money to travel, then it’s probably because you spend it on crap, such as kinder-eggs at petrol station counters or on new covers for your expensive iPhone. If you want to travel, then virtually all of your money will go into a savings account and not into the accounts of the money-grabbing corporations that don’t care about your travel ambitions. If you genuinely want to travel, then ALL or MOST of your money will go towards it.
2. Find a job that forces you to travel
You don’t need to be an experienced buccaneer to be given the opportunity to travel while working. There’s a demand for nearly every profession world-wide. Whether it be picking up garbage (kinder-egg rappers) on the street or slaving away in an office, you can work anywhere and everywhere if you’re willing relocate and a lot of companies will even offer live-in accommodation so you don’t need to worry about renting an expensive flat. I’m a chef in Scotland, which means I spend most of my time running around a confined space known as a kitchen for twelve hours a day. However, I applied for a chef position six-hundred miles away in the south of England and I got the job; so I’m travelling down south, at the cost of only a train ticket!
3. Buy a bike
You don’t need a continental plane ticket to experience the wonders of travel.
Ask yourself this: why do you want to travel?
The universal answer for most aspiring nomads is so that they can indulge in a place, culture or sight that they’ve never experienced before.
Now ask yourself this: are there places, cultures or sights within the radius of thirty miles from where you are right now that you’ve never experienced before?
The answer is probably yes.
So buy a bike and learn more about your own culture.
4. Train and bus passes are quite useful
And if you ponder the vastness of the area you can travel on a bike, just think about how much you can gaze your eyes upon with the help of trains and buses.
You can travel an entire country through public transport, so you should definitely invest in a rail card or bus pass that will allow you to do so at a significantly discounted rate.
Here’s a rather intrinsic map displaying the gargantuan public transport network that connects pretty much every town and city in the UK:
The green lines represent bus routes and the blue lines represent trains!
5. Urban Exploration
Urban exploration (often shortened as urbex or UE) is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment.
Are you unable to subdue your relentless addiction for vending machine snacks and takeaway pizzas and therefore don’t have enough cash to travel abroad? Try exploring your own city. You’d be surprised at just how many abandoned factories, asylums and other buildings let go into the hands of nature there are in your area, just waiting to be explored and photographed by you.
Although urban exploration isn’t your conventional method of travelling, it will almost certainly instill you with a similar buzz, and you’ll often have to travel across the country in order to reach certain derelict places.
Here’s a useful website to get you started: http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/
6. BE HARDCORE AND VOLUNTEER
Although it sucks to work hard and not bring home any bacon, volunteering for various different jobs or internships abroad is the perfect way to travel at the cost of only a toothbrush and a few pairs of socks and underwear. A vast majority of volunteer jobs abroad will pay for your expenses (travel, food, shelter etc.) so all you need to worry about is finding the free time to explore the area’s culture while you’re there.
^^Don’t join these guys, even if they do offer you a blast of a time^^
7. STICK A THUMB OUT
Planes and boats probably won’t stop to the signal of your thumb, but once you’re abroad, the cheapest and often most interesting method of darting your way around the country, or even to neighbouring countries, is by hitching lifts from strangers in cars. This can be done either by spontaneously signalling random foreigners (probably a bit dangerous) by sticking out your thumb next to a road, or by finding pre-organised lifts on hitchhiking boards or online. However, I wouldn’t recommend this to any females over a solid 6/10, because you might find that a lot of male driver’s will expect a little something in return (not cash!).
8. HOTELS HOSTELS
Hostels are universally cheap, safe and often not as a shabby as your friend made them out to be. There are literally hundreds of hostels in every single country around the world, and you can use sites such as Hostels Worldwide to find the one’s closest to you. You may end up finding the love of your life in a hostel – that’s if your soul mate is a bearded hippie with the stench of a three-week old banana skin. You just never know.