If only money grew on trees... ah well because it doesn't welcome to "How to Travel on a Budget - Part 2", make sure you read How to Travel on a Budget - Part 1 for money saving tips One to Three.
Don't panic I'm not advising you to do a runner from your accommodation of choice... there's a much easier (and more than likely legal) way to stay for free. If you're staying at a backpackers hostel, in most countries there's often an option to do a few hours work per day in exchange for a night in a shared dorm.
Most of the time this work involves cleaning, however there are other jobs available out there including hosting activities or organising them, helping out in the kitchen or just being a glassie in the bar. If you're on a budget then free accommodation is well worth asking about! Be aware however that you must still have a valid working visa in many countries to get accommodation in exchange for work, and that in some countries it may in fact be illegal to work for accommodation.
Tourism operators and Accommodation providers are looking for business. When their biggest market are backpackers, they know that offering them a bargain is the best way to get them interested. So all you need to do is know where to look for those bargains. When you first arrive somewhere you'll almost always see a FREE guide to the City. Take that guide with you... You can find loads of discount vouchers in these free guide books, varying from half price coffee to free photos when you do a bungy jump. Every little helps as they say. If you're looking for ongoing savings why not buy yourself a backpackers discount card. The most well known ones in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji are VIP, YHA, BBH and Mad Card. The Mad Card was relaunched by Nomads a few years ago. Their Backpacker Discount card The "Mad" Card has an unbelievable amount of discount vouchers available at the back of the travel guide. The price of the card is paid off when you go on your first trip or bus tour in most cases, and you'll find discounts of up to $3 off a night for a shared dorm (when prices start at $19, this is a fantastic bargain!)
Not content with a discount? Why not try and get stuff for free! We all know that favourite saying "There's no such thing as a free meal". Well, sometimes there is... backpackers hostels often offer a free meal (breakfast or small dinner) included in the price of your nights accommodation. But there's more... Loads of hostels will offer you free stuff so that you stay at their backpackers rather than one of the many others around. Free things include:
How can making a fool of yourself save you money? You'll find that being a backpacker turns you into a special breed of traveller. You tend to hang around bars aimed at the backpacking market and start acting like one of those backpackers you thought you were better than. Why hang around backpackers bars? Well for a start the drinks tend to be a lot cheaper, either because of a drink special on that night or just because they know backpackers are always looking for a bargain so they offer stupidly priced drinks to get you in the door. If cheap booze doesn't make you want to go in to the bar then the chance to win your bus travel up the east coast of Australia, or around New Zealand may just do it for you. I'm going to tell you a little story. When I started travelling my mantra at the beginning was "why go out and get drunk, I can do that at home".
Well you soon forget that when all your mates cajole you into taking part in a pole dancing competition...Why on earth would you? Easy, if I took part and made a fool of myself in front of a bunch of strangers then me and my mates got to drink free champagne and if I'd won I'd have received a 3 day sailing trip around the Whitsundays.
Making a fool of yourself (like I did in spectacular fashion - being one of those unfortunate people who has no rhythm) isn't that bad when you realise you're on the other side of the world and you're probably never going to see these people ever again.
BUT... you could be a bit unlucky and while you're working away one day, someone may come up to you and say "Aren't you the girl who kept falling over when she tried to pole dance down in Airlie Beach?"
Getting a job when you're travelling isn't always that hard. Most of the places you stay at will have staff on hand to give you the best advice on where to look for work or which agencies will be the most useful to.
Jobs within the Travel & Tourism Industry may be an area you should consider rather than an office job because you still feel like you're on holiday if you work at a hostel or work on a scuba diving boat like I did!
BUT... Make sure your Visa/Permit is valid for you to work. If it isn't you might be thrown out of the country and never allowed to return!