Budget Travel Tips from a Pro Backpacker

An Intrepid Solo Backpacker Who Has Explored 40 Countries Reveals the Ultimate Secrets to Travelling for Free

Solo backpacker shares 3 ways to travel for free in 40 countries

Claire Sturzaker Claire Sturzaker is a solo backpacker who has traveled to 40 countries in the last 20 years. Photo Credit: Claire Sturzaker/Tales of a Backpacker

Do you dream of globe-trotting but worry about your wallet? Fear not, my fellow wanderers! Let me introduce you to Claire Sturzaker, the master of free travel. This solo backpacker has visited an impressive 40 countries and has a treasure chest of tips to share with budget travelers like us. So, grab your bags and let’s embark on an adventure filled with laughter, inspiration, and the occasional pet-sitting gig.

The Journey Begins

“When I went on these backpacking trips, I really couldn’t afford it,” recalls Claire, the self-proclaimed nomad. She took her first solo trip at the age of 19 to a ranch in Wisconsin, where she got paid to explore a new country and ride horses. Talk about a win-win situation! “In theory, it was basically a free trip,” she admits, and it sparked her love for budget travel.

Work Your Way to Freedom

To keep the exploration going, Claire recommends work exchange programs. Picture yourself spending a few hours a day working at a hostel or writing for a travel blog in exchange for accommodation, free food, language lessons, and even tours. “You do your work for a few hours and then you go off exploring. Then you have days off,” she shares. It’s the perfect recipe for adventure-filled days and unforgettable nights.

Pet-Sitting: Your Ticket to Cozy Homes

If hostels aren’t your cup of tea and you long for privacy, pet-sitting and house-sitting may be your golden ticket. Claire has embraced this win-win arrangement a couple of times, taking care of adorable cats in Barcelona and the US. “You can get free accommodation; you just have to try to keep the cat alive,” she jokes. For an authentic taste of living like a local, joining a community like Trusted Housesitters opens doors to unique experiences.

A World of Freebies

Ever wondered how to make the most out of a destination without breaking the bank? Claire swears by the art of finding freebies. “Do free stuff wherever you are,” she advises, while sharing the secret of free tours, free museums, and the joy of people-watching. “Travel doesn’t have to be expensive to be amazing,” she reassures us. Sometimes, a heartfelt conversation with a local or a meal shared in someone’s home is far more valuable than any fancy hotel.

So, my fellow budget-conscious wanderers, let Claire Sturzaker be your guide to unforgettable journeys without emptying your pockets. Embrace the beauty of work exchange programs, discover the joys of pet-sitting, and embark on a quest for free adventures. Remember, the world is your oyster, and with a sprinkle of creativity, even the biggest dreams can fit snugly into a modest budget.

Claire Sturzaker Claire Sturzaker enjoys a trip to Barcelona. Photo Credit: Claire Sturzaker/Tales of a Backpacker