How to Travel for Free (Or Pretty Damn Near It) [Review]

by Nora on March 8, 2012

As I’ve recently been professing, I believe that the cost of full-time travel is less than staying in one place. Part of my reasoning for this is because I have found a number of creative ways to keep my expenses very low.


For example:


These are just a few ways I’ve managed to make full-time travel a financially sustainable lifestyle along with my small location independent income as a writer and travel blogger. (See also: So You Wanna Be a Travel Writer).


How to Travel for FreeSo when I was introduced to the e-book How to Travel for Free (Or Pretty Damn Near It), I was egotistically skeptical that I’d get anything useful from it.


I was wrong!


Shelley Seale and Keith Hajovsky have, between them, traveled a good chunk of the world. From regular vacations to two-year sabbaticals, they’ve found a number of ways to travel for very little money. And their e-book How to Travel for Free (Or Pretty Damn Near It) is a massive collection of resources and experiential advice – for both people interested in reducing vacation expenses, as well as those looking to make travel a more permanent installation in their lives.


They cover topics such as:


  • Flying: rewards programs, low cost airlines, air consolidators
  • Trains, Buses, Boats
  • Cars: ride sharing, car rentals, point-to-point services
  • Even bicycling, with links to home-stay programs for bicycle travelers



  • Hotels: staying free with loyalty programs
  • Hostels, B&Bs, Vacation Homes
  • Monasteries and Convents (I hadn’t thought of these as accommodation options, but now I will)
  • Hospitality Exchanges (eg: Couchsurfing)
  • Home Exchanges (Shelley and Keith are big proponents of home exchanges, and provide extensive information and experience in this category)
  • House-Sitting and Caretaking


Creative Travel Tips

  • Working Abroad
  • Volunteering
  • Bartering (again, something I hadn’t considered, with more resources than I knew existed to help people exchange services)
  • Mystery Shopper (no really!)
  • Even entering Contests and Sweepstakes



Even as a full-time traveler I learned lots of ways to creatively reduce my expenses and enhance my own travels. And with links to all the relevant services and websites, it’s a great launching pad.


But it does have certain limitations for me as a full-time traveler with no fixed address. With certain recommendations a bias towards home exchanges, this e-book is best suited for people with a home base wishing to travel creatively (even extensively, as in taking sabbaticals).


But either way, I’m glad I was introduced to this book, and I proudly display it on my left sidebar as a resource I endorse.


How to Travel for Free (or Pretty Damn Near It)

pages: 65

Cost: $9.99






Editor’s Note: I received a free copy of this e-book for review, and there are affiliate links in this post. But as always, I only promote things that I feel are of value, and there’s no cost difference to you to buy it through my site. 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tunimaal @ A Gaijin in Japan blog March 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

That’s seems to be a great book, but does everything in it works well?


2 Justin March 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I have always avoided getting this book because I thought I had it all covered. Now I have to get it! Good reading for tonight! Thanks Nora!


3 theprofessionalhobo March 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm

@Tunimaal – Everything in the book works; it’s more a matter of whether it works FOR YOU. Everybody’s style of travel is different; I can use some of the tips, and I can’t use others. But as a well-rounded resource to get you started, I think it’s a good read.

@Justin – I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. I’ll bet you learn at least one new thing from it! 🙂


4 Jari March 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Is the book aimed at a particular country’s audience or can it easily be applied to anyone? Too often I find these books but they are too USA/UK-centric and are not as much use to an Australian… What do you think?


5 theprofessionalhobo March 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm

@Jari – I think it can apply to just about anybody. None of the resources seem very exclusive in that respect.


6 Keith Hajovsky March 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

@tunimaal – just like Nora said, everything in the book works very well indeed. Over our years of traveling to various places all over the world Shelley and I have used the vast majority of the travel tips we cover in our book. Not all of them work for everybody due to their specific tastes and needs. But for anyone looking to travel inexpensively there are gems in here to be found.

@Jari – the book has information that can be used by just about any audience in the world, no matter where they actually live. Whether it’s how one approaches travel in general or specific resources to use, no matter which country reside in there is information in this book that can help you travel more inexpensively and more deeply.



7 tunimaal @ A Gaijin in Japan blog March 8, 2012 at 7:02 pm

@ theprofessionalhobo : thanks for your answer. Then I should maybe try it, because from 2014 I wanna go travel by walking all around Japan for at least a year


8 Shelley Seale March 9, 2012 at 9:56 am

As we say in the book, when traveling you will give up either your money or your time. Traveling as close to free as possible will entail spending time to research and set it up, and sometimes (though not always!) staying in more budget places. So, this book is not for those who expect to have five-star travel for free without putting any time or effort into it. That said, there are MANY different methods we use to travel free or close to it all the time, that could work for anyone!


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