Vacations Will Come Back. Here’s How You Can Take One For Free

A plane flys above palm trees.
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Although it feels like vacations have been canceled for good, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The first major European cruise line set sail on August 16 at 70% capacity and with additional safety and cleaning protocols, paving the way for the travel industry to rebuild itself.

Americans might still have a ways to go before we start jet-setting across the world again, but it’s never too early to kickstart your travel plans. After all, seeing new places will be good for our souls — but what about our bank accounts?

The answer lies in free travel. It’s possible for anyone to see the world without paying a cent — it just takes a bit of planning and a creative mindset.

Here are some ways to score free flights, lodging and extra spending cash for when our passports are ready to get stamped again.

1. Skip Human Interaction and Let Pets Host You Instead

Fancy exploring new homes and new places? Prefer the company of animals over people?

Housesitting is a great way to explore other parts of the country or world — for free. There are tons of platforms out there you can sign up for, including TrustedHousesitters.

TrustedHousesitters will connect you with thousands of people around the world who are looking for in-home pet sitters and housesitters.

It’s an exchange, not a job, so you have a place to stay for free and free puppies or kitties for all the snuggles. In return, you take good care of the pets and the place. You can even take your family along for the adventure.

2. Potentially Add $610 to Your Travel Fund This Year

One of the easiest ways to start building your travel fund is to cut back on your monthly bills. Dump the money you save into a travel fund — you’ll be shocked how quickly it adds up.

One of the easiest monthly bills to cut is your car insurance.

In most places, it’s straight up illegal not to have it, so you’ve probably accepted that you’re going to pay through the nose for it, even with how little you’re using your car these days. But you don’t have to.


Use a website called EverQuote to see all your options at once. In just a few minutes, you could save up to $610 a year.

EverQuote is the largest online marketplace for insurance in the US, so you’ll get the top options from more than 175 different carriers handed right to you. 

Take a couple of minutes to answer some questions about yourself and your driving record. With this information, EverQuote will be able to give you the top recommendations for car insurance. 

3. Get a Better Rewards Credit Card

We all know reward credit cards are a good way to get free airline miles, but you might not have the best one.

So how do you sort through thousands of options to find the right one for you? The one that’ll give you a welcome bonus, cash back, travel miles or free gift cards? One of our favorite resources is The Points Guy. It breaks down various credit card offers by sign-up bonus, annual fee, bonus values and more.

Weigh your options side-by-side and make sure the switch can really pay off. You might get 50,000 airline miles with one card, but the $250 dent in your account from the annual fee isn’t worth it.

4. Travel Light and Sell Your Stuff Online

Because we’re all still social distancing while awaiting the green light to hop on a plane, you might as well make it worthwhile and declutter your home. You could make some serious cash getting rid of the stuff you forgot about and add it to your travel piggy bank.

As you’re pulling junk out of your closet, check to see if anything you don’t use anymore is sellable. We’re not just talking about clothes and shoes. You can sell random kitchen appliances, gifts you never opened or old tech.

Look into listing these items on platforms like Facebook Marketplace, eBay or Craigslist, then add the money you earn to your vacation fund!

Bon voyage… eventually!