3 Unique Ways to Travel Japan for Free
Yes, the title is correct. Keep reading if you would like to find out how exploring Japan can be cheaper than the internet bill you pay to read this article!
If you love to travel and have dreamed of visiting a place like Japan, your first thought is probably the same as millions of other travelers—how? How am I going to afford a trip across the world? How will I ever be able to save so much money? How many sacrifices will I have to make in order to make this dream happen? These are common thoughts and usually the exact thoughts that put our travel dreams into the back of our minds. Maybe a few months from now you get the same excitement again as you dream big, only to let thoughts of money overwhelm you and forget about traveling.
This cycle doesn't have to go on forever. There are many ways to travel for free or even be paid to travel! After reading through this article, you can change your line of thinking. 'How' can have a whole new meaning. Maybe instead of asking yourself how you will ever be able to afford such a trip, you will be asking how you could ever let such thoughts get in the way of your dreams.
1. Getting to Japan
Now that the travel bug has hit you hard, it's time to figure out what exactly you're going to do about it. Once you know there are options for travel and you can do it on just about any budget, it's time to start planning. No, you don't have to hide in a cargo ship or mail yourself express. Although these options are romantic in their own right, there are sane ways to get across the ocean and start exploring Japan.
Free flights happen every day. They are happening as you read this article and if you take action, they will be happening when you are all packed up and finding your seat on the plane. Free flights come in the form of credit cards. More specifically, travel credit cards. These wonderful options are based on a points value. This simply means that as you accumulate points on your card, you are opening new rewards. Pretty simple, right? And the best part? Many of these credit cards offer such fantastic bonus rewards just for signing up, you can take advantage of the benefits almost immediately!
Maybe it's time to shop around online and see what options await you. Travel credit cards only take a few minutes of your time to sign up for and see if you qualify. If you do, you're one step closer to exploring beautiful Japan!
2. Exploring Japan
Great! You have arrived in Japan, free of charge, thanks to your travel credit card reward points. Now that you're here, how will you possibly see everything, with little to no money, needing to feed yourself as well? At this point, you may be thinking that you have made a huge mistake and you just took a flight to sit in the airport and eat crackers for two weeks before the return trip. But fear not, there are options to see everything you have read about and seen on television—free of charge!
I advise you to make your sleeping arrangements before leaving so you can keep peace of mind on your trip. The biggest worry for many people is where they will stay once they arrive. Hotels can cost A LOT, especially if you are visiting for a week or two and really want to see everything. Hostels are a great option for those on a low budget, however, we are looking to do this trip for free. The answer lies in couch surfing.
Couch surfing is the best way to not only find free places to sleep, but also to meet the locals and learn about another culture. A couch surfing account is free and easy to create, instantly putting your specific desires out into the world. Whether you wish to travel or accommodate travelers, there are options to let others know your intentions.
Once you have made an account, it's time to search your destination for lovely couches! Perhaps someone in Japan is looking to learn more about your culture and offers a place to sleep for three nights in exchange for cooking lessons? Maybe there is a new tour guide wishing to test out their profession on a visitor, offering a place to stay for the night in exchange for you being dragged around the city and taught the history of their culture? The possibilities are endless. You just have to keep an open mind and see what's out there.
Couchsurfers share their homes, cities and lives in profound in meaningful ways, making travel anywhere in the world a truly social experience.
Food & Drink
Your new friend from couch surfing was nice enough to pick you up at the airport and let you drop off your bags. The drive to their place passed many beautiful sites and makes you want to explore! The drive also went by some delicious looking food places and reminded you that after the long flight, you're starving. Time to figure out how to get food and drink for free.
WWOOFing. Yes it is a real word and yes it is a great way to eat and drink for free! WWOOFing is a way of working on a farm, offering your services, in order to learn more about farming as well as enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor. Just like couch surfing, you simply sign up for the website and look at farm destinations that are in need of a helping hand. Some farms only need a day or two of help. Others can be weeks long or even an entire season! The work is hard but very rewarding. You will learn the basics of farming while meeting new people and get to enjoy the most fresh food you could possibly imagine! Many of the farms also offer a place to stay, just in case your couch surfing days are numbered.
So you've taken care of the most basic survival worries in both shelter and food. Things are looking great but wait a minute, you haven't explored the country you have always wanted to. Sure, meeting new people and learning how to work as a team on a farm is a great experience you will never forget, but what about all the temples you dreamed of seeing with your own eyes?
The first option, although a bit outdated, is a time tested way to move around for free—hitchhiking. Hitchhiking has been a part of travel for a long time and in many countries, will continue to be a big part of travel. Whether you prefer to stick your thumb out at the side of the road or hopping a train, there are always options for picking up a quick ride.
The second options fits in better for the person exploring tourist spots within a city—free walking tours. Free walking tours are offered in most major cities as a way to introduce culture to visitors. These tours are happening at the most popular destinations so you can be sure to see everything on one great trip.
3. Working in Japan
What a successful trip! You have flown across the country, eaten the freshest food, talked with the locals, slept in different parts of the city, and taken a walking tour to all the major attractions, all for free! Now it's time to head home...or is it?
If you become attached after your journey and wish to stay a bit longer, perhaps for good, there is one last way to take advantage of the free theme covered in this article.
Working in Japan is a great way to stick around a bit longer if you really enjoyed your trip and wish to become a part of the culture. It can be scary to think about trying to find work in another country but if you can speak English, there is a very simple way to stay, making money and continue your adventure.
English teachers are always wanted and needed in foreign countries. Reasons can range from wanting to prepare the younger people for better chances in the job market to helping the older people get a leg up on the competition within their own company. English teachers sometimes need nothing more than to be native speakers and with some sort of education. The positions are plentiful and often include living arrangements and a decent salary in order to feel comfortable in a new place.
I hope you have enjoyed learning how simple it can be to travel for next to nothing. If the dream is alive, there is no reason not to pursue it. These tips to help travel for free should allow for that dream to one day become a reality.
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