The day a child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise. — Alden Nowlan
It seems to be a common consensus for many long-term backpackers or budget travelers that don't have a job or university to return to upon a specific date, of searching high and low for ways to extend their travels–this lifestyle of freedom that once you get a taste of it, it becomes your addiction. Well, as a long-term budget traveler or backpacker–whichever term you may prefer to title me–of more than three continuous years of global travel, I wanted to share some of the ways I've personally been able to extend my journey that began in March 2012 and continues to this day. Another read that I would also suggest is my previous blog titled, 5 Ways Replenish Funds.
● Don't expect to just walk into a hostel and be given a volunteer job, the 'good hostels' will approach you.
● At bare minimum your accommodations should be include a free bed whether in the general dorm or staff dorm, better hostels will offer things like staff pricing if they have a restaurant or bar, a free daily meal even, discounts on day trips, etc.
● If you have the freedom to be a long-term travel then you also have the freedom to go around to different hostels and stay in them for a night or two in order to get an idea of how the general operations go as well as shop around in a sense by staying at different hostels or hanging out at different ones.
● In my personal opinion from managing several hostels around the world, I think a fair amount of hours ONLY for free accommodation should be between 20-30 hours.
● Hostel Managers, Marketing, Social Media, etc. any specific title should include additional perks if not pay, once again in my opinion. Obviously you also must take in to account the typical living costs in that country, city, town, community.
● I had a friend Steve that struck a deal with an American that owned a restaurant in Colombia and wanted his website to be updated, but because he was an older guy, Steve offered to do this in exchange for multiple free meals and drinks.
● You can ALWAYS ask, and if the answer is, no thanks, it's no problem, but not asking will always be a no.
● Also, depending upon what items you are traveling with can be a source of bartering. Maybe you have a GoProⓇ, laptop with Photoshop, Waterproof camera, etc. These can become bartering chips also.