I did some reflecting on my budget post from yesterday and realized I forgot to factor in volunteering! I’ve found so many programs that will give you free room and board if you volunteer with them for at least a week. My plan is to work in at least a month of volunteer time throughout my trip. My initial thought was that it would all be in Southeast Asia, but there is no reason I couldn’t do some volunteering in Europe and Australia. As the pricier areas of my trip, getting free room and board for part of my time in those places would really help my budget. So, based on my prediction of $45/day on average, a month of free board/rent and plenty of free things to do would save me $1,350. That pays for a euro rail pass, diving the blue hole in Belize, and maybe even a couple nice meals out or the occasional private room.
My fav sites for free volunteering that I’ve found so far are www.transitionsabroad.com, www.wwoof.org (organic farming), Winrock International (all things environmental), www.volunteerworkthailand.org, and www.gooverseas.com. Let me know if you know of a great site for free volunteering, especially if it includes free accommodation and meals!