How to Travel For Free: Sample Chapter Outline

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Disclaimer: This chapter outline example is very loosely based off what professional advice suggests. In truth, I’m unsure it’s based off it at all.

Also, it’s a rough draft, so I welcome your critique and commentary!


How to Travel for Free: The Vagabond’s Bible

Rough and Rugged Book Chapter Outline



What does free travel really mean? Free travel! There’s no magic involved. I begin uprooting the mystery by introducing the book’s core components: transportation, accommodation, tourism, and eating onthe road—all for free. I promise a book full of tips, tricks, and hacks peppered with Bryson-esque interludes from my own time on the road.


Part One: Getting There

Oh, the ways to cover ground for free! “Getting There” covers every imaginable way (okay, minus freighthopping) to get somewhere for free, and a few ways to do it at the lowest possible cost.

Chapter 1: Getting the Lay of the Land

Know where you’re going before you hit the road. Here we tackle reconnaissance: how to choose a destination by looking at geography, trip timing, immigration and political issues, culture, and possible money requirements. With this overview, readers are prepared for the Getting There logistics that follow.

Interlude: Week 19 ┃ Southern Israeli Desert ┃ Kushi 101

I arrive at a desolate outpost in the middle of the Southern Israeli Desert. The plan: provide five hours of weekday assistance to a mysterious “zoo” in exchange for room and board. The question: What am I doing with my life?

Chapter 2: Planes

They’re costly, but pretty dang efficient for travel. I share the secret to maximizing credit card miles and points for free flights (“Travel Hacking), followed by the best ways to save on standard airfare.

Chapter 3: Trains and Buses

Illuminate yourself on every imaginable booking tip and trick. An example, you ask? Want to kill three birds with one stone? Take an overnight ride! There’s no payment for nightly accommodation, the fares are often cheaper, and if you fall asleep, time will pass more quickly! (No birds were harmed in the making of this chapter)

Chapter 4: Mastering the Car

An unsung hero of free travel, I show how to use carpooling to cover rental expenses or save hundreds as a passenger. Carpool-averse? There’s still Peer-to-Peer (P2P) carsharing and innovative Point-to-Point Rental options. Boom!

Interlude: Week 57 ┃ Durrow, Ireland ┃ Dan and the Van

While we’re on the topic of cars, I draw a vignette from six weeks spent careening around the Irish countryside in the loaned van of my host during its sunniest summer in 20 years.

Chapter 5: Hitchhiking

That old free travel standby: hitchhiking. Find out how to prepare, how to work that road, and what it means to stay safe.

Interlude: Week 1 ┃ Montpellier, France ┃ The First Hitchhike

I’m no free travel guru if I haven’t hitchhiked myself—let’s take a look at my first time hitching in a country where along with not knowing the language, I also didn’t know what I was doing. Nevertheless, after half a day and a nap beside the highway, I made it!

Chapter 6: Cycle Touring

The bike: of course it’s for getting around for free. And using it to cover hundreds of miles? It’s as easy as…you know. Here to explain just how easy it can be is Rob Greenfield, a cycling guru with thousands of miles of worldwide free travel cycling under his belt.


Part Two: Staying There

Perhaps the biggest question while you’re on the road is where you’ll be sleeping each night. Here, I introduce the primary ways to keep it free: work-exchange, housesitting, and couchsurfing.

Interlude: Week 46 ┃ England, The Grampus Inn ┃ Getting Up Close and Personal

What free travel odyssey would be complete without a completely embarrassing story involving sleepwalking into my host’s room and performing yoga acrobatics?

Chapter 7: Work-Exchange

Perhaps the most lifestyle-immersive method for staying on the road indefinitely is work-exchange: living, working, and sharing meals with host families in exchange for 15-30 hours of work per week. Become a pro after this chapter detailing getting started, finding a host, and how to be an amazing volunteer

Interlude: Week 21 ┃ Nazareth, Israel ┃ Dagan and Ines

Sometimes work-exchange is…weird. Like housemates-peeing-on-the-toilet-seat in-the-middle-of-the-night weird. But you know what? It can also be amazing. Like Jewish-family-in-Nazareth-inviting-you-to-their-Shabbat-dinner amazing.

Chapter 8: Housesitting

Oh, the glory of living without rent! Maybe there’s a dog, cat, pool, or garden to care for, but apart from that, live and roam as you please. This chapter answers whether it’s a suitable option for the reader, and if so, how to get started, find a job, and become a housesitting superstar.

Interlude: Week 29 ┃ Lakonia, Greece ┃ Luxury at the Sea

Hosts may squabble and they may cheat at scrabble, but when you’re housesitting a beautiful coastal home in Southern Greece, these things are forgivable.

Chapter 9: Homestays

Centuries ago, homesteads would often offer a warm bed or hayloft to wandering passersby; the tradition is carried on today by a worldwide network of couchsurfers. But this isn’t about staying with just anyone, it’s about finding a safe home on the road and making friendships that last a lifetime. Here, the readers dispel any misgivings and end up with the homestay knowledge of a pro!

Chapter 10: The Other Guys

But wait, there’s more! I weigh the hidden costs of camping, how to score P2P Rentals (like AirBNB) for free, and what the deal is with Peace Corps. Rounding things out I dish how to find secret savings even when you decide to pay for accommodation.


Part Three: Eating There

Great food experiences are an imperative part of travel. If such experiences are free, then budget is made available for other things. There’s a subtle mentality shift that’s required, but satiety is guaranteed.

Chapter 11: Budget Food

Food can be free and delicious. I begin by exalting the benefits of using work-exchange to completely skip food costs. Otherwise, this chapter is a 101 course in showing how to prepare your own food instead of dining out for every meal. Leaving no plate uncovered, I even discuss budget boozing.

Interlude: Week 55 ┃ Durrow, Ireland ┃ Dining Disasters

Free meals might not be worth eating if the woman cooking them is ostensibly a witch. Find out what happened during a work-exchange when I and the witch didn’t see eye-to-eye.


Part Four: Exploring There

Now you know how to get there, sleep there, and eat there. But what about getting some simple tourism action? The sleeves keep coming up, the tricks keep pouring out.

Chapter 12: You’ve landed…Now what?

Foreign language! Money exchange! Hawker’s selling wares and taxi drivers pushing rides! Stepping into a bustling travel terminal can be disorienting. I start out with five tips for a smooth arrival before explorations begin..

Chapter 13: Playing Tourist

Once you hit the streets, know the basics of savvy spending when it comes to foreign exchange, seeing the sights, and the various local transportation options. How will you know them? This chapter, silly!

Chapter 14: That Dirty Word: Budget

This is a free travel book—and I want you to travel for free—but completely free may not always be your cuppa tea. A piggy bank provides wiggle room. Lack of predictability is inherent in travel (it’s even part of the allure), so financial reserves provide insurance. How does one build said reserves? This chapter covers it all.

The Feckin’ End


how to travel for free meggan book cover


Let me know what you think…I mean it!


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