When you have your backpack ready, you will have to find a way to travel for free if you choose formula B.
Hitchhiking is the most popular way of traveling for free on the continent. It’s fairly simple too. Just find a cardboard and a marker. Usually, this stuff is widely available in cities. You then mark your final destination on one side of the cardboard, and a 20 km/miles sign on the other side.
Getting picked up is fairly easy where cars have already stopped, and you can openly have a conversation. Parking garages, parkings at shopping malls (where you can find tons of food for free) and gas and train stations are great places to talk to people and ask for a ride.
Long distance travel is best done with trucks. They usually go a long way. Alternatively to cars, you can use a riverboat. Very social and friendly people are to be found on boats in general. Visit HitchWiki for specific information about hitching in your region.
This is without a doubt the most difficult way of traveling. Airplane tickets are damn expensive, and it’s highly unlikely someone is just going to give you a plane ticket. The easiest way to travel is thus by sea. Try to hitchhike to harbours. The folks at Travel Hacking Cartel have some ways to get cheap plane tickets, though.
Every harbour has sailors. People who travel with their sailboat from continent to continent. In the bigger harbours, try to get in touch with some sailors (usually to be found in sailor pubs), they might take you with them, if you work for food.
Traveling by boat is much slower, but again you meet new people who can give you some useful information on your destination.
Here’s a handy list to give you an idea of traveling times for intercontinental boat trips:
- Capetown, South Africa to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil: 20-35 days
- Singapore, Singapore to Jakarta, Indonesia: 3-5 days
- Reykjavik, Iceland to Quebec, Canada: 30-40 days
- Hanstholm, Denmark to Seyðisfjörður, Iceland: 3-4 days
And just when you thought there’s isn’t a brave soul around to sail you around, just ask one of the supervisors on a cruise ship to do the dishes. Watch their face when you say you don’t want to be paid.
The only place you can use your thumb to hitchhike an intercontinental boat trip is at the Panama Canal. For the rest, you’ll need to talk or have a map to point where you want to go to.