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Travel doesn't have to be expensive.
A young couple named Xiexie and Caicai has proved it by visiting 18 Asian countries on a budget of 40,000 yuan. But when they broke the news on Sina Weibo last week, many people didn't seem to believe them.
"It couldn't be true," said a micro blogger named Uncle Fox on Sina Weibo. "I just don't buy it."
Well, the truth is there are smart ways to see the world. And here, 21st Century finds some tricks to travel the world without breaking the bank or sacrificing fun.
A surprising number of householders worldwide will let you live in their homes for free while they are away.
And it is completely one-way – you don't have to offer your house in exchange.
The catch: You need to help take care of their pets and plants, making sure that everything runs smoothly just as if the owner were at home.
To become a house sitter, you can go to housesitworld.com or mindmyhouse.com to register for membership, which sometimes requires a small fee.
After that, you can search for house sitting assignments and contact house owners by email.
If the householder is interested, you'll get an interview, probably by phone. And you'll have to sign copies of house sitting agreement before you get the key to the house.
Work for accommodation
Working in return for accommodation is a great way to learn about a country.
You can gain practical experience and get off the beaten track, all the while saving thousands of dollars on accommodation.
And you don't need a working visa, as no money exchanges hands. WWOOF (wwoof.org), for example, is a platform offering worldwide opportunities to help on organic farms.
Free accommodation and free meals are provided in return for hours of work on the farms.
You can contact the WWOOF office in the country that you wish to visit. After paying a membership fee (which varies from country to country), you'll get a list of WWOOF hosts in that area and what they are looking for.
Other resources for work-trade agreements: Help Exchange (helpx.net); Work Away (workaway.info).
A hospitality exchange is a network of people around the world who offer free accommodation to travelers.
Some of the most famous hospitality exchanges include Couch Surfing, Hospitality Club and Global Freeloaders.
You can browse online listings, learn about and converse with a potential host online, and ask for a bed for the night.
The bed can take the form of a couch, extra bedroom, or chunk of the floor depending on what your host can offer.
Although the stay is technically free, common etiquette dictates that you bring a gift for your host.
Besides, there is an inherent risk involved in staying with a stranger. Make sure you read the host's profile and references by other guests carefully. Think twice even when there is only one negative reference.
Would you be willing to volunteer a half-day of your vacation in order to get 50 percent off the cost of your dorm room?
Many hostels around the world offer voluntourism packages which provide room discounts or free meals to guests who will participate in volunteering programs.
世界上很多旅社为那些愿意参加志愿项目的客人提供住房折扣或者免费膳食的公益旅游套餐。比如，北美的Crested Butte International Lodge & Hostel旅社对愿意为8月23和24号举行的美国职业自行车赛提供帮助的志愿者提供特殊折扣。
Hostel Voluntourism is the perfect alternative for travelers who don't like the idea of staying in a stranger's home. All you need to do is to check hostels online to see if they have a volunteerdiscount.