Around the World for Free – Part 2: Alternate Travel and How to Use it to Your Advantage

Welcome to the 2nd part of the “Around the World for Free” series!

In this part, we will be talking about Alternate Travel and how to utilize it to to your advantage and travel around the world for free!

Finally, “Around the World for Free” is a multi-part series that is posted weekly, so make sure you tune in and check out the new posts whenever you can!

What is Alternate Travel?

I mentioned very briefly about what Alternate Travel was back in Part 1, and it is typically available for people who travel for work.

When people travel for work, they would travel to a client site during the weekdays and fly home on the weekends. Instead of going home, it is possible to alternately travel to a destination of your choice. That is what alternate travel is.

The simplest way of putting it is instead of flying home for the weekend, you would instead fly somewhere else.


There are some things that you should look into before you try and do alternate travel, as the policy differs from company to company.

Here’s a checklist for you to research:

  • Are you traveling for work?
  • Does your travel policy allow for alternate travel?
  • Would alternate travel be taxed?
  • How lenient is your firm with expenses while you are performing alternate travel?

Depending on your answers, you may be a bit restricted on alternate travel, but if you can do it, that’s good!

Now let’s get into how it all works!

How Alternate Travel Works

For this example, let’s assume the best case scenario and our fictitious company allows us to do the following:

  • They allow us to travel to any destination as long as the cost is equivalent to the cost to travel back home.
  • They do not tax us on alternate travel as it is counted as an expense to go home.
  • They allow us to fly our preferred airline and won’t restrict us to using the cheapest one.
  • They do not allow accommodation expenses to be charged on the business card, so it must be charged to your personal card.

Now to give it a bit more of a setting, let’s say that we fly out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) every Monday Morning and arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York the same day.

According to Google Flights, the typical price for this flight on American Airlines (my preferred airline carrier) is $832.00 for my desired time.  It would have been considerably cheaper if my arrival and departure time to the client site was flexible, but let’s say it’s not for this example.

$832 is pretty expensive for a trip to New York. 🙁

With $832.00 as the typical price for a round trip flight from home to the work, this sets the benchmark for all future flights that I purchase and that they should be around the same amount or less.

This means that if we wanted to do some alternate travel, we would be able to travel anywhere in the world as long as the ticket is around $832.00 or less!

After some quick searching, I found a flight from New York to London for $608.00 on April 6th (Friday) to April 10th (Monday)!

This means I would leave work on Thursday Afternoon, fly to London, and arrive Friday Morning.

For the rest of Friday, I would work remotely and then spend my weekend sightseeing, before flying back to New York on Monday Morning for work.

Oh look! A fairly cheap flight to London!

Of course, this contradicts our earlier flight before because we were supposed to fly back to Los Angeles on the 6th!

Well, the easiest way to fix that is to shift the date to the next week, so instead of returning to Los Angeles on the 6th, you would return on the 13th.

Delayed the return flight to the week after!

Now if we take a look at our complete schedule, we would be flying on the following dates:

  • April 3: Los Angeles to New York
  • April 6: New York to London
  • April 10: London to New York
  • April 13: New York to Los Angeles

By performing alternate travel, we were able to visit London for a short weekend and check out some cool landmarks like the London Eye, Big Ben, or maybe even the British Museum!

We could also extend our short trip by combining the weekends with weekday holidays, like Memorial Day, to get us a few more days of sightseeing and exploring!

But what about accommodations? Where would I stay?

Accommodation is generally pretty easy to get if you travel around for work already. You’ll generally rack up points from staying in hotels and can use those points for a hotel in London or wherever you plan to go.

If you don’t have any points, I recommend looking at hostels (check out Hostel World or for some cheap ones!) around the area you plan to stay, they are generally very cheap and can range from $10 – $40 USD.

Furthermore, if you are traveling out of the country a lot, I recommend getting a no-fee ATM card, like the Charles Schwab Debit Card, as you can withdraw international currency for no fees. You can sign up for their checking account at their website and there are no fees or monthly minimums needed to maintain your account!

Here’s a picture of I took of the Stonehenge when I went to London through the Alternate Travel method.


To recap, alternative travel is a great way of seeing the world for cheap when you already travel for work.

Depending on your company’s travel policies, you may not have to pay for a ticket to an exotic location like Hawaii or the Bahamas and go exploring for free. You might even get free accommodation and not have to pay for anything at all!

Furthermore, the resources that were used or mentioned in this post are:

  • Google Flights (great for pricing out tickets for the general user, I mainly use this for alternate travel)
  • Hostel World (cheap accommodation for those on a budget)
  • (cheap accommodation for those on a budget)
  • Charles Schwab Debit Card (great no-fee ATM card that allows you to withdraw at any ATM for $0! I love this card when traveling in a cash-heavy society.)

With that, what do you think about Alternate Travel? Would you do it if you could and where would you go? What do you think I should cover or go over more about in travel hacking?  Are you looking forward to any specific topics? 

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If you liked this post, feel free to share it with your friends or connect with me on social media and give me a shout out! It really helps me continue to produce more and better content for you guys!

Stay Tuned

Here is the table of contents for the “Around the World for Free” series:

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6 thoughts on “Around the World for Free – Part 2: Alternate Travel and How to Use it to Your Advantage

  • March 20, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Great post. Its amazing how affordable travel can be with a little creativity and flexibility. Cant wait for the next post.

    • March 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks, Stafford. 🙂

      The best thing about travel is how affordable it’s become over the years. There’s so much to see in the world, we can’t miss out on that!

  • March 21, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I tend to do holidays at the place Im already at for work. I’ve been lucky that my work trips have been nice places like Australia. I simply delay my flight back by a few days and pick up the hotel for those days on my dime. I’ve done so in Europe, Australia, India, and China in some form or other.

    • March 25, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      That’s a smart idea, FTF!

      If your work place sends you to exotic locations, it’s great to delay your return by a few days to explore and enjoy the location. 🙂

      Glad you were able to check out so many places!

  • March 26, 2017 at 1:40 am


    Cool idea. I am new to the concept of alternative travel.

    I am familiar with writing off my travel expenses come tax time since I publish travel themed posts 🙂

    Me and my wife are big on house sitting. We are sitting in Chiang Mai, Thailand now for 2 months. We’ve had sits in Fiji, Bali, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, NYC and Qatar. Had to turn down sits in Saipan, Mexico and Malaysia due to unforeseen circumstances. What a fab way to circle the globe on the cheap.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • April 3, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Hey Ryan, thanks for coming!

      House sitting is definitely a cheap way to save on accommodation! I haven’t quite done that yet as I’m more into hostels and visiting people, since I usually travel alone.

      I’ll have to try house sitting someday!


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