Below are a few creative places to sleep while you’re traveling for free. Many of these places are not going to be appealing to everyone, but they are still viable options if you really don’t have any other choices. In most cases when you’re trying to locate a place to sleep in a populated area, be prepared to camp at night & leave very early in the day so nobody sees you. Regardless where you end up sleeping, be aware of your surroundings. It is not uncommon for someone to try and rob a sleeping traveler, so keep your belongings as guarded.
I’ve actually slept in all the places listed below myself at least once in my life.
1. Staying With Friends (The obvious option).
2. Learn To Couchsurf (very interesting concept).
3. Sleep With Locals – Don’t be afraid to ask strangers if they have a shed or couch you can crash on.
4. Camping in State parks, national parks, and forests.
5. Athletic fields and Baseball dugouts (Yep, it happens).
6. Churches (Some offer a dry place to sleep and others are ok with you sleeping in their doorway at night).
7. Large back yards with plenty of trees & bushes (Be careful not to get caught trespassing).
8. An old tree house that appears to have been abandoned for years.
9. HomeDepot, Lowes, & other lumber type stores with sheds in front, nobody checks those at night & they normally aren’t locked (Be careful not to get caught trespassing).
10. Do some farm work in exchange for a place to sleep and a hot meal.
11. Use credit card miles programs to get free hotel stays.
12. Airports/Train Stations/Bus Stations (They usually always have benches and used to people laid over)
13. Sleep in your RV/Van/Car.
14. House sit for someone, you can sometimes find ads in the local classifieds seeking house sitters.
15. Squatting in abandoned houses, buildings, properties (Be careful not to get caught trespassing).
16. Locate a Hostel in the area.
17. In an alley behind a business strip mall.
18. In a storm drain / sewage drain (Ya, that happened).
19. Under a bridge.
20. Public 24/7 laundromat.
21. Truck stop movie room – most truck stops these days have a dark movie room in the truckers lounge.
22. Doghouse – if you can squeeze into it, it will keep you dry.
23. Park bench or picnic table.
24. Empty / unlocked apartment storage units (Be careful not to get caught trespassing).
25. Bartering – Trading some of your work skills for free rent somewhere (motel, RV park, apt. complex, backroom of a shop, etc.)
26. Back booth at a 24/7 restaurant with managers permission.
27. Commercial storage locker with no lock on it.
28. Find a roommate wanted ad in the classifieds, go to look, then talk them into letting you stay the night while you think about it.
29. Rest area bench.
30. Abandoned vehicle at a junkyard or somewhere it’s obvious it has been there a long time & never moved.
31. In a Cave (Watch out for bats, bears, and wild cats).
32. Sitting in the very back of a public transit bus.
33. Larger cities have Homeless shelters.
34. On the beach at night.
35. In an abandoned or salvage boat.
36. In a tent in the woods.
The above list of creative ideas is just to get you started. I’m sure you’ll find other creative options in your travels. Better yet, if you know of an option I left out of the list, feel free to comment it below.
Since 1996, Eric has managed companies with 240+ employees, online communities with over 1 million members, attended numerous industry related events/conventions and has personally worked with start-ups, personalities, small mom and pop businesses, corporations, freelancers, news outlets, and a variety of domain investors one-on-one from all over the world. That equates to a lot of years behind the scenes with his fingers firmly on the pulse of multiple industries.
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