The worst part of traveling is all the money it requires. It’s a necessary evil to pay for airfare, but there’s a good chance you can at least avoid paying for lodging. After all, what are friends for if not to save you money?
Obviously, the ideal situation is to have friends living in all the places you want to visit. Preferably with a furnished guest bedroom. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen. Instead of forcing your friends to move to your vacation hot spots, try to get interested in where they are. Every city has its charm, though sometimes you have to search for a while to find it. If your friends live in a different country than most of their family and friends, they are probably desperate for someone to visit them. See? This is not an entirely selfish exploitation.
Another way to take advantage of your friends is by manipulating them into joining you on your trip. This doesn’t help if you are flying, but the more friends you can cram into a car on a roadtrip, the more ways those gas bills are going to be split. When you get to your destination, it’s also helpful to split the cost of a hotel room. That queen-sized bed can fit three people if you try hard enough. And the too-small armchair is perfect for your short friend. You might as well put someone in the bathtub and a few on the floor while you’re at it. Pretty soon you’re paying pennies for lodging!
A final option for the truly shameless is to guilt-trip your friends into paying for your vacation altogether. Remind that college bestie of all the times you stayed up with her during her breakup. Doesn’t she owe you for that conditional love? It’s time to pay up.