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Old 08-28-2009, 11:18 PM   #150
Sparrowhawk
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Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Eastern Washington, USA
Oddometer: 1,713
I'll throw in a couple of thoughts.

My first budget travel was '73 spring break. A buddy on a CB350 and me on my Mach III left Tacoma, Wa for SoCal. We packed camping gear, 2 lb. bologna, a loaf of white bread, and a jar of mayo at the start of the trip. Bologna sandwiches and water rationed for three meals a day. When we made it to Big Sur we ate out once and got burgers. Then it was 2 lb. salami, a loaf of wheat bread (healthy ya know), and a jar of mustard to get us home. Two bikes from Tacoma to Big Sur and back for 11 glorious days for $66 total expenses including fuel. Yes, gas was cheap but we never ate at restaurants (except the once) and never paid to camp.

Lessons learned then and since:
  • Grocery stores and markets are the cheapest places to get food. You can live quite happily on crappy food for a while if that's the difference between taking a trip and staying home.
  • Alcohol is the quickest path to overspending - anywhere in the world.
  • Arriving late, leaving early, and not making much noise are the keys to free camping.
  • The amount of money you spend doesn't change how much fun you have on the road.
  • Be friendly, polite, thankful, and don't look scruffy or odd. People will open up.
  • Don't sweat the tool kit and spares too much. Passers by will help if they see you in need. There is a solution to your problem.
  • Adding a few red pepper flakes will make most food taste better. Save up the free to-go packets at pizza parlors.
  • If you are totally self sufficient, have everything you need, and never get in a bind you'll miss out on the generosity of your fellow man and not make as many friends as you could have.
  • Do what you can to stay out of hospitals. Same with jails.
  • If you see somebody that needs help, stop and do what you can. It doesn't matter if they are on a motorcycle, bicycle, cage, or walking. It doesn't matter if you speak the same language. You will be glad you did.
  • Ramen, a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter, and some red pepper flakes taste almost like pad Thai.
  • Keeping your stuff dry is good.
  • The number of locals you meet is inversely related to the size of your group. You are more approachable if you travel solo, especially on a motorcycle. If you run into trouble while riding solo, you won’t have your old friends to help you out. Instead, you’ll meet new ones.
  • Having more time is better than having more money.

Sparrowhawk screwed with this post 08-29-2009 at 12:24 AM
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