Budget Travel the Jamie Z Way

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Jamie Z, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. perkgana

    perkgana az-peru

    Dec 3, 2006
    Also this is worth knowing.

    Usually the people that would help or offer you the most are the people that have the least. I dont want this to sound strange. But "most" of the times if you break down and try to get a ride from a guy with a trailer maybe pulling toys or whatever is harder than from the guy with a beater truck that you would think he is homeless.

    A really nice experience was about a month ago when the only guy that actually helped was this "poor" or lets say simple and basic lifestyle person who lent me tools, gave me ideas, helped and he even gave me 2 books as a gift in case the fix didnt last long and I break down again and get bored.

    He made the breaking down experience actually enjoyable and worth doing the trip even though I never reached my destination.
  2. tuumi

    tuumi KLR -> Sprint

    Oct 20, 2005
    Bellaire, MI or Detroit Burbs

    Film it and post on youtube then here. This would be great to see.
  3. nigelcorn

    nigelcorn Wannabe.

    Aug 17, 2007
    Albany, NY
    I agree, I would love to not have to pay to have it done. I have a hard enough time breaking the bead on a dual-sport tire, I don't even want to try and a street bike tire.
  4. WeeBee

    WeeBee Proud Deplorable

    Apr 17, 2006
    Windsor, CA
  5. WeeBee

    WeeBee Proud Deplorable

    Apr 17, 2006
    Windsor, CA
    I've got one of these that I use to store/protect my Coleman Feather 442 stove in and to keep any fuel odors from the other stuff stored in my pannier. Bought it at Target for around $5 - the brand in my case is Sterilite and it's 12 cups or 2.8 liters in capacity - physical dimensions are 7"h x 6.75" x6.75".

  6. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

    Mar 25, 2009
    north florida
    my favorite camping food (that requires a campfire). baked potato and onion. wash the potato and wrap in alumnum foil. throw in the fire. put wrap the onion in tin foil and throw in the fire . substitute coals for fire if ya got um. i like a tun of butter with mine. the tub keeps better than the sticks if not refrigerated. takes an hour for the potatoe (with crunchy skin) and less for the onion. remove the cardboard roll from the aluminum foil and mas it flat. takes no space to keep.
  7. magnus

    magnus Duke of Hazzard

    Jan 28, 2008
  8. j911brick

    j911brick Squidinator

    Nov 6, 2007
    Republic of Texas
  9. 72beetle

    72beetle lurker

    Sep 18, 2008
    Northern VA
    Cheap food:

    McD's $1 McDouble (double cheeseburger) + big mac sauce (free-$0.30 depending on where you are, but usually free). It's not healthy, but it's cheap and easy. Adding big mac sauce makes it a way better burger.

    Chicken Franks (brands such as Gwaltney) can often be found for around $1 / pack of eight. Not as tasty as beef franks, but super cheap. I'll eat half a pack with ketchup and mustard packets for lunch, and the other half for dinner.

    Bananas. Mashed with peanut butter for "Banana Supreme" as my mom called it when I was a kid. And by the way mixing and mashing are not the same. There's bananas mixed with peanut butter, which is just bananas and peanut butter. Then there's bananas mashed with peanut butter, which is Banana Supreme. Then there is always the Banana Supreme sandwich.

    If you want a lot of cheap nachos: stop by 7/11, grab the big "make your own nachos" container, set bag of chips aside, fill up plastic container with the a few pounds of free chili, cheese, and other condiments you want, place a few chips from the included chips on top of your pounds of chili and cheese as camouflage, and buy a big back of tortilla chips to go with your chili and cheese. I know some will say this is wrong, but I was given the idea from a 7/11 employee back in college. For less than $5, I could get chili cheese nachos for 10.
    tlub likes this.
  10. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

    Sep 26, 2005
    Eastern Washington, USA
    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.
    theregulator likes this.
  11. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    I agree almost entirely.

  12. viola-tor

    viola-tor Needs to ride!

    Feb 27, 2008
    Rockies. Freakin' Rockies.
    Oh yeah. Cheers! :beer

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Dec 23, 2005
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    Egg transportation is EASY! You break 'em first and put them in a leak proof container. My brother did this and two hundred miles later on a motocycle the yolks were still intact! You could buy some at the end of a day and break them in to your nagel water bottle.

    You could travel all over the world using the 'BMWMOA Anonymous book' as a cheaper or free sleeping arrangement.

    I have heard couchsurfing folks to be too apt to want to party (I have no first hand experience).

    Remember stuff fits inside stuff. Our cutlery fits inside our lidded coffee mugs, our stove sits inside our pan. People often balk at taking a larger pan but what if it is stuffed with something else you need?

    In the end you don't need much at all as everyone who has done this can atest. I traveled all of the USA and down to Panama in 1976 for nine months with no cooking gear, no tent, no nothing except a small valise I could carry in one hand. When I flew back to England via Nassau and Luxemborg I stepped off the train in my home town with my very small bag in hand and looked for a taxi. I knew the driver and he couldn't beleive the bag was all I had, plus he took me the 2 miles home for free! Along the way I went through many T shirts and socks and underwear, but still had the same pants and shoes until I got to London, it was raining and I bought new shoes. Meeting people was the best. I had free rooms and food, free haircuts, even free transportation after I sold the VW bug I was driving at the time in Honduras. I got a free ride on a boat to the Isles Tres Marias. I got a free airplane ride back to Guatemala. I got a FREE ride from Costa Rica to Panama in exchange for the driver practising is english language. I got a lot of stuff but gave too. I helped garden, including moving trees. I washed cars, fixed stuff. Once I stayed in a couples house and took them to the airport in their car, leaving me with the car and house!

    Someone said 'time' is valuable, it's so true. If you are flexible with your time good things can happen. Often you have to hang around for an opportunity to transpire or come to fruition. I've met people at work, grocery stores, gas stations, anywhere, and they have asked me to stick around till they get off. Being young helped, being from England helped. Often I was 'showed off' to friends as a curious prize, that was okay it became part of the trip.
    I always had money, plenty in fact, but was VERY thrifty, it too became part of the trip. I was always clean and well groomed. I never did understand the whole grubby traveler look. Even now I know many motorcyclists who think they should not shave on a trip or wash the bike. It's like a badge of courage or 'look at me I'm awesome' thing. It was much more interesting to show up with a hand bag and fresh face and announce I had just come from an 11 country trip and had the passport stamps and dates to prove it!

    I'm older and wiser and married now. We still travel on the cheap. We wash ourselves and wash our bikes. We carry more stuff.

    We like to host travelers at our home. To qualify you must be self sufficient, be clean, have money (not spend it just have it) and know how to be organized and be flexible. Showing up at short notice is OK, hanging around for weeks is not. When you stay anywhere you should have an exit date/time and let the host know up front. It's not a good idea to show up on holidays.

    Just a few tips from experience, thanks for reading, I enjoyed looking back.
    theregulator and Joefuskie like this.
  14. TheMule

    TheMule Been here awhile

    Aug 9, 2007
    Sunny Southern Utah
    Wow!! Funny we haven't run into each other at the grocery store or near the power station/lines. Pretty much how I do it.........lipton noodles, coffee pods, and an occassional fish :D .

    Start noodles while setting up tent, camp and supper done in about 20 minutes. All I need now is one of those Kermit Chairs (I somehow caught the fever) and things are rosy.

    good thread,

  15. davidtn

    davidtn Nom nom nom

    Jul 5, 2009
    Franklin, Tennessee

    Here here...a great post indeed!
  16. themarstrander

    themarstrander So new it's not funny

    Aug 30, 2009
    Santa Barbara, CA
    While I'm still eagerly awaiting my first long jaunt, here's a few open fire/cheap stove cooking tips I've learned as a camp counselor:

    Bisquik (starch of the gods) + anything + water = a decent cake thing.
    I mean anything.

    A personal favorite:
    Take some tin foil, butter/margarine the surface so there's no sticking, mix bisquik, water, pork 'n' beans, and whatever stolen condiments (pizza parlor powerdered cheese, hot sauce, etc).
    Wrap the tin foil, throw it on a fire or fire-heated rocks until you get some good steam emerging from the seams.

    Make a lot at once, and take leftovers in a thermos or tupperware. It's not bad reheated.
    (note: mix anything with bisquik. fruit, onions, brown sugar, chocolate, eggs, cheese, whatever random foodstuffs you can get your dirty hands on)

    a #10 (folger's size) can is a great tool. You can boil water, make oatmeal or stew, and if you grease the inside, make a simple bread using bisquik. It's also the perfect size to carry other food and food-related stuff in.

    A small bottle of A-1 steak sauce is worth the investment. Same with Tapatio hot sauce. Less than 2 dollars flavors a good 20 meals.
    ScotsFire likes this.
  17. Cow Boy Brad

    Cow Boy Brad brad1098

    Oct 8, 2007
    So. IL.
    Great job JamieZ and all contributors. I still have those Blue Ridge Parkway and Natchez Trace books I got off you a while back. Now I have all the ammo to go out and do it on a budget, the only way for me these days.

    Cant believe I just found this thread, got to quit spending all my time in the FM

    Adv friendly place to crash in 62288. Nice house, she left, so lots of room!
  18. Vance

    Vance On my meds...

    May 25, 1986
    Santa Maria, California
    I have a sort of scummy couple of additions for the USA.

    free showers/workouts/sauna/swimming pool...

    Get a 1 month membership to the YMCA with the "Away" feature. The "Away" feature let's you use all of the other YMCAs in the country while traveling. It costs an extra 10 bucks or something like that. You pay this 1 month fee of about 50 bucks and they don't stamp the card with an expiration date. You just take off for as long as you want across country and use the card at other YMCAs. The computers are not linked nationally so, the visits are free to you even after your card has expired at your home YMCA.

    Free drinks...

    McDonalds plastic cups. Need I really say more? :roflIf you keep your cup, lid and straw in good condition, you won't ever pay for another drink. Just walk in or walk in and buy a cheap 99cent sammich and get your drink from that drink station thing. Also, they have free filtered water for your camelback. I travel with a 3 liter unit and don't pay a cent for water when doing long trips. Just hit the McDs right before you head out into the woods and fill up with ice and water. 3 liters at the end of the day from my camelback will give me ample water to eat and then brush my teath at night and in the morning and clean up in the morning before hitting the road.

    More Free Showers...

    My 3 liter camel back when hung from a tree is just enough water to wet. Stop flow. Soap up.... then start flow and rinse. And I'm huge so you could probably bathe with your girlfriend. :D

    Powerline camping...

    Sometimes it's hard to spot a stealth camping area when you are in a new area. The powerlines always have cleared areas near them and sometimes even trails that help you access them. Good for impending storms and dusk...

    Canned fruits and Vegies...

    Believe it or not. If you're not worried about weight (i.e. moto camping as opposed to hiking) and you are worried about not having enough water with you, canned foods are awesome. You know that water that you dump out before you eat them at home? It's a life saver in certain situations. Drink it up and eat the rest. No cooking necessary.
  19. yosmitetom

    yosmitetom Banned

    Jun 7, 2008
    East Texas
    The is always a road under a big powerline.
  20. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

    Nov 16, 2007
    Branson MO
    Great thread. Just plowed thru this whole thing. I've been canoe camping locally for years. Hammock & 10' square tarp to wiki up and never had a problem, can even cook during a rain.

    You can buy, if you can cook with, a small grate as a cook surface. Fuel is everywhere, and fish directly on the grate is great. Alum foil is invaluable for spuds and onions. On 2 wheels a good Thermos is worth the cost.

    Eggs are a pain to pack as you get them from the store, and won't keep long. Unless you wax them. Dipped in wax they keep for weeks in warm weather.