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Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by ksburner, Feb 8, 2012.
when i did my cross country moped trip, i found that a lot of the time being some place at the right time and instance provided me with more money and resources than i had planned. the short of it was that i wanted to take a trip with very little money to my name and see what happened.
now, i never ASKED for anything, but was often was given more than i needed. it started (and continued most of the trip) when i would stop for gas and to get feeling back in my balls. being on a moped with south carolina tags, i parked tags out most of the time because the bike could be moved easily. this was enough for people to spark up a conversation as to just wtf i was doing. something about this made people want to talk to me.
invariably i would tell my tale of the search i was on, and that i had very little money to do a ton of stuff (this was the point of the trip, not a ploy) and that i chose a moped for its low fuel costs. a lot of the time, someone would offer to pay for me to fuel up (at the time, averaging $3.75 in gas per fill up) and would often offer a meal. i would graciously decline, but i cant tell you how many times i was handed a $20 bill. in the end, i left my house with $100 in my pocket to get as far as i could, and ended up going to california and back home with $300 in hand.
as for sleep, when it came down to REALLY bad weather, i would look for small mom & pop hotels and ask for a room explaining my situation. i usually was given a room, and even at big chain hotels i could make arrangements.
but when i camped, id just pull over some place near the main road and setup. be gone early with no trace. my best campsite was in an orange grove in florida.
as a disclaimer, i made it a point never to ask for anything outrageous and wouldnt misrepresented myself in the process. i would eat at gas stations and value menus for quick stops, and grocery stores for other things.
main thing is, be polite and if you have a story to tell, dont be afraid to share!
Interesting topic as I've been wanting to do some cheap adventures on my DR650.
As to the topic of 'oops I forgot my wallet so I'll look you in the eye and and lie in the hope that you'll give me something for free', that may fly in some parts of the country, but here in the South, we pretty much call that 'stealing' and don't take kindly to it. And offering to do some sort of work after the fact, knowing full well that a business owner is not going to let a non employee around the counter, just adds to the deciet and insult.
Servers work hard for the little bit of money they make (much of it in the form of tips) and businesses today are getting by on pretty thin margins. We're a pretty generous lot here and will go out of our way to help people in need, but don't take advantage of us.
While I agree on the whole even waitstaff and clerks may throw you a few dollars if you are willing to haul out some smelly trash or hose out the grease trap. I think for me the key is I ask after I pay for what I need not try and give the imprssion that I somehow can't pay.
And I really don't see anything impressive about vacationing on handouts. Call it whatever you like it's trying to get something for nothing when you really don't even need it.
I agree. I"m not even opposed to working for my supper as long as it's done honestly. How about telling the owner/manager 'I'm on a motorcycle adventure and really on a tight budget. Do you have any work I could do in exchange for a meal?' If the guy says 'yes' and you both uphold your part of the deal, no harm done. Everybody wins. If he says 'no', either thank him and move on or sit down and order something cheap. Again, no harm done.
That is not the same as the earlier poster though, who blatently lies to get what he wants.
I've done the "ask a farmer" thing, up front and honest. Telling them I just want a place for a tent. No fires, no damage, gone in the morning. Rarely turned down. Occasionally been invited to stay in the barn or house. Often given a meal in exchange for a road story.
I heard. Through a friend of a friend of a friend. That. If a person has a valid ID. A person can go into a local Sheriffs Office and ask if they have a stranded traveler fund set up by the local Salvation Army. I heard that if they do, a person is given a food bank voucher and a voucher for a local motel. Now. I also heard that if a person is actually trying to get somewhere. They have a destination in mind. They can ask a church for assistance. I recommend volunteering to do some chores in exchange for help. Some church people will go to the gas station and put some gas in your tank. They will also be glad to share food from their food bank. May I suggest that you keep a record of who helps you, in hopes you can pay them back someday, when you find yourself in better financial shape. Or- "Pay it forward." Now. I also know a person can sleep over and stay "free" in Walmart Parking Lots. I happen to know a person who traveled all around the entire United States this way, by car. With no money at all - and no plan. K. So I never did this.
P.S. Ok. I did. But I'm not proud of it. But it was one very interesting chapter in my life. By all means have fun. Nothing Adventured nothing gained.
Couldn't agree more, not a big fan of the "I look sad and poor so give me money" way of scamming across the country either.
Many police depts do have something like this or can tell you of where to go to get assistance. While using this as a way of traveling is just another type of con, as far as I'm concerned, if you end up running out of money and get stuck somewhere then it's a reasonable option. For the cops it gets people out of town who may otherwise become a problem. While I've never needed it I had friends in my youth who did and as broke as I was even a small mishap could of left me needing help. For the record I'm not against people asking for help when needed, but I think planning a tip based on doing so or doing so to save money is a lowlife move.
Let's make a distinction between traveling cheap and traveling on someone elses dime.
We can probably agree on being frugal, resourceful, and perhaps a bit rough in style...but not beggars or thieves.
If you have the backbone to travel this way, you also have the backbone to work for your supper.
For me, travelling on my bike is not that costly for food because I'm too busy riding most of the time to want to stop for long to eat. Lots of days when I go out for a day ride, I'll have a good breakfast, pack a couple of light snacks like granola bars or jerky and water and maybe stop somewhere for a light lunch. Ride all day on ten dollars worth of gas and five bucks for food.
For lodging, I'll often alternate when I can and camp one night and find a cheap hotel the next night. Works out many times to less than sixty dollars a day over the course of a trip. In my mind, that's pretty cheap travel in 2012....
i was homeless for a while after my house burned down, and traveled like this (similarly at least).
i met with a local church thru the salvation armys lists, and they drove me to greyhound to get a bus voucher and then to get a temporary food stamp card for a week.
NOW, i didnt do it just to do it, i needed to. point is there is help if its really NEEDED. i know that sometimes, even when well prepared, life happens.
I believe there was something three pages ago about traveling on the cheap.
I'd say that a KLR is a good start. Gotta admire doing it on a moped, but I far prefer the 'mo' to the 'ped'. I'm just lazy that way.
Wallyworld is trying to get rid of their camping stuff since it is the end of summer, so you could probably get some cheap goodies there. It really doesn't take much. As my Marine Recon friends used to say, travel light - freeze at night. They got by with minimal stuff when need be, it isn't that hard. (and if things get too exciting, you can call your friends with helicopters to extract you)
Also, try couch surfing. I've not done it, but I hear that it's quite an adventure in itself.
I think carrying a small stove and some basic supplies (spices,oil in tight plastic cans,oatmeal or granola, powdered milk) then stopping to get a few vegies and a small steak or pork chops before the evening meal lets you have tasty cheap meals.I've used the same coleman cook kit for 30 years As some people have said West side is easier to find out of the way camping. The Wrong (east ) side is harder. still possible Try scouting before dark then go back after dark to sleep.In cities with colleges go around campus area and ask Can I sleep in your yard? Sometimes lumber yards have for sale storage buildings unlocked go to bed after dark just get up early and leave.Remember practice makes perfect.look in ADV Tent Space Thread!
I'm not sure it's harder just different. In the west there is more open land where you can set up camp. In the east it may be harder to find but for those that are not trying to stealth camp it's as simple as pulling into a parking lot and laying out next to your bike. Why some people try and make it seem like they need to hide I don't know. Maybe it adds to the adventure for them.
Couchsurfing.com is a great (free) resource for those planning out their routes pretty closely. It started out as a list of people with an open couch, but now it seems like >50% are offering up a spare room with hot shower, etc.. It's a bit difficult for the "ride till I'm tired and see where I land" types, as it can take from 1-5 days to get get an offer. I usually camp in more remote bits/on weekdays then try to couchsurf near cities/on weekends. I usually try to "go out on the town" when I'm in a new city, and from my experience, most younger folk will be happy to show you around in exchange for a perfect stranger to dazzle them with adventure stories. It's a network of travelers and like minds so it's bound to be awesome. Don't forget manners though, bring something with you like a bottle of wine, good bread/cheese, and offer to do dishes or buy them a drink or two. After all, they're opening up their home to you. Also, frigid New England folk: don't be freaked out by the overwhelming kindness/generosity of some people. It really does exist.
Someone mentioned the tent space thread here. I've yet to test it out, but it seems like a great thing. Sort of like the above couchsurfing but with an even more specific demographic with even more similar interests. And they have tools.
Also, +1 on the camping stove. Even if you're not trying to re-write the survivalist gourmet cookbook, it's really handy to have. A small solo pot/cup/propane tank/stove combination takes up surprisingly little room and definitely helps in a pinch. Bring bags of rice and oats and it'll pay for itself over time. Even if you want to eat at a restaurant, it's really nice not to need to.
I agree..there is a big difference between being frugal to save on $$$ while tavelling vs being cheap and deceptive towards others while travelling to save $$$. If you can afford the bike and the gas and the computer to type on this forum, you can afford to buy a coffee and some food while on a road trip.
Multi-fuel camp stove that can run on gasoline as an option. Real easy to refill on the road from your tank.
Other than that...Pellet rifle and squirrels. That's my game plan.
Hit em in the head so they don't suffer and you don't have to climb. Can you shoot?
Some friends have asked me how I can afford to spend the extra to travel around on the bike so much. I always answer "how much does it cost you to stay at home for a week and have a good time?" (whatever your description of a good time is. No wrong answer here.) Be honest with yourself. Add up whatever you figure out is really extra. A tank of gas,maybe? Admission to some attraction you've never seen and never will unless you go right now? Does it really cost you that much more?
I subscribe to the theory that I'm going to wait until I'm a little younger, then start to travel. :huh