Picture a day like any other. You’re driving home from work or school or the grocery store, and all of sudden… BOOM! There it is again, that old familiar desire of getting on the freeway and driving into the sunset, landing where ever the road takes you. Do you go with the feeling? Or do you drive home to continue your mundane life? Perhaps, realistically, you drive home and plan a spontaneous get-a-way. Here are seven tips on spontaneous travel with a tight budget.
Personally, I find excitement in driving into a large unknown city and going where the wind blows. I have experience taking adventures into cities such as New Orleans, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, New York, Boulder, Flagstaff, L.A., and San Francisco! As you can see, you can go virtually anywhere with a clean slate, not knowing anyone or anything.
Start with a coffee shop and ask the local barista his or her advice on a sweet spot near by to catch some live music or whatever it may be that interest you. Pick up a map of the area and a local events calendar to learn this new territory. Find a hostel to sleep for the night. Hostels are great places to meet people and get tips on events in the area. Camping is also an enjoyable traveling experience. Many National Parks offer free camping that are reserved on first-come basis. On several occasions, I’ve stopped for gas as the sun was setting and asked for a nearby campground. I rarely fail to find a cheap or free campground nearby.
It is important to be easy-going in these conditions. If you are too picky or high maintenance, there’s no telling what opportunity you might miss out on. Keep an open mind to your entire experience, and I guarantee it will be meaningful.
It is incredibly easy to eat cheaply on the road and in large cities. During one month of travel, I can eat on less than $50 for the entire trip. First of all, if you’re on a really tight budget, don’t eat out. Buy all of your groceries and buy smart. You CAN live off of PB&J sandwiches and fruit! If you’re like me, you gotta have your caffeine in the morning, so bring a thermos to fill with coffee instead of buying different cups along the way.
If you’re really hurting for a free meal, several Krishna Temples in large cities serve food to the public on weekend evenings, if not daily! The Krishna Temple in New Orleans provides food to over 200 people every Sunday evening. ‘Food Not Bombs’ is a thirty year old organization serving free meals daily in over 1,000 cities around the world, protesting war, poverty and the destruction of Mother Earth. This revolutionary movement is well worth looking into and taking the opportunity to be actively involved. Vegetarians need not worry; both of these organizations serve 100% meat free meals!!
The entire experience is up to you. With a good attitude, an open mind, and a heart full of love, you will take with you an invaluable experience to apply to your every day life. What are you waiting for? Get out there and acquire the life skills that will turn your ordinary life into the grandest adventure of this moment!