Spending my first winter in Minnesota, I quickly learned that a winter escape is a must. Yet between paying rent, paying down my student loans, and trying to save a little bit for the future, finding enough funds for a “real” vacation becomes a real challenge. With room and board, transportation, activities, gear, and so on, vacation expenses can add up quickly, so I’ll show you how to travel on a budget, Tory Reiss Style (aka like a nerd). This is the first in a series of articles I’ll publish on my organic tech blog, Adventures in Tech, on travel/life/fun hacking.
First thing’s first with, you’ll need a place to stay. For my vacation (aka Tory Reiss runs away from Ice Age 8: Minnesotan Tundra to the Florida Keys), I glamped in everything from an 18’ sailboat to a 26’ catamaran to the guesthouse of an awesome couple in Key West each for far less than half the price of a hotel room. I did this using Airbnb (alternatively, Wimdu) websites that allow you to book nightly stays in other people’s properties. Not only are the prices a lot cheaper than a hotel/motel, but they’re often much more unique and you get to meet some awesome locals in the process!
The next matter of business is finding a ride, which can be a real bummer if you’re going somewhere without a solid public transportation system or if you’re under the age of 25 since rental car companies think us young’uns are reckless (Tory Reiss and Adventures in Tech think it’s just plain scammy). Luckily, there are websites that allow you to rent other people’s cars while they’re not in use (like Getaround.com or Relayrides) or find a rideshare to whatever destination you’re traveling to (like www.zimride.com, and ridejoy.com). I used RelayRides to rent a Miami local’s 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid for a week and it only cost $175! Not only did I save about $200 versus a typical car rental agency but it only took a single tank of gas to travel the 600 miles we covered. Once in Key West, we were able to use www.spinlister.com to find bikes to rent for far less than the market average.
The final obstacle to the budget conscious trip of your dreams is gear. Equipment. Supplies. Junk. Whatever you want to call it, your wallet still ain’t happy. Adventures in Tech (and Tory Reiss for that matter) are huge supporters of the outdoors, which means peeling yourself away from any and all screens to enjoy nature once in a while. Whether you’re going camping, and need a tent, or kayaking, and could use a kayak, most young folks like myself lack the storage space, money, and/or good sense to own many such supplies. These final three sites, Snapgoods, Neighborgoods, and Rentoid allow you to rent other people’s possessions. Anything from tools for a move into a new apartment, to a raft for a day out on the lake. All it takes is a few clicks, a couple dollars, and you’re off to the races with some new toys.
There you have it. I promised you I’d show you how to travel on a budget, the Tory Reiss Style (aka like a nerd), and I hope this fit the bill. This isn’t in any way an exhaustive list, but it’s meant to be a way to get started. Please feel free to drop me a line via email [email protected] with any questions and check out my new Organic Tech Blog Adventures in Tech at http://thetoryreiss.com/.