As gas prices go up many travelers are looking for creative new ways to save money on every aspect of their trips. There are however, some ‘travel relics’ – formerly popular, now lesser used ways to get around, meet up, and stay in touch.
These travel relics are all in various stages of making a comeback, and you can use them to shave off cents to save for your next tank of gas.
- Hitchhiking – You’ll need to be good with directions to make sure you’re hopping off the right rides in the right direction. Hitchhiking is best done when traveling solo, preferably in a country you are familiar with.
- Wikitravel has an excellent article on staying safe while hitchhiking, something that is not for everyone.
- Camping – Pitching a tent by the side of the road is cheaper than staying in a hostel and in many parts of the world you can find kilometers of uninhabited land to live off of. If you’re in a city you can do some ‘urban camping’ by crashing in airports (scope the best spot) or hotel lobbies.
- Taking Indirect Flights, Overnight Layovers – Any of you who can remember flying in the 80s and early 90s recall that overnight layovers were common, even for more expensive flights. These days we’re a bit spoiled by direct flights and short layovers, but many airlines still offer an overnight (hotel paid) layover for cheaper airfare. Call and ask the airline to see what your options and make 8 minute travel plans for your 24 hour trip.
- Community Events – It’s already happening in places like Germany where travelers are staying home to reduce carbon emissions. Many more people are making the most of their “staycations” to save money. You’ll find that as people try to find more to do around their hometowns, many smaller cities will begin hosting events, concerts, and festivals to become local travel destinations.
- Events, festivals, and concerts will get longer, reminiscent of 1969’s Woodstock.
The more I look at my travel predictions for 2008, which wrote in January, the more I see the value in looking back to tried and true methods of backpacking and getting around. I’m becoming fascianted with travelers in the past, from 30, 50, 150, etc. years ago. Perhaps that is why we backpack to remote destinations, to escape the modern world.
Do you feel these travel relics are too dangerous or inconvinient to be worth the potential savings?
[photo by: mcf photography]
I think you’re right about camping and combining indirect flights with an overnight layover. I wouldn’t want to hitchhike though, at least not if traveling solo.
I too would be cautious about hitchhiking alone – although in my research I found it was recommend as being safer — and even safer to hitchhike in cars with a solo driver, not more.
I’m not sure why this would be the case, I’d reason it makes more sense to do something like this in small groups.
Hotel lobbies? That’s hard… but airports are pretty easy.
Given the state of the airline industry and lack of cash (especially in US), I doubt we’ll see much of airlines giving away anything.
Instead of hitchhiking, I think we’ll find more ride-sharing, done through bulletin-boards, social networking sites, etc.
If the hotel/hotel lobby is large enough you can usually kill a few hours at an indoor cafe/coffee shop before moving on to one of the couches. If anyone gives me trouble I usually I tell them I’m waiting for a late night flight to a far away obscure city.
Granted though, the airport is *way* easier to pull off.