READY FOR THE ADVENTURE LIFESTYLE?
Here are 5 tips that, in retrospect, changed my life
1. STOP TRYING TO CHANGE YOUR FRIENDS
It's difficult enough to make changes in your own life, so don't complicate the process by trying to change others. There's nothing wrong with inviting your friends, but don't depend on their company.
If you just keep doing the things you love, you'll meet new friends on your adventures that share your interests!
2. buy memories - not things
Before every purchase (and I mean that) ask yourself, "what could I buy if I didn't buy ______?"
Dinner and drinks for a year or a month-long vacation? Designer sunglasses or a GoPro? Movie ticket or gas to a place you've never been? This never gets easier. I still want cookies every time I see them, but I can always think of something I want more.
3. VIGOROUSLY AVOID PAYING FULL PRICE
Wait for sales, buy an older model, purchase used and compare prices against online retailers. Amazon, REI, Backcountry, eBay, craigslist are my favorites . If you do it right, you'll end up with everything you need sooner and cheaper than if you purchased at retail price.
4. MAKE LISTS
Consistency is the key to success. Lists may seem silly, but they're a killer tool for staying on track between the big moments. Whether it's a to-do list or a to-see list, you can spend time accomplishing instead wondering what you should be doing.
5. GO, DAMMIT! GO!
Procrastinating 2 or 3 times results in 2 or 3 experiences you'll never have. Thanks, mortality...
Preparation is wise, but don't obsess over the details. The most important step is the first; get out the door and make it happen!
CAR CAMPING, COUCHSURFING AND HOSTELS
Hotels can easily cost $50-$150 for a single night;
I've taken 5-day road trips for that!
Lodging expenses account for the majority of your typical vacation budget. If you eliminate that, you've just created the funds for another trip! See Tip #2 above.
Car camping is free and you can do it anywhere. Technically it's illegal unless you get permission from the property owner, but I haven't had any issues. Hotel parking lots are my favorite, but I've also slept on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere.
Couchsurfing is an awesome way to meet people and learn about the area. It's also free, but requires an available host. The upside is you have a place to shower and (usually) wifi!
Campgrounds are a cheap and legal alternative to sleeping in your car. They may not be very glamorous or even have a proper restroom, but they're fairly common and rarely reach capacity (unless it's a popular national park).
Hostels are basically a paid version of couchsurfing. Expect to share sleeping quarters, kitchen and a bathroom. They often have community breakfast and dinner too!
These are some of the tools & websites I use to help plan my adventures.
Dark Site Finder is an amazing tool for stargazers! It provides a light pollution map so you can find the darkest skies in your area.
Roadtrippers is a website with a neat take on traveling. You punch in your route and it shows you cool things to do and see along the way. It still needs a lot of work, but it's definitely worth checking out any time you plan a trip.
Instagram is a great way to find and build a wishlist of destinations. Find and follow local adventurers. You'll discover countless places just hours away that you didn't know existed! Those accounts are usually super nice and willing to provide details on the location.
Couchsurfing helps travelers find free accommodation with strangers. It's much less sketchy than it sounds. The people on there are super nice. I stayed with a couple in Alaska for 6 nights even though I only planned on staying 1 - just because they were so cool!