For my first travel excursion of the year I conducted a little experiment. I wanted to see if I could pull off a four-day road trip with only $100 to spend. I noticed when I talk to certain people about traveling, lack of money is the main reason many don’t take the initiative. Well I want to shed some light on this issue; traveling doesn’t have to cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. All you really need is a will and a way. So I decided to do this experiment to prove this point, plus I’ve been broke this past month so I really had no other choice.
Outside of blogging, I’m a freelance content creator and I do contract projects for small brands and companies. Although I love the freedom that comes with being a freelancer, a major con is the way money is not always consistent; especially if you’re a new comer. There will be times when income is flowing one month, but then the next you earn very little to none. Also, as a new freelancer you have to make certain sacrifices, like working for free, in order to learn and build relationships. Right now I’m going through one of those dry periods, however, my passion is travel and this blog is my baby so that’s enough will power for me to figure out a way.
In the midst of contemplating when and where my next trip will be, one of my cousins informs me that she moved into her own place in Austin Texas. I’ve traveled to Austin before but only for one-day trips. This news couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time. On top of it being the first time truly experiencing Austin, it was only a two and a half hour drive from my home, I had a free place to stay, and a family member to show me around. Nothing was really standing in my way except for one concern, lack of funds.
Typically I reserve $300-$400 to spend when I travel on road trips. I believe that’s more than enough to pay for food, gas, and fun so working with only $100 was going to be a huge challenge. On the day I set to take of, the first thing I did was reserve $40.00 for gas. My car is an Acura MDX, so it costs roughly around $30-$40 to fill. Thank God my tank was halfway filled, so I put 20 bucks worth of gas into it and saved the rest for the ride back home. After gas expenses, I had $60.00 left for food and anything else that required money. During the drive there I was mapping out a game plan in my mind to survive with the little money I had. Basically, I planned to keep my car parked to reserve gas, eat whatever food my cousin had in her house, not spend over 12 bucks if I eat out at a restaurant, and find things to do for free.
As I arrive to my cousins place in Austin, hungry as hell, I walk into an apartment with absolutely no food what so ever. No need to exaggerate, there wasn’t a crumb in site. All she had was a pack of stale Oreos and faucet water to drink, WTF! Her excuse for not having groceries was because she ate out everyday. When I heard that, I knew I was in trouble, but rest assured I remained grounded. Throughout the four days I spent in Austin, my two favorite moments of the trip and what saved me from starving to death were the variety of food truck options and Home Slice Pizza.
Home Slice was the very first restaurant I tried out in Austin and it so happened to be the main spot that I ate at almost every single day. Not only were the pizza slices massive and delicious, it only cost me 3 to 4 bucks. Also, majority of the food trucks I checked out sold 4 to 12 dollar meals. Here’s a basic breakdown of what I spent while in Austin:
DAY 1– Gas ($20.00), Home Slice ($4.00)
DAY 2– Food Truck ($10.00), Home Slice ($4.00)
DAY 3– Snooze ($10.00), Lucy’s ($12.00), Drink at a bar ($10.00)
DAY 4– Coffee Shop ($5.00), Home Slice ($4.00), Gas ($20.00)
In conclusion, all of my money went towards food. However, I still managed to experience a lot without spending a dime. Austin is a beautiful city with a chilled vibe and friendly people. My cousin and I spent a lot of our time exploring South Congress, the Graffiti Park, Downtown, The Drag, 11th Street that holds a food truck park, and more.
Another great part about Austin is that there is always something do, which means more trips and content coming on my end. So stay tuned :).