Kris and I are deep in preparation for our upcoming trip to England and Ireland. We’ve spent the past two months researching frugal travel options, including digital cameras, walking shoes, and — I kid you not — travel underwear. We meet with our housesitter tonight.
A close friend, amused by our packing, pointed me to a series of articles by Matt Gross, the New York Times “frugal traveler”. Last summer, Gross toured the world, chronicling his adventures in a weekly column, describing how he traveled on the cheap.
[It was] a summer in which I felt I was everywhere all at once. On May 11, I’d left my home in New York City to circle the globe as the Frugal Traveler, seeking high adventure on a low budget. Over the course of 96 days, I covered more than 21,000 miles, sprinting through 12 countries and some 36 cities, where I encountered 17 languages, dozens of new friends and around 900 varieties of dumplings.
Gross spent just $4,000 for three months of travel. That may seem like a fortune until you realize it’s probably less than it costs most of us to live where we do. (My expenses certainly run more than $1,333 per month!) New York Times readers provided additional travel tips as Gross made his way across Europe and Asia. Here’s an index of his weekly articles.
photo by Matt Gross, the Frugal Traveler
This year, the Frugal Traveler is on an American road trip. The page tracking his journey includes an interactive Google Map, links to current stories, and a collection of videos. So far, Gross has posted four episodes:
- Finally, exit from New York (video: The frugal traveler hits the road and Maryland and North Carolina)
- Georgia, Alabama, and a bit of gold fever (video: Armuchee, Georgia bluegrass festival)
- On Kentucky’s bourbon trail (video: Nashville, Tennessee)
- Great architecture finds a home in Indiana (video: Columbus, Indiana)
Gross is driving a 1989 Volvo, staying off the major interstates, “eating cheaply and sleeping cheaply, but doing it in style”. He uses advice from readers and sites like couchsurfing.com to save money. The latest update should be posted in the next day or two.
I’ve always wanted to do a road trip across the United States, so this series is great vicarious fun. But now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go shop for travel underwear.
[The New York Times: Frugal Traveler: American road trip]