Want to travel like a broke ass? Here are some pointers from Stuart Schuffman a.k.a. Broke-Ass Stuart, the host of “Young, Broke & Beautiful.” These tips and more come from Stuart’s new book “Young, Broke & Beautiful: Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply.” You can pre-order the book on Amazon. You can download a free chapter from the book on his website.
(excerpted from the new book “Young, Broke & Beautiful: Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply”)
Travel During the Off Season: When I went to Ireland to do work for Lonely Planet, I was there for all of January and February. Do you know how wet it is in Ireland at that time of year? Wetter than your mom after a bottle of wine and a Brad Pitt movie. But because of that there also weren’t many a lot of tourists around, thus making everything a hell of a lot cheaper than it would be normally, including the plane tickets. . Even the plane tickets were cheaper. That was excellent. The downside was that bus service to some of the more remote places was discontinued for the winter (or in some places, seasonal activities like vineyard visits might not be available),. This meant that after I had hitchhiked into a tiny town in West Cork, and unknowingly deflowered a hot 18 year old barmaid (she didn’t tell me it was her first time until afterwards), I had to stand in the rain and hitchhike out of town with the very serious fear that any passing car full of guys was a bunch of her brothers and certainly the end of my life. Truthfully, I don’t even know if she had any brothers or if she did, why she would tell them, but regardless, I got so spooked that I paid a cabby 70 Euro to take me to the next big town. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that traveling during the off season is FUCKING AWESOME!!
Travel Light: I try to travel as light as possible and only travel with a carry-on whenever I can. It’s easier than you think. On a trip awhile back I was able to live out of a carry- on for two weeks and during that time I went to a wedding, filmed a TV pilot for two days and threw a huge party in NYC, all thanks to the power of rolling up my clothes. I also take last-leg clothes (or thermal shirts from the $1 store) for layering that I won’t feel bad about donating if I need more space in my bag along the way. But not everyone can do that, so if you do decide to check some baggage, make sure that it is only clothes in that particular suitcase. Seriously, I can’t emphasize this enough: put anything that you consider important in your carry-on luggage. Medicine, toiletries, sunglasses, film equipment, and even your security blankie should all be in your carry on. Luggage gets lost or stolen more often than you think and it’s easier to deal with losing your clothes than losing your antipsychotic medicine. For more ideas on light traveling check out TraveLite.org.
Flash Drive: This is actually more important than it sounds. See, since flash drives are so tiny, they can be easily concealed. Cameras on the other hand, not so much. So take a flash drive with you when you travel and every few days or so, put all the photos from your camera on it. You can do this at pretty much any internet café. That way if you camera gets jacked you still have the most important part: your photos! If your flash card gets full, you can always ship it home fairly cheaply and it will be waiting for you when
you get back.
Bring a Bandana: Me to bandanas is like Ford Prefect (from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) to towels. This is once again just one of my weird little travel habits (we all have them), but I always bring a bandana when I travel. They are multipurpose and can be used for just about anything. Amongst other things, I’ve used mine as: an eye mask (for sleeping in bright places), a neckerchief (for if it’s really cold out), a head covering (for hiking in hot places), and an extra wrapping for an ipod, camera and other breakable things. Just make sure to find out if certain colored bandanas have any special significance in the place where you’re traveling. If your rag is the wrong shade in a place like South Central Los Angeles you might find yet another use for it, a tourniquet.
Towels: While the name Ford Prefect is in the air I might as well mention towels. I personally travel with a little shammy instead of a big cloth towel. Towels not only take up a lot of room in your pack, they also need a lot of time to dry. If you pack them up while still moist they get mildewy real quick. So get a shammy, hell you can even go the ShamWow route and get more shammies than you ever thought you needed for only like $20. Just don’t beat up any hookers like the ShamWow guy did. Actually, I think she ended up whooping his ass.
New episodes of “Young, Broke & Beautiful” air on IFC on Fridays at 11 p.m. ET