General Question

Afos22's avatar

How much money do you think it will cost me to run away?

Asked by Afos22 (3985points) November 17th, 2010

I have to get out of this place for a while. In the summer, I would like to run away. I am a young adult, so its not “running away”, but I’m feeling travel pangs. I need to escape my current life for a while; It would be about the length of the summer, or shorter. How much do you think such a trip would cost. and what other things should I consider? Also, I do not plan on bringing a car or flying anywhere, so my travel would just consist of walking, public transit, and hitching.

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26 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

I think there are a few too many open variables to give a sensible answer on this one…like where you are now, and what exactly young adult means…

downtide's avatar

Public transt can be expensive. Also you need to consider wheere you’ll be sleeping: will you be borrowing space on friends’ floors or will you be needing rooms in motels/hostels? I would think if you’re not planning to sleep rough and beg for food you’ll need quite a bit…

Disc2021's avatar

Here’s a checklist:
– Shelter
– Durable Clothing (Weather protective)
– Food
– First Aid Supplies
– Clean Water
– Basic Hygiene Supplies
– Transportation
– Protection (against wildlife, insects, etc.)

While some of this stuff doesn’t necessarily sound like necessities, you will be better off with it as without it you run the risk of developing some pretty nasty infections – which will only be costlier in the end. Assuming you’ll be using the cheapest of all of these things, I’m going to guess-timate it’ll cost you about $90 a week, bare minimum. Unless you plan on neglecting basic nutrition and other basic survival methods.

Now that I’ve answered your question, could I ask why exactly you want to run away? Have you explored your options? Packing up and hitting the road isn’t exactly an easy thing for anyone to do, yet alone a young adult. There are summer camps and other retreats that you should look into.

Me and a good friend decided to do volunteer work in Mississippi for a month for hurricane Katrina relief work. In the end I think it ended up costing us about $600–700 each, altogether.

Blueroses's avatar

You didn’t say if you are in the US or if you prefer to travel to several places or stay in one area for a while.
I’ll share my indispensable resources from my runaway days: 30 day Greyhound pass
and the student travel bible… route ideas, cheapest restaurants, hostels, how to plan the trip, what to pack etc. Let’s Go

Hobosnake's avatar

Since you’re leaving for “the summer” can we assume you’re in the southern hemisphere?

MissAnthrope's avatar

You could save money on the “shelter” aspect by taking advantage of a couchsurf or two. I used it earlier this year when I drove across the country and I needed a place to stop between Chicago and SLC. I emailed a ton of people and everyone was super nice. Most of them were out of town for the holidays and seemed genuinely sorry to be missing me. I did make an agreement to couchsurf at one girl’s place, but I ended up getting in too late.

Zyx's avatar

If you want to leave for a long time it’s not so much about saving up as earning money on the road and trying not to spent too much on anything. You can just bum around but you’ll be surprised how quickly the money runs out.

Afos22's avatar

@Blueroses, I am in the USA. I live in south jersey.
and @hobosnake its in the norther hemisphere, but you probably know that. But, I don’t have class in the summer.
And I want to travel across the country.

downtide's avatar

@Afos22 I don’t know if the US has anything like this but in Europe you can get a Europe-wide train travel card called an Interrail card, and if you’re a student it’s really cheap. What you can do with that is take night trains all over Europe so you can sleep on the train and solve both travel and accommodation at the same time. Go to bed in Paris, wake up in Vienna. It’s a very popular way for European students to spent their gap year. Does anything similar exist in the US? Can you make use of night trains to travel and sleep at the same time?

gondwanalon's avatar

When I was 26 I ran away to join the circus. That’s what I told everyone but I really ran away to join the U.S. Army. I lucked out as I made back alive and in one piece.

Blueroses's avatar

@downtide The US doesn’t offer much in the way of long distance passenger rail travel. What little service remains is pretty expensive and inconvenient. The Greyhound bus pass is the closest thing we have to the Interrail pass.

It’s not as romantic as train travel but it isn’t a bad way to get around. I’ve met interesting people on busses.
We’re a personal vehicle culture, especially the farther west you go.

Zyx's avatar

@Blueroses You ALMOST make it sound like it’s not destroying the world… But it is.

Blueroses's avatar

@Zyx I wasn’t defending the phenomenon, believe me. I applaud the OP for wanting to travel in the US without flying or driving himself. I was merely explaining that the farther west you go, the less public transport is available (outside of metropolitan areas).
That lack might come as a shock to somebody from South Jersey.

Afos22's avatar

@Zyx would you please remain on topic

MarthaStewart's avatar

Rather than just avoiding things and running FROM where you are, consider the possibility of creating OPPORTUNITIES for yourself that you run TO instead. For instance, instead of hanging out in no place special with nothing to do… you could join the Peace Corps and teach African children English. Plus they would pay your living and travel expenses, and you’d have a great line on your resume instead of just saying that you didn’t do anything for all of 2011.

Afos22's avatar

@MarthaStewart I’m not trying be a jerk when in say, please do not put on airs. “Oh stop complaining and do something for someone else”. Who knows if the road I take leads to opportunities. Also, I could not join the Peace Corps. I could never stand spending time with people who would join the Peace Corps. And, I definitely would never teach African children the English language. Forcing my way of living, even just a language is so wrong. Live how your people live, not how others want you to live.Sorry to stray from the topic, if I was or was not lead there.

Blueroses's avatar

@Afos22 Well answered. I certainly didn’t see your question as running FROM, just wanting some new experiences. I assumed if you wanted to work, you would have looked into Americorps, but there’s nothing wrong at all with wanting to travel just to travel and experience new things. I’ve never regretted one second of time spent on the road. This is the time to do it before you have financial commitments that hold you back.

Any idea what part of the country you really want to see? And do you plan on camping or staying in hostels? @MissAnthrope had a great idea with the couch surfing. Travel is more fun when you meet some people. You can also post on University bulletin boards to find people who will let you stay with them for free.

Afos22's avatar

@Blueroses What exactly is this “couch surfing”? and when you say post on University bulletin boards, do you mean as I travel, going into a college and posting an note an a board asking for a place to stay?

Blueroses's avatar

@Afos22 Did you check MissAnthrope’s link? It’s a network of (generally young) people who like to meet new people. Some are looking for new friendships and would meet for a drink or to be a sightseeing guide, some will offer you a couch for the night. I’m not familiar with this link in particular but I’m sure @MissAnthrope can fill you in on whether it is free to join since she has used it.
I used a different network and I’m trying to find the link for you, that was entirely free. It was a great way to explore. I stayed with an artist in Northern Montana, a dirt-bike racer in Vancouver, WA, a Literature PhD in Portland, Or… etc. Never a bad experience.

I wanted to stay a bit longer in Missoula, MT so I put a notice on the University Student Union board and found a really great person who wanted a bit of help with yardwork in exchange for a week’s room and board.

Hobosnake's avatar

@Afos22 Just checking haha, since you said “for the summer” I thought you meant the one happening right now.

Afos22's avatar

@Hobosnake Yea, I get you now

MissAnthrope's avatar

Yeah, couchsurfing.com is free and loads of people participate, in a wide variety of places. Check it out, it’s pretty cool. There’s a system in place for people to vouch for each other, which helps you locate the cool people and avoid any creeps. I did not see any creeps, for the record, I would have enjoyed meeting pretty much all of them. The people I communicated with were very nice, expressing regret at missing meeting me and wishing me luck on my adventure. I would have felt comfortable crashing with any of them.

Afos22's avatar

any monetary guesses anyone. Im talking just the basics

gondwanalon's avatar

You can escape to the Big Island Hawaii for three months less than $2500. That includes air fair (from the west coast of U.S.A), campground fees (at the many different state campgrounds), food and the purchase of a bicycle to get around on. You can buy a cheap bicycle when you get to Hawaii and then just leave it there when you are ready to go home. That would be a fun trip to plan and even more fun to do it with a friend.

Blueroses's avatar

Basics: $400 for a bus pass
$15 per day for food figure $1350 for 90 days
shelter: hopefully mostly free but figure $40 per night max (motel) and divide that by ⅓ you’d sleep on the bus $2400 for 90 days.
Shelter cost can be greatly reduced as previously mentioned, but figure it in anyway. You can always use it to buy a meal for your hosts. There are also still youth hostels in many cities that only cost $15/$20 per night. If you’re travelling alone also look for YMCA accommodations.

@Disc2021 listed some of the things you need from home.
sleeping sack – sewn together sheets required by hostels.
sleeping bag
basic first aid kit
water bottle
clothing/toiletries (always carry wet wipes and TP)

To be really comfortable, about $4000 for 3 months of travel. Of course you can set your goals and adjust that down, that is only my estimate for free-travel and not working on your way.

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