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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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Old 17 Apr 2009
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Surviving the depression in the US

Greetings all, last year when I was riding south through the US, the £ was almost $2.00 and I could afford to drink in bars; however, now that I am once again travelling through the contiguous US en route to Alaska, prices seem to have gone up and in addition the £ is now worth less than $1.45 and I am looking for means of saving coupons. The following may help other unfortunates:

1. If you want a hot meal a day (usually only Mon. - Fri.) use small town diners, they have lunch time specials which even with coffee(s) are less than $8.00 + the dreaded tip ad big, for the evening meal hit the supermarkets.

2. First thing is if possible stick to the big names and before beginning shopping approach a member of the staff and ask if they have a storecard, only one so far has said they don't, the rest have given me one there and then, except for the one I am presently using in Flagstaff AZ, Basha's which said just tell the checkout that you are a visitor and they will use their store card for you. Best saving so far, 50% in a Fry's store in Tucson but normally between 20 - 30%. They even have discount on booze, to encourage me to binge drink, hooray. Eating and drinking at night in your motel room or tent might not be as much fun as hitting the bars but you save a fortune by not having to indulge in the henious US custom, which is creeping around the world, of tipping.

3. Hotel/Motel and travel discount vouchers, the state Welcome Centres usually found when crossing state lines have them as do gas stations, civic centres and outside of supermarkets. Usually a saving of 10% (ish). On line at "hotel discounts online@hotelcoupons.com " Also get a state travel map at the centre, so far all bar California v.good and free, California free and crap. Welcome centres can also be located on line.

4. Nation parks, get an Annual Pass, $80.00 and if you visit only 3 - 4 of the big ones, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand canyon and Big Bend you are in profit and there are lots more. In addition, if you have pillion, they get in on your pass.

5. Begging, if all else fails and you can borrow a small dog c/w a string lead, remember the mantra, "buddy can you spare $1.50 for a coffee for the dog."

6. You need something to keep you thrifty, an incentivisation as the late unlamented George W. would say. Mine is the thought of being able to blow all my savings on a and Moose burger with freedom fries in a bar in Anchorage in about two months time. That is assuming my front tyre lasts the distance otherwise it will all go on new rubber and I will be back to the motel room with a 6 pack and Bologna rolls.

Ride safe
Mike is riding the twisty road in the sky
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Old 17 Apr 2009
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I can predict that you're not going to like the hotel/motel prices heading north towards Alaska....and they don't get any cheaper heading south again. Got a tent? Sleeping bag? Mosquito repellent?

For what it's worth, Canadians tip, too. They resent it more, and are far more frugal
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Old 17 Apr 2009
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In lots of places, especially where there are students, bars will have "Happy Hour" from maybe 6-8 on weekdays when is halfprice and often free food as well (nothing fancy, maybe wings, etc.). Cheap and a free dinner is hard to beat.
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Old 17 Apr 2009
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Look for the "all you can eat buffets" and stuff yourself .
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
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Old 17 Apr 2009
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The exchange rate must be really eating into your daily intake, I wouldn't like that at all. We found Subway pretty cheap for lunch, but that was 2 sharing and with free refills of the fizzy crap.

Remember the you can camp for free in the National Forrests though not much in the way of facilities.

And if you're in Utah, remember to avoid the in the shops. If you want to avoid the 3.2% Blues, go to the microbrewerys.

Stay safe!

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Old 17 Jan 2010
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"Baloney Roll-ups"

Perhaps you meant to say 'Baloney Roll-ups' instead of Bologna Rolls? Aka 'Hot-dogs?' I could be wrong but my hillbilly family has called hot dogs that for years and Bologna Rolls sounds way too sophisticated for anything you may find in the states. Some states outlaw so-called 'happy hours.' However, most wholeheartedly embrace it. Get smashed by 6 or 7 pm, sleep it off and hit the road by 6am.
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