Must have been a challenge making your list above.
1 ) I learned hitchhiking around the States first summer after high school ( U$35 + dried foods and camping gear in my backpack, slept free in a variety of places ), then
2 ) the first winter away by sharing a 2 bedroom apartment in Tucson AZ with 5 other guys from Fort Wayne, Indiana who my hometown friend and I met hitching ( worked for building maintenance company cleaning offices ) and then
3 ) by living on a sail boat in the Florida Keys ( worked on the boat a few hours a day for room and board )
4 ) by getting back together with my hometown girlfriend after a 9 month separation when she and her friend traveled around Europe and Morrocco and found a place to work for AFRC in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, going back in Jan ,filling out a job application before heading back to Torremolinos, Spain ( paid U$25 / week for studio apt ) and Morrocco ( paid U$30 / 3 weeks in room ) and back in GAP worked cleaning offices then as Sales person in a duty free ski shop for small salary + 20DM / month to share army barracks room with 2 others like myself
5 ) Learned from other travelers all along the way, flew to India, went overland to Kathmandu, Sikkim and Sri Lanka averaging U$180 / month for room and meals for 2 of us
6 ) landed in Korea with U$75 and "ghetto blaster" ( paid U$300 in HK sold for U$800 ), taught English until saved enough to take off to Philippines
Met so many travelers doing so many things to keep living life "on the road" . The most common equation or plan was WORK and SAVE in wealthier countries and travel to and from less expensive developing nations living on a fraction of the cost of living where you worked. Now some of these work opportunites have dried up and faded away but some remain and new opportunities are available for those with an open mind, determination and diehard ambition and persistance but at the same time remaining humble and free of materialistic attachment.
Andy, if you know of a hotel in London where you can stay for $300 a month, please tell me, I will move into it permanently!
I do have a couple of tricks I was thinking about London last night, though. I use the railways in Britain all the time. Here are my 2 tricks:
1) ALWAYS piss on the train, do not wait for the station. The toilet on the train is free, the toilet in the station will either be shut or cost you money.
2) The toilets in King's Cross station cost you money, the toilets in St. Pancras International station do not. This station is next door, make the detour.
In my experience, these rules apply in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Czech Republic too. I don't think the Swiss charge you to piss, can't remember.
London is 8, but truly not that bad, England gives you proper Hostels with real guest kitchens and breakfast.
Start with gettting a real copy of the TNTmagazine, not just the internet.
Then contact the Aussies and South Africans, they are the key, plus any Brit is more or less scared to go into this Kangaroo infested territory.
The Barmy Badger, and Hostels around that area will probably make deals for a one month stay, then you have to look at all the bulletin boards in the area.
It takes work to get a 300 dollar room, and every dollar saved is like earning 2-3 dollars.
I only took the subway a few times in London, one trip was to Heathrow Airport, the price is not a good value, walking is better deal.
Now THAT - was a GREAT travelers tip!
Way past the time people still had their shoes shined by a boy in the 40's of 50's? I started shining shoes when I was 7 or 8 y.o. in the late 70's. I'd go to the county court house, police station, and business district and shine shoes. Perhaps, because I was an anomoly, I made excellent money shining shoes. The pay seemed amazing for a little kid, even $20.00 tip from a lawyer. I did that until my cutesy looks wore out at about 10 or so. Then I had a lawnmowing business and made quite good money until I was sixteen. I started investing in the stock market when I was 12. Unfortunately, I didn't chance upon Ben Graham books or make it to the Oracle of Omaha or even invest in Berkshire Hathaway until I was in my 20's, but I was able to save lots of money from my very small businesses. I'd recommend parents start kids learning the value of earning a dollar, for me it held my consumption down when I realized t that pushing a lawnmover or even driving a J. Deere mower around in 95+ F plus weather was what I had to do to earn a green back.
I joined the Japanese Pen Pal League, (back when snail mail then and still is--10-14 days each way, and Ma Bell sucked out $3+/min. for a foreign call) and would write letters back and forth to kids around the first world. My parents let me travel to Hiroshima to meet my penpal when I was 14. (I don't know if people could FaceBook such a thing these days? Definitely easier, quicker, and cheaper, but could be more intensive). The following year I did the same thing in France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. For a 15 y.o. kid, it was amazing. The following year I went to Spain and took the Algeceras boat to Tangiers, Morroco with a couple of much older Dutch and German college students--great memories. I went back to Western Europe a few more times with each trip memorable and inexpensive. A couple of 2 breaks in Cen and S. America. I'd visit my penpals and stay with them. After the airfare, student train and bus passes were so cheap, and I had hot meals and a bed for free. Sometimes we'd have my pen pals visit us in the States.
In the late 80's and early nineties, I went to many places in Thailand, India, the Philippines, Taiwan, and especially Indonesia where nobody had seen a white person in the flesh before. Mostly like Wade, I strung together grants, tuition waivers, and scholarships to attend University Hawaii, but spent more time off campus on exchange programs at U. Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and worked as an intern at an American Consulate in Indonesia. I imported trickets and sold them at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet and herbal remedies at health food stores. I decided academia wasn't for me and started a partnership in Hawaii and another U.S.territory and was able to create good size business. As I became burnt out from 16-20 hour days. I sold out to my partners, and semi-retired investing in financial securities.
As for my 10 best places to stay for under $500 month:
1. Upland East Java Indonesia.
2. Some parts of coastal Bali Lombok (surf)
3. Rural upland, Sabah, Malaysia
4. Jammu state India
5. Vanuatu...pick an island.
6. Upland, East Timor.
7. Samar, Philippines (surf)
8. Ko Chang, Thailand or Ko Tang, Cambodia.
9. Molokai, Hawaii (especially if on welfare LOL).
10. Arequepa, Peru
10 best places to stay for under $500 month is good to know Vic and thanks. As I thought about the above list, I know that people will fly to their first starting locations and need to quickly enter the travelers mentality.
I would hope they use a list like you provided after the first month.
I have trouble promoting Southeast Asia, because of the difficult with languages, the experience is colder and less personal. Plus the beginner traveler has a high propensity of become addicted to party or paying women. Therefore I recommend they stay away from you list until more experienced, except for Aerequipa, Peru and maybe Hawaii.
Thailand #1 hands down feet bound.
My very first trip to another country was Bangkok, Thailand. I stayed in Khao San road for several days. I didn't actually stay there long since there were many other places that I wanted to see and I only had a month. It was tough experience for me since the only other country I had been to at this point was Canada and I don't really count it since I had been going to Canada regularly since I was little. I think that it is a good place to start since if you can make it there for your first traveling experience, you can make it anywhere.