What about travel sites, anyway?

Many of us feel our lives would be incomplete without having seen at least one foreign country in our lifetime. There are travel sites that can help you do this on the cheap, but which one is best for you and your needs?

Let us look at a few and you can decide for yourself. Let us assume the trip is to take place a week from now [September 6th at 12:00 PM], and we're going from LAX [Los Angelis] to London Heathrow(Great Britains largest airport). We'll try for one adult round-trip ticket as well.

(Note: I'll be giving these results a subjective score based on service and features)


 Expedia has a quick, compact interface. One click to set your trip coverage (Hotels and cars are even included in the price as an option).


Expedia gave me a price-tag of $845. Not quite on the cheap, the trick to Expedia is using their explore by destination interface on the upper-right. there you can find deals for hotels and flights (Maybe).

A real great feature of Expedia is marked "Today's Deals" There you can find quick in-country hotels and flights for under a hundred bucks.

Break down out of ten:

Ease of use: 10
Scenario Price: 4
Flexibility: 7.5
Difference in price: +106

Over all: 19.56


Hotwire directly confronts the issue at hand. "Discount Airfare!" which is exactly what we want, especially considering the trip at hand.


I got a better deal here, though you can't expect a great drop in price with the general distance of my test trip (What can I say, I like working with big numbers). Just for using Hotwire to book I only have to pay $713! More than a one-hundred-dollar Saving.

Right after i clicked the submit button the fair price changed to $739. Still a hundred-dollar save, but I'm hoping this is a rare find and not something concurrent.

Ease of use: 10
Scenario Price: 6
Flexibility: 7.5
Difference in price: -106

Over all: 24.56


Time for the standing holder of bragging rights. According to their commercials you can save up to half off of the competitors prices!? Let us check that, shall we?


$849 I certainly didn't expect that. The site itself seems to work about as well as Expedia. The name your own price feature seems to put you on a wait list. I wouldn't click any further as it asks for some registration information.


Ease of use: 10
Scenario Price: 3.8
Flexibility: 7.5
Difference in price: +110

Over all: 20.2

In the end, it's the specific trip you want that counts. I'm sure you can find something wonderful to do for a small price. I think it's best to plan your own walking tours using something like google maps.

(Well... That might be more of an urban hike then a walk, but you get the idea)

--Isacc Weltrip


How to travel anyway

In this economy it's difficult to find something to do that you can live comfortably while doing. This poses a problem when you can't seem to get out of the place you're living at but have no income to support yourself. I say, Why not travel?

Yeah, traveling costs money, it takes time, and what about those back home? Well there's an easy way to get all of this done on a low budget. You'll just need a few things to get started.

How to earn money, anyway.
The first problem you'll encounter is money. Where to acquire it, and how to collect it fast. There are plenty of places that are still hiring, even in this economy. Even a job as low on the budget-chain as "Mc Donalds" can help you out enough.

First, find a phone number you can use so potential employers will be able to contact you (It doesn't even have to belong to you, as long as you have permission to use it). Put in applications everywhere. Keep your sources up to date, and find a few people willing to pose as references who will say good things about you.

While you're waiting for that to sort itself out (let's face it, no matter how many applications you fill out you still have to wait), you can find places to earn some cash here and there. Recycling, Under-the-table work, anywhere you can make a quick buck (Hopefully safely) are prime choices.

How to acquire a vehicle, anyway.
You don't need a super-powered, high-torque, over-priced machine to get you from one place to another. Those gas-guzzling machines are for people whom don't know how to drive outside their own state. You don't even need an overly-expensive Green vehicle, either. What you need is something with wheels and an engine that can at least top 80 MPH.

Obviously, you'll have to get it used. depending on your budget you can find one easily at a dealership, but in case you don't have a lot of money to spare you can find a friend whom is willing to give you transportation for a low fee. If you're really desperate, you could always try Craig's list or a similar site to throw two-hundred bucks on a car that can at least get you across a few state-lines.

If all else fails, Get yourself a motorcycle. They're usually cheap, have room for two, and you don't technically need a license to drive one. You can get yourself a permit for the class and drive as much as you like while you earn your money (I suggest you get your full license before you leave your home-state, though. Otherwise it would be messy if you're pulled over and have to appear in some court in another state. That would certainly slow you down).

How to tie-up loose ends, anyway.
Now you have friends, family, and your job that are all still keeping you where you are (Not that they're a problem, but it's hard to leave things behind, is it not?).

First, approach your friends. Tell them what you're doing, where you're going to next (You don't necessarily need to know where you'll end up, just give them an idea of where you'll be in the next month). Get yourself a cheap track-phone and give your number to anyone you wish to contact you (Alternatively, start your own website on a free-site such as Myspace, Facebook (Though I don't recommend Facebook for their terms-of-use-agreement), or even Twitter).

Next, seek out your family and give them the news. If you have trouble telling your family about the big things (And this is certainly a big change), than you can just tell them you're going away for (A few months/ a few years/ awhile/ forever/ cigarettes), and then comes the hard part.

You still have your job at McDonalds (Or wherever) to consider. Normally you should give two-weeks notice before you leave. No matter how you do it, you want to leave peacefully so you can take your reference with you on the road. speak directly to your head-manager (Or whomever is highest on the chain-of-command) and tell them simply that you can no longer stay in this town.

If you have trouble talking to people like your boss you can always hand them a letter of resignation (The plus side to this method is that it's considered "Classy"). The letter should detail all the reasons why you are leaving and that's all.

Now go! Start driving before you loose your nerve!

How to conquer psychology, anyway.
So, you can't bring yourself to leave? Even after all of that work you start to think, "I've got all I need to live comfortably, why should I leave now while my life is getting so much better?".

These thoughts stem from a psychological phenomena known as Premature Enlightenment. You need to realize this new life-style is only going to support you until you get on the road. To live life like a normal person (Read: Settle down) You need a higher paying job and a place to live.

You could easily obtain those things with some hard work, but then you would be running back to the original problem that started you on this path to the outside world. Take a deep breath, reassure yourself that this is exactly what you want to do, then cheer up and think about how exciting the world will be now that you're seeing it.

If you need a little more support, you can always contact relatives or friends from out of state and ask to visit them. They should be happy to see you, and it will give you more confidence in the long run.

There it is, that's all you need to be a wayfarer. Enjoy your new life on the road, and stay safe.