In today’s society it seems that everything runs on money, so how do we mitigate that? In this entry, I will share with you how I traveled and explored 1100 miles in 4 days only spending 300 dollars.
My journey begins in Southern California in a city called San Clemente. As San Clemente is beautiful in itself, I still wanted more. Already being tight on money I didn’t want to spend a whole lot, but I still wanted to see some amazing places. So to spend as little as possible I began to do some research. To break things down, I would spend $150 on gas, $75 on Campsites, and $50 on food. First I had to decide where I wanted to go. Then I had to decide how I wanted to eat. Once I had that figured out, I began looking for places where I could stay for as cheap as possible. We already know that hotels aren’t the cheapest of options, so where else could we stay. A couple of options are Hostels, Campgrounds, or you could even sleep in your car. For half of my trip, that’s exactly what I choose to do. Having a small SUV, I was able to lay down the back seats and make a decent bed.
My first stop would be McWay Falls in Big Sur, California. Once you leave the big cities, the drive along the coast is one to remember. With winding curves,
turquoise waters, and jagged cliffs you’ll immediately want to come back. As I mentioned earlier, I chose to sleep in my car; this is the first place that I chose to do so. Getting to the falls a little early, I found a spot where I could pull over and sleep for the night. Although it’s not far from my origin, I wanted to photograph multiple scenes in the area. Not only is there a beautiful waterfall but there’s also amazing scenery for sunsets, sunrises, and it’s even dark enough to see the milky way!
After photographing every view possible and a good nights rest, I would begin the second day of my trip. My next two stops would be short but worth it. Bixby
Bridge was up first. The bridge is amazing and has some great views along the coast. Not staying long I moved up to the famous surfing spot Mavericks. Mavericks is known for having 50-60 foot waves. After getting my fill of the waves, I would head up to the iconic city of San Francisco. San Francisco would be
the next place I would stay. The city in itself has a lot of parking restrictions so if you choose to sleep in your car here make sure you read all the signs around you first. Instead of sleeping in my car I decided I wanted to take a shower, so I choose to cross the Golden Gate to a KOA campground. Although not the cheapest of campgrounds, you get what you pay for. At 50 dollars I had a place where I could plug in and recharge all of my electronics, clean restrooms and showers, a pool and hot tub, and a fire pit to cook some food.
With my second day over I would awake to a drive to one of California’s most
beautiful places, Yosemite National Park. In Yosemite, you’re not allowed to sleep along the road, so I choose to stay in one of the campgrounds. The drive from San Francisco to Yosemite isn’t long, so I was able to drive through the valley and stop at a few places along the way. Yosemite is known for its scenery, amazing waterfalls, and unremarkable mountains. Just before sunset, I would head back to my campsite for dinner and a good night’s rest. I would then awake to the fourth day of my trip and head back home.
I hope through this you were able to see that it’s possible to see amazing places on a cheap budget. If you don’t have four days to use you can still see some amazing things in a weekend trip! If you’d like to see more of my photos from this trip and many others you can visit my website, or I invite you to check out my Instagram @throughathirdeye.