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Thread: Low budget riding ideas

  1. #1
    Tina Doggett copilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Waukesha, WI

    Low budget riding ideas

    Greetings. Probably not a lot of you on the forum. On your way to Salem. Wish we were there. Here's my question. Hubby was laid off this week. I have a flexible work schedule. We know the timing is perfect to just get out there and play but lack the funds. Would appreciate cheap camping areas, places to eat, etc. We have not put a travel direction together. How fun is that?

    Looking for our friends input to turn our frustrating situation into a great memory.

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Factory tours, especially those that get you close to real operations are something I enjoy. How about Harley Davidson or one of the breweries that are not to far from you?
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by copilot View Post
    Greetings. Probably not a lot of you on the forum. On your way to Salem. Wish we were there. Here's my question. Hubby was laid off this week. I have a flexible work schedule. We know the timing is perfect to just get out there and play but lack the funds. Would appreciate cheap camping areas, places to eat, etc. We have not put a travel direction together. How fun is that?

    Looking for our friends input to turn our frustrating situation into a great memory.
    I don't know if they exist up in your neck of the woods but a fav of mine is Waffle House. Very inexpensive and great food as far as I'm concerned. I know you stated camp grounds but if within the budget or weather requirements check out Motel 6. I've had my days of $250 a night hotels. Nothing fancy whatsoever but a decent motel the vast majority of the time. To be fair I am about as far from picky as one can get when it comes to food or motels so YMMV. A word of warning: if you do visit either one of the suggestions be prepared for friends to make fun of you. Be strong however.

    Here's hoping your husband finds something quickly. Help him to keep his spirits high. The economy does appear to be moving forward.
    Last edited by billy walker; 07-14-2013 at 02:41 AM.

  4. #4
    Registered User dmftoy1's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Lexington, IL
    State parks and tent camping are pretty cheap. For 3-4 days of fun going around Lake Michigan is a good time. Ferry to mackinaw island isn't that expensive and hiking is free.

    Good luck!!

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Racine, WI

    Wisconsin fairs and festivals

    There are a ton of fairs, festivals and other events going on around Wisconsin. One site to check is

    Also, July 27th, Organic Valley company in LaFarge is having a "free" event (10th Annual Kickapoo Country Fair) and there is also a city park with camping in Lafarge although for the 27th weekend may be full.

    I enjoy weekend getaways to Wisconsin's driftless area, quite a few of the towns have inexpensive camping, look at some of the towns along major hiking/biking trails and also river towns along the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. I like to hit the farmer's markets and enjoy some of that Amish bakery on Saturday mornings, then go find a couple of trees to hang my hammock.....

    Hope things work out for you and hubby.
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  6. #6
    Tina Doggett copilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Waukesha, WI
    Thank you. We know all about the riding in Wisconsin. We want to head out of the state on a shoestring. Interested in cheap camping (county parks, etc.) where you may have stayed.

    The driftless area in WI is great but this year due to all the rain we actually had a lot of mosquitoes.

  7. #7
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    New Braunfels,Texas/Taichung, Taiwan

    Get out the book

    Anonymous book that is. Just take off in the direction you want and while your on your way look through the book and find someone willing to let you camp out at there place. Of course, take a tent and all the other goodies you need to camp, but then again they might even offer you a room if your real nice.

    I usually take along a few small cans of English peas, canned salmon , a few beers and a bottle of Wild Turkey. The peas and salmon will keep you going and healthy and the booze will help you rest at night. Never fails for me. If your real lucky the anonymous member will probably feel sorry for you after seeing those cans of peas and offer you a home cooked meal.

    The only other thing you need to have is gas. And, I don't know the answer for that. In my younger days I used to drain all the gas out of the hoses at gas stations but I think they have eliminated that these days. I would say, just get a gas card and use it on your trip and don't worry about it until you get back.

    See how easy all that was. For about $50. worth of peas and salmon you can be on your way to a great vacation.
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco , 180cc Kymco Racing King
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Dec 2010
    This is a great website for exactly what you are talking about. I have used it frequently.

  9. #9
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Eats are the easiest to do cheap. A couple whole bran muffins, some granola bars, or a hard boiled egg and some milk or juice with a LARGE cup of coffee to share make breakfast under $6 for 2. Grocery store bakeries are usually cheap and have pretty good stuff. Lunch, a couple slices of bread, some nuts, or chips, and some lunch meat, sitting by the side of a stream in the shade, make a great lunch for about the same $6.. If in a hurry, lots of $1 slices of pizza at any pizza place and many gas stops. At night a small camp fire and a $4 grilling grate on a couple rocks, makes cooking burgers, chicken, dogs, of steak, a 1/2 lb tub of salad from the grocery store deli, and dinner is at most $10 for 2. I actually think you could keep it under $15 for 2/day for food, if you are creative.

    Want to save fuel $, just cruising the slab, regular, rather than the premium grades should be good. As someone said the anonymous book has people that might let you pitch a tent in the back yard, and ADVrider has a thread dedicated to people offering free camping/lodging here is the map :
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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  10. #10
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    There have been a few times in Wyoming and Colorado where I've found a deserted side road, or a deserted farm area, where I've been able to "camp" free for the night. Just make sure it really is deserted, and also not posted regarding trespassing or hunting, and don't get too far off the road (just in case...). Grab your night & morning munchies at a small market before settling in.
    One gorgeous night in Wyoming, I didn't bother with the tent, just the ground sheet, pad, & bag... and got woken up by a thunderstorm.
    Some states may permit over-nighting in a roadside rest area, this varies by state & locale. Once in Colorado, again without the tent, I got woken up at 6 AM as the sprinklers came on.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Just ahead of a flat line
    Come to Canada, we love visitors and most of the country is crown land so you can camp wherever you want for free and if you stay away from the touristy areas there are lots of free or at least low budget activities.

    Staying in the US, this site will give you a way to plan a trip and select camping sites.

    They actually had an iphone app that I have operating on my phone and plan to use to find cheap camping on a trip the the Black Hills next week.
    Last edited by garthw; 07-16-2013 at 09:16 PM.

  12. #12
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Hillsborough NC
    I like the challenge of your question. I am not sure it has fully be explored here.

    Things I would consider are lower distance traveled, (perhaps not even a tank of gas each day) and then do the rest of the day at some tour, educational site (state parks and such have those often), chill by a river or lake swimming and reading etc. I would think there are a number of things within the first 200 miles of your home that you have said we should stop there sometime. Now might be the time.

    Do figure out what a reasonable budget is even camping. I know camping around Cherokee NC can be upwards of $ 30/night for a tent site and $90 for a bunk cabin. If you are willing to be an hour away they are more like 15/tent 35/bunk cabin. So pick your places in less popular areas. State parks here are getting more and more online reservations only for the sites, so look some up and plan ahead but leaving some wiggle room for spontaneous decisions.

    Also remember museums. There are a lot of state and local and then very local setups where you can learn something as you travel.

    Meals, I am of two minds here. I am fond of camp cooking and it can be done simply. Still there is the grocery stop, the goods to buy and buying so there isn't any real left overs and then clean up. Don't get me wrong, I prefer camping. My camp kit however is in two bags. One will do me without worrying about cooking, one is with cooking expected. If doing some very simple camp cooking, perhaps stop earlier in the day and do some things around the camp area so it is more than just a stop, cook, sleep, break camp , leave.

    Lunch is often the cheaper meal when buying it out. Perhaps that should be the main meal of the day. Then something very simple like PB, cheese etc and crackers and a simple can of food for supper and perhaps a bottle of wine or ice cream cone from a dairybar.. Or at supper always plan to share the entree and dessert as the treat and then fill it in with an extra side of veggies. Fast food can be a very simple and cheap way just to have food. A breakfast burrito at Mcdonalds is only a buck here. Watch for the local specials, 2 whatever meat/bread for 3 bucks kind of things. Eat simply several times a day and then treat yourself to a nicer meal every other day.

    Do look to the basic hotels. They usually have a simple breakfast included, wi fi tends to be free and it provides a rest and if they have a small pool, enjoy it.

    Do the winery/brewery/factory tours as you can. They fill the day with things you learn and that makes the day seem refreshing.

    If you are in a nice spot that is cheap, stay an extra day and just enjoy it. Perhaps make it the base for a two day adventure of out and back. (in PA camping we learned of the covered bridges of that county and gravity hill so we spent the day exploring those. It was satisfying, cheap and we got to explore the area)

    Take time to stop, to photograph things, to watch, to take the short hike to the waterfall or overlook.

    Again, after being "cheap" for a few days, do something that feels a bit extravagant.

    I would suggest that you touch base with each other on what is OK as far as "cheap". You could be surprised in what you see in yourself and your mate. Also talk about what makes a nice day. Give several scenarios that each person can then expand upon. Then start planning your trip to include those. Make some days more active, some restful, and some doing something that is a bit adventuresome. (A Raft trip down a big river might be $$$$ but a inner tube trip down a small stream and walk back or short shuttle might only be $, a local lake here will rent kayaks for $4/hr so stopping and paddling for a few hours and a watermelon has a nice afternoon and some food for less than $15.)

    I hope that stimulates some of your thinking. Time to head home now. More thoughts later if you ask.

    03 K 1200RS (Black is Best)
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    74 Honda CB750 K4

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Rossville, In
    I am not suggesting you go here but my wife and I just got back from a little tour because like you we could not go to rally. We headed down to Gatlinburg, TN area and rode the dragon and great roads there before heading up thru VA, WV, and Ohio back to home.
    They point I was going to make is we stayed down town Gatlinburg in a Microtel for $38 a night. Planned on two nights but for that price made it a three nighter there. We went north to VA and camped at Hungry Mother State park and it costed us $33 for a night there. My question was why camp ad sleep on ground in the rain when we could have a bed, shower, and AIR for $38? By the way, we met another cheap BMW couple who headed up from GA.
    Get on the hotel sites and just look around, there are some great deals and if you are not headed to a specific place then when you see a super cheap hotel rate in a town that you have never heard of, you have yourself an adventure for a small price. Just take back roads to get there and see new stuff.

  14. #14
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Southern Tier of New York
    A loaf of multi-grain bread and a jar of Smart Balance peanut butter will provide some inexpensive but healthy lunches, free of trans fats. That's what I eat at home, so why not on the road?

    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  15. #15
    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Otsego, Michigan

    Motels with breakfast

    I almost always try and find a motel with breakfast. I usually book ahead and plan the motel. Right now Choice has 30% off many good motels. So a 45 or 50 dollar motel once you add a breakfast becomes much cheaper.
    If I ride 350 or longer mileage days, I use the hot tube for a few minutes.
    I might stay at a local place if I had someone I trust tell me it good, but many are just so old and maintenance is always down the list for the owners.
    I found if I eat a good breakfast, a snack is all that is needed for lunch. Just a stop for gas, a gbar and drink.
    I usually stop 90 to 120 minutes weather I need gas or not.
    '84 R100RT '04 CLC(gone) Honda NT700V
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