Jesse / Hitchhiking / Travel Tips

Travel Tips: Sleeping Eating and Showering for Free


The Overview: Inexpensive Solutions to the rudimentary problems: Resting the Body, Feeding the Body, and Bathing the Body.

Sleeping: Roves, Cars, Hostels

Sleeping on Roves

It´s a fairly advanced endeavor as far as budget traveling goes. I´d gone through several years of skimping around the country before I knew anything about, and before i'd met anyone who spoke openly about, sleeping on roves of buildings. I had never considered the simplicity.

The object is to find yourself a roof

    • which you can get onto
    • which you can get safely off of
    • one with a flat surface, preferably tar or pebble surface (not fiberglass)
    • is out of view

Uncommon Sleeping Places

Sleeping in someone else´s vehicle: rental cars, rental vans, under large objects and in People´s Garages, yards and pool houses

Hostels, Hosteling, and Backpacker Inns

most hostels will supply you with blanket and pillow, and will provide you with sheets. About half the places charge an additional dollar for sheets and towels.

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are comfortable but heavy and bulky.

Eating: Stealing Food

There are a bunch of ways to eat cheap. Actually, across the board, the name of the game is to do it as cheap as possible.

Stealing Food

there are a lot of ways to get food into yur tank. Stealing food is a classic example. In the modern world where, generally, we don't get our hands cut off for stealing and where faceless corporations run the world stealing has again become practicable and reasonable.

Grocery stores

stealing from grocery stores is ok. You can always grab some food and eat it while you walk around.

Communial Eating and Making Friends: friends who eat together; play, screw, laugh, and visit one another.

simple grocery lists and recipes for large groups

Lunch: avocado, tomato, and lemon on hardy bread
Diner: kidney beans, corn, curry, and carrots over rice

  • Churches, charities, and other free food
  • Drinking, Sex, Diariah

Ask the poor looking people, ask around when you get to a town and you'll find out where the free food is served. Often it'll be a church which may require you to attend a service before you can eat. Find out the details and then show up just after the service and plead your case, "Jesus, I'm a believer and praise god I'll probably die if i don't get some food in the tank soon. Thanks"

And smile. Smiling always helps.



If you stink, you stink; clean clothes cloth happy people. A few ideas -

do all your wash when staying at a friend´s house

This is the cheapest and easiest way to get your clothes clean. When you´ll be staying with a friend for a few days ask them where they wash their clothes.

buy new clothes as you go

assuming you bring nothing with you, buy yourself a new shirt each day and grab a pack of panties/underpants and a three-pair-pack of socks when you arrive.

Places to Do Your Laundry

There are many places to do your laundry: in a sink, at a hostel, a friend's house, and public laundry mats. Washing socks and underpants is easily done in a sink and can be done every few days, clean socks and underpants keep your ass and feet healthy.

Youth Hostels and Hotels

Hotels and most hostels offer laundry services to their guests and most towns have public laundry mats. Pricing varies substantially by country but the typical pricing ladder for getting your cloths cleaned looks like this, from the cheapest to the ridiculous: at a friend´s house, By Hand, at a hostel, public launderette, using hotel laundry service.

If you don´t have much stuff, and I´m hoping you don´t, you may end up with a half a load of wash--think up a useful way to fill out the load. Two possibilities are to wash a few items for someone or, if you´re traveling with a schoolbag style backpack, throw your pack in the washing machine (it keeps your cloths smelling fresh and flowery).

combining loads with traveling partners

Laundry Mats

Public Laundry Mats vary a lot with the country. For example, in the Czech Republic where i was while writing this sentence has no Laundry Mats. They have only dry cleaning places which are expensive, about $1.25 for a shirt, two dollars for a sweater. In England and Ireland they have public laundry mats with both washing and drying machines. Some towns in the middle of the United States have bar/laundry mats where you can drink until you puke and then wash your clothes if you wish, or just wash your dirties and drink a beer.

Showering / Bathing

Public Showers / Public Pools / Community Centers / Gyms / YMCA

These are all expensive ways to get yourself clean. They're usually 5 bucks. (I don't know much about the YMCA - maybe it's free). They're expensive but you can usually figure out a way to either get in for free or to gather up a few people who need a shower and then take turns with the key.

I suggest, if you're going to pay money at a place, try to find something with a sauna. If you have any money at all than it's worth it, as good as getting a hot-towel shave ($5)

Pool Hoping

This is perhaps more entertaining than the fabled ritual of cow tipping. Pretty much just find a house with a pool, leave your stuff stashed a sensible distance from the property, tear off all your clothes and jump in.
Scrub yourself clean, swim a few laps and get out of there!

I´m against using soap and shampoo in stranger´s pools for two reasons. You come out clean and covered in chlorine regardless and no one minds you jumping in their pool for a few minuets of jolly naked bathing but their generosity may turn savage if they hear someone singing in their pool only to look out and realize it´s you shampooing and bathing in their pool. They´ll come out wielding a hand gun, call the police and have you arrested

Public Restrooms:

public restrooms run the gamut. Some are terrific and clean, most are passable and smell only faintly of stale urine and a few are rancid cesspool´s of gunk. Don´t expect toilet paper in the later. Before I forget, in some countries the norm is ´bring your own T.P´.

I´m not a big fan of washing in restrooms but here´s how you do it: standing proudly before a sink or toilet, washcloth in hand, *rinse*, *scrub/wash*, *rinse*, *scrub/wash*, *rinse*, *scrub/wash*, etc. continue until clean.

Various Electrical Adapters

The Resolve: The Cruelest Master, Necessity.


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