Two Broke Gypsies: Part Two

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Within a year of Alexis Barkl and Michelle Rae meeting, they were on their way to Texas’ capital for a bit of fun and exploration. Their goal was to experience as much as possible to record enough content for their first ever vlog, and doing it for cheap. To save money, they stayed on people’s couches and rode around in Lyft’s using discount codes. And, they even got to visit Houston for a few days.

“We had everyone give a suggestion to put in the hat, so I think for this next one, we decided it’s going to be a backpacking trip,” they said. “We’re thinking probably Colorado or Utah, or Northern California; maybe the Yosemite area but probably one of those three it’s where it’s gonna to be.” While they were in Austin, they went to visit the University of Texas, partied late-night on 6th street, hung around Lady Bird Lake to take pictures, but first, they looked for a gym.

To get to Austin and save money, Rae asked her dad to drive them from Phoenix to Las Vegas, NV because the tickets were only $70 each. They also used the ride-sharing app-service, Lyft, and because they got lucky, they had Lyft credit for their whole trip and only paid about a dollar per ride. Their number one tip to save money when traveling, however, was to use the Couchsurfing because it is free and the hosts always know where the best spots are. Some people may be reluctant to sleep under a stranger’s roof, but the app allows the hosts to have references from previous people who stayed there. “If you think about it we would have spent, minimum, around $80 a night. That’s what saved us the most money,” they said. “We probably saved four or five hundred bucks alone.”

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They were not there just to see the sights and experience that good ol’ Texas heat; they were also capturing footage for their YouTube channel and vlog. They used their iPhones, a DSLR and of course, the reverent GoPro Hero 5. However, they experienced trouble with their setup, and soon enough, the amount of footage they captured was way too much for their computer to store. Next time, they say, it will be better.

“This was a learning experience, to say the least,” they said. “Looking back at the footage where we were like ‘oh man if only we could’ve done this, or we should have done that.’ But we got a lot of footage, and I think the episode is going to do really well. We want people to learn about the places we’re going... we want them[people] to be entertained because you’re not going to watch something that’s boring.”

Because it is their first time shooting and editing a video of this caliber, it is taking them some time to upload, but they expect they will have it finished soon. There are many things they did not get to film during their adventure, but this will be a big episode they said. It might be a while before their next trip because of work and school commitments, but some targets they want to visit are Colorado, Utah or Northern California.

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On their Facebook and Instagram pages, they regularly update their followers with their adventures, but also with fun and helpful tips about traveling. One of those money-saving tips is to stay away from tourist restaurants because they overcharge—this may be a given for some, but not all people. “We wanted to do something that made us a little different and something that we could offer the people that are watching other than entertainment,” they said. Another tip they mentioned is to plan for any big trip, and because they did that, they spent less than $700 for the both of them including travel, food and living accommodations.

“Every time we talk about this; where we want to go in the future, what we want to do, I think, inspiring is the one word that we always come back to,” they said. “We want to put up an episode, that when someone watches it, they get goosebumps because it’s almost, kind of, like they're going through the same cultural experience we are.”

Alejandro Medellin