A Guide to Bench Blazing – Tips for Enjoying Free Travel Trend

in Trip Planning

When most people think about spending a night under the stars, enjoying the great outdoors, they imagine bunkering down in a campground or RV park. But there’s an even cheaper option for the more adventurous traveler, and it doesn’t cost a cent. Welcome to the world of bench blazing.

Bench blazers take the freedom of travel to the extreme, refusing to tie themselves down to organized accommodation and itineraries. They might sleep on the bench of a suburban park one night and on the beach the next. They’re not quite sure where they’ll make their next bed, and that’s exactly how they like it.

On a good night, a bench blazer might find themselves with a full belly and a roof over their head thanks to the kindness of strangers. This isn’t cheating, but just another experience on the bench blazer’s improvised vacation. It’s not quite couch surfing as there’s no prior planning involved, but it does make a refreshing change of pace in inclement weather!A bench blazer

Of course we can’t control when Good Samaritans will come along, so bench blazers often spend nights in less than favorable conditions. It takes shivering on just one wet night to become more compassionate to those less fortunate. With the money you’ve saved on accommodation perhaps you can throw a few dollars their way, or share a slap-up breakfast with your neighboring homeless folks the next morning!

If you’re planning to bench blaze on your next vacation, make sure you travel light. Without a room to stay in, you’ll need to carry your luggage wherever you go, so you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t weigh a ton. You also don’t want your expensive electronics or entire designer wardrobe to disappear while you’re catching forty winks. Really all you need is a sleeping bag, your wallet, a flashlight, and a few outfits. This is one situation where less really is more.

When looking for a place to stay, make sure you’re smart about it. Bench blazing is an adventure, but you don’t need to stay in a gang neighborhood to get that adrenalin rush. Parks are often quite safe, while train stations and bus depots are generally best avoided. Trust your instincts and move on if you’re uneasy about bunkering down.

That old adage about safety in numbers is also true. A single person in a park is a loner, vulnerable to being hassled, while a group of young travelers is a party!

Make sure you respect the local authorities and do as they say. Western Europe and Scandinavia is very accepting of bench blazers, but much of Asia, African, and the Americas is less tolerant. Learn the local rules, because a fine may cost you more than a hostel room! Many cops will let friendly bench blazers off with a warning, but it’s better not to tempt fate.

And finally, always have a back-up plan. It’s smart to locate the local hostels and cheap hotels, just in case you can’t find a suitable sleeping place or the weather is really gnarly.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but bench blazing can be an exhilarating way to enjoy a frugal vacation.

Previous post:

Next post: