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Excellent Travel Advice

Updated: Mar 10, 2015 14:50
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Awhile ago Kate wrote up a few cheap travel tips to help you all get your ramble on.  Considering that I spent roughly two years living out of a bag, her post inspired me to share some of my pointers with you.  These are only a few, but I’ll probably end up doing this from time to time just because I love you motherfuckers!

Fly During Off Peak Hours: Friday, Sunday and Monday flights are generally more expensive because that’s when everyone needs to fly.  It’s simple supply and demand.  So if you can fly on like Wednesdays or some shit, you’re gonna get cheaper flights.  Same goes for flying at ugly times.  No one wants to get up at 5am for a flight, but if you’re willing to do it, you will certainly pay less than if you flew at reasonable hour.

Be Flexible: Now I know that most of the time you fly, you’ve gotta be some place at a certain time like your nephew’s bar mitzvah or your ex’s gender reassignment celebration.  But if you have a job, I’m sure that you also get some vacation days.  If you have some flexible time off and you wanna do some traveling, I suggest going to  The way it works is that you plug in your nearest airport, the month you want to leave, and the region you want to visit, and it brings up the cheapest flights available.  I just plugged in my info and found a roundtrip flight from San Francisco to Madrid for $590!  Fuck'.now I’m just teasing myself.  If I had the time and money I’d so buy that ticket right now.

Nothing says snuggle with me better than a Gonorrhea plush doll

Nothing says “snuggle with me” better than a Gonorrhea plush doll

Travel Insurance: If you are going on a trip outside of the country I highly recommend getting travel insurance.  While it does suck to have to cough up another $100+ after spending lots of money on a ticket, you’ll appreciate it when you’re on your trip and realize that while losing your inhibitions the night before, you also managed to lose your camera.  But hey, at least you got the Clap as a souvenir.  Luckily your travel insurance will probably cover the penicillin used to get rid of that too.  To get the most information about what travel insurer will work best for you check out

Packing REALLY Light. photo from

Packing REALLY Light. photo from

Travel Light: I try to travel as light as possible and only travel with a carry-on whenever I can.  Its easier than you think.  I was able to live out of a carry-on for two weeks and during that time I went to a wedding, filmed some promotional TV stuff for two days and threw a huge party In NYC.  I was still able to fit all my different outfits into a carry-on bag.   But not everyone can do that, so if you do decide to check some baggage, make sure that it is only clothes in that particular suitcase.  Seriously, I can’t emphasize this enough:  put anything that you consider important in your carry-on luggage.  Medicine, toiletries, sunglasses, film equipment, and even your security blanket should all be in your carry on.  Luggage gets lost or stolen more often than you think and it’s easier to deal with losing your clothes than losing your antipsychotic medicine.

This guy cant figure out why he has such a tough time getting through JFK. photo from

This guy can’t figure out why he has such a tough time getting through JFK. photo from

Make Photocopies of All Your Important Documents: Most importantly, do this for your passport, but you should also do it for your travel insurance documents, credit cards, and driver’s license.  Then once you’ve done that, keep them separate from all the actual hardcopies.  So if you keep your passport in your money belt all the time, keep your photocopies in your luggage.  I know it sounds crazy and even a little OCD, but it will be MUCH easier to deal with the embassy when your passport gets stolen if you’ve got a photocopy of what the fucker looked like.

Oh Yeah, One Last Thing: Don’t ever become a drug mule, ever.  That shit is stupid!

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. November 3, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Speaking of travelling light

    (Not my blog, but a friend’s.)

  2. Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
    November 3, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Nice! Thanks for the link!

  3. Jeremy
    November 3, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    When you buy your ticket also matters. I wanna say Tuesday night or Wednesday morning is the cheapest. Places like have a graph showing trends over time. Time it right for a cheaper fare

  4. Michelle
    November 3, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    As something of a world traveller myself, I cannot recommend Stuart’s tips highly enough. I used to get annoyed with my (Jewish) mother when she would force me to photocopy important documents, insure my trips, and pack the essentials in my carry-on. But it’s save my ass time and time again, and since Broke-Ass Stuart is endorsing it, it must be the cool thing to do now, right?! Thanks dude for yet another informative article!!!

  5. Kate Kotler - DIY Diva
    November 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    I agree with all these tips wholeheartedly. I cannot tell you a.) how helpful having photocopies of your docs in your day pack when your rolly bag with the originals has been nicked… AND b.) Travel light. I have it down to one small rolly bag (a lil different from my days of serious backpackage) and a Timbuk2 that is mostly empty except for a laptop.

  6. Kate Kotler - DIY Diva
    November 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    AND I think everyone at this pub has traveled (on the cheap and otherwise) a bunch, this could be something we all could do… 🙂 Travel tips.

  7. November 4, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    I was totally thinking of being a drug mule. Thanks for setting me straight. Kidding. Great post as always Stuart.

  8. January 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    This was a very good read, please keep updating!

  9. megan
    January 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks, great advice! I completely agree; travelers’ insurance is so important. I recommend for some more info on what travel insurance covers.

  10. Jeffrey C. Anthony
    December 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Another option for keeping a (possibly 3rd) copy of your documentation, a micro sd card at 1gb will set you back around $5 and can also store digital copies of your documentation, and is so small you can hide it anywhere with a little ingenuity. Save in commonly used document formats, but make sure to password protect it, perhaps in .zip format.

  11. Barrett
    December 19, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    My today’ horoscope:

    December 19, 2010

    LibraLibra (9/23-10/22)

    At certain times, it’s perfectly safe to give over care of your belongings to the powers that be. At other times, it’s not. This is one of those times when keeping very close company with the things that you hold most dear wouldn’t be a bad idea — especially if you’re traveling and you’ll need your stuff as soon as you arrive. This is one of those moments when carry-on luggage is less of an inconvenience than it seems to be.


  12. Heather C
    March 10, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I make three photocopies of all of my documents and credit cards. One set goes in my carry-on, one I keep on my person, and the third set I leave with a trusted friend at home, just in case shit really goes down.