First of all, thanks for checking out this blog. Here's the jist of it, you can tour the Midwest USA for only $25. I'm counting travel and board, the rest is up to you. How am I doing it? Megabus, Greyhound Express, and Couchsurfing. Let's begin.
Megabus is owned by Coach USA, who wanted to rival Greyhound low fares and they introduced Megabus, a discount bus line (originated in Chicago) to achieve exactly that. How it works: Megabus offers the first 10 seats of every trip for only $1 (plus .50 cent reservation fee), so if you're quick, and you book in advance (usually 3-4 weeks early helps) you can buy these cheap seats. Megabus offers power outlets, free wi-fi, and never oversells seats. Cons: Can arrive late (with no way to check status of bus), no Megabus station (yes you may wait outside in the snow), and limited travel routes.
Greyhound noticed Megabus stealing their sales so they recently introduced Greyhound Express: offers cheap seats (some for $1, how about that?) to limited locations in the Midwest. Due to previous negative experiences with Greyhound: lost baggage, horrible customer service, bus failure, oversold bus seats, I tried to avoid booking trips with them. However, Greyhound travels further and more frequently, has a physical location, reputable (?) name, and usually quite punctual.
Last option is rideshare: look on Craigslist and you will find this under community. It's basically organized hitchhiking. Someone will post: "Hey driving to Detroit tomorrow, anyone want to join me and split gas?" I haven't explored this option because something tells me I'll spend more than $1 on gas, hence comprising my trip, however, if you're in a bind, this might save you're life. Cons: It's Craigslist (not the most reliable), might spend more for gas, could be stuck with a weirdo.
Ok, we made it past travel, now board. There is a wonderful website called couchsurfing.com. You simply sleep on strangers couches in different parts of the world. It works almost like a dating site: you make a profile, and then look for a place you want to go, find people there who wouldn't mind having to crash their couch for a few day (free, of course), and then write them a message. They should respond promptly with a yes or no. If no, move on to the next couchsurfer to host you. So, I got places to visit: one dollar fares and free board, what's the itinerary?