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Live the High Life on a Low Budget

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Are you looking to for a different kind of travel experience? Still want to see a variety of different countries and feel up to a bit of a challenge? Then read on, as I have the perfect solution right here.

I’m talking motor racing with, of course, a travel twist.

Unfortunately, the main drawback with the majority of these automotive extravaganzas is the prohibitive entry costs. The prestigious Gumball 3000, for instance, will set you back a cool £28,000 to get among the action – not to mention the need for Ferrari or Lamborghini or other such machine to actually become any kind of real player.

It’s much the same story for the ROARR classic car race across the Himalayas and the Lisbon-Dakar Rally, coming in only slightly cheaper at £20,000 and £8,700 respectively. Sigh.

If, like me, you are starting to feel a little downhearted at these prohibitive registration levies, worry not. There are other options for the more budget conscious.

Let us focus on a triplet of races that are less Club Class and Caviar, and more Skateboards and Sandwiches. In contrast, the following challenges are infinitely more affordable yet still offer fun and adventure by the trunk load.

The Cannonball Run. London – Puerto Banus

If the Lisbon-Dakar is luxury travel, the Cannonball Run is definitely backpacking. Essentially, it’s a 2,400 mile, 4 day event for pre 1991 vehicles. The cost is £1,350 based on two people, and includes ferry transfers, accommodation at the end of each race day (and champagne!), personal sign writing on entrance vehicles, and the black-tie party on the final evening. For more details visit www.cannonballrunclassic.com


The Italian Job. Venice – Brighton

Cheaper still, this 3000 mile, 10 day charity event will set you back £500 to enter. Competitors must be over 21, and be comfortable behind the wheel of a Mini. Micheal Caine look-alikes are also heartily encouraged to join in the fun. Visit www.italianjob.com to find out how you can get involved and help raise more money for NCH - The Children’s Charity, and other worthy causes.


The Plymouth – Banjul Rally

The Plymouth-Dakar Challenge, as it is now known, has been encouraging hundreds of the world’s lunatics cash-strapped explorers to head into the wilds of the Sahara Desert since its inauguration in 2003. If the Cannonball Run is the backpacker, then this must be the hardcore vagrant. Forget the Gumball 3000, and enter the Oddball 3000.

The 3000 mile fundraising ‘race’ from the South of England to the West Coast of Africa is mere snip at £300 to enter and, now here’s the kicker, you must have a cheap car to enter. It has to cost less that £100, to be precise. Now for an insider tip: Russian built Ladas seem to be the vehicle of choice as none of them have failed to complete the challenge…yet. You heard it here first.
For more information on the mother of all cheapskate rallies, visit http://www.plymouth-dakar.co.uk