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The Little Budget Travel Book – Review & Giveaway

David Ning of Money Ning just sent me a review and giveaway copies of his new book The Little Budget Travel Book. This was great timing, as I’m going on a family vacation later this month.

The Little Budget Travel Book

The book lives up to its “little” name, it’s small and a quick read. Instead of overwhelming you with 3000 tips for cheaper travel, it presents a holistic approach to frugal travel. He doesn’t lay out a specific philosophy of budget travel, but he encourages you to read it more than once so the ideas become ingrained in you. This way, you’ll not only remember the specific examples when you travel, you’ll be inspired to come up with your own ways to save.

Despite its size, The Little Budget Travel Book covers all aspects of travel–planning the trip, getting there, and touring.

There are suggestions for traveling lighter and still having room for souvenirs or other purchases on your trip (e.g. bring clothes you’re almost done with and leave them there). I found several tips I hadn’t thought of beforehand for booking cheapter flights.

David focuses on having an enjoyable travel experience, not necessarily doing the tourist thing, but creating memories. I found it refreshing that he didn’t have some of the outrageous frugal travel tips which seem destined to make the traveler miserable.

To Buy or Not to Buy

So, at $15, is it worth the money? I think that the book is a good buy for his target market–people who travel frequently or wish they traveled frequently who are looking to save money. The tips are just as good for people who rarely travel, but they’ll get less mileage out of the book (though it applies well to local trips as well).

It’s also a good read for people planning some kind of one-in-a-lifetime trip. You may have saved up more than enough, but you might as well get the most mileage for your money.

To Win

I’m giving away a copy of The Little Budget Travel Book. To enter, share your best frugal travel experience–a deal you got, something fun you did for little or nothing, or share something you’d like to do/see that’s a frugal travel experience.

The contest ends on Friday, July 14th at 9pm EDT. Entries must have valid e-mail addresses so I can contact the winner about sending the book. Winner will be chosen using, I have final discretion about the validity of submissions. Void where prohibited.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

L August 10, 2009 at 7:32 am

I fit in as much site-seeing as I can when I have the opportunity to travel for my job occasionally. I’ve learned that an important frugality measure is taking comfortable shoes that are broken in for prolonged walking. Twice I have ended up with terrible blisters forcing me to buy new shoes in a hurry during trips. On one occasion I had tremendous good luck and found Clark’s clogs at a discount shoe store that were dramatically discounted, are fantastically comfortable, and have worn like iron for years since. The other occasion resulted in a very unfrugal incident:-(

cybele August 10, 2009 at 10:23 am

There are often wonderful concerts for free, or close to it, in churches and sometimes in music schools/conservatories, so if you’re into music, try just stopping in and asking. Some of the nicest moments I’ve had in that way were purely serendipitous: hearing a chorus practising as I walked through a street in Geneva (on a business trip), I found the entrance to the small hall, sat down quietly and heard a marvellous concert – good for the soul and the pocketbook…and the singers were thrilled to have an attentive audience…of one!

cybele August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am

another wonderful thing is to look for parks. It’s amazing how many forms of beauty you can encounter there: sculptures, flower displays, music and theatre, sports, quiet spots… and if you ever have the good fortune to be in Japan, look for a temple…the walkway will likely be lined with vendors of all kinds of things from candy to prayer notes to statuettes to clothes…and in the temple itself there will be a wonderful atmosphere of calm and peace. the contrast is amazing. As for shopping, local markets are wonderful for trinkets and crafts: I still have the lovely basket I bought on my first trip to Europe. It is low and flat so it could cradle the few other things I bought and still not take much room in my suitcase.
This is an inspiring subject (for me) so I’m tempted to rattle on and on, but I’ll stop…but not before seconding L’s comment about Good Shoes!!!

Natalie August 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm

There are always great free activities and events, as mentioned. I like to find directions for self-guided walking tours online, to guide myself around the main tourist areas of a city. Then, if I do decide to pay for a guide, I can afford something more special: in London we did the Jack the Ripper tour.
Larger destinations often have a tourist card you can buy, with included (or discounted) entry to the main sites – research them well, though. I only had to lose money once to realize they aren’t always the great deals they may appear to be.
My best find yet was when looking for accommodation in Prague. Everyone warned me how expensive it could be, but with a little perseverance I found “The Castle Steps,” a collection of self-catering apartments rented to tourists, in the heart of the castle district, in 400 year old buildings, decorated with antiques and original art. Luxury accommodation, without the luxury price. It may our stay extra-special.

Bible Money Matters August 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm

My best frugal travel tip? Get someone else to pay for your trip! I say that tongue in cheek, but sometimes it actually works. For example my wife recently spent a week in San Francisco. We cut our costs significantly because we went on vacation to a place where I was going for work anyway. So my employer paid for my flights to and from San Fran, as well as our lodging for several nights. Then when my business was complete we stayed for a few more days on our own dime. We saved a ton, however, by going to a place where my employer was paying for part of it.
.-= Bible Money Matters´s last blog ..Should I Do A Debt Consolidation Loan? Important Things To Consider Before You Do. =-.

Andrea August 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I lived and traveled overseas for a little over eight years and one of the best tips I have is staying with other people. By using services like couch surfing and friend connections I saved a ton on hotel rooms and had a great go-to person for local information on the cheapest places to eat, things to do, etc. While I didn’t always have the greatest privacy, I enjoyed getting really know the people I was staying with and enjoying the local culture.
.-= Andrea´s last blog ..The End of ‘The Journey’ =-.

Kandace August 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Consult a guide book before you go. You can usually get them at the library. Note which days museums offer free or reduced admissions and visit them accordingly. You can also intersperce those visits to cathedrals which generally do not charge, have beautiful artwork, and give the walking traveler a rest. Plan a walking route of those museums and churches, interspersing them with parks. Walking gives you more of a view of a city than a subway or riding the bus.

I also take dry laundry soap and less underwear, socks, and shirts that I need for a fresh change each day. When staying at a hotel more than one night, catch up on laundry the first night by doing a couple of “loads” in the bathroom sink.
.-= Kandace´s last blog ..Green Living in Ecuador =-.

Amy August 11, 2009 at 12:43 am

Prior to going to Las Vegas, I will buy coupons from or purchase an Entertainment booklet for the Las Vegas area. We save money on food and various local attractions.

Rachelle August 11, 2009 at 11:07 am

Do you mean, Friday, August 14th? I’m guessing so, so I’m gonna go ahead and write about my one frugal trip experience.

My boyfriend and I were scouring the net looking for deals in Niagara Falls. We already had the season on our side as we were looking to visit in March. Expedia helped us by getting a 3.5 star hotel and flight, that was about a 5 minute walk from the falls for under $400. This was a 5 day stay, mind you. We also went to the local grocery store and bought food because our room was a suite and we made food indoors. We treated ourselves to Denny’s because we’ve never been to one and then the local buffets. We also used the complimentary Yellow Pages book to find “local” eateries that were maybe a 15 minute walk away but definitely cost friendly. We partied at a local Mexican restaurant, the self-proclaimed home of the largest margarita, for about $20 between the two of us. Since then, we’ve tried to follow the same protocol when we go on other trips.
.-= Rachelle´s last blog ..Crystal Ball =-.

dawn August 11, 2009 at 11:38 am

My very best travel experience was also a frugal one. My boyfriend and I traveled through western Europe with our backpacks and a Eurorail pass. We stayed a few nights with women (now married, with families) in Switzerland and Germany he’d met years ago when they were au pairs in the US.

Michael August 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm

When I travel abroad I stay in monasteries. They are inexpensive, the order members are kind and if they speak much English (admittedly rare), they are very educated, relaxed and interesting to talk to — things often lacking in hotel concierge.

MoneyNing August 13, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Thanks for the review Mrs!

My frugal travel experiences are inside the book. Do I qualify for the giveaway?
.-= MoneyNing´s last blog ..Learning from Our Frugal and Happy Childhood =-.

mrsmicah August 14, 2009 at 10:04 pm

This contest is now closed.

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