While you may already have
a destination in mind for your vacation, it is worth it to consider going
to a place where your dollars will go as far as possible. Trying to plan
a budget vacation to London or Tokyo will be much more of a task than
Prague or Mexico. Although you can still find great deals in more upscale
destinations, chances are you’ll
end up sleeping in a broom closet or an all-nite ATM (it’s been
The first purchase you should make before traveling is a Hostelling
International card. This will be your pass into the sometimes funky-smelling
and endlessly eye-opening world of youth hostels. The youth hostel is
the accommodation of choice for the budget traveler: a chaotic mixture
of dorm-style quarters, friendly vagabonds from all ends of the earth,
and the most up-to-date rumor mill of what’s hot in any given location.
There will be an HI-affiliated youth hostel at almost any destination
worth going to.
he next item on the list will be your silent friend, your personal Confucious:
the all-knowing travel guide. Thick enough to be a pillow in a clutch,
these are a wonderful starting point for your travels. The novice budget
traveler will want to adhere to the book’s advice on itineraries,
but more adventurous souls will undoubtedly be tempted to deviate. The
most popular travel guides among the hostel crowd are usually Lonely
Planet and Let’s Go because of their focus on lean spending and cultural
hotspots. Even if they seem to lead you to backpacker traps, travel guides
are hard to beat for consistent money- and time-saving info.