Top Ten Budget Travel tips

Des Gettinby is the author of Budget Travel Secrets – SE Asia.

Budget travel secrets is a humorous travelogue full of budget travel ideas. Des describes the amazing places he and his wife, Barb, visit and the people they meet, both young and old. This book is a “must read” for budget travellers of all ages.

These are Des’ top ten budget travel tips:

1. Buy a good quality Guide Book. Everything you need to know in one compact book. Find a bed, a feed, a train, plane or bus – it’s all there. Local conditions, local customs. Lonely Planet or Frommer’s travel guides are good examples.

2. Be brave. Book your flights and go. Budget travelling can be easily achieved. Apart from your return air ticket, all tour bookings, sightseeing, accommodation and ongoing transport can be easily and less expensively organised when you arrive at your destination.

3. Travel lightly. Buy an airline carry-on sized backpack – this will stop you from packing the kitchen sink.

4. Dress comfortably in lightweight, wrinkle-free, quick dry fabrics. Buy more clothes if needed and continually post home extra purchases and unwanted gear.

5. Shoes? What shoes? One pair of top quality comfortable sandals will take you everywhere.

6. Bargaining – apart from the savings, it becomes a fun pastime. Almost every purchase can be bargained down and can drop by 20% or more (including accommodation).

7. Money. Use ATM’s to draw money in local currency. Available almost everywhere except in remote villages. Best to have two credit cards – not linked. For emergencies, carry some US dollars.

8. Security. It’s smart to leave all valuables at home and wear a next-to-skin money belt for passport and big money. Theft happens mostly because of carelessness – if you value it, carry it with you and don’t leave it unattended anywhere. Most accommodation provides security lockers – use them.

9. Precautions. Scan all documents into an email and send to yourself (such as Hotmail or Gmail). If ever needed, simply login to your email account and you will have passports, visas, home contacts, tickets, insurances, vaccination details, drivers’ licences etc all available to be printed out.

10. Traps. Don’t run up accommodation tabs. Pay as you go or at least every day – this way you stand some chance of checking the amounts.