Tim Leffel's Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune is "the contrarian traveler's guide to getting more for less."
He articulates a vision of travel common to many travelers and difficult to relay to others. He calls it 'contrarian travel' and he's onto something.
Tim's unique perspective into 'budget travel' highlights a respectful mode of immersion available to most travelers.
Some history -- a year ago Tim asked me to compile a Top 10 list of travel books for the U.S. magazine Transitions Abroad.
I found the assignment a bit daunting. Choosing favorites among books is like choosing a favorite color or tri nationals rugby team. They're all good. That said, I wrote an essay and followed that up by explaining which books I'd rate #11.
Since then, I have given considerable thought to what I consider my favorites, those rare books that inspire. The good news is that Tim's book is heading to the top of the list.
Tim's new book provides everything I look for in a classic travel text. It is clear, helpful, funny and insightful.
He asks the reader the big money question -- are you a Smith or a Johnson? The author imagines two couples from Anytown, USA who have different approaches to vacations. One pair follows the herd, the other moves to a different beat. Leffel writes: "This book is a tale of two kinds of travelers: those who pay more than they need to by doing it the standard way, and those who make their travel dollars worth a fortune by choosing a different path."
It is easy to say that Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune is one of the best books of 2006. It will easily appeal to the readers of Utne, Transitions Abroad, World Hum and Planeta. We are featuring this book on Planeta.com's top shelf.
Chapters focus on making the best value for lodging, transportation, dining and another half dozen focal points of travel. Each chapter concludes with questions for the contrarian traveler. This is absolutely brilliant during the planning stage for any trip. It's also terrific for armchair travelers and classroom discussion.
Tim shows readers how to shave transportation costs, how to find quality souvenirs for a fair price and how to take advantage of seasonal price fluctuations.
The sidebars are topnotch. I love sidebars as they are evidence that the author communicates with colleagues. The sidebars -- written by travel pros including Clay Hubbs, Rolf Potts and others -- underline the great diversity travelers have in thinking for themselves. How Clay drove his family across the Sahara Desert is pure inspiration.
The book concludes with a useful section of helpful resources. Excellent!