Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune: The Contrarian Traveler's Guide to Getting More for Less Paperback – Aug 14 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Travel doesn't have to cost the earth. If you want to stretch the travel time without compromising on the experiences, reading this excellent primer by Tim Leffel could be just the ticket. In fact, travel at a cheaper rate often boosts the chances of meaningful encounters and experiences on the road. Leffel points you toward destinations that offer fine quality at low rates, and shares his secrets for getting more bang for your buck in a host of other areas. A dozen other authors and experts weigh in with money-saving tips--from which side of Fiji to head for, to apartment exchanges--to dining in markets to sample great food.
This concise book is packed with down-to-earth advice on money-saving strategies. The thing is, even if you just pick up two or three really useful ideas from this book, then it has paid for itself--and a lot more besides. And Leffel knows the ropes: he is editor of a gritty online magazine called Perceptive Travel. Highly recommended book for the savvy traveller.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Perhaps Leffel is hoping to reach the tourists who travel on cruises and package tours to show them a different way. But my impression is that most of these folks are content with their present style of easy, safe "mainstream" travel and aren't going to be persuaded by Leffel to give up their trips to Disneyland and Cancun for trekking in Nepal. Actually I agree with much of what Leffel has to say about how independent, adventurous travel usually produces more meaningful and memorable travel experiences. But I just have to wonder who his audience is for this book since most independent travellers already know and most package travellers just aren't interested. The book does contain some useful websites and other resources. But personally I just didn't learn enough from this book to make it worthy of a recommendation.
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!
First, I suggested he get a passport.
Second, I suggested he pick up Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune: The Contrarian Traveler's Guide to Getting More for Less.
Why? Because he has a vague inkling that there are other approaches besides the ones he sees advertised in the Sunday travel section and in the pages of glossy travel magazines, but the letter-writer has no idea where to start.
And Tim Leffel's book will help him a lot. Later, as he gains experience, he may find himself haggling over a seventy-three cent meal in the back alleys of Bangkok, but for now, he needs to know the basics. How to get a decent hotel, how to score a bargain, how to catch a bus in another country... even how to buy an airplane ticket.
Travelers have to start somewhere, and this is a good place.
This concise book is packed with down-to-earth advice on money-saving strategy. The thing is, even if you just pick up two or three really useful ideas from this book, then it has paid for itself--and a lot more besides. And Leffel knows the ropes: he is editor of a gritty online magazine called Perceptive Travel. Highly recommended for the savvy traveller.