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Favorite budget travel items?

Old Jun 18, 17, 4:17 pm
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Last edit by: EmailKid
Best items to have for Budget Traveler:

Unlocked SmartPhone with local Sim card with data (not all countries have addresses posted)

Extension cord with multiple outlets (some budget hotels have exactly ONE electrical outlet)

Free local maps that you might pick up at tourist information places (the more the better - different versions seem to list different streets depending on what printer considers important)

USB battery pack for when you are lost and mobile is running low on juice and you need Google maps
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Favorite budget travel items?

Old Mar 10, 11, 4:12 pm
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: SPG Platinum, MP 1K, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 117
Hands Down.....$60 Audio Technica noise-canceling headphones, the best low-cost alternative to $300 Bose headphones. I own both and the ATs are every bit as good!
fullnelson3 is offline  
Old Mar 28, 11, 8:23 am
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 44
Originally Posted by cheftonio
I'm not sure if this has already been suggested but, like I always tell my friends, bring along an extension cord that can accommodate charging all your gadgets at the same time.

Some hotels provide very few outlets for charging and this can be a problem. Another problem is, some hotel provides very few adapters for guest use. If you have the extension cord that can maybe charge 5 to 6 items, you can just borrow one adapter.

better yet, buy yourself one of those travel adapters. It's cheap anyway.

How I do agree. As i go to many car shows/tracks in the dc/md/va/nj/wv area, a powerstrip is a must!
tdredi is offline  
Old Mar 28, 11, 9:01 am
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reston, Virginia, USA
Posts: 653
Sperry Top-Siders. Dressy enough if you polish them. Also double as slippers, beach shoes, and deck shoes. You get them wet and wear them dry. Good for almost evry situation except a pounding hike. (No heel or cushion.)
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Old Mar 31, 11, 9:25 pm
Moderator: Budget Travel forum & Credit Card Programs, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYJ/YVR but currently stuck in Texas
Programs: UA lifetime MM / *A Gold
Posts: 14,175
Unlocked mobile and local Sim card

Great way to keep in touch with locals or local friends.

Just had the third band of my tri band mobile unlocked (US usees different frequencies from most countries) for $10, spent $3.30 for a Sim card and another $3.30 for additional minutes and now I'm never out of touch with my local friends here in Thailand

EmailKid is offline  
Old Apr 13, 11, 9:35 pm
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 22,778
Originally Posted by planetrain
For budget toiletries, often I go to the front desk and ask for what I need. More times than not, the hotel will have razors, mouthwash, etc, the items that don't come stock in the room.
Instead of worrying about razors, pre-shave lotion, shaving cream, after shave etc, I found it easier to grow a beard, which I have sported for more than 20 years.
Yaatri is offline  
Old Apr 15, 11, 7:40 am
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 63
- an unlocked mobile (to get the local SIM card)

-a portable battery operated alarm clock (for when the cell phone fails)

-I wrap some duct tape around my water bottle (to conserve space and always keep some with me)

-a few spare ziplocks inside 1 bigger one

-I bought a few lighters with LED lights on them in India

-travel sized tissues (also use as toilet paper)

-My favorite item yet... a wool blanket (it's lightweight but very warm and has doubled as a pillow on many occasions)

-a tiny medicine bag with a few antibiotics, tums, immodium, benadryl, bandages

-universal plug converter
yksmirk is offline  
Old May 12, 11, 2:45 pm
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Originally Posted by Middle_Seat
I have found that I sleep better on a red-eye if I can lay my head on something. The lightest and smallest "something" that I have found, by far, is an inflatable beachball. They come in two sizes at Wal-Mart (summer) and party supply stores (winter), and the larger size works better for me.

Mine cost about a dollar, weighs less than 3 ounces (approx 80 grams), and inflates (by mouth) in a minute of two. I place the airline-supplied pillow on top of it so my face isn't directly touching the plastic.

When she is not using it as a pillow, Mrs. Middle_Seat uses her beachball as a footrest.

A roll of scotch tape can be handy for securing the ball to your tray-table when you are not using it. On my last redeye I set mine on the floor in front of my seat, and later noticed it had rolled to the aisle where people were gingerly stepping over it.
I had the same idea last year for my trip to Vietnam, but let me add a twist:

I found beach ball "globes", so I could show people where I'm from. There's nothing more delightful than showing young kids where they are, where you're from, and teaching them a bit about geography!
Jsty is offline  
Old Jul 1, 11, 12:51 pm
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Loftus Road UK
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8g Marmite pots for hand luggage only trips
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Old Jul 7, 11, 6:42 am
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: IAD
Programs: UA Premier Platinum; Marriott Platinum
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Let's Go guides on kindle.
Yuengling is offline  
Old Jul 8, 11, 2:44 am
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 668
This is more of a tip than an item (although it requires a camera).

A tip a travelling companion pointed out to me and that I now use extensively is to take pictures of train/bus schedules posted at train/bus stations as you arrive, so you have the schedule stored on your phone/camera. Saves a few minutes planning out when you want to leave by writing down the schedule, or calling the station, or finding internet access to check the schedule.

Might be obvious to some, but I hadn't thought of it before.

The Amazon kindle or similar reader is a GREAT budget travelling companion as others have mentioned. Great battery life (over a week), you can fit hundreds of books in something that weighs less than a hardback, and there are travel guides as well.

To fill up a kindle or e-reader on the cheap check out the project gutenberg magic catalog, which has thousands of out-of-copyright ebooks you can download for free. If you save the magic guide to your kindle, you can download new books whenever you have an internet connection. See here:

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Old Jul 13, 11, 10:08 am
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA 1P, AA Plat, SW AL/CP
Posts: 253
Downloading Maps in advance using some of the offline mapping tools on the iPhone/Andorid was one of the best tools we had to get around Africa + SE Asia.

Also, I'm really glad I brought a steripen + platypus canteen so I didn't have to buy all that bottled water (though sometimes it tasted a bit funny).
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Old Jul 19, 11, 7:29 pm
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southeast USA
Programs: various
Posts: 6,710
Laundry kit: Getaway Travel Wash in a tube (made in UK), braided rubber clothesline, 2 inflatable hangers, universal sink stopper. Got mine mail order on Magellans or Travel Smith or one of those places. Been using it for years.

LED Headlamp with flexible headband strap--good for finding way down dark streets with broken sidewalks, beaches at night, up mountain paths and ancient temple steps in the wee hours for the sunrise tour, and reading in poorly-lit places. Purchased in camping/sporting goods store.
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Old Aug 13, 11, 11:48 am
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Posts: 1,492
This versatile, spacious and handy travel organiser from Muji:


9.95; has plenty of card-sized pockets for travelcards, Oysters, frequent flyer cards, a zip up compartment where I keep my small change of Euros and space for the inevitable reams of self printed boarding passes. All my travel documents in one place.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 9:25 am
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by grbflyer
Im a big fan of travel magazines, books, guide books, gadgets etc. I subscribe to budget travel, and like the lets go series. anyone else? am i missing out on a little know magazine or book?
Travel apps. For planes, trains, hotels, cities - everything, even games. I research the App Store before traveling, download the appropriate apps and then go!
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Old Sep 20, 11, 9:59 pm
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SIN
Programs: Krisflyer, Skymiles
Posts: 89
I usually put together my own little guidebook. I get all my information either from the internet or head to my nearest public library to borrow guidebooks. I have a section of all the sights I'd like to visit with their relevant info (opening hrs, how to get there, entrance fees, etc), places to eat, places to shop etc. I also have a general section with little tidbits about the place I'm going like a blurb on its history, culture, electricity, etc, and of course there's a map section which would include maps I've scanned from the guidebooks I've borrowed or gotten off the internet or one I've "custom made" using Google maps.

I usually include in my little guidebook some pages for note taking, journalling and sketching that way I can record my thoughts and feelings during my trip and when the trip is over and done with I can keep it. Or if I'm bringing my ipad with me, I just convert the information section into a pdf document and load it onto my ipad.

I look less like a tourist when looking at my notebook then I would if I was carrying a guidebook

Last edited by meibao; Sep 20, 11 at 10:15 pm Reason: extra info
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