Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Budget Travel
Reload this Page >

Favorite budget travel items?

Old Jun 18, 2017, 4:17 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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
Print Wikipost

Favorite budget travel items?

Old Feb 25, 2007, 8:57 am
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: BOS
Posts: 3,534
I have one of the inflatable pillows and it works fine for me. Others say they're not really comfortable using one. You can try the buckwheat filled ones for a different feel but they add some bulk to your luggage after you get off the flight.

There's also the wrap-around kind in the event that you find your head mostly drooping to the front.

Links are all to Magellan's.
Lurker1999 is offline  
Old Feb 27, 2007, 9:18 pm
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: London, United Kingdom
Programs: OW/AA, DL, UA; Marriott Titanium
Posts: 4,937
Originally Posted by jtkauai
PS. What to leave at home: anything to do with Rick Steeves. Barf.
There are T-Shirts for sale that read, "Rick Steeves is my b****".
skye1 is offline  
Old Feb 28, 2007, 5:40 pm
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: YUL
Programs: E35K, Delta SM, AM ADV, Priority Club Plat, SPG Plat, MR *S, GR *E, Hyatt GP, AM
Posts: 532
Originally Posted by emailkid
Please elaborate. Never had a sore neck, even on long haul (did get sore when I did a IAH-HNL-GUM-MNL-CEB-MNL-GUM-HNL-IAH with only a three day stay in CEB). I wouldn't mind looking ridiculous if it were comfortable, but I've read it does not work

Please advise.

When I use to sleep on planes especially when I was exhausted I would do that start falling asleep that you see people do sometimes, and then their head slumps down. After doing that like 15 times it's like giving your neck muscles a real workout. I would wake up with a really sore neck! With the U shaped inflatable pillow it stops your head from falling down. The pillow supports your neck! Voila...instant comfort!
greenlotus is offline  
Old Mar 14, 2007, 11:49 pm
Moderator: Budget Travel forum & Credit Card Programs, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: YYJ/YVR and back on Van Isle ....... for now
Programs: UA lifetime MM / *A Gold
Posts: 14,465
Cool Never thought I'd find myself defending 'ol Rick ...

Originally Posted by skye1
There are T-Shirts for sale that read, "Rick Steeves is my b****".
I'm no fan of his shows, but for people who've never been to Europe, it actually has pretty good info. And mom loves his show, and she was a seasoned traveler (to a degree) in her day, and probably visited more continets than most posters here

And PBS seems to make all kinds of money when they show his programs during pledge drives, so he must be liked by some.

EmailKid is offline  
Old Mar 17, 2007, 5:36 pm
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 227
I'll defend Rick!

I've heard him speak at the travel fair his company hosts, and he's actually very witty and personable. The show is not to everybody's taste, sure, but he's been a pioneer in opening up travel outside of your standard tour-bus approach to more than the adventurous few. I've talked to people who have done his tours, and they were uniformly impressed. I've used lots of info from his website, and it's been helpful. Plus, he's extremely generous in helping our local PBS station with pledge drives.
kmcg is offline  
Old Mar 18, 2007, 1:32 pm
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: BFS
Programs: UA
Posts: 440
My fav item is the folding passport holder found here


I can fit my passport and all my documents into it, saves me a lot of searching and worry incase I lose something.

On the subject of U pillows, I used to have one but found it pushed my head forward too much, has anyone got a solution?
BelfastFlyer is offline  
Old Mar 22, 2007, 10:19 am
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 227
Originally Posted by BelfastFlyer
On the subject of U pillows, I used to have one but found it pushed my head forward too much, has anyone got a solution?
I upgraded to a Bucky's travel pillow. It's very smooshy, so the filling can shift to the sides and leave the back of your neck free to recline. Costco had a package deal with a passport holder, velvet eye mask, and earplugs, so now I travel in style!
kmcg is offline  
Old Apr 4, 2007, 12:55 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: London
Posts: 18,578
Best toiletry item ever

Originally Posted by bhatnasx
Regarding laundry detergent, I actually carry a little box of powdered detergent (which protects cloting if it breaks open in your bag, unlike the liquid detergent). Also, if its an extended backpacking trip, I bring nylon cord so I can do my laundry in my hotel room sink and hang the clothes in my room. You can find a variety of uses for cord/rope when you're on the road...
Just because I'm on a budget trip or economising doesn't mean I have to drop my standards - and with a bad back I need to travel light.

Marseilles Soap is about the best toiletry item ever made.
A good quality olive oil based soap it's been manufactured and used for centuries.

Good as a soap for your body (tough on grime but very gentle - won't dry you out)

Excellent as a shampoo (as a female I'm particularly fussy about shampoo and wouldn't use any other kind of soap for this as it would leave my hair with the texture of dried straw)

Marvellous for washing your clothes with!

If you can get hold of it in Southern Europe you'll find it a very good price. If not, you can get it in huge bars at L'Occitane. It may seem expensive, but if you heat up a sharp knife with hot water you can easily make the huge block into 5 reasonably priced handy bars.

We use it on a daily basis as my husband has severe eczema and doesn't get on well with many soaps. He was fine with clinique, but that's an expensive habit if you're washing your whole body with it. He's been very happy with the Marseilles Soap and I'm a delighted convert (I grew up thinking of it as a clothes detergent as my Spanish grandmother has always used it for hand washing, it never even occurred to me until relatively recently to wash my body, let alone my hair with it!)

Top stuff!

It's usually $8 (as I said, divide by 5 as it's a pretty big block - a divided portion should be all you need for a two or three week trip).

There's another version with a lavender scent (not my favourite fragrance) which is just the same under the Bon Mere title. Might have the added effect of keeping moths away from your luggage!

(you can get my preferred soap in a smaller size but it isn't nearly as economical)
LapLap is offline  
Old Apr 9, 2007, 11:14 pm
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 19
well when I go somewhere, i always my "stuffable" jacket. It's a jacket sold at sports stores and it's light weight. It keeps me warm and I can always layer if i need to. It comes in a pouch about..3 inches in diameter and 5 inches in height.

I always take an mp3 that requires AAA batteries because charging iPods are a hassle and AAA batteries can be found virtually anywhere.
krnxguhj33 is offline  
Old Apr 15, 2007, 9:43 am
Join Date: May 2002
Location: District of Columbia, Maryland- AA 2M Life Platinum, UA 1K, TK Gold, BA Silver, IC RA, Fairmont/Marriott Platinum, SPG/Hilton/Omni Gold, Wynn/Makers Mark Ambassador, Hertz Presidents Circle, Avis Chairmans, National Executive
Posts: 1,578
Invest in reversibles! I have a microfiber jacket that when reversed, the fleece goes on the outside. Thus 2 jackets in 1, to vary on how cold it is plus you don't look like a dork wearing the same jacket during a 1 month backpacking trip around Europe.
idealflyer is offline  
Old May 2, 2007, 5:17 pm
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bansko, Bulgaria
Programs: Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 1,260
We take one of those cool wind up flash lights (it's not one of the big boxy ones - it's a regular one) and MAN has that come in handy a bunch of times. We keep one in the car too...... Actually I was thinking of buying a few to trade off when we go down to Mexico....... Now where did I buy the darn things....
bzbdewd is offline  
Old May 10, 2007, 9:58 pm
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: CO
Posts: 181
I've never been able to use the U shaped pillow as designed. I fold down the tray table, place the pillow on the tray, and fall forward. Most of the time this works for me. I just have to make sure that I'm not in the seat directly behind the exit row. *crunch*
Tempus is offline  
Old Jul 17, 2007, 9:38 am
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 20
Rick Steves books are great
flight_freak is offline  
Old Sep 9, 2007, 6:15 pm
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
Rick Steves

I absoultely Hate his political philosophy, BUT his convertible carry on backpack is absolutely the best (IMHO). I bought my first 12 yrs ago, then bought one for my girlfriend (now wife) 7 yrs ago and just bought another one for myself - not because the first one was worn out, just getting a bit threadbare, and I liked the improved features I saw in the newer one. I take 1-2 trips a year. At least one of them is always 3-6 weeks in length, and I always ONLY carry on my ONE Rick Steves carry-on convertible, that's all. That bag and this style of traveling has saved both me and my wife so many missed connections, and so much time in airports that I could write a book. Not to mention the sheer convenience of having both hands free as we walk briskly off the airplane, zip through customs, and are in our taxi or rental car before most passengers have arrived at the line for the "waiting for my bag to slide onto the carousel" ritual.
I have shown and lent this bag to friends who then went on to buy their own after experiencing the freedom and comfort it affords.
I know I'm sounding like a commercial, but when you find a really outstanding product you want everyone to know about it. Hope I've helped someone, it's my repayment for all the great tips I've gotten from this site.

P.S. I just thought that the "Tide to Go" pen might be a valuable addition to the packing list.
r0mer is offline  
Old Sep 10, 2007, 10:38 am
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: montreal
Posts: 305
Rick Steeves' philosphy and backpacks

Not that I've read any of his recent books or seen his programs lately, but I'm certainly curious why so many seem to dislike Rick Steeves. Can anyone provide me a link so I can learn more?

As for my own feelings, that guy totally made my second trip to Europe. His Europe through the back door is mandatory reading for anyone I know planning their first trip (and I've purchased at least half a dozen of them for this very purpose). I have seen few guidebooks that focus more on how to travel in Europe as opposed to where to go in Europe.

A few months ago while in Bali, I stumbled upon one of his first books, a well-worn South East Asia travel guide. It turned out to be far more helpful than the more recent photo guides I found.

Now, does anyone have a link to this convertible carry-on backpack?
jezsik is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.