Tips for Traveling on the Cheap

February 10, 2011  |  

(New York Times) — No matter where your comfort zone lies, though, to be a successful frugal traveler you may have to shed your preconceived notions surrounding six areas. Once you do so, the rewards of seeing the world exceed the inconvenience of going without a plush terry-cloth robe.  The degree to which you feel at ease around strangers from both strange and utterly normal lands is a major factor that determines your frugal journey. How willing are you to share a dorm room, say, with a helicopter pilot in training in Lafayette, La.? (I was, and wish we were still in touch.) Can you tolerate a thin-walled room in a guest house with a next door neighbor who coughs all night, as recently happened to me in London? No? O.K., then, settle into your hotel. But you’ll have to make up for it by traveling via bus rather than rental cars, or subway over taxi, or eating at the counter at a place like Guerrin in Buenos Aires, where that’ll get you 30 percent off on your slices compared to table service.  Lack of privacy can be intolerable, even for me, as when a young guy with a teeth-grinding issue moved into my hostel dorm room in Los Angeles. The sound from his bed was so piercingly rhythmically torturous it was as if a cricket was chirping inside my pillowcase.

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