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Mexico Guru

Twelve Tips for a Great Budget Trip: Itís the Little Things!

Some items can be extremely useful while traveling. Here are a few of our favorite things...

What Why
12 Money belt Although you wonít need it in most destinations, itís excellent to have while traveling, especially on overnight bus trips, where sleeping and thievery donít mix. (Remove before going into a full body scanner at the airport).
11 Plastic bag For separating dirty clothes from clean.
10 Eye shade Blocks light to facilitate napping and sleeping on planes buses, and park benches.
9 Ear plugs Makes sleeping easier in noisy hotels and buses; makes volume of action movies bearable.
8 Nail clippers In checked (airline) baggage, of course.
7 Outlet adapter Many budget hotels donít have three-prong outlets. (To be fair, most three-prong outlets also do not have budget hotels.)
6 Safety pins Pin two or three of different sizes to shaving kit or makeup bag.
5 Immersion coil Heats water in cup for early morning tea or coffee; bring unbreakable cup, spoon, and tea bags or instant coffee. If possible, swipe one or two sugar packets per day from Sanbornís or VIPS.
4 Universal plug Thin white rubber stopper makes it easy to wash out garments in budget-hotel sinks, which are often stopper-less.
3 Socks One pair, even for tropical climates. Wear on a chilly bus, airplane, or during infrequent cold snaps at your destination.
2 Rubber sandals For hanging out in your room, at the beach, pool and to use in suspicious hotel showers. Foot fungi suck!

In your hotel room, use it as a towel, curtain, lightweight bedspread, room separator, or lounge wear. Take to the river, beach or waterfall to sit on, or dry yourself off. On the street (in certain beach resorts), voila, itís a manís metro-skirt! For both men and women, a sarong (usually a rectangle of non-transparent cotton cloth) is an inexpensive, versatile, and easily packed travel item.

      ---Jane Onstott