Wow, that is a verbose book title!
The book by Tim Leffel looks at how to get more out of your (international) vacations while spending less. Who wouldn’t want that?
I have read through the first two of three sections in the book. In section one, Tim talks about the big expenses associated with travel and how two hypothetical families, the Smiths and the Johnsons, waste and save money on airfare and lodging. The second section talks about dining, ground transportation, and souvenir shopping.
The essence of Tim’s travel philosophy is that the best trips and cheapest trips happen when we avoid the American pretense of travel. If I asked you to name a good beach destination, you would probably respond with Florida, Hawaii, or the Bahamas. The reason why those places come to mind is that they are heavily marketed. Those big budget ad campaigns come out of the pockets of tourists. In one example given in the book, a resort in the Bahamas got caught red handed publishing pamphlets of their resort with images of beaches found in Florida. Their response, “beaches all look the same anyway”. So if beaches all look the same, why spend big bucks to go to a well marketed one?
The theme of getting off the beaten track, avoiding the herd, and walking/talking/eating like a local is repeated frequently in the book. In many ways it reminded me of our recent trip to Mexico where we stayed in local apartments, ate at a food truck and other hole-in-the-walls, and swam in the local swimming hole.
I would recommend that you pick this book up and give it a read if you have ever only stayed at resorts or chain hotels, use tour buses, and never stray far from the touristy areas. If that doesn’t describe you, then you could probably skip this book.