20 Tips

1. Sightsee by bicycle. A bike tour will offer a good introduction to a place and you'll cover much more ground than if you were on foot. In Buenos Aires, for example, Lan & Kramer Bike Tours has a few guided itineraries that are fun for all ages and abilities (biketours.com.ar, from $25). Meda Florin, Carmichael, Calif.

2. A shower cap can double as a liner for an ice bucket. I was heading to the hotel ice machine when I noticed that our ice bucket was looking very tired and missing its disposable plastic liner. My solution: the free shower cap that we never seem to use anyway. It actually worked better than the bag because the elastic band holds it in place around the top of the bucket. Susan Swickard, Estes Park, Colo.

3. Buy your Japan rail tickets in advance. Before my husband and I traveled to Japan a few years ago, we found out that if we purchased a Japan Rail Pass in the U.S., it would cost a fraction of what we'd spend on the individual tickets in Japan. Since the country can be so expensive, the savings were a tremendous help to our travel budget (japanrailpass.net, seven-day pass $262). Pearle Herndon, Mount Dora, Fla.

4. Label the things you know you'll use on the plane. As a flight attendant, I'm always amazed by the stuff that people leave behind. Most of it never gets back to its rightful owner because there's no way of knowing who the owner is. To avoid misplacing your property, put things back into your carry-on after using them--never on the floor or in the seatback pocket. Label important items like books or games with return address labels so they can be sent back to you if found. Doug Hummell, Houston, Tex.

5. Save space: Use a Nalgene bottle to store toiletries. Instead of packing a complete shaving kit, my husband fills his wide-mouth Nalgene water bottle with items like razors, spare contact lenses, glasses, toothbrush, etc. This was particularly useful on our trip to Costa Rica, where we also took the bottle on our day hikes to volcanoes and the jungle. Terry Clemson, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

You can find more tips in the November 2005 issue of Budget Travel magazine.

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