Evidently, Matt Gross, the New York Times Frugal Traveler hasn’t. Or he wouldn’t have his 2010 resolutions made up of patently obvious items for anyone who’s ever actually traveled on a budget.
Here are two of the six gems of wisdom for the cost-minded:
3. Learn to Love Buses.
4. Learn to Like Hostels.
This stuff makes me crazy, because 18-year-old with a Eurail pass knows these things. How about “eat in fewer four-star restaurants”? “Travel in the off-season”? “Don’t fly first class”?
To dress them up as pearls of wisdom is the equivalent of a how-to article on painting a room including the following:
3. Strip Off Wallpaper. Paint gets lumpy when wallpaper lies beneath.
4. Apply Primer Before Paint.
One related note about his first resolution:
1. Put Down the iPhone. It’s time to remove that pixelated barrier I’ve erected between myself and the world and see what I can find with my own two eyes.
The data plans and international roaming rates for the iPhone are insane, which means you’re already not a frugal traveler if you’re using one abroad. If you’re jumping from WiFi spot to WiFi spot, you’re probably not at the kinds of places I consider “frugal.”
A place with a bathroom down the hall and an elderly front-desk clerk who looks at you strangely when you ask if the establishment has Internet–that’s my version of frugal.
I consider the iPhone a huge boon to my travel experience, and am ready for a reasonable international data roaming plan to be released someday soon. I’m ready to ditch guidebooks filled with absurdly obvious travel advice. (I like Jaunted‘s take on replacing a bookshelf of guidebooks with an iPhone on the road.)
And I can also talk to people, even with a iPhone available nearby. I’m a multitasker like that.