10 essential items with entirely different budgets


Have you heard of Travelsmith? Travelsmith is one of the bigger and better of the online merchants specializing in travel gear. Nice stuff, but those are “not my people”. (Their target customer is a 55 year old woman with plenty of discretionary spending money)

I travel on a pretty austere budget. Chances are that you do as well, otherwise you would be reading Conde Nast Traveler.

A lot of us work at dreary jobs and save up to buy the travel essentials for our trips; others have generous bank accounts and platinum Visa cards. Just for grins, lets try it both ways with ten sample products.

Travel pack
Walking boots
Camera
Travel pants
Travel shirt
Rain jacket
Fleece jacket
Toiletry kit
A copy of Lonely Planet
Portable CD player
A hat or something like it


Our first shopper (we will call him ‘Nick’) did very well in hedgehog futures, and is now ready to travel to Bali with money to burn.

Travelpack: We bought Nick a New World Journey from Tent & Trails for $275.

Walking Boots: Nick liked the fit of Montrail Storm GTX shoes, and liked that they would remain waterproof when he stumbled home from the bar. $125

Camera: Nick takes good photos (when he is awake, that is), and likes the Olympus C-4000 Zoom Camedia Digital Camera. $384.
Nick has good taste in cameras.

Nick, being no slacker, chose the best trousers:
the Men’s Explorer Convertible Pant from Ex Officio for $64

And, also from Ex Officio,
Nick bought the matching Men’s PRO-tection IBS L/S Shirt for $76.

To keep Nick dry, he chose the very snazzy Goretex Paradigm Parka from Mountain Hardwear. $290

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He also chose the matching Monkey Man fleece jacket for $115 though he doesn’t need it in Bali. Especially at the bar.

To keep Nick clean and attractive to the many ladies who fancy him, Nick chose the Eagle Creek Pack-It® All Aboard II for $40

Nick was too hung over to go to an independent bookstore such as Powells, so he simply ordered a copy of the Lonely Planet Bali Guide from Amazon for $13.99 plus tax and shipping

For tunes, Nick bought a Sony MPDAP20U External Slim CD-RW / DVD-ROM USB Drive for $299.88. Nick is not a cheapskate, apparently.

Total tab: $1682.87, plus tax and shipping.

Our second traveler, (we will call him “Anthony”) has a wonderful job, but they don’t pay him nearly enough. He has saved up for his trip to Europe by working what can best be described as “odd jobs”. With Anthony, every penny counts.

Travel Pack: Anthony knows a deal when he sees it, so he bought the Galileo pack from The North Face, discounted down to $149.95 at Sierra Trading Post.

For walking boots, he got a killer deal on a pair of Montrail boots for only $59.97 just by watching the sales at Campmor.

Anthony likes to snap pictures of the Eiffel Tower, so he chose the SiPix Stylecam Blink II Digital Camera for only $36.99

For travel pants, Anthony chose wisely. He knows that the zip-off travel pants are now a “commodity” (everybody has knocked them off) so instead of paying El Officio prices, he bought the same thing from Cabelas for $34.95

Anthony likes the “Ernest Hemingway” look, so he chose the Cabela’s Long Sleeve Serengeti Safari Shirt for only $24.95

To keep himself dry when he is stumbling home from that bar in Bruges, Anthony bought the Campmor Camp-Tech® Highpeaks Pinnacle II Parka for $99.98

To stay warm, he will spend on $24.97 on a fleece jacket from Campmor.

To woo the ladies, Ant will have to be clean and freshly shaved. Anthony has brought along the excellent Eagle Creek Sport Travel kit for $26.95

Rather than buy a new travel guide, Anthony utilized the free information on Bootsnall.com and printed out what he needed. Anthony is not a slave to guidebooks, and knows that the most skanky hostels and crowded cafes are often the ones in the book, and relies instead upon the wisdom of fellow travelers.

Rather than blowing big bucks on a CD player that may get swiped anyway, Anthony used his noggin. He went down to Walgreen’s (of all places) and bought a cheapie CD player for $39.99 If he loses it, no big deal. He will burn some CD’s before he goes, and leave the originals at home.

Anthony knows that he has a rainproof hood on his jacket, so he only needs this trendy hat to keep him stylish. $15.99

Not counting applicable taxes and shipping, Anthony outsmarted Nick and did this all for $514.69