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Travel Like a Pro: The World’s Best Budget Finds…

Don't miss these affordable services, local haunts, and cultural highlights recommended by adventure-travel experts. Plus, bargaining 101.
Chicken buses 445x260Chicken Buses (fuse-photographic.com)

Beach camping: Canada “Set up anywhere near Tofino, on Vancouver Island. The temperate sandy beaches (and the surfing) make it unlike anywhere else in the world.” –Kate Reid, director of adventure travel company Call of the Wild

Car rentals: United Kingdom “One of the priciest things about European adventure travel is renting a car. Carhire3000 (carhire3000.com) and other UK car sites are subcontractors of companies like Avis, and they offer great deals.” –Joe Kinder, professional climber

Free camping: Costa Rica “You can camp—for free and free of hassles—two miles south of Cahuita, in the Puerto Vargas Sector. It’s close to one of the most amazing national parks on the Caribbean coast.” –Jeremy Collins, professional artist and traveler

Hostel: Nepal “The Kathmandu Clubhouse is safe, centrally located, and costs $15/day, which includes breakfast and dinner, wi-fi, and even a free pickup from the airport.” –Abbey Smith, travel writer

Local liquor: Tibet
“If you can handle the hard stuff, raksi is a bold, exhilarating, and—when done right—smooth grain alcohol made from rice or millet. Try jand, a locally brewed rice beer, if you want to keep things tame.” –Justin Wood, Program Manager for REI Adventures

Public transportation: Guatemala
“Chicken buses—refurbished former U.S. school buses—give backpackers and travelers wild rides between sights around the country for less than the cost of an airport burrito.” –Rachel Zurer, BACKPACKER assistant editor

Bargaining 101
Be shrewd (and sensitive) to get good prices.

» Use as much of the local language as you can. Study greetings and numbers especially.
» Buy at off-peak times, like weekday evenings. When sales are slow, prices drop.
» Ask locals for going rates and consider it a good price if you get within 10 percent of that.
» Have fun, and be ready to leave empty-handed if you’re not satisfied with a final offer.

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