Arthur Frommer's rules for the do-it-yourself budget traveler:
Travel lightly . "It's true that the less you pack, the less you spend. You're not pressured to take the first hotel," (as you may be lugging a 40-pound suitcase). Nor do you have to pay for taxis, since you can walk or take a bus.
Another advantage: Less jet lag. "I've concluded a lot of that is the stress and strain of packing."
Skip the guided tours . "Never under any circumstances be persuaded to board a motorcoach, even for the most basic tour, in any city . . . there is no major sightseeing attraction that cannot be visited using public transportation on one's own.
"The only kind of sightseeing worth anything is done independently, where one lingers, and you have an opportunity to meet locals."
Bargain for prices . "Travel-industry products are perishable," which means you might talk yourself into a last-minute discount price on cruise ships, charter flights or hotel rooms.
Use such "well-recognized code words" as: "Do you have a commercial rate?" "A teacher's rate?" "A minister's rate?" To a desk clerk, "It's saying, "I would like a discount."
Eat as the natives do . "People who bring their own habits spend more money and eat less well."
For example, in France where the minimal continental breakfast is custom, don't pay big money for eggs, bacon, toast and juice. Eat the bigger meal later with the rest of the country. Or in England and Scandinavia, fill up on the big breakfasts (usually a part of your hotel price).
* Make at least one meal a picnic . Shop for fruit, cheese, sausage and bread and save on restaurant prices.
* Remember: "There's always a cheaper way ." The airfare structure's "state of chaos" can be beneficial to the budget traveler. But you have to search out the bargains, or be ready to depart when a price war brings on a fare drop.
Check for charter flights. "Fly the cheap airways," such as Air Florida. Scout out offbeat packages offered by lesser-known lines such as Faucett-Peruvian from Miami. Ask about midweek fare reductions.
Among Frommer's "bargain countries:"
* Ecuador, Peru, Colombia . "They have become marvelous destinations -- fully as interesting as Europe." Airfare and land costs are "decent."
* Mexico . "If you stay away from the Pacific Coast. The interior is marvelously low-priced, and it offers a very worthwhile touring experience. You can get beautifull hotel rooms for $20 a night."
* Canada . "A cheap area to travel. I can't understand how northeasterners never get to Nova Scotia. It's so ridiculously easy to reach."