Shereen Travels Cheap, by Shereen Rayle, is primarily written for the beginning budget traveler. The book is comprised of twelve chapters covering various topics such as cruising, eating for less, hotel deals, plane tickets, packing light, and other typical traveling topics. The book itself is well organized, with a comprehensive website reference list at the end of the book.
Rayle writes in a conversational, easily-understood manner, and includes several personal anecdotes to illustrate her points. She includes lists of websites at the end of each chapter, though several websites were repeatedly mentioned. For someone reading the book in its entirety, it becomes quite redundant. However, if someone were to read a chapter alone, it is necessary to have each site listed.
Rayle recommends several apps as well, which is a nice resource to have. The lists and information provided remove the work of searching out one’s own sites, and provides an easy reference to searching online for travel deals. While the lists appear well researched, they are not completely all-inclusive, so readers should search not only on reviewed sites, but others as available to ensure the best deal.
For the most part, I was familiar with all the sites and tips Rayle mentioned, and I agree with the majority of all the advice she gives, with the exception of a few minor details. Rayle suggests booking cruise excursions while on the boat, and booking through the cruiseline. I strongly disagree with this suggestion. A budget traveler would be foolish, in my opinion, to do so. If they are willing to go through the trouble of researching the best airfare or the cheapest cruise, it makes sense that they would also research excursions at their destinations. That said, booking excursions online with other companies prior to departure is a much more frugal way of exploring destinations.
Overall, the book is beneficial to the beginning budget traveler, and a good reminder of the variety of resources available.