I was very happy to find out that Lonely Planet has a series of "on a shoestring" books offering travel tips and directions for low-budget backpackers. It was also very nice to see that they have such a book that combines Australia and New Zealand.

As we plan to visit Oz & NZ in the end of this year for a relatively long period (circa 3 months, if everything works out), a low-budget advice is essential. These aren't the slums of Nepal - Australia and especially New Zealand are modern and expensive countries, and one has to plan the trip carefully if vast fortunes aren't available for spending.

This book is packed with useful information for travelers around Oz & NZ, with emphasis on budget accomodation, food, transport and travel options. Numerous low-cost backpackers' hostels are listed for every popular location, and useful tips are given on keeping the budget low. But besides all this, the book is a good overview guide for travel in "Down Under", and really helps planning the trip. The benefits are two-fold: first, I can use it now to plan what I want to see and when, which things to book in advance, what to bring, and so on. Second, it will be very useful as a 'directory', once I'm there, even containing basic maps for most the major cities and tourist attractions.