THE BUDGET TRAVEL CHALLENGE

Last-Minute Long-Haul

With airlines slashing fares at the last minute, we pitted two travelers against each other in a competition to have far-flung adventures on seven days' notice. The mission: fly eight hours and stay four nights—for $1,200.

By , Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009, 12:00 AM

From left: Josh Dean landed in Quito, while Mike Kessler trekked to Tokyo
From left: Josh Dean landed in Quito, while Mike Kessler trekked to Tokyo (Michael Mohr, Robin MacDougall/Getty)

JOSH DEAN

His destination: Quito
Age: 36
Home base: New York City
Must-have travel item: My iPhone with Google Maps and Translator apps
Argh! What he forgot to pack: A small shoulder or messenger bag for souvenirs
Read his story >>

MIKE KESSLER

His destination: Tokyo
Age: 38
Home base: Los Angeles
Must-have travel items: My Canon Elph point-and-shoot and a Moleskine notebook
Argh! What he forgot to pack: An umbrella-but you can buy one every three feet in Tokyo
Read his story >>

SEE WHO WON!

Check out how they used their budgets and who came out on top >>