Budget flights and hotels can make traveling cheaper, but a holiday can still be an expensive break from daily life. You can find plenty of cheap (or free) things to do while traveling. Here’s how:
First, research the destination before you leave home. This includes searching for free activities on the internet, asking family and friends for recommendations, and searching social media by location.
Websites such as Yelp, Meetup and Eventbrite can list affordable upcoming events such as academic lectures, social activities, bar crawls, gallery shows and live music.
When you arrive at your destination, or on the way to your hotel, ask uber drivers, servers and other service workers for their ideas on the best and cheapest things to do in their city. Ask the hotel concierge for a list of things to do for free and for discounted tickets to popular attractions. Your Airbnb host may have ideas of little-known and cheap places to visit, as well.
Here are some easy ideas to get you started:
Museums: Many museums have lower cost entrance fees at certain days or times and some regions have removed entrance fees altogether.
Skip tourist attractions: Many tourist attractions are over-hyped and overcharged. Do your research beforehand. You can still enjoy wandering around many of areas to visit without paying fees if you go the right time or day.
Explore off the beaten path: Many times the greatest sites are nearby tourist attractions, but many people while traveling don’t take time to explore. My favorite times are always wondering around back streets and through buildings that have no official designation, but have their own treasures to uncover.
Art Galleries: Love to see Picasso or other great local artistis, but don’t want to cough up the entrance fee? Don’t worry there are many local art studios all around the country that have free admission.
Public Parks and Buildings: Many of the great places to visit have been turned into public parks or buildings with little or no cost for entrance.
Local schools and universities: Educational facilities provide great traveling opportunities and often have low-cost events like concerts, plays, science fairs, art shows, and athletic events with times and dates posted all around the campus.
Public Libraries: Public libraries offer more than free access to books and other information, many also provide access to free DVD’s, movies, music, books on tape, and often are housed in great historical buildings.
Pick up sporting games: Like to play or try a new sport, many activities occur at parks and courts all around the world. Most people don’t mind if you join in, just remember our motto, don’t be afraid to ask.
Historic Towns: There are many fantastic historical places to see in New Zealand especially in the South Island.
Hostels: There are many great hostels, found on-line, which offer inexpensive activities and are a great place to meet people while traveling.
Smaller cities: These are great places to stay, people are typically friendlier, and they are easier to navigate, although most have limited public transport.
Cities with better public transportation: Areas like the Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin are great places to visit and have great public transportation, which lowers traveling costs extensively.
Pick up a guide-book or your local activities list: You would be surprised at all the great things to do around a city or countryside that can give hours of low, or no cost activities, just by reading about it.
Public parks and recreations facilities: These are many in most regions and access is almost always free of charge, so check them out.
Meet local people: Many times while traveling we overlook the people who know the area the best, and that is your everyday citizen of the area. Although typically it helps to approach them during their leisure time, so go to your local coffee shop, pub, and park.
Remember, don’t be afraid to ask, you might just find a lifelong friend or even a tour guide for FREE!
So if you’re looking for inexpensive and free activities while traveling try one of these first, before you buy that expensive travel package.