This is another post in our “Five Best Travel Series” where we ask our experienced-traveller friends to tell us the 5 best deals they’ve gotten on travel.
Although I have travelled quite lot and all over the world, I had a surprisingly hard time thinking of travel deals that I’ve gotten so far. I’m not a hardcore budget traveller and in general I don’t like to spend my time looking for ways to save some money. This doesn’t mean that I won’t take advantage of a good deal whenever I come across one though! So, here are my five favorite travel deals (or tips) that I’ve managed to find so far.
1. Staten Island Ferry
This is one of my favorite travel discoveries ever. The commuter ferry between Staten Island and Manhattan is completely free of charge and runs 24 hours a day. Although it is in fact aimed at New Yorkers travelling to and from work, you can easily hop on board for truly fantastic views of Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn. What’s brilliant here is that the ferry runs right past the Statue of Liberty. If you want to see this American icon, there’s no need to buy expensive tickets to cruises to Liberty Island. Just jump on the ferry for a five-mile ride across New York’s harbour. It’s about 25 minutes one way.
2. European Museums
What a lot of people don’t know is that most of the major museums in Europe are free of charge for Europeans. So if you have a European passport, use it and save loads of money while soaking up some culture and history. This is how a spent a full day in the Louvre for zero euros. If you’re not a citizen of a European country, but are under 26 years old, you can usually still get a big discount. Several museums have an entry fee of only a couple of euros for people younger than 26.
3. Cheap Flights
I’m always flexible in my travel dates. From the moment I know I’m travelling somewhere I start browsing the internet and comparing flight prices. I do that just to get an idea of what the prices are like. I usually check it all again a day or two later and do that for a few weeks. This way I know how prices fluctuate during weeks (Mondays are usually cheaper) and this allows me to act whenever I see an unusually low price. I’ve saved several hundreds of euros/dollars by using those booking tactics.
4. Broadway Plays
This is another great money saving tip for people travelling to New York City. Broadway plays tend to be quite expensive (unless you want to sit in a back corner). The thing is that it is entirely possible to get good last-minute tickets at up to 50% discounts. There is a ticket booth in the middle of Times Square called TKTS where you can find cheap tickets for that day’s plays. The only downside is that the lines generally are pretty long. Therefore, head to another ticket office just across the street where they sell the exact same tickets for only a couple dollars more, but without the waiting line. I found tickets to a new Broadway musical for a 40% discount that way and I was even seated in one of the front rows.
5. Camping in Scandinavia
This is wonderful for people who like the outdoors, camping, hiking, that kind of stuff. The ‘everyman’s right’ in Sweden, Norway and Finland allows you to walk everywhere and anywhere and pitch a tent wherever you want. The only exception is private land, where you usually are allowed to camp too after asking the owner. The only requirement of the everyman’s right – also called the freedom to roam – is that you don’t leave any trace. Make sure to take your garbage with you. This is a fantastic and adventurous way to save money on accommodation in the expensive Nordic countries.