Posts Tagged 'museums'

Free Museum Admission Stretches Your Travel Budget Further

If you’ve been paying attention around here, you’ll have noticed a whole series of articles recently that focus on how vacation rentals can save you money. We’re not trying to beat a good point into the ground so far that you don’t see it anymore, but the fact is that many people this year are finding their purse strings are a little tighter than they’ve been in the past. But rather than have you spend the summer at home moping about how you can’t afford a vacation this year, we’ve tried to offer some suggestions about how you can save money on a summer vacation.

Until this point, however, most of our suggestions have centered around your vacation rental – how cooking in the home can help you cut costs over eating out, how renting a movie is a great relaxing night – but this time we’d like to open your eyes to the idea of getting something for nothing. That’s right, we’re talking about vacation freebies.

Now, what we’re talking about here are the things you can do or see in the town you’re visiting that won’t cost you a penny. Sometimes these will be simple and obvious ideas like spending a day hiking through the woods around your lakeside cabin, or hanging out at the public beach. But there are vacation freebies in other places you might not think to look.

For instance, in many major cities there are certain days each month when admission fees to some museums and art galleries are waived. Some venues offer steeply discounted admission fees at certain times of the day, too, so even if it’s not completely, 100% free it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than it might be otherwise. You can find some information about what days of each week/month Chicago museums offer free admission on this calendar, and this website has information about the New York museums with free or discounted admission days – but any city’s tourist information office worth its salt should be able to give you a list of what attractions are free or discounted on what days or times of the day.

And if you happen to be spending time outside the United States this summer, don’t think that free or discounted admissions stop at the border – in fact, most major cities around the world have certain days/times during which they’ll cut or eliminate admission fees. For example, at the famous Louvre museum in Paris, you can get a discount of 2-3 Euros if you show up on either Wednesday or Friday evenings (this gives you only a couple of hours to check out the museum before closing time, but if you’re quick or you get bored easily in art museums, that could be just perfect). And if that’s not enough, admission is free to everyone on the first Sunday of every month and on every July 14th (Bastille Day). Now, you might be fighting bigger crowds on those free days, but you haven’t paid an entry fee, so that’s a pretty decent trade-off.

(This article about stretching the weak dollar in Europe has some specific Europe travel tips that you might find interesting, too, and some of them apply to other locations around the globe.)

If you’re looking to find budget-friendly short-term accommodation, iStopOver has many listings to choose from. It’s a great way to save money in otherwise costly cities – like Paris! This accommodation is a great hotel alternative. See more short term accommodations in Paris.

No matter where you’ve booked your vacation rental this summer, be sure to check with the local tourist information office of any nearby cities or towns to find out what sights and attractions are always free, offer free days during the month, or offer discounts on admission at certain times.




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