Travel Tip: Learn to Appreciate the Little {Free} Things

In this series, I hope to provide the modern-day explorer with some of my tips and tricks to traveling, whether they are going halfway across the globe, or 30 minutes away from home.

Hello, all!!

This post kicks off the highly anticipated {by me, at least} “Travel Tips” series!  *Insert a round of applause, a standing ovation and a fireworks explosion for good measure*

Map Location Direction Location Remote Relax Concept

There are few things I love more than traveling. Something about stepping away from my little corner of the universe for a while and seeing life from a whole different perspective has always spoken to the inner wanderer inside of me and beckoned like a sirens’ call.

In this series, I hope to provide the modern-day explorer with some of my tips and tricks to traveling, whether they are going halfway across the globe, or 30 minutes away from home. So, without further ado, here is my Travel Tip #1!

Tip #1: Learn to Appreciate the Little {Free} Things

So you want to plan a vacation, buuuut sadly your wallet disagrees. One of the most common reasons I hear people use to put off a vacation is the costs associated with such a venture.

{And I don’t disagree}

Obviously, it’s in poor financial interest to take a vacation if you are living in a “hand-to-mouth, can’t afford to pay your rent, massive amounts of credit card debt, don’t know how you’ll make it to the next day” type of lifestyle. Been there, done that – don’t recommend it. If this is you, please spare me a quick moment for a PSA on financial health. There are lots of great programs out there for you, most notably Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University” or budgeting tool Every Dollar. Every Dollar is amazing and I use it for my own personal budgeting efforts. Ok- PSA done. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming….

Do you know what the biggest, best-kept secret of the travel business is?

{Vacations don’t necessarily HAVE to be expensive.}

*Gasp, Shock, Horror!!*

I know, right? I fall into this trap often myself, but it’s true. Aside from the costs associated with traveling to/from your point of interest and the accommodations you use during your stay, there are LOTS of ways to minimize expenses and even those don’t necessarily HAVE to break your bank. (We’ll cover that in a later episode)

{Victoria’s Pro Tip: Plan your vacation around the free experiences offered at your destination}

Now, you might be thinking, “But what about experiencing all that my vacation spot has to offer? Exploring the local sights and culture? Touring the hot spots? I don’t want to miss out on anything during my stay! If something costs money, isn’t it worth experiencing? ” I get you! I mean, you chose where you are going probably based on all the things you can do there, after all, and {typically} those things cost money. Let me tell you, those $35, $40, and $25 dollar exhibit charges add up quickly!! So, how are some best ways to avoid breaking the bank, but still getting all that you can out of an experience?

{Victoria’s Pro Tip: Do your research AHEAD of time.}

Ah, the beloved internet. In this day and age, you can find out anything, LITERALLY anything you need to know from the internet. While this is convenient, sometimes it can also be a bit overwhelming. Typically, bit travel sites like Fodors or Lonely Planet will have articles on some top free vacation ideas for main cities like this guide to NYC. Also, there are lots of fellow travel bloggers out there and a lot of them write about their native “stomping grounds” or personal travel experiences. If you’re looking for a more authentic travel experience than a mainstream travel guide website list, be sure to check out some popular blogs below!

Fresh Off The Grid: Backpacking, camping, or planning that epic road trip you’ve been wanting to do since High School? Follow the adventures of  Megan McDuffie and Michael Van Vliet as they travel off the grid in their Ford Focus!

Scandinavia Standard: Vacationing in Scandinavia? This creative blog should be your number one, go-to site for all things related to travel in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Norway.

This Is The Place I Was Telling You About: Visual storytelling that makes you want to hitch a ride to join in on the adventure.

Petite Passport: Be sure to check out her guides to Australia, Hong Kong, and Barcelona!

Local Wanderer: “Localism, not tourism”…nuff said

{Victoria’s Pro Tip: Just start walking}

Now, this instruction comes with a cautionary side-note. Please don’t follow this if you feel like you are in an unsafe area or you don’t have proper directional tools like a smartphone with GPS or a map if you’re going low-tech!

It’s so easy for me to fall into the trap of planning out a vacation to the minute or putting so much pressure on trying to experience the most amazing thing that city has to offer that I don’t stop to smell the roses along the way. {When that’s probably the best part!} This happened to me on my recent business trip to Nashville.

I had told myself going in that I didn’t want to remain cooped up in my hotel the whole time, that I had to get out and experience one super awesome, amazing thing in Nashville when my work commitments were over for the day. Well, I ended up putting so much pressure on finding that one perfect experience that I went there without anything planned at all! At a loss, I finished up my work for the day and realized {through a series of events} that I’d need to walk back through Vanderbilt University to reach my hotel room.


While not typically my first choice of how to spend an afternoon, I ended up having a great time! Got to see some beautiful buildings that I wouldn’t have otherwise and experienced a little piece of  Nashville that maybe is off the beaten track for most tourists- all for free! Also, when I got back to my hotel, they were serving a free dinner, so it was a very pleasant afternoon at no expense to my wallet – double points for me!

All that to say- don’t overlook the free experiences offered at your travel destination. Most often, they will be totally unique and you’ll get to see a more authentic perspective of your chosen city.

Hopefully, this gives you guys some ideas for researching and planning your next budget getaway!  As always, feel free to leave a comment with any questions or feedback. I’d love to hear from you!

    1. Hooray! I’m so glad you liked it! Stay tuned for more!

      Liked by 1 person


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