July 22, 2002
7:03 AM   Subscribe

Travelling can be expensive, but there are attractions and activities that won't break the bank. The Guardian provided some suggestions and invited readers to write in with their own. What are your favourite "budget" thrills from around the world?
posted by jedro (15 comments total)
One of mine would have to be the free camping on the Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
posted by jedro at 7:07 AM on July 22, 2002

the Smithsonian being free always enhances my trips to the District of Columbia....
posted by zoopraxiscope at 7:22 AM on July 22, 2002

$50 for a U.S. National Parks Pass admits you to the entire national park system for a year. Definitely a help during my trip out West last year.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:35 AM on July 22, 2002

The '100' bus in Berlin is just a normal bus route that happens to go past all the big sights - Zoo Station, Reichstag, Haus der Kulturen, Berliner Dom, Rotes Rathaus, Alexanderplatz. If you're lucky, you might even get a drunk bus driver giving a guided tour over the tannoy.
posted by onyermarx at 8:04 AM on July 22, 2002

Costa Rica. A great, filling lunch with free refills of fresh fruit juice for US$2. Accomodation for US$5 a night, or US$10 if you don't want the occasional six-inch roach. Montezuma is a beautiful place, and when the town's power goes out, the stars are absolutely stunning. (Imagine a sky brilliant with more stars than you've ever seen in your life, the Milky Way clearly visible, with lightning flashes and thunder rolling in on a cool breeze from a storm far out over the Pacific...)

Then again, dinner for four, plus drinks, in Vietnam can be about US$4... if you like pho.

Costa Rica has a little less of the pervasive corruption thing going on, though. And no army.

These aren't attractions, per se... but not everybody who travels to Ireland kisses the Blarney Stone.
posted by whatnotever at 8:20 AM on July 22, 2002

I'll second the National Park pass. I got mine at REI, I think it was only 39.95 for members. I'll be heading vaguely west for a few weeks coming August 10th. I plan to hit Badlands, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, Devil's Tower, Glacier National Park and then head north into the Canadian Rockies and do some hiking in there while continuing on in a vaguely western direction. It'll be a pretty inexpensive vacation but will be a blast.

I did the same thing in Hawaii last January though it was more expensive because of island hopping and loads of scuba diving. It's not really about conserving money, but most of the things you have to pay a lot for bore me to tears. I like to do things rather than be a spectator.
posted by substrate at 8:27 AM on July 22, 2002

The Mountain hostel in Gimmelwald, Switzerland. The most beautiful country I've ever seen. And damn that rasti is something else.
posted by pinto at 8:31 AM on July 22, 2002

I found the Green Tortoise to be a uniquely fun and inexpensive way to travel. You've gotta consider that once you buy your ticket, pretty much everything is taken care of from sleeping to food to entertainment (socializing with your fellow travellers). I did this twice in the US and usually the crowd was 75% European, a nice refreshing change from taking a road trip. All the communcal cooking stuff is really fun as well.

and HOLY SMOKES they're doing a Burning Man tour now... This is probably a great way to check out Burning Man for the first time.
posted by scarabic at 8:55 AM on July 22, 2002

scarabic: If I can drag my carcass 6000 miles to Black Rock this year you should be able to do it from Oakland without the aid of a tour company! (no matter how funky they may be...)
posted by i_cola at 9:14 AM on July 22, 2002

yeah, costa rica is cheap. Not for Costa Ricans, tough. I would love to go to the beach next weekend, but it is difficult for me to get the money to travel 3 days to a beach that is 4 hours away from my home. :P
The only plus is that unlike you, I don't have to pay $43 just to step out of the airport. :)
posted by papalotl at 10:07 AM on July 22, 2002

Yup, not to mention the plane tickets themselves... One can go to cheap places, but it often costs a fortune to get there.

Well, if you can't get to the beach, then perhaps the bakery will suffice? I could spend an afternoon sitting somewhere in downtown San José with a loaf of crema, people-watching. Unless that guy selling the squeaky-toys is there. I wanted to buy them from him, just so they would stop squeaking...

People-watching must be the ultimate budget attraction. (There, back on-topic.)
posted by whatnotever at 10:52 AM on July 22, 2002

For just $1.50, you can ride the St. Charles Streetcar in New Orleans all day long. Great for people watching, checking out the incredible architecture in the garden district, and just damn quaint.
posted by brand-gnu at 11:27 AM on July 22, 2002

camping in farmland all through ireland is free if you ask - and sometimes you get breakfast!
posted by goneill at 12:23 PM on July 22, 2002

Ooh... and I'm heading to Ireland in a week! Too bad I don't have much camping experience. I just know the farmer would find me the next morning, a frozen body lying atop a half-erected tent, stiff fingers still trying to get the wrapper off my energy bar. (Yes, I know it will be above freezing there, but I might be *really* bad at camping...)
posted by whatnotever at 12:52 PM on July 22, 2002

Come to Alabama for one of the best golf trips you'll ever take. Really. These public courses are fantastic, mature, and not too crowded (during the week - good luck getting a Saturday or Sunday tee time). They were financed with the state's teachers' retirement money over much objection, but turns out to be a genius move that gives our teachers retirement security and the rest of us world-class golf at reasonable prices. The NCAA Men's Championship has been played on one of these courses, the Buy.com tour regularly stops by, and the 2004 NCAA Women's Championship will be here as well. One of the only things in this state worth bragging about.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:41 PM on July 22, 2002

« Older Zionism - Outspoken criticism from the unlikeliest...   |   Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments