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Travel And Sightseeing On A Budget

Aug 26, 2008
Seeing the local sights is why most people travel, and this is the one area you should not miss, no matter how tight your travel budget.

It is possible, however, to see the local culture without busting your travel budget. This article focuses on some of our favourite tips for getting the most out of sightseeing on a budget.

Travel like the locals do
One of the cheapest, and most overlooked, ways to see the local sights is to travel like the locals travel. This means taking the bus, the subway or the train to the most popular tourist destinations.

Obviously this is not possible everywhere, as many places in the United States lack a comprehensive public transportation service. But where it is available, public transportation can be a great, and inexpensive way to get around.

It is important to note that most destinations in Europe have excellent, clean and safe public transportation, even in smaller towns and cities. Unless you absolutely must have your own wheels, it is usually quite easy to travel anywhere in Europe without the hassle and expense of renting a car.

Even in the United States, there are many places where a rental car is a liability, not an asset. That is because parking costs, fuels costs, etc. can be real budget busters.

Try to research your destination on the internet, and find out which public transportation options exist. You may be surprised at how easy, and affordable, this method of travel can be.

Take advantage of backpacker tours
Many destinations offer special backpacker tours for independent travelers. These tours can be great ways to see the sights, meet great new people, and have a great time, all while saving considerable sums of money.

Many of these tours allow you to purchase a ticket that is good for a specific amount of time, often a week or two. The company that operates the tour usually has a fleet of vans or buses that make a specific route, stopping at major tourist destinations.

During the length of your, ticket, you can generally hop on and hop off at will. This gives you the convenience of a guided tour, but allows you the freedom to spend as much or as little time as you want at each destination.

These backpacker tours can often be booked through local youth hostels, and hostels often feature flyers and information about tours that are available. This is one more reason to take advantage of these great budget accommodations.

Take the tour bus
Many large cites have a number of bus lines that operate sightseeing tours. These local bus tours often operate in a similar manner to backpacker tours, but they usually operate only in one city instead of covering a multi city route as most backpacker tours do.

The advantage of these sightseeing tours is that they allow budget minded travelers to cover a lot of ground, and see all the major sightseeing destinations in a city, in a limited amount of time.

These tours can be great for backpackers who are traveling to many different cities in a short period of time, as they provide a great overview of the city and what it has to offer.
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