Money-saving travel tips

Apparently Canada, Bermuda and South Africa are home to some of  the friendliest people. I can’t speak for Bermuda or South Africa, because I have never been there, but Canadians are very very polite. So polite that when you bump into them, they say sorry. I have even caught myself doing that a few times and I just had to  grin to myself. Canada is also very affordable when it comes to shopping and cultural activities. Take a weekend adventure to the city for example, if you stayed in a 3 star hotel for 2 nights, you would be looking at about $300 and even cheaper still if you really did your homework. Now you have to factor in the cost of incidentals like food ($200 on the cheap) and gifts for the folks back home so that would run you another $300 and there you have it — $800 total and that doesn’t even include site seeing and travelling expenses. So why not devise a freebie event  getaway event for yourself? It is absolutely doable, you just have to know where to look and how to plan your stay.

( ©  Ron Watts/Corbis)

Here are some tips:

1) Attend as many book launches as possible. Someone is always promoting a new book, there is always some form of live entertainment even if it comes in the form of a reading. Chances are you will get the price of your autographed copy of the work and a nice glass of champagne and hors d’oeuvres to go with it.

2) Attend PWYC events. PWYC events are my favorite ’cause just like the phrase suggests, you pay whatever you can and nobody is going to judge you. Be wary that some events have a suggested PWYC that is enforced though.

3) Buy your food from supermarkets as opposed to fast food chains which are highly overpriced.  For lunch: a dinner roll and some fine pieces of cheese topped with some olives and a few slices of turkey from the deli counter go great with a few cherry tomatoes.  Prepack your lunch in sandwich bags you brought from home. If you prefer, buy a yogurt and some granola bars which you can crumble on top to create a low fat parfait. Bottled water is the cheapest way to go too. If you are really budgeting, visit a dollar store for some food staples.

4) Check out an art gallery. They usually don’t charge admission and the pieces on display are one of a kind. Again, find out if there is a gallery opening that night.

5) Visit a university and find out what is in the line-up in the way of evening entertainment. Student theatre companies have great productions at half the price.

6) Attend a seminar. There are some wonderful talks at colleges and universities that are often free. Who knows what you might learn about nuclear physics.

All in all, there are so many ways to save while in the city. Keep your eyes peeled and plan well ahead and you will be saving money like nobody’s business.

These are just a few ways to see a city on the cheap.

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