One of the easiest ways to travel on a budget is to stick to free activities and avoid the pricey tourist traps. The great news is that there is often loads of free things to do in every city, it only takes a little research.
First, start with National Parks. In the United States the National Park Service webpage has a complete list of nationally run parks in every state. These sites are subsidized by federal funding so many of them are cheap or free to enter. If you are a student or senior, you can get a serious discount.
Next up, navigate towards the state travel website. On many of these sites there will be a list of all the parks and public spaces. Most of these will be free and well maintained. Many of the larger cities have allocated large green space areas, like Central Park in New York City and Boston Common in Boston, that offer an amazing, free retreat for everyone.
Speaking of Central Park, here’s a great video tour I found. If you’re ever in New York City, you have to visit!
Be sure to talk to the locals whenever you’re in a new place. They can often direct you to some awesome free activities that travel books will miss. Small town shopkeepers and older residents are a great resource for this.
Many museums and theaters often offer discounted rates for students. Keep your student ID card long after you’ve graduated and keep it in your wallet. Most people will not question a student ID and will give you the reduced entrance fee.
As you walk throughout the area, check for fliers and billboards on telephone poles, building walls and in storefronts. You can often find free festivals and events going on. These will often be one-off events so be sure to check the date.
Many cities have companies that produce free entertainment newspapers. Check for the boxes near mailboxes and other more prominent newspaper boxes to grab one of these great resources. In them you can find a wealth of information on local activities and they often include a calendar of events and coupons.