Friday review: Lonely Planet’s The Best Things in Life are Free

When you first start making travel plans, especially if you’re going on a long trip, like a sabbatical or a career break, one of the first things you’ll probably (hopefully!) think about is a budget.

As well as flights, accommodation, food and travel within the country, the other big thing to think about is entertaining yourself and it always amazes me how quickly tours and entrance fees can add up.

Obviously with some experiences like skydiving in New Zealand or taking a tango lesson in Argentina, spending money is essential and I’ve never been the kind of person to not do something I really want to do just because it’s pricey. In fact that was one of the benefits of taking a grown up gap year, I had savings to make sure that I could splash out on the things I wanted to do.

But I also discovered on my round-the-world trip that there’s lots of ways to do things more cheaply, like queuing up early for tickets to the Royal Opera House in Sydney or making our own way to see the Terracotta Warriors in China rather than going on an organised tour. I also love the free guided walks offered in many cities, where you just pay the guide a tip at the end.

And then there are the freebies. It always amazes me when I’m travelling how much in life is free. Museums, walks, markets, beaches – there’s so much to see and do and it’s possible to make your travels cheaper.

Of course, other people must think this too and the folk at Lonely Planet have pulled together a selection of their top tips from around the world in The Best Things in Life are Free.

I’ve always been a fan of Lonely Planet and as with all of their books, the pages are clearly laid out, with maps and top tips for different cities around the world.

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As well as freebies like gardens, museums and walks, there’s also cheap as chips dining options and where to get the best city views.

The book also includes 17 themed lists, which range from ‘best free museums and galleries in Europe’ to ‘Australia and New Zealand’s best free walks’.

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If you’re looking for a present for someone about to set off on a gap year or if you’re planning in taking your own grown up gap year or sabbatical then this may be what you’re looking for.

It’s definitely given me lots of new places to add to my never-ending travel list. Now I’ve just got to get saving for the flights!

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The Best Things in Life are Free was given to me to review. But all opinions, as ever, are my own.

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