Below I share ideas for free and low-cost activities in Santa Barbara, and where to eat on a dime. Tomorrow look for posts about nightlife bargains and shopping deals.
I hope you can use my tips the next time you visit Santa Barbara. The trip was so successful I may be going to San Diego as well!
Your bargain babe,
UPDATE APRIL 2014:
I haven’t been back to Santa Barbara since this trip and I’m not sure where my advice about free and low-cost activities went. Doh! But I do know a lot about traveling on the cheap from traveled so much and always being aware of the price tag. So here’s my best advice for visiting a new place on a dime.
- Download the Yelp app and use it for recommendations on where to eat. Yelpers love love love mom-and-pop hole in the walls, which are often the cheapest places to get a bite. They spurn fast food and chains and favor independent one of a kind eateries and restaurants. Look for specific advice on what to order, when to go, and prices.
- Pick up free weekly papers at local grocery stores, coffee shops, and other businesses. I love free weeklies! They almost always have a calendar or some kind of guide to what’s happening in town day by day. A lot of the listed events will be free or low cost.
- Book an apartment through one of the following: Homeaway.com, Airbnb.com, Vrbo.com. You’ll save money by using the home’s kitchen to eat in, and may have access to a free bicycle, guidebooks, and other perks of staying with a local. I like staying in a unique place, as opposed to a hotel room that is the same in any city.
- Use public transportation if you can avoid renting a car. You’ll save money with a pass or per ride ticket, and avoid traffic and parking fees. Plus, there’s no chance you’ll get a parking ticket! And you’ll get the flavor for the city by people watching.