BOOK IT! BOOK REVIEW by Let’s Get Away: Lonely Planet’s The Best Things In Life are Free (The Ultimate Money-Saving Travel Guide) is the perfect travel book for budget-oriented travelers who find joy in saving money while traveling and doing more for less. (Canadian readers can win the book – see below. Or, buy the book from Amazon: Canada or USA)
In my younger years, as a college student trying to stretch my dollars as far as possible, free activities were my #1 must-do while on the road. I would scour travel sites for free activities and events in whatever city I was going to and would often find amazing finds, oftentimes these cheap adventures becoming the highlight of our trips. This book is like an encyclopedia of the budget travel information I used to search far and wide for, with many of them things I probably wouldn’t easily come across online. These authors have done their research.
The book itself is beautiful, with a bold, simple-looking cover with an inside that is formatted quite impeccably. The layout is almost a modern blog-like format with great photos, bold headings, helpful maps, and intriguing sidebars. No space is wasted.
The writers pack in as much info as they can into a small, convenient hardcover. All corners of the earth are represented, with “884 sights and experiences in over 60 cities worldwide” (as per the book’s cover), ranging from Africa (Cape Town and Marrakesh) to Asia (i.e. Bangkok, Shanghai, and Dubai), Europe (Amsterdam to Vienna), North America (Austin to Washington, DC), Oceania (i.e. Brisbane and Sydney) and South America (Bogota, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and more).
Of interest are the features, such as a spread on “Europe’s Best Wild Swimming”, or “Wine tasting on a shoestring in South America”. A quick look at Prague’s section, for example, has tips such as Prague’s best-value proposition being beer, which in the Czech Republic can be “cheaper than water”. You can visit U Maleho Glena jazz club on Sundays for a free jam wth local musicians. If in Turkey, visit the Elgiz Museum, Turkey’s original contemporary art museum, no charge. Random free facts populate the book. Cheapo travelers worldwide rejoice.
Of course, the book is a limited venture into free travel finds, as the world is a limitless place to explore and the book delves into 60 cities only – but a nice attempt to cover a variety of it all. (You’ll still need to do further research.) Even if you’re interested in finding great travel deals but not necessarily visiting any of the cities within, The Best Things in Life Are Free will open your eyes and pique your curiosity, and definitely dare you to find even better deals wherever you may go. It’ll inspire the wanderlust in every reader with a budget, and even without.
**CONTEST (For Canadian Readers Only): ENTER TO WIN THIS BOOK, compliments of Raincoast Books! Contest open until Sept 30, 2016.