Traveling is a favorite pastime for countless people, and many families plan annual vacations to new and exciting locations to get their travel fix. It’s fun to experience new places, new activities, and new cultures. But traveling can be expensive and can limit where and how often you actually travel. Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you make a plan in advance, you can travel anywhere on a budget. Here are four budget-friendly tips to make the most out of your trip to Columbus, Ohio.
Every attraction these days has a website, so take advantage and look at ticket prices ahead of time. Many places offer student and senior discounts, or have off-seasons where tickets are half price. The Columbus Museum of Art has admission fees Tuesday through Saturday but is free to all on Sundays. Checking online beforehand will let you look up other free activities in the area, which can help balance out attractions that always have admission fees, like the Columbus Zoo and COSI Museum.
Looking online is also a great way to find affordable hotels and great booking deals near the attractions you want to see. Varsity Inn South Hotel is just footsteps away from The Ohio State University in Columbus and the Red Roof Plus + Columbus Downtown is nestled right in between Nationwide Stadium and the city center.
Wait Until the Last Minute
While this may seem contradictory to the tip above, there are a few exceptions in which waiting may save some money. Nationwide Arena, home to the Blue Jackets hockey team, releases 250 tickets for only $10 each two hours before each home game. It’s a great way to support a local team, while gaining fun new experiences.
The Wexner Center for the Arts also offers a variety of affordable theatre and dance performances. While you can check online in advance to see what is playing, the array of different rotating shows also allows you to improvise and see what performances are playing that day.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Columbus is home to some beautiful outdoor area attractions. While many of these outdoor sites offer paid guided tours, all are free to visit and just walk around. Go explore The Ohio State University campus and football stadium or check out the German Village and the Short North Arts District to experience some historic sites and influential culture. Columbus is also home to some great recreational parks, like Scioto Audubon Metro Park, where you can walk trails and explore nature’s beauty.
Find the Food Trucks
Food trucks are quickly becoming a huge fad in the United States. Columbus is lucky enough to have a whole fleet of them and a large following amongst locals. Food trucks are great because they serve a variety of cuisines made with fresh local ingredients. Also, food trucks allow you to get a taste of gourmet cooking without breaking the bank. Moreover, because food trucks are mobile, there is sure to be one near the rest of your sightseeing adventures.
Don’t let your budget get in the way of a great vacation. You can travel anywhere on a budget – the key is smart planning!
Sarah Henkel lives and works in sunny Tampa, Florida. In her free time she loves to travel (whether across continents or city lines), beat her own personal records running, and concoct new recipes in the kitchen.