When is comes to budget travel, timing is everything. Spontaneity is cool and spontaneous trips even cooler, but most of the times very expensive. For the budget conscious traveler, the most important thing on the 'to do' list before hitting the road is planning. I can't stress enough on this.
Fall is a slow season for the travel industry. Kids go back to school, days get shorter, the good weather gets replaced by rain, tourists go back home and the hussle and bustle of the cities is once again swapped for the comfort of the daily struggles. This is when the hotels lower their rates, hoping to attract a few more tourists and travelers and the airlines offer their best deals.
Check out the European Heritage Days
On top of all this bargains coming your way, Europe opens it's doors during the European Heritage Days weekend in September. Thousands of government buildings and privately owned sites in each of the 50 participant countries open their doors to give the visitors free reign to areas that are generally not accessible to the public, or would normally charge an entrance fee. From works of art, monuments, hidden architectural treasures, exhibits, concerts, performances and a wide range of tours and events that bring the local history and culture to life, free, family friendly entertainment is offered to residents and tourists alike. If you've ever wondered what the Moulin Rouge looks like backstage, or wanted to visit the Traian’s forum but found out the ticket was kind of pricey, then this is the perfect occasion to plan a long weekend budget break.
Open House Events take place all over the worldThe annual Open House weekend takes place in some of the top tourist destinations, like New York, London, Melbourne, Barcelona, Chicago, Helsinki, or Jerusalem. Hundreds of buildings that are normally closed to the public participate to this event in each city. The Open House Event is an once a year opportunity to get under the skin of some of the most outstanding architecture, design, engineering, and cultural heritage completely free of charge. It could be a place as grand and monumental as the Bank of England or as small and quirky as a brand new eco-friendly residential house just down the street. The Open House takes visitors off the tourist track, welcoming everyone to pick behind the scenes, explore and understand the value of a well-designed built environment. Some of the sites are very popular and require you to pre-book. In most places the Open House Event is organized off season, mainly in September or October, whilst the one in Melbourne takes place in July.
|Central Park, New York|
There's a whole world of cities to explore out there, each with their rich heritage. A short city break in the middle of autumn, when the fall foliage dresses the public parks of the northern hemisphere in dazzling colors and the temperatures have cooled down a bit, might be the perfect timing to grab a bag, throw in some basics (packing light is always the best), book a budget accommodation and hop on the first plane to one of the destinations mentioned above. Once you get there, you can rent an urban bike or take the subway and explore the hidden corners of your city of choice as cheap as it can get.
Do you know about other similar events?
Photos via Flickr Creative Commons