Sports enthusiasts, food fans and culture lovers flock to Boston for fun, excitement and fabulous dining. Failing to plan however, can result in serious sticker shock. Follow these thrifty travel tips to experience Beantown on a budget.
Fees: Driving in Boston can be tedious to say the least, and relying on taxis can rapidly run a tight travel budget off the rails. Curb cab costs by snagging a seven-day Link Pass from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Available for $15, the pass allows unlimited travel via subway, local bus and the inner-harbor ferry. Another avenue of savings is the Family-Friendly Value Pass available through the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Bostonusa.com has further information about obtaining this free pass, which offers substantial discounts and freebies at a variety of venues and eateries throughout the city.
Fun: For a suggested donation of $2 – all of which goes to support local charities – beer enthusiasts can enjoy an affordable tour of the Sam Adams Brewery, including product samples and historical factoids about the famed brewer himself. Culture fans can experience Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art for free every Thursday evening from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., and world-class street performers entertain at no charge in the historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which is a five-minute walk from the New England Aquarium, Paul Revere’s House and the Children’s Museum.
Food: When you’re ready for a rest, frugal food options can be found at the Red Sky Restaurant and Lounge in Faneuil Hall itself. The eatery offers half-price appetizers daily from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., with prices starting at less than $4. Noshables of note include pot stickers, veggie quesadillas and beef teriyaki. If you happen to be in the Back Bay area, check out Brahmin American Cuisine and Cocktails on Stanhope Street. Numerous menu items clock in at less than $10, including their $8 grilled prawns with chipotle sauce and $7 truffled macaroni and cheese.
Feet: Pounding the pavement is one of the best ways to see Boston, regardless of your travel budget. Bostonharborwalk.com provides free, downloadable audio tours for tourists wishing to explore Beantown’s various waterfront neighborhoods. Park lovers won’t want to miss the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a ribbon-themed walkway connecting some of Boston’s most colorful public parks and neighborhoods, including Chinatown and the North End. Peckish penny pinchers will also appreciate the greenway’s frugal food trucks, which are some of the best in the country.
Photo Credit: Manu_H