4 Cheap Ways to Find Adventure Anywhere You Go!

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

I’m inspired to travel when I hear other people share stories of their adventures.  So here’s the next installment of our weekly series where the Million Mile Secrets team shares their travel successes (and failures) with you!

Jason:   When I’m in a new city, I enjoy seeing the major tourist attractions.  But they are usually some of the most expensive options as far as entertainment goes.

Plus, once you’ve seen the city’s cathedral or famous monument, what do you do with the rest of your time?

4 Things You Need To Do In Every Place You Visit
I Love Discovering Unique Attractions, Like the World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet!

Whenever I find myself in a new city (or an old city I want to experience in a new way!), these are the 4 things I do to find adventure.

Create Your Own Awesome (and Affordable!) Experiences

Finding excitement in a new place does NOT mean you have to spend a lot of money.  In fact, sometimes it’s just the opposite!

1.   Find an Obscure, Strange, or Out-Of-The-Way Place

I love tourist attractions as much as the next guy.  But eventually, I want to see a city’s hidden treasures, too.

If I’m in Boston, I’ll check out the Museum of Fine Arts or the Harvard Museum of Natural History.  But at some point, I’ll make it to the Museum of Bad Art, where ~90% of submissions are rejected for being too good.

4 Things You Need To Do In Every Place You Visit
Atlas Obscura Is My Go to Site for Finding Unique Places to Visit, Like Woolly Mammoth Antiques & Oddities in Chicago

These are the sites I use to find odd attractions:

  • Atlas Obscura – The best resource for everything from unique architecture to quirky foods
  • Roadside America – Find the best roadside attractions in the US, like the Gays, IL 2-story outhouse
  • Weird US – The website isn’t as extensive as the books, but can still be helpful

Occasionally, you’ll find a place that is worth a side trip.  Like the “famous” Toothbrush and Bra fences in New Zealand, or the world’s largest grotto in West Bend, Iowa.

2.   Eat a Great Breakfast or Brunch

It’s easy to eat the hotel’s free breakfast every morning.  Especially for all of us thrifty folks in the miles & points hobby!

But I suggest getting out and finding a great breakfast, at least once, in every city you visit.  Because when you’re looking for great food, dinner is MUCH more expensive than a quality breakfast.  Plus, you can get a fancy breakfast for a fraction of the cost of an extravagant dinner.  And you generally won’t need reservations for breakfast!

4 Things You Need To Do In Every Place You Visit
The Dark Chocolate Chip Crunch Pancakes at Little Goat Diner Were Worth the Wait

When I’m looking for the best place to grab breakfast, I’ll check review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp.  And sometimes, other sites like TimeOut, Thrillist, or Zagat, will have a good article covering a city’s best breakfasts.

Once you’ve found a few great options, narrow down your choices based on who has the best pancakes.  Because you’ll NEVER be wrong when you’re chasing the best pancakes. 😉

When all else fails, go where the line is.  If other people are willing to wait 45 minutes to an hour for brunch, there is a good reason why.

3.   Stay Someplace Cheap

I love using miles & points for luxury travel I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.  But as nice as it is to be pampered, I’ve found that meeting people is my favorite part of traveling.  And when you’re holed up in a nice hotel, you’re a lot less likely to be interacting with other travelers!

4 Things You Need To Do In Every Place You Visit
You Can Save Money & Find Fun Accommodations, Like This Schoolhouse in New Hampshire, With Airbnb

In my experience, the cheaper the accommodation, the more likely you are to find community.  So save your points and consider staying at a hostel, campground or Airbnb.

Any place with a shared kitchen is a great way to meet like-minded folks.  And getting advice from other travelers will make it much easier (and more fun!) to navigate the area.

4.   Slow Down With a Walking or Bike Tour

You can get to know a place faster if you slow down.  So take a day and have a walk or bike ride around the city.

There is no shortage of free walking or bike tour routes on the internet.  But if you’re stuck, I suggest GPSmyCity, which has tour routes for 100s of cities all over the world.

Some tours aren’t rated as highly as others, so read the reviews before heading out!

4 Things You Need To Do In Every Place You Visit
Finding Free Walking Tours Is Easy With Apps Like GPSmyCity

If you prefer to have a professional show you around, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, try Free Tours By Foot.  They offer tours with licensed guides for no upfront cost!  You simply pay what you want at the end of your tour.

Bottom Line

When you’re visiting a new place or rediscovering a familiar town, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to uncover the secrets a particular spot has to offer.

Sites like Atlas Obscura and GPSmyCity are great (free!) resources for finding hidden attractions.  And budget accommodations like hostels and Airbnb are a fantastic way to meet people along the way!

Also, don’t forget to have a memorable breakfast wherever you go.  Because everyone should eat more pancakes. 😉

How do you find a city’s hidden gems?  Please let me know in the comments!

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Join the Discussion!

Comments are closed.