Yeah! Cool Free Travel Stuff
Everyone likes FREE travel stuff.
Especially good free stuff.
This is where you’ll find it. I’m starting the list with some of my favorite free travel resources plus those suggested by the members of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook and Twitter friends. I’ll move this information to the “Free Travel Stuff” page and add to it whenever I find something really worthwhile.
If you have a free offering to recommend, something that has real value, please send me an email or add it in the comments at the end of this post.
Here’s the list so far:
FREE eBook – GLAD YOU’RE NOT HERE: a solo traveler’s manifesto
Of course I’d start with this. I wrote it! But seriously, if you haven’t read it go here, have a look at the contents and maybe give it a read.
Take a Virtual Tour with Street View by Google Maps
This is great for armchair travel or in preparation for a trip. It’s a new service from Google maps that gives you street level photographs of many cities and sites around the world. This link takes you to video that tells you how it works. This link takes you directly to Google Maps.
Greeter Programs are Great for Solo Travel Experiences
I thoroughly enjoyed the Greeter Program in Chicago. I asked for a cyclist and we covered a lot of the city in five hours. It was fabulous, especially as a solo traveler. Check to see if the city you’re going to has a Greeter program on the Global Greeter Network site.
Free Walking Tours – lots of options.
From Berlin to San Francisco to Tel Aviv and Tokyo, there are free walking tours everywhere. Google “free walking tours” or go to sites like Sandemans.
Google Image Search
Great for visual learners. Plug your destination/location into the Google search box and choose “Images” above the search results. You’ll get lots photos of the town and lots of ideas of things to do. Often they are photos from other people’s travels. Photo subjects that are repeated lots are likely the standard tourist sites. Those that are not may be a little off the beaten path.
FASTCHECK Free Travel Guides
I’m recommending these guides based on my review of their Toronto guide. It’s not dense with details, but in just 13 pages it gives you all the basics on the city. If you were to come to Toronto for a couple of days, this guide would have you covered - as long as you have some cash. The restaurants and bars they recommend tend to be expensive. There are guides on 385 cities around the world, most of which are available in multiple languages.
Free Guide for Travelers with Disabilities
Take Charge of Your Travel is a guide produced by the Canadian government. It covers international and domestic travel addressing issues like mobility aids and medical clearance as well as how to negotiate transportation.
HERmail.net Great for Women Traveling Solo
HERmail.net is an email-baased, international directory of women travelers. It allows any woman anywhere in the world to connect at this site with other females who love to travel.
How about Free Hotel Accommodation?
Sage Hospitality (Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton) has a “Give a Day, Get a Night” program. Complete 8 hours of volunteer service to a registered 501(c)3 non profit organization to qualify to receive 50% off the published room rate — or maybe a complimentary night (limited availability).
A free couch or bed
Two sites where you can enjoy the hospitality of locals are http://couchsurfing.com and http://www.hospitalityclub.org. I must add here that, while I know people who have done this and recommend it, I have not. It’s not within my comfort zone. Each us must determine our boundaries in terms of safety.
For reviews of htels, resorts, restaurants by real people. It’s a great resrouce.
iTunes Free Travel & Language Podcasts
Search the iTunes store for tons of travel and language guides as podcasts.
Intrepid Traveler Free Language Guides
Intrepid Travel offers 21 language guides designed to help you learn some of the key phrases of the local lingo. The guides are yours to download for free and can be easily stored on a portable mp3 device for when you are on the road.
This is not specific to solo travelers but we have family and friends too, so I thought I’d add it. It’s cool, free software for organizing your photos with face recognition technology. In just a bit of time, you can train the software to know the faces of all the important people in your life. Then, when you’re looking for that photo of your brother or putting together a 21st birthday “this is your life” album, Fotobounce can quickly find all the pictures with that person in them.