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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Once a year, Ben and Jerry’s gives away ice cream at its scoop shops free.

fcdheader2TODAY’S THE DAY!

In the U.S. and Canada, find your nearest scoop shop here.

Overseas, give one of these two links a try:  1, 2.  (You’ve got a chance if you’re in Aruba, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, or the UK.)

Enjoy!

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Until you’ve seen Oktoberfest for yourself, you’re probably not going to believe me when I tell you it’s like the State Fair, minus the animals (butter or otherwise), plus traditional costumes and, obviously, Maß upon Maßloads of beer.

Once you’re there, you’ll wonder why anyone ever thought it was a good idea to mix overconsumption of food and alcohol with expensive clothes and twisty-whirly rides! Hopefully you won’t be wondering it all over your lederhosen . . .

That said, it is possible to go to the ‘Fest and have good (if expensive), wholesome family fun. For me — who’s not afraid of heights — there’s nothing simpler or less intimidating than the ferris wheel. If you find yourself on the Wies’n during daylight hours, hop aboard with a sugary or salty snack of your choice and take in the city views at the wheel’s leisurely pace.

Follow other Photo Friday contributors around the world here.

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Shoestring reader and friend of the blog James D., currently of the Big Apple, took a trip to Montreal this summer and had the following tips for fellow no-budget travelers:

+ Getting There: if you have time, take the train from NYC. Yes, it is a long ride, but it is a beautiful one, and the best part is the train station is right in the middle of downtown. The airport is about 30 minutes outside of the city.

+ Getting Around: like NYC, the city is on a grid, making traveling around really straightforward. The Metro is fast, cheap and easy to navigate.

+ A City of Green Neighborhoods: during the days, I explored the city on foot. A great hike is up the Mountain (Parc du Mont-Royal). This was an all day hike, up and around. There are breathtaking views of the city and there were a lot of people picnicking up there.

The sightly less trendy part of the city is the Plateau. This is north of Parc la Fontaine, another wonderful park in the city. Down the hill from the park (down rue Amherst) is a nice little market that is a great place to pick up a snack for lunch.

For the historic charms of the city, head to Vieux Montreal — the Old City (think European cobblestone streets). Here you’ll find lots of museums and a nice walk along the water. Wandering around the back streets, I found a small store with a sandwich and drink combo for under $5.

The last day I walked over to one of the islands in the St. Lawrence River, Parc Jean-Drapeau. The home of the Biosphere and the Olympic Fields, you can beat the crowds by getting lost instead in the surrounding woody area.

+ Free (and Useful!) Brochures: the two best things I picked up were totally free: the first was the official tourist guide to the city. I saw stacks of these in every hotel and B&B. It has some small maps and lots of historical information about the different areas of the city and some of the more touristy things to do. It is paid for by advertisers, so I was wary of the food recommendations. The second was a free city map. This was large, but even the locals had them, so you don’t stand out holding one.

+ Practice that French: while a lot of people do speak English, a little bit of French will go far. If you get lost, it is faster to start off in broken French and the person will do their best to help you out.

+ Bring your Own: the main street in Montreal is Ste. Catherine. It is great during the summer since the majority of it is closed off and becomes pedestrian-only. However, like all downtown areas, it is the most expensive part of the city for food. I went there almost every night with a coffee and sat in one of the many little parks just to watch the city go by.

+ More Cheap Entertainment: Montreal also has a great bar culture, with many no-cover shows: jazz, rock-a-billy, etc.

+ When to Visit: every weekend during the summer, the city comes alive with festivals and parades. During the Jazz Fest you’ll find numerous free concerts all day long. Another festival I caught while visiting was Gale-rue d’Art, an art street festival.

+ Where to Stay: Montreal is filled with B&Bs. The one I stayed at fed me tons of food and allowed me to do laundry there. The manager also gave me suggestions on things to do every day. Talk to locals! Plus, if it is a good B&B, they will feed you enough for two meals.

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If you’re new to Less Than a Shoestring, please take some time and have a poke around! I welcome your questions and comments on the site. This blog shows that travel can indeed be both pleasurable and frugal. Because I live in Europe, you’ll find loads of information on European no-budget travel — but in keeping with This Just In’s post and for your ease, I’ve put together below a collection of my U.S. tips and bargains.

Once a month, the Travel on a Shoestring Carnival turns its focus to the Americas. You’ll find lots of great tips from around the blogosphere collected in the following posts:

Every Friday, the blog features a travel freebie. Some timeless classics for U.S. staycationers and backyard travelers:

Not free, but cheap activities include:

For those traveling a bit further afield, take a look at the posts:

If you’ll be driving to your destination, you’ll want to read:

Before flying, from the wild and wooly world of U.S. airline travel:

Changes U.S. travelers and visitors should know about:

See the no-budget traveler take on the New York Times’ “Frugal Traveler” in the posts:

If you like what you see, subscribe to the RSS feed and have the latest no-budget travel tips delivered to you! It takes just a second to set up, ensuring you never miss a single post.

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Concerned reader Jennifer writes,

Right now Ryanair APPEARS to have some fares that are literally FREE (no taxes, fees special till 11/15 on some flights; free flight, free if you choose on-line check-in, no bags, no priority). Is that for real???

Yes, Jennifer, it’s for real — as “free” as you can get any “free” ticket from RyanAir these days (check out the post “Why I Love/Hate RyanAir” for more on this subject).

I booked myself a November trip yesterday, from Berlin to Edinburgh, for 10.02 euros: 2 cents in fares, 10 euros in credit card fees. Of course I plan to report all about it here.

So where would you like to go? Sale ends midnight Wednesday.

If you’re stuck in the States for the time being, get thee to a Cold Stone Creamery Thursday evening: from 5-8 p.m. they’re handing out free scoops of two new creations, inspired by children from the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

  • Jack’s Creation – Marshmallow ice cream with OREO® Cookies, Chocolate Chips and Fudge
  • Emily’s Creation – Nutter Butter® ice cream with White Chocolate Chips, Kit Kat® and Yellow Cake

I’m so jealous! You can find your nearest Cold Stone location here.

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Welcome to the sixth Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for Asia, Oz. Here you’ll find Asian, Australian, New Zealand and Oceania travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Photographic inspiration this week from Nancie McKinnon, another fabulous image courtesy of Intelligent Travel’s Global Eye. You can read more about Nancie’s stay in a South Korean Buddhist temple here.

Intelligent Travel‘s got quite a few recent posts worth a gander:

If you are heading to the Olympics (or just flying into Beijing anytime soon), David Feng of CNReviews has written a great post to familiarize you with your transportation options called Beijing Capital International Airport Express(way) Guide (PEK). His extensive guide to getting around the city by underground avec color map can be found at Beijing Subway Guide: Map, Stations and Colors.

Beijing is the latest city to join the bicycle-rental trend — if you’re not afraid of traffic and thousands of other bicyclists, try Donald Morrison‘s Beijing on Two Wheels, posted at IHT Globespotters Blog.

Also at IHT, Joyce Hor-Chung Lau has just the thing for a sunny Hong Kong day in her post It’s Hong Kong beach season!

If it’s rather Australia you’re headed for, Vera Lang advises saving money and enjoying nature in her post Bushwalking in South Australia posted at Travel Trip Vacation. “South Australia offers amazing diversity and breathtaking beauty in every direction … and it does not come cheaper than walking.”

Onward to India, Anand Giridharadas of the IHT Globespotters Blog presents his advice on How to Behave Like a Local in Mumbai. My favorite tip, especially for business travelers, is his #9:

To save time and whiz through a meeting, specify in advance that coffee-tea service not be done. To extend the meeting for hours, on the other hand, keep asking for tea and coffee at regular intervals. If you really want to create an awkward situation, wait until everyone is about to leave the meeting and then call for tea and coffee and some “snacks,” which usually will mean something fried and time-consuming.

Maneesh at AdmirableIndia.com presents Bangalore to Mysore on Bike: Day 1: Part 2: Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Brindavan gardens and Krishnarajasagara or KRS dam.

You’ll find other advice on traveling in Karnataka in J‘s posts on Chikmagalur, Srirangapatna and his Trip to Dharmasthala, Kukke Subrahmanya and Mangalore.

Wrapping up this week, nomad4ever Chris drags his broken motorscooter across an “unspoiled” Indonesian island near Bali in Around Lombok in 4 days – if you are insane enough.

Thanks to everyone for participating. Submit your blog article (or encourage your favorite travel bloggers to submit) to the next edition of Travel on a Shoestring: Asia, Oz using the carnival submission form. Next week this time we travel to South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Antartica. You can still submit your posts to that carnival till Wednesday.

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Welcome to the sixth Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for the Americas. Here you’ll find North American, Central American and Caribbean travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Photographic inspiration this week comes from Ralph Grunewald via Intelligent Travel’s Global Eye feature. You can read the details of his photo from the Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin here.

Kicking us off this week is Alistair Wearmouth at Away.com Family Travel Blog, giving us a rundown of his Top 10 Budget Vacations for Families.

Elizabeth helps you curb your hunger for under $2 in The Cheapest Lunch in Washington, DC posted at Go Green Travel Green.

Stephanie keeps costs down vacationing in the area around Asheville in her post Fun and Frugal in Western North Carolina at Stop the Ride!

If it’s a trip to the Mouse you’re after, Karyn has useful information on visiting Orlando, Florida on the Cheap at All About Orlando. She writes, “With the economy the way it is many visitors planning trips to Orlando are looking for discounts or other ways to save money. Here are some of the best ways to see Orlando and save a few bucks in the process.”

Ashley Thompson of Intelligent Travel gives readers the lowdown on one of the most interesting cities in Kansas in There’s No Place Like Lawrence.

When in Texas, Sheila Scarborough of Perceptive Travel Blog outlines a delightful, free and “funky” museum in Houston in her post Baby, You Can Drive My (Art) Car.

If it’s Northern California you’re headed to, check out Weekend Sherpa‘s regularly updated advice on what’s cheap, free and on.

If NYC is on the agenda, you’ll want to read these sites:

  • Getting a cab from the airport to the city and vice versa just got a lot cheaper with Hitchsters.

Mother of seven Jeana Mitchell shares tips on traveling cheaply with a brood in the post 20 Money Saving Tips For Traveling with a Large Group at Family Hack.

Hilary Green‘s post Best Road Trip Cars at Cars for Girls outlines the average cost of an 800-mile road trip in eight of the season’s newest models.

And if you decide you can’t afford to drive away after all, Tip Diva presents Top Ten Tips – Taking A Staycation posted at Tip Diva, saying, “With gas prices and travel costs rising, many people opt just to stay home on their vacation time – hence, a ‘staycation.’ But being at home, or close to it, can make it seem like less of a break. Here are ways to ignore the fact that you’re home and enjoy your time off.”

If you inherit some money, don’t spend it on airfare! You might just afford your own private island (some are far cheaper than you can imagine). Read more in Neelakantha‘s post 10 Beautiful Private Islands for Sale (That You Could Actually Afford) at International Listings Blog.

Nick presents Honduras wants Sustainable Tourism industry posted at EcoFuss Green News, saying, “Honduras is a cheap Central American destination, and new eco-friendly development could make it an attractive destination.”

Finally, if you’re looking for inspiration to stop resting on your laurels and start experiencing life under your own steam, look no further than Couple Quit Jobs, Sold Possessions To Bicycle Around The World For A Year…Find Adventure And Freedom posted at The Life Less Traveled. “In 2006, James and Sarah Welle sold all of their possessions and left their comfortable jobs at Microsoft to bicycle around the world. During their year-long adventure, the pair encountered interesting people, delicious food, new found athletic prowess and the realization of how close at hand freedom and the choice to shake up your daily life truly are. Read about how they decided to bicycle around the world for a year…and how you can, too!”

Thanks to everyone for participating. Submit your blog article (or encourage your favorite travel bloggers to submit) to the next edition of Travel on a Shoestring: Americas using the carnival submission form. Next week this time we travel to Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. You can still submit your posts to that carnival till Wednesday.

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A weekend daytrip to the Baltic coast from Berlin for under 13 euros?  Here’s how it broke down.

Transportation Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
+ Schönes Wochenende Ticket, split 5 ways:  7 euros

Subtotal: 7 euros

Food and Drink Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
+ Ice cream: 1.50 euros
+ Coffee and pastry in a cafe: 2.25 euros
+ Bottle of cold beer at the train station:  1.67 euros

Subtotal: 5.42 euros

Other Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . + toilet, Warnemünde train station: .50 euros

Subtotal: 0.50 euros


 TOTAL: 12.92 euros

That doesn’t include the freebies we took advantage of:
+ maps of Rostock and Warnemünde from the Rostock tourist information
+ leisturely walk through historic city center and along the port area of Rostock
+ hours of sunshine, at the Rostock port and on the Warnemünde beach (bring your sunscreen and avoid the wicked sunburn!)
+ shell collecting and beach walking at sunset

This trip followed my typical no-budget rules: ride public transport (€7 for ~5 hours in the train to/from Rostock plus the S-Bahn ride to Warnemünde), eat groceries (we packed enough food along — yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, sandwiches, veggies and dip, tea in a thermos — to tide us over between ice cream pit stops), do lots of cheap or free activities.  That said, the trip could be done even *more* cheaply if one remained strict about not purchasing any food or drink.  We found prices to be incredibly reasonable; however, if you’re going to “splurge,” they are lowest in Rostock, which has far fewer (docked cruise-ship) tourist hordes.

If you’re just looking for a day at the beach, it is possible to skip Rostock completely and head straight to Warnemünde — but we found the quiet and restfulness of the city of Rostock (on a Sunday) a welcome foil to the busy den between train station and beach in the resort of Warnemünde.

Wondering where else in Europe you can travel so cheaply? Check out my other budgets:
Baring My Budget:  Madrid and Barcelona
Baring My Budget: Malta
Baring My Budget: Stockholm
Baring My Budget: Hamburg
Baring My Budget: Venice
Baring My Budget: London
Baring My Budget: London, Take 2

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Two Hours in . . . is a new series on layover time killers for major transportation hubs. First stop: Berlin’s main train station. This first post in a two-part report will describe a relaxed, non-sightseeing option. The next post will describe your short-term sightseeing options — so stay tuned for further ideas.

On the -1 level (B1), you’ll find a Kaiser’s supermarket in the far southwest corner (consult this map) which will handily provide you with everything you need for a picnic lunch or dinner. Take your supplies and head out the Europaplatz entrance; cross twice at the streetlight to the left. Continue to the middle of the block, where you will find the entrance to the Moabit Prison Historical Park (open daily from April to September, 8-21; October to March, 8-16). While the place is designed for the memorialization of political prisoners held and executed there for over a century, you will find — as in many such memorial spaces in Germany — dual-use areas, with a children’s play corner and picnic tables (where I recently saw a child’s birthday celebration) and loads green space for playing with dogs, frisbees or simply sunning oneself. Enjoy the grass and quiet till it’s time to head back to your connecting train.

If this description seems confusing, why don’t you try following my Google map?

Wondering about the stuffed rabbit featured in the photo? Check out the post ITB Impressions: Send Your Teddy Bear on Vacation.
Find other Two Hours in . . . posts here.

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Welcome to the fifth Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for Asia, Oz. Here you’ll find Asian, Australian, New Zealand and Oceania travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend.

Photographic inspiration comes to us this week from Alan D. Newton. You can read all of the details about his visit to Hachioji City, Japan, at Global Eye: Takaosan Buddhas posted at Intelligent Travel.

Laura Morelli describes when and where to get your batik on authentically in The Genuine Article: Malaysian Batik at National Geographic Traveler.

Donald Morrison changes his mind about public transportation in the Chinese capital in The New Beijing Subway: Suddenly, a Pretty Good Ride posted at IHT Globespotters.

Steve Madsen presents free, historical highlights of Canberra in his series Australia’s Capital Treasures posted at Exit Row Seat.

Angelinaaahh has three currency exchange tips for those on their way to Phnom Penh in Riel-ing and Dealing in Cambodia posted at Wanderus. If you’re headed on to Thailand, you might also want to read her recommendations in Trekking Through Chiang Mai.

But first, don’t forget to check out Andrej‘s collection of things you might find useful to know Before you go to Thailand posted at ThailandTime: Bangkok & Thailand!

Never go hungry in Singapore or Malaysia after Austin Hill‘s rundown of local food courts in How To: Eat At A Hawker Center posted at Travellious, saying, “One of the best ways to eat cheaply in relatively expensive Singapore is to hit up stands at hawker centers. I give you the low down on how to do it right.”

Jeet has all the info you’ll need for a trip to Mysore, India, posted at Traveling Beats.

Tired of getting socked by currency conversion fees (or don’t know whether or not your credit card is profiting wildly on your overseas purchases)? Raymond to the rescue with his List Of Credit Card Foreign Currency Transaction Fees posted at Money Blue Book.

Finally, a great resource to start planning your trip the internet way is Niharika‘s post on the 50 Best Web 2.0 Travel Tools at Travelhacker.

Thanks to everyone for participating. Submit your blog article (or encourage your favorite travel bloggers to submit) to the next edition of Travel on a Shoestring: Asia, Oz using the carnival submission form. Next week this time we travel to South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Antartica. You can still submit your posts to that carnival till Wednesday.

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