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When you visit Los Angeles, there are a few obvious tourist boxes to check—Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame, Griffith Observatory, Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica Pier to name a few. But, the city is filled with quirky and lesser-known spots to make your visit one to remember—and you won’t go broke because all of these are free!

RELATED: Best bargain shopping in Los Angeles

Drive the Pacific Coast Highway
Hit the ocean-hugging Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) with the windows down, take in the fresh air and sunshine and make some stops along the way. There are plenty of pull-over areas in Malibu where you can admire the views, buy fresh fruit from vendors and find some hidden gems. El Matador State Beach and the shops at Malibu Country Mart are two of our favorites.

Entrance to Malibu Beach | Photo by Lidia Ryan

Discover hidden entrances to Malibu’s best beaches
The entire California coastline is free and open to the public, but Malibu beaches are mostly behind private homes and parking is often expensive. Not to worry, though: Along PCH there are little hidden walkways down the cliffs that offer free access and very beautiful. Dan Blocker County Beach and Big Rock Beach are two good ones to try.

Flickr CC: Joe Wolf

Revel in the magic of the movies
A trip to Los Angeles wouldn’t be complete without taking in a little Hollywood history. You’ll have to head underground to experience this hidden Hollywood gem: The Metro station at Hollywood and Vine has two original film projectors from Paramount Pictures and tiles that symbolize the Yellow Brick Road from the Wizard of Oz. Movie reels cover the ceiling. Best of all, the subway stop offers easy access to attractions like Universal Studios and Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA).

View from Pepperdine University | Flickr CC: Kristina D.C Hoeppner

Explore Pepperdine University’s campus
Driving north along PCH through Malibu, you’ll come across an expansive, impossibly green lawn–that’s Pepperdine University. Take a quick detour through the clifftop campus to find magnificent views of the coast. You can also visit the Heroes Garden built in memory of 9/11.

Flickr CC: Sean Davis

Tour the Arts District
Art lovers should head to Hauser & Wirth art gallery where they’ll find a chicken coop, public garden, bookstore, education lab–and, of course, plenty of art. The gallery serves as an anchor the bustling Arts District, a walkable ‘hood boasting all kinds of cool little shops, galleries and eateries like Blue Bottle, Pie Hole and Wurstküche.

Topanga Living Cafe | Photo by Lidia Ryan

Chill in Topanga State Park
Topanga State Park is a free-admission desert mountain area for hiking and exploring (there’s also a state beach). It’s mostly an artists community with a cool history—Bob Dylan and others used to record music in Topanga and the Kravitz family also lived here. There is a quirky vintage shop called Hidden Treasures and a Balinese café and gift shop called Topanga Living Café worth checking out.

Santa Monica Incline | Flickr CC: Jonathan Wilson

Walk the Santa Monica Incline
The Santa Monica incline is an urban “hike” via a very windy and steep walkway from the beach over the highway and to a park offering and overlook with views of the cliffs and ocean. You can also drive up it.

Flickr CC: Neon Tommy

Celebrate Mexican heritage
There is a deep-rooted Mexican heritage in Southern California and Mariachi Plaza celebrates it. Located about a mile from DTLA, the small plaza has served since the 1930s as a place for Mariachi bands in full traditional garb to gather, play music and wait to be hired for parties.

Lady of the Lake at Echo Park Lake | Flickr CC: indigioMood

Admire Echo Park Lake
The Eastside’s Echo Park neighborhood has long been a scruffy place. But in recent years, the neighborhood has been cleaned up and Echo Park Lake has gotten a makeover. Take a stroll along the lake, take in the LA skyline and visit the Art Deco-style statue, Lady of the Lake.

ALSO: The best things in life are free, but cheap ain’t bad either. Sign up for CheapCash and start earning rewards instantly!

Snap a few Insta-worthy pics
No trip is complete without a few good grams, and Los Angeles is full of cool street art that serves as a great backdrop. Here are a few of our favorites:

Culver City Love wall | Photo by Kristie Wing-Smith

Culver City Love Wall
Artist Curtis Kulig created this public art on Higuera Street in Culver City as part of his “Love Me” campaign, which includes walls like this in major cities around the world. No filter needed here.

Flickr CC: ccharmon

Paul Smith Pink Wall
The single-toned bubble gum pink wall on one side of the Paul Smith store on Melrose is another Instagram sensation. For 2017 Pride weekend, one wall of the building was painted over in rainbow stripes (pink still remains) and is just as Instagram-able.

Instagram CC: @yelllowstefanie

Micheltorena Stairs
Strike a pose in front of the heart painted onto these rainbow steps on Sunset Blvd in the Silver Lake neighborhood, and then be sure to check out the neighborhood’s trendy hangouts. Hit the farmers’ market to browse vintage clothing, records and, of course, produce. Head to The Satellite (formerly Spaceland) to see up-and-coming band. Or hit the Chandelier Tree, a 100-year-old sycamore decorated with about 30 illuminated chandeliers. It’s such an attraction that food trucks gather nightly to feed gawkers.

California Dreaming Wall | Instagram CC: @jaclyngem

California Dreaming Wall
Located at the Chinese Laundry headquarters on La Cienega Blvd, a photo of this dreamy pastel wall will beckon you back to the city long after you’ve departed.

Tagged: California, Destinations, L.A.

Lidia Ryan

Lidia Ryan

Lidia Ryan

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He may tease his fans with retirement plans, but Jay-Z never seems to quit. After taking a few years off, the hip-hop mogul recently released his 13th studio album, 4:44. Naturally, he’s hitting the road in support of the album, bringing the 4:44 Tour to arenas across North America this autumn (get your tickets right here on

RELATED: These are the best metal bars in every city on the GnR and Metallica tours

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jay-Z’s verses are peppered with references to the city where he got his start. If you want to experience the Big Apple via the dense lyricism of one of New York City’s most acclaimed artists, get in an Empire State of mind with these Hova-inspired destinations.

Yankee Stadium | Flickr CC: Dex

Lyric: “Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game”
Song: Empire State of Mind

In case you didn’t notice the baseball cap that he’s been sporting for the better part of his career, Jay-Z is a longtime Yankees fan. While you might not be able to afford the primo seats he usually occupies at Yankee Stadium, you can still find a spot in the stands (get baseball tickets on, too) and enjoy America’s pastime in the middle of the Bronx—don’t forget to root for the home team.

Lyric: “And I sip fine wines and spit vintage flows”
Song: Can’t Knock the Hustle

Owned by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and famous for its appearance in the most recent season of Master of None, the Four Horsemen is a wine bar with some clout. That makes the Williamburg spot the perfect place to sip a glass of one of Jay-Z’s preferred beverages, choosing from a curated menu of more than 200 bottles from France, Italy and Spain.

Colorful amusement park carnival architecture at Coney Island in Brooklyn

Lyric: “…you better roll deep goin’ through Coney Island”
Song: BK Anthem

Growing up in Brooklyn, there’s little doubt that a young Jay-Z caught the Q train to Coney Island, a beachfront escape frequented by residents and tourists alike. If you’re not enjoying the sand and waves, you can take a stroll on the boardwalk, ride the famous Cyclone roller coaster or grab a hot dog from Nathan’s.

Brooklyn Bridge Park right before sunset. Brooklyn, New York City. Shot in June, 2016.

 Lyric: “I coulda bought a place in Dumbo before it was Dumbo/For like 2 million”
Song: The Story of O.J.

Tech startups and luxury condos have taken over Dumbo, but the neighborhood under the Brooklyn bridge still has plenty to offer, even if you can’t afford to live there. Go for a walk in the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre waterfront recreation space that boasts basketball courts, a roller rink and stunning views of the New York skyline.

 ALSO: Live large when you sign up for CheapCash!

The Museum of Modern Art | Flickr CC: Jon Rubin

Lyric: “Christie’s with my missy, live at the MoMA”
Song: Picasso Baby

After making several hip-hop masterpieces, Jay-Z revealed himself as an art lover on a track from his album Magna Carta… Holy Grail. You might see pieces by some of the rapper’s favorite artists when you visit the Museum of Modern Art—this autumn’s lineup of exhibitions includes a survey of Surrealist artist Max Ernst and a show exploring the creative process of sculptor Louise Bourgeois.

Buildings on Riverside Boulevard and Manhattan view over Hudson River

Lyric: “Look for me! Young, B, cruisin’ down the West Side Highway”
Song: ’03 Bonnie & Clyde

Want to see the sights that set Jay-Z’s and his then-girlfriend Beyoncé’s hearts a-flutter? Hail a cab and ask your driver to take the scenic route along the West Side Highway, which runs along the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan. You’ll pass points of interest like the High Line pedestrian path and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum—plus, you might catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty.

Lyric: “Who be, in a Japanese restaurant, eating sushi/Drinking sake”
Song: (Always Be My) Sunshine

You can find some of the most painstakingly authentic sushi in New York, but if you’re looking for something a bit more innovative, try Sushi Seki. With locations in Chelsea, Times Square and the Upper East Side, this Japanese restaurant is upscale, but not to the point where you’ll be forced to blow an entire paycheck. There’s delicious yellowtail, tuna and salmon on the menu, as well as a robust list of sake—Jay-Z would approve.

Tagged: Destinations, Events, Music, New York City

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There’s no better time to visit New England than the end of summer and early fall. The crowds have died down and the quietness of nature envelopes you and forces relaxation. In late summer, you’ll still enjoy warm temperatures and long days, perfect for exploring beaches. Come early fall, the trees will burst with colors and the temperatures will slowly start to lower. You’ll be in a perfect position to take advantage of hundreds of mountainous hikes, small town explorations and walks along the beautiful Atlantic coastline. Best of all, it won’t cost you a fortune. We’ve rounded up the 8 best budget inns—and found rates for as little as $160/nightly on—for your next New England visit. 

ALSO: 8 awesome hostels for travelers over 35



Photo by Cedar Crest Inn

Cedar Crest Inn: Camden, ME
Located in Camden, the Cedar Crest Inn is just a few blocks from the beach. At just $159 nightly, you’ll pay a small price for a great family beach trip!



Photo by Glenmoor By The Sea

Glenmoor By The Sea: Lincolnville, ME
You’ll get ocean views for as low as $159 nightly at Glenmoor By The Sea. Set in the charming town of Lincolnville, the property is oceanfront and near plenty of outdoor activities. 



Photo by

Killington Mountain Lodge: Killington, VT
In winter, Killington is swarming with snow bunnies eager to hit the slopes, but this town is just as popular in the off season. Stay at the Killington Mountain Lodge for $134 nightly and spend your days lounging by the pool or hiking nearby trails.



Photo by The Stowehof 

The Stowehof: Stowe, VT
Stowe is perhaps the most charming town in Vermont and like many ski towns, it’s a great place to visit in the off season. At the Stowehof, you can explore the town and hit up locally owned boutiques and great restaurants for as little as $99 nightly. Our favorite is Prohibition Pig, just 10 minutes away in nearby Waterbury. 

 ALSO: You’ll be inn good spirits when you sign up for CheapCash and start earning points toward hotel stays.



Photo by Nantasket Hotel at the Beach 

Nantasket Hotel at the Beach: Hull, MA
The only thing standing between you and sand between your toes at the Nantasket Hotel at the Beach is a short walk acrorss the street. Ocean views greet you each morning at this inn for only $155 nightly. 



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The Inn at Thorn Hill
A charming inn and a spa? You can’t beat that! Sure, it’s a little over the $160 marker but with rates as low as $179 nightly, The Inn at Thorn Hill & Spa is worth the extra dough. 



Photo by Admiral Weaver Inn

Admiral Weaver Inn
Newport is easily one of the cutest waterfront towns in the country. Sailing is a way of life here and you’re sure to find an outfitter eager to take you out on the water. Stay at the Admiral Weaver Inn for $149 nightly and spend the weekend exploring the town from land and from sea. 



Photo by The Spa at Norwich Inn

The Spa at Norwich Inn: Norwich, CT
For $151 nightly, enjoy this charming boutique inn and spa. Sidewalks lined with flowers wind through The Spa at Norwich Inn and white adirondack chairs are peppers about, luring visitors to sit, sip a cocktail, and relax. 



Tagged: Beach, Family, Off-season

Compass + Twine

Compass + Twine

Compass + Twine

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Looking to travel on trend and on the cheap? Below are nine destinations that are currently bastions of cool that won’t break the bank.

RELATED: How to live out of your suitcase for a week or even a month

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Enjoy one of the cheapest countries in Western Europe | Flickr photo by Francisco Oliveira

Porto, Portugal
The trendy travelers are trading in their Spanish Red for a glass of port in the stunning coastal city of Porto. Those looking for a little something different will find that Portugal has everything from delicious seafood to fairytale castles to offer. With more than 1,100 miles of stunning coastline and sights like the Quinta da Regaleira, Portugal will have you wondering why you waited so long to visit.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

The arch may have fallen but Malta is still stunning | Flickr photo by Juan Antonio Segal

Even a year or two ago most people might have had trouble pointing Malta out on a map. However, over the past few years, scenes from this small Mediterranean island nation have been frequenting our social media feeds. Earlier this year, the country’s most iconic landmark, the Azure Window, crumbled into the sea. Only time will tell if the number of visitors will fall along with the giant stone arch.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - GettingStamped

Mexico is always a good idea, no matter what your budget is | Photo by

Tulum, Mexico
People are trading in the same old Cancun mega resort holiday for a smaller and chicer Tulum getaway. It has been building a reputation in the Yucatan as the destination for young travelers and while hardly undiscovered these days, it remains a favorite. Tulum blends stunning beaches, tasty tacos and a relaxed chic vibe. 

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Hangout in trendy Asheville for your next vacay | Flickr photo by Ken Lane

Asheville, NC
In the past year Asheville made the top cities in the U.S. list on at least 10 major travel publications, and accolades like these are sure to bring in new visitors. Asheville is situated at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and filled with trendy dining spots. The city is a perfect blend of both urban and outdoors-inspired activities. No matter what you’re into, you’ll find it in this up and coming gem.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Lake Tahoe isn’t just for Californians anymore | Flickr photo by wilco737

Lake Tahoe, CA
A long time favorite of West Coasters, Tahoe is starting to attract visitors from other parts of the country. With no shortage of activities in all seasons—everything from skiing, tubing and sledding in winter to beach, biking and kayaking in warmer months— it’s easy to guess why people are loving it right now. Lake Tahoe is the kind of place where you can play hard during the day and then chill in comfort at night, which is something that really appeals to young travelers.

ALSO: Tourists are also flocking to CheapTickets to sign up for CheapCash so they can earn hotel discounts.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Find yourself on the shores of San Diego this year for an amazing trip | Flickr photo by peasap

San Diego, CA
It’s debatable if San Diego was ever out of style, but there’s no denying the city is red hot right now. With year-round great weather and thousands of things to do, it’s hard not to love San Diego. In recent years the city has embraced the healthy living lifestyle, adding another element to the already vibrant city. However, San Diego still knows how to have fun and is on the leading edge of the craft beer movement with no shortage of places for great suds.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

The famous Stari Most Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina Flickr photo by jaime.silva

Bosnia and Herzegovina
An overnight Instagram sensation with its old stone circular arch bridges, Bosnia and Herzegovina burst onto the scene a few years ago and lately has tourists flocking to it. It addition to its famous bridges, Bosnia ha an interesting history both recent and ancient. Experience an Eastern European hospitality and culture that is worlds away from the other side of the continent.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - Flickr

Think out of the box and plan your next city break in Detroit | Flickr photo by Mike Fritcher

Detroit, MI
Motor City isn’t dead. Detroit is in the process of an urban revival with trendy restaurants popping up all over, a new streetcar line that was unveiled in May and hungry entrepreneurs taking full advantage. Detroit is definitely on the upswing for travelers looking for a new place for a city break.

9 Destinations budget travelers are traveling to right now - GettingStamped

Ride off into the desert with a trip to Morocco | Photo by

Marrakech, Morocco
What is old is new again. The old classic, Marrakech, has seen a spike in visitors recently. Art Deco-era riads and the country’s exotic culture are bringing in a new generation of travelers. With mesmerizing, intricately patterned tile covering buildings and markets full of interesting goods piled high, it doesn’t get too more visually appealing than Morocco. We suggest at least 3 days in Marrakech to fully explore the city. 


Tagged: California, Caribbean, Destinations, Mexico

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Atlantic City may never hold a card to the likes of Las Vegas, but that’s quite all right. Gambling isn’t the only reason to visit this hard hit Jersey Shore city. In fact, add these non-gaming attractions to your must-do list, and you’re sure to come away a winner.

RELATED: These are the best locals’ casinos in Las Vegas

Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Absecon Lighthouse | Photo courtesy of Do Atlantic City

Absecon Lighthouse
Although there may be prettier lighthouses, this one stacks up as the third-tallest in the country and still serves its original purpose. We wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t make it up the 228 steps, but the views of the ocean and shore from the top are spectacular.

Atlantic City Aquarium
Part of Atlantic City’s charming Historic Gardner’s Basin, the aquarium opened in 1999 and has become the enclave’s star attraction. Check out the Ocean Oddities exhibit for unusual sea creatures; pet a shark in the Tropical Shark Touch Tank; and catch the Live Diver Feeding Show at the 25,000-gallon Fish of the Mid-Atlantic exhibit.

ALSO: Looking for a safe bet? Sign up today for CheapCash and start earning towards hotels!

Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey

Atlantic City Boardwalk | Photo Courtesy of Do Atlantic City

Atlantic City Boardwalk
Of course, no trip to Atlantic City is complete without a stroll along its famous boardwalk, built in 1870 and still attracting throngs of visitors to its shops, restaurants and food stands. Get your smart phone out for photo ops including in the “heart” of the boardwalk at the award-winning “Heartwalk” heart-shaped sculpture, created from hundreds of wooden planks salvaged after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the shore; it’s illuminated every night.

Atlantic City Miniature Golf
Located right on the Boardwalk at Mississippi Avenue, this family-owned, 18-hole course is pretty small, but not altogether easy. Try it at night when the lights and energy of the Boardwalk add to the appeal.

Sure, the casinos may tempt with big payouts, but at least the arcades reward almost every player with some kind of souvenir, and at a smaller, more family-friendly pace. Hit Central Pier Arcade for the games, as well as for the go-kart speedway. Also on the Boardwalk is Playcade Amusements, which claims to be the longest-established arcade in town and gets points for its enticing prize selection.

ALSO: Hit me! Get this week’s promo code and other travel deals right there

beach, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Photo courtesy of Do Atlantic City

Beach fun
Who needs slots when you’ve got surf? Three beaches allow surfing and offer lessons; at Jackson Avenue Beach, kayaking and windsurfing are popular; from Gardner’s Basin, Atlantic City Parasail offers dry take-off and landing parasailing; and beach volleyball, boogie boarding, jet-skiing and fishing are also available at various beaches. If you’re looking to soak up a cool, 1950s atmosphere, head to Wildwood Beach.

Storybook Land
Closed only in winter, this kiddie magnet opened in 1955 and prides itself on being clean and well-maintained. Admission includes access to play areas themed around stories like Mother Goose, Snow White and the Three Little Pigs, kid-sized coasters, a Santa Claus house (the jolly guy and the misses visit during Christmastime), shady picnic areas, and a popular train that loops the park.

Lucy the Elephant, Atlantic City

Lucy the elephant | Flickr photo courtesy of Jim McIntosh

Lucy the Elephant
Of all the quirky things about Atlantic City, you can’t miss this one—literally. Lucy, the larger-than-life wooden elephant, was built in 1881 in Margate (formerly South Atlantic City) and has served as a private home, a restaurant and, since she was restored in the 1970s, a museum. Take the stairs to the “howdah” (canopied pavilion) on Lucy’s back to get a panoramic view.

Boat cruises
Several ocean cruise outfits such as Atlantic City Cruises and Cape May Whale Watcher offer skyline tours, booze cruises and sightseeing boat tours that focus on getting you those Instagram-worthy pics of dolphins and whales.

Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, Atlantic City, hotels

Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club

More than 20 public golf courses dot the landscape within about a half hour’s drive of the Boardwalk. A few of the top courses include the Atlantic City Country Club, founded in 1897 and one of the country’s oldest golf clubs (it claims to have coined the terms “birdie” and “eagle”); the beautiful Ballamor Golf Club; and the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, which features both a links-styled course and a forest-lined course. Vineyard Golf at Renault Winery combines a championship course with the option to continue your day with a winery tour and tasting.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium
Along the Boardwalk and behind a façade that looks like it’s been cracked in half by a giant globe are oddities like the apropos roulette table made from 14,000 jelly beans, authentic shrunken heads and a wax replica of the world’s tallest man. Also here is a Laser Maze Challenge where would-be spies or thieves try to maneuver under, over and through a room crisscrossed with laser lights.

Tagged: Beach, Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Family, Types of Travel

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Hotel Deals for New York
Salisbury Hotel
Feb 19 - Feb 19, 2018
per night from
$ 204.38
$ 99.05

New York City‘s nickname is “the city that never sleeps,” so it comes as no surprise that there’s plenty to do here up through the wee hours of the morning. And while it’s a no-brainer that the bars here are open until very late (or early, depending on what your body thinks about 4am), there’s more to do in the Big Apple than pre-dawn imbibing. If you’re a night owl in New York City, here are some must-do activities:

RELATED: New York’s best cheap date-night restaurants

Juvenex Spa
Finding a moment of zen at 3am isn’t a problem at this Midtown spot. New Yorkers drop by Juvenex Spa at all hours of the night (and day—it’s open 24 hours) to sweat it out in the different on-site saunas, such as the baked-clay room, a jade igloo sauna and a traditional steam room. The communal hot and cold soaking ponds offer additional ways to detox in the middle of night. Plus, you can book treatments such as manicures, facials and other traditional spa fare around the clock.

New York style pizza

New York style pizza

Steve’s Pizza
It’s not difficult to find a late night slice of pizza in NYC—there’s practically a slice shop on every block. But Steve’s Pizza, located in the Financial District, is a fan favorite for its top-notch New York-style pizza which is way better than the dollar slice shops located around town. Plus, this small pizza parlor (which is open until 4am) offers upstairs seating, perfect for late night people watching over a slice of the popular white pizza or grandma’s pie.

IFC Center
If popcorn is one of your favorite midnight snacks, consider visiting this art house movie theater in Greenwich Village. The IFC Center plays midnight flicks on Friday and Saturday nights. The films are usually classics; recent offerings have included titles like Taxi Driver, Fight Club and The Big Lebowski.

UCB, New York, comedy, NYC, theater

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre | Flickr photo by Marcin Wichary

Upright Citizens Brigade Theater
Speaking of midnight shows, the UCB is another spot where you can find late-night entertainment. The improv theater (which has outposts in Chelsea and in the East Village) offers midnight shows on Friday and Saturday nights that range in price from free to around seven dollars. Amy Poehler, as well as many stars from shows like Broad City and Veep are alums of this theater, so there’s a good chance you’ll catch a comedic actor performing right before they become famous.

Times Square, NYC, after hours

Times Square | Flickr photo by Heath Cajandig

A walk in Times Square
Yes, this is one of the busiest areas in the Big Apple. Try to walk through Times Square in the middle of the day, and you’ll wind up sandwiched between a throng of tourists, unofficial Disney mascots and New Yorkers just trying to get to their next destination. But it is a site worth checking out, and the best time to do it is actually in the middle of the night. The crowds are way thinner, and thanks to the illuminating billboards overhead, this is a very well-lit part of New York. Unlike the Times Square of the 1970s and ‘80s, the latest iteration is pretty safe at all hours.

ALSO: Don’t let the Big Apple take a bite out of your checking account. Sign up for CheapTickets Rewards and start saving!

Empire State Building, NYC, New York

Empire State Building

Empire State Building
Manhattan is just as spectacular to look at in the evening as it is while the sun’s up, and one of the best places to take in views of the city is from the top of the Empire State Building. Many people are surprised to discover that the landmark is open until 2am every night. If you’re planning a late-night trip to the top floor, though, be advised that the last elevator up is at 1:15am. And if you’re visiting on a Thursday night, you’ll find a live saxophonist playing until 1am.

Roosevelt Island Tram, New York City, Manhattan

Roosevelt Island Tram

Roosevelt Island Tram
Another fun way to get a different view of the city is by riding the Roosevelt Island Tram. The elevated tramway spans the East River and connects the Upper East Side with Roosevelt Island, a small sliver of land between Manhattan and Queens. The tram run until 2am during the week and 3:30am on weekends. But be warned: There aren’t many things to do on Roosevelt Island in the middle of the night, so you’ll be making a quick round trip back.

Boho Karaoke
If you ever dreamed of belting out your favorite song in front of a New York audience, this karaoke spot is a good place for you. The bar, with locations in the West Village and Lower East side, offers an extensive catalogue of songs which patrons take turns singing until 4am. But if you have stage fright, you can rent one of Boho’s private rooms for a more intimate singing session.

Citibike, New York City

CitiBike | Flickr photo by Tom Marvel

Citi Bike
Riding a bike around NYC is a great way to experience its streets, and this bike sharing program makes it very easy to do so. You’ll find bike stations all around Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, and they’re open 24/7. A day pass costs $12, and you can use the bikes in 30-minute increments. It’s the perfect amount of time to take a quick neighborhood tour. Want to keep riding? Trade in your bike at a new kiosk and get a different one for an additional 30-minute window of riding.

Staten island Ferry, NYC, New York City

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry
During rush hour, this free ferry is pretty packed. But at night (the last ferry departs from Manhattan at 11:30pm on weekends), it’s much more relaxed. Hop on the boat at the South Ferry terminal in downtown Manhattan (the ferry takes off at least once an hour during off-peak times) and enjoy the ride to Staten Island, which includes great views of the city as well as the Statue of Liberty. Bonus: The ferries feature concession stands and free Wi-Fi.


Tagged: New York City

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Think Saturday, October 15, 2016 is just another ordinary Saturday? Think again! October 15th is Sweetest Day, a lesser-known, less-pressure-y version of Valentine’s Day. It’s a great (and more unexpected) day to surprise your sweetheart with a little gift, a card, or a kind gesture. But why not up the ante and whisk your beloved off for a romantic weekend getaway? We think the best Sweetest Day ideas include a suitcase for two! Here are a few of our favorite destinations for canoodling the weekend away:

Savannah, GA

The gorgeous fountains of Savannah, Georgia. This ultra romantic destination tops our list of the best Sweetest Day ideas.

Photo: Savannah | Jeff Gunn, Flickr

Here’s one of our favorite Sweetest Day ideas: Picture yourself and your love holding hands as you stroll past Forsyth Fountain, Spanish moss draped in the trees overhead like a trailing green canopy. Can you see it? It really doesn’t get more romantic than Savannah. Plus, it has all the ingredients for a terrific weekend away: historic architecture, horse-and-buggy rides clip-clopping through cobblestone streets, truly hair-raising ghost tours (hold each other close!), and the kind of restaurant scene you’lldream about later. Get gussied up and order jumbo scallops at The Olde Pink House, a pink-painted 18th-century Colonial mansion, and then walk through the Riverfront Plaza on River Street, nine blocks of shops set inside renovated historic warehouses.

Sedona, AZ

Stacy Egan,, Attribution CC BY 2.0

Photo: Sedona Rainbow | Stacy Egan, Flickr

Sedona is famous for one thing: being gorgeous. This posh desert destination rises up from the dusty road like a mirage, its majestic red rock formations glowing in the sun. You’ll love wandering Main Street, which is packed full of restaurants, bars, and New Age crystal and energy healing stores. Take your love to get your auras photographed, and book a massage or reiki cleansing session. Or grab seats on a Pink Jeep tour, which will take you right up to the bases of Sedona’s (reputedly magical) red rocks.

Sebastopol, CA

CIMG0364.jpg,, Attribution CC BY 2.0

Photo: Sebastapol | David Orban, Flickr

Never heard of it? You’ll wish you had once you get there! Sebastopol, a small town of about 8,000 people in Sonoma County, is a gem of a weekend getaway—it’s quaint without being self-consciously cute, and has an old-fashioned main street brimming with antique stores. Head to Ace Cider Pub for a juicy twist on a brewery experience, and don’t miss taking your sweetie for ice cream at the award-winning, world-famous Screamin’ Mimi’s, where the hot fudge, caramel, and waffle cones are all made onsite. The cherry on top? You’re just 90 minutes from San Francisco, if you want to keep the road-trip vibes going.

Niagara Falls, NY

bobistraveling,, Attribution CC BY 2.0

Photo: Niagara Falls, NY | bobistraveling, Flickr

Nicknamed “The Honeymoon Capital of the World”, Niagara Falls is a study in contrasts: On one hand, you’ve got the mighty natural wonder of the Falls themselves, with millions of gallons of water cascading endlessly to a picturesque end. On the other, you’ve got the town of Niagara Falls, which is like a mini-Vegas—kitsch city! Spend a night overlooking the special rainbow lights behind the Falls, and then head out the next day to see them up close on the Maid of the Mist boat tour, where you and your honey will be given matching ponchos for coordinated selfies. Afterwards, hit the town to explore the casinos, wax works museums, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibitions—tourist traps, sure, but lots of fun for the day!

Stillwater, MN

Smitty 54017's Photos, Stillwater, MN, Attribution CC BY 2.0

Photo: St. Croix Boom Site, Stillwater, NM | Smitty 54017, Flickr

Get ready to be charmed. Voted one of the “Top 10 Prettiest Towns in America” by Forbes magazine, Stillwater is a small town on a seriously beautiful river, the St. Croix. Miles of hiking and biking trails, stunning cliff views, antique shops galore, and a downtown that seems to have been designed for sweethearts to stroll through all make Stillwater a dream weekend destination, and one of our favorite Sweetest Day ideas. Add in cute autumnal activities, such as picking your own Honeycrisp apples at Aamodt’s Apple Farm—and visiting a farmer’s market that runs through October across the street from the historic Court House—and you’ve got a Sweetest Day getaway you’ll remember forever.


Tagged: California, City, Destinations, Holidays, Romance & honeymoon

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If you’re looking in the mirror and wondering when it’s time you finally take the plunge and book your first trip overseas to Europe, then yes, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, you’re the smartest of them all!”

2015 is definitely THE year to travel.

Related: 7 breathtaking cruise ports around the world

While the strength of the U.S. dollar increases, you’re literally getting more bang for your buck. The Euro is down and that means all of your European expenses subsequently are too! Things thattake up a majority of your traveling expenses such as transportation, accommodation, and food will all be less than it was last year.

The exchange rate is in your favor, America.

Now that you’ve picked a date, and you’re all set for your first European getaway, I’ve compiled a list of the cheapest destinations that I’ve experienced while gallivanting through this amazing continent. While there are plenty more suitable candidates, these are the ones I enjoyed the most.

5. Nice, France
This gorgeous coastal city on the French Riviera is not only a 4 train ride away from Monaco (which hello, who doesn’t want to go there for a quick day trip to drool over things you can’t afford and breathe the same oxygen as the affluent), but it’s also incredibly scenic. From the hilltop views, to the promenade, your camera will be in Heaven. With the varied cuisine, you can easily eat well for under 10 a meal.

The view of the Promenade from Castle Hill!

The view of the Promenade from Castle Hill!

4. Granada, Spain
Granada is one of the few cities where you get free tapas with your drinks! I’ll say that again — FREE TAPAS! Quick reminder, tapas are mini portions of food to satisfy temporary cravings. We call them appetizers in America.

These tapas can range from plates of rice, to croquettes, to a large meatball, and other variations of Spanish-influenced foods.

So your beer, which is already €1 on average, now comes with a plate of rice. So for the whopping price of €2, you could have two drinks and two plates of food. There are some places who even increase the portion and amount of food with every drink you purchase. Seriously Granada, you’re a walking dream for a budgeter’s heart. Get over here and let me love you.

Enjoying my large meatball and bread!

Enjoying my large meatball and bread!

3. Athens, Greece
Despite what the news outlets want you to think about the whole situation with Greece’s debt and failing economy, think about it, they need tourism now more than ever! So please don’t let the media scare you into thinking you should avoid Greece by any means!

Athens, despite its graffiti-filled alleys and streets, is still one of the most historically-beautiful cities the European continent has to offer, and if you’re looking for ways to support their economy, then come and spend your dollars here! As many banks are temporarily out of business, just be sure to have enough cash on you to last you through your time there. That being said, always stay alert for pickpockets! You can read more tips about that in general here.

P.S. Gyros will be your best friend.

Standing atop of Acropolis Hill!

Standing atop of Acropolis Hill after having a glass of wine or 5.

2. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon just might be my favorite city in Europe. I’m in denial because my heart belongs to Barcelona, where I lived for an entire year. But Lisbon truly has it all. The food, museums, and free open air festivals make it such an attractive city for your wallet.

There are also gorgeous baths, markets, and parks to really experience an authentic atmosphere. The people are super friendly and even though you won’t know a lick of Portuguese, your eyes won’t have any problems reading all the prices under €5 that you’ll see on the menu.


1. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Barthelona. Oh how you have my heart. Barcelona is a top destination for Erasmus students, gap years, vacationers, and everyone else in between because of its wide variety of everything from affordable living to free Wi-Fi in most public parks and streets.

Barcelona does a great job of looking out for its tourists. After all, they do make up a large percentage of their economy, so they find ways to accommodate and cater to their needs.

While this may include street vendors selling you 1 cans of beer to casually drink on the metro before arriving to the local bodega or free concerts in parks, you can always count on a city like Barcelona to make an extremely fun, affordable, and unforgettable getaway when crossing the Atlantic. Every day feels like a walk through a museum as you take in the gorgeous scenery from the architectural genius of Antoni Gaudí, whether at La Sagrada Familia or strolling through Park Guell.

Barcelona is simply NOT to be missed!

The view from the top of Montjuïc Park.

The view from the top of Montjuïc!

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: Beach, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Family, Food & drink, FREE!, International

Gloria Atanmo
Gloria Atanmo is an adventure-junkie currently on a 2-year jaunt through Europe after booking a one-way ticket. She enjoys discovering the unequivocal education of travel, risks, and hustle. Follow her journey on Instagram (@glographics) or her blog (
Gloria Atanmo

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