Let's be honest - Boston is hella expensive. And that's okay if you live there and make hella income. But for a visitor, it can be kind of daunting. Though I only visited Boston for a weekend getaway while living in Baltimore, I was able to experience the city and not break the bank. Here are my tips for visiting Boston on a budget!
See Fenway Park without actually going to a Boston Red Sox game
Hey, if you like baseball, by all means go to a Red Sox game while visiting Boston! But for me, I wanted to get the general sense of Boston sports pride/Fenway Park without actually paying for a seat at a game. I did this in two ways:
Take a Duck Tour to see Boston by land and by "sea"
Being from Pittsburgh, I'm very familiar with a duck tour because they're happening all the time! But if you haven't taken one before or are looking for a unique way to see Boston, a duck tour is the way to go! You start by boarding the boat/bus on land and driving through the central area of Boston, receiving commentary from your tour guide along the way. You then arrive at a special access point in which you plunge into the Charles River for a guided cruise. This combination of perspectives is a great way to get a bang for your buck in Boston and learn a little history, too! (Extra tip: Boston Duck Tours has great military/veterans discounts as well as a discount for tours before 10 am)
Organize your trip into neighborhoods
Boston has so much to see and do, it can feel (and honestly is) impossible to see it all during one trip. I recommend being strategic with what you want to do and organizing your activities into the neighborhoods that they're in. This can help you save time and money in transportation costs from one area to another. For example, we wanted to check out the famous Mike's Pastry shop, so we decided to get dinner on the same street beforehand. If we had time before that, I could have visited the Paul Revere House, also nearby. You can also plan out your days based on walking from one destination to another, within reason. We walked a ton, and that helped to save on Uber/Lyft costs.
Take advantage of the free stuff
Like most major cities, there's a lot to see and do in Boston that's totally free! (And there's a website dedicated to this: Boston on a Budget) We walked along the Freedom Trail and checked out some of the historical sites, wandered through the Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market, and walked along the Boston Harbor waterfront. Certain museums will have free days as well, which is always good to look out for!
Save up hotel rewards points to use for your Boston stay
I am a big fan of Hotels.com, and I'm not being paid to say that. I love that when you book 10 eligible nights in rewards, you get 1 night free that averages what you spent on the 10. I loved even more that I was able to use a free night for our stay at The Verb Hotel in Boston. This hotel is so unique and fun! The theme is rock 'n' roll music and I instantly appreciated the thoughtfulness that went into the design and the details, and not just in the lobby area decked out in memorabilia and guitars, but in every corner of the hotel. Your room key is an "access pass" on a lanyard, making you feel like a real VIP. There's a record player in each room, and you can select records from the lobby to take to your room to play. Not to mention other nostalgic treats like a typewriter, old time alarm clock, and color-blocked window panes. There was a play-on-words at every turn that had me lol-ing the entire stay (for ex: the "Rock and (Extra) Roll" toilet paper bag) and sassy sayings in the stairwells and hallways like, "If the music is too loud you're too old." We had such a fun time staying here and the fact that we got a night for **free** was extra sweet. 10/10 would recommend!
All in all, I had a great time in Boston and probably saw/did 0.0001% of the things to do in this vibrant and historic city. I feel so strongly that money shouldn't stand in the way of travel, and that there is always a way to experience a new place affordably - even Boston. I hope my mini list of tips may help you, and I'd love to hear yours, too! Leave 'em in the comments below.