7 FREE must sees on Oahu

  • Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens in Kaneohe. The drive up is stunning and once you get to the actual path to walk around you will see so many plants and trees you’ve never seen before. 
  • Hiking:There are so many incredible hikes and they won’t cost you a dime. One of my favorites is the Lanikai Pillbox Hike.
  • Lanikai Beach: This spot is tucked away in a neighborhood. Parking is not easy to find but it’s worth it. The beach is beautiful and far quieter than the beaches on Waikiki. 
  • Ali’iolani Hale: This building is stunning. It’s the home of the Hawai’i State Supreme Court. In front of the building is a statue of Kamehameha the Great. There are displays that help to tell the history of Hawai’i. This is free but donations are welcome to help maintain the building. 
  • Bayer Estate: This is the house that is featured in the new Hawai’i Five O. The owners are very welcoming and love meeting fans of the show. 
  • The Byodo-In Temple: This temple is gorgeous! It’s a replica of a 950-year-old one in Japan. You need to pay attention to the etiquette though. You can’t wear shoes in the temple at all, and you will be told if you try to wear shoes.

Hawai’i has a reputation of being expensive and don’t get me wrong because it can be. But there are so many ways to travel these beautiful islands on a tight budget too.


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Where to stay in Iceland? We stayed at a horse farm!

View from our window when we woke up

This is what accommodations in Iceland look like. I’m not sure the country was prepared (or, honestly, ever wants to be prepared) for such an influx of travelers. 

The UN estimates Iceland’s population at 338,000. The Icelandic Tourist Board estimates 2.2 million tourists visited the country in 2017.  

That’s a big number for such a small country! 

So where do all those tourists stay? 

We stayed at a horse farm one night! It was the closest place to where we planned to go ice caving the next day (Jokulsarlon). 

They just walked right up to us!

This was in a very rural, but still accessible part of Iceland. This was on the south eastern shores near Hofn. 

If you need room service, a heated pool, a spa and valet this might not be your style. But the benefit to staying in guest houses, like this horse farm, are that you will meet people from across the globe. 

In just this one night stay…we met a family from France, a couple from Taiwan and 3 childhood best friends from South Africa.

We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning drinking gin and tonics and admiring the Northern Lights together. It was an unforgettable night. And thanks to social media we still stay in touch with many of them. 

RELATED: The 3 waterfalls you can’t leave Iceland without seeing!

I won’t lie. This place was hard to find. We got distracted stopping at waterfalls on the way there. And whatever Siri told us was wrong, it took much longer to drive to this spot. We had not seen a building or light (other then our own headlights) in 3 hours. But when we saw lights up on a hill we knew that was our horse farm. 

This may sounds absolutely crazy to some people. But for me, I find this far more exciting than staying at a fancy hotel. Though we do make sure to fit in a few nights here and there because let’s be honest, we all love those amenities sometimes too. 

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Snorkeling for FREE on your vacation is possible!

You don’t always have to book with a tour group. Now, sometimes that’s the only way, or the safest way to do something. BUT when it comes to snorkeling…often times you can handle this one on your own. 

Chileno Bay, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

What can I say, we often end up making new friends when we travel. We met a group of friends from California at our resort in Cabo San Lucas who taught us a trick we didn’t know, our resort would let us borrow (for FREE) gear to go snorkeling.

We checked out the gear and then took a quick car ride to Chileno Bay and we saved a ton! 

Chileno Bay is one of the top spots to snorkeling in Cabo. We were surrounded by tourist boats. So we knew we were in the right spot. 

Chileno Bay, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

A snorkeling adventure in Cabo can run anywhere from $20-$150 a person. 

If you want to keep costs down on your beach vacation, just check if the spots you want to snorkel can be accessed easily from shore, and if so…maybe skip that pricey tour. 

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Let’s talk bargains! Exploring Oslo in 2 days AND for only $50

If you do all of the things on this list you will spend about $50 USD a person and it will take about 2 days. You can cut it down and still see a significant amount of the city in 1 day.

Frogner Park, Oslo
  1. Get a daily pass for the public transit system. This will not only help you navigate the city but it gets you on board the ferries – I’ll explain why this is so cool later – $12
  2. Climb on the roof of the Oslo Opera House – FREE 
  3. Hop on a ferry and go to Hovedoya to see the monastery ruins. It’s also fun just to hike this island. You will see some amazing views of the fjord – FREE (included with your daily public transit pass)
  4. Akershus Fortress– FREE These medieval ruins are fun to explore on your own or with a guide. It’s amazing so much is still standing since this castle was built in the year 1300. 
  5. Frogner Park – FREE The sculptures are so unique and the park itself is beautiful to just walk around. 
  6. Viking Ship Museum – $12 I learned so much about the culture of the Vikings. I found it surprising how many customs were similar to that of ancient Egyptians. Accessible by ferry or bus (included in the public transit ticket) 
  7. Aker Brygge is a must. This area is right in central Oslo. There are several nice restaurants right on the water. It’s also just a nice area to walk around and grab an ice cream (no matter the weather Norwegians like their ice cream). When the weather is nice (and honestly even when it’s not) you can sit outside and take in the beautiful view along the boardwalk. Most of the restaurants have heat lamps outside so you can still be comfortable even when the weather isn’t ideal. 
  8. Noble Peace Center $14 – This is something you want to be able to set 1-2 hours aside for 
  9. The changing of the guards at the Royal Palace happens at 1:30pm daily 
Viking Ship Museum, Oslo
Views from the ferry in the fjord

Monastery ruins at Hovedoya
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