Travelling usually means spending a lot of money, but it may be also a good opportunity to save some cash by finding deals that are normally not available at home. Most cities are expensive if you only hang out around tourist destinations, but try to find out how locals live and where they buy there stuff. Garage sales, bargains, flea markets or even fairs are not something you find in tourist guides.
A garage sale is a way for individuals to sell things they don’t need or don’t want anymore, so they put their belongings in front of their houses and everyone can come and buy for very low prices. It’s a good way for people to make some money out of things they may otherwise throw away, often by having to pay high prices for transportation. Garage sales are not usually advertised in the media, but you may find them out from the announcements posted by organizers on their houses.
Flea markets are organized events where many people come and sell their old stuff. Instead of waiting in front of their garage for buyers to appear, sellers gather in a specially designated place. As a buyer, this is very convenient since you have a lot of variety in one place. Sellers may pay a small fee to enter the market, but prices are usually very low. And the good thing is that you can easily find information about flea markets in the cities you visit by reading the newspapers, by looking for posters on the walls or by searching on the Internet.
Garage sales and flea markets are not only for those in search of bargains, but also for people looking for vintage stuff, rare or unusual items that might be used to decorate a house or even resold afterwards.
And in the end, what can be cheaper than free? Yes, you can get still useful items for free in many countries in certain days when people are allowed to take out in front of their houses things they don’t need. You just have to be quicker than the garbage collectors. People use to also give away stuff outside these organized days, with Internet forums and websites being the source of information. Freecycle is probably the most well known such group, but many other local groups and forums are available. People basically want to avoid throwing things directly in the garbage bins, since they may be still useful for others and it is a way to reduce waste. Or they may have furniture that is too bulky too throw away, so others could save them this effort.
As you see, visiting new places is not always about the attractions that everybody knows. You can easily discover other parts of the local life and make some savings out of them.