"Free." It's everyone's favorite four-letter word, and one especially dear to travelers the world over. Want to get something for nothing? Check out these 10 no-strings-attached travel offers.
Third-Day Free at Universal Studios
Buy a two-day Universal Studios admission ticket and get an extra day out of the deal—gratis. Book either the two-day single-park ticket for $136 (choose between Universal Studios Florida or Universal's Islands of Adventure) or the two-day two-park admission ticket (entrance into both parks is granted) for $176; in both cases, you'll get an extra day's ticket at no extra cost.
The offer is available to U.S. and Canadian residents and must be purchased online by June 7, 2015. The offer's blackout window prohibits travel between December 26 and January 3.
Free Admission to National Parks
Enjoy free entry into any of the United States' 401 national parks. For 2015, the nine fee-free dates align with a few of the country's national holidays and key National Park Service anniversaries: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 19), Presidents' Day weekend (February 14–16), National Park Week's opening weekend (April 18 and 19), the National Park Service's 99th birthday (August 25), National Public Lands Day (September 26), and Veterans Day (November 11).
Additionally, admission to federal recreation sites, including national parks, forests, grasslands, wildlife refuges, and other federal lands (more than 2,000 in all), is free to current military personnel and their families and to those with permanent disabilities.
Kids Ski Free
Kids have a way of sucking the life out of their parents' wallets, so whenever the word "free" pops up, parents take notice. Get them started early, mom and dad, because mountains right and left throughout the nation have "Kids Ski Free" promotions.
Park City's Children Ski Free deal is one of note. Seven resorts list varying offers: For example, the Park City Mountain Resort allows kids six and under to ski for free, and tweens receive reduced rates. Every little bit helps.
Free Ground Transport
If you're not yet on the Uber bandwagon, simply knowing someone who is may net you $30 in Uber credit. And by sharing the referral code, you can get your friends the same bonus credit.
Free International Calls
Free Bonus Miles and Points
Free City Tours
Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus
Hit the motherload of quick, free miles by enrolling with a co-branded airline credit card, especially during one of their increased sign-up bonus periods. A bounty of points can be had—often enough for free travel right out of the gate. A recent offer for Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards Premier Card yielded 50,000 points—enough for two round-trip domestic flights (sans taxes and fees) after spending $2,000 within three months.
Free Checked Bags
With recent news of airlines cutting back on in-flight comfort and upping ancillary fees (*cough* JetBlue *cough*), it seems like the most elusive item for a traveler is free checked bags. Of course, you can book a flight with Southwest, which still checks two bags for free, to save up to $120 on round-trip flights. But you can also receive free checked bags, not to mention the occasional complimentary or reduced-rate drink, when you flash a co-branded airline credit card; many airlines still give these free perks to cardholders.
(Photo: Woman with Outstretched Arms via Shutterstock)
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