Travel Cheap Tip No. 4 is all about it being free! Yes, there is nothing better than when it’s free. Keeping money in your pocket means sometimes scouting out free events and this includes on your holiday. Not everything has to cost you money but can still be enjoyable.
Many cities, especially in the summer months, offer free outdoor music and entertainment. In Madeira, there was something free going on all the time both in their public square and by the waterfront. There were book markets, free concerts, free auto show, free displays of their folk music and dance (you can see a video sample of Bailinho da Madeira, Madeira’s traditional dance below), and much more. It seems every few days things changed over to something new.
Wandering by their waterfront, we came upon a car show that was happening. There was a display of many old cars that are owned by the locals in Madeira. They bring their cars to this show every year. It was nice to wander in the evening by the ocean and have a look at these old beauties that are so well kept.
At Madeira’s university, they have a Fado concert at the end of every month, of course, free. Fado is a Portuguese music genre that dates back to the 1820s and is usually mournful. Its wording is about the sea or about the life of the poor and is usually very melancholy. It is beautiful to listen to and this group performing at the university is put on by the student union comprising a number of volunteers that set up, prepare for the evening music, promote the event, and then do clean up after the concert.
These are just a few examples of some of the things we came upon during our stay in Madeira. Wherever you visit, there are sure to be free events. Usually you can look these up even before you go on your vacation. Look at the city or town’s website to find different events that may be happening at the time of your visit. Joining in on local events also gives you a feel for the community and the people who live in the city or town you visit and gives you a chance to meet other people that enjoy the same things you do.