Looking for a unique and inexpensive way to spend your birthday? Contrary to popular belief, birthday freebies aren’t limited to cups of coffee from Starbucks and stacks of pancakes from IHOP. We’ve rounded up six free-on-your-birthday attractions and activities across the globe—so you can see the world without draining your wallet.
Looking to visit another country on your birthday without buying a plane ticket? Well, the Coho Ferry offers birthday boys and girls a free round-trip ticket on a scenic 90-minute boat ride between Victoria, British Columbia and Port Angeles, Washington. For this deal, you have to set out on your birthday, but you’ll still receive the free round-trip if you return a few days later. Never been to Victoria? Check out our list of Victoria’s hidden gems.
Tokyo, Japan: The Tokyo Tower & The Tokyo Joypolis
Tokyo is a land of infinite options, so it’s no surprise that you have at least two different opportunities for free fun on your birthday. You can enjoy a free visit to the Tokyo Tower’s 150-meter observatory platform, where you’ll get free cake at the Cafe La Tour Coffee Shop. Or, for some hands-on fun, visit the Tokyo Joypolis, which is a massive arcade with a slew of virtual-reality activities like the Spin Bullet roller coaster, hang gliding, and white water rafting. On your birthday, you’ll get free admission, unlimited rides, and a serving of Dippin’ Dots ice cream.
Here’s another easy way to get out of the country on your birthday without spending $300 on a flight. Treat yourself to a free day-trip to Freeport, Grand Bahama from Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale on Discovery Cruise Line when you buy a full priced adult ticket. When you get to Freeport, hit the beach, snorkel, scuba dive, or check out some live music at Count Basie Square. The best part about this offer? You can go on any day during your entire birthday month.
Grab a free one-way ride on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway where you can see sprawling views of the city and the coastline. At the top, you can browse one of the four shops, get a bite to eat at the Table Mountain Cafe, or just grab a cocktail and watch the sunset. They also have several event venues if you have a large party. Unfortunately, this one is only available for South Africans.
Score a free ride up to the 170-meter high Donauturm when you book a dinner reservation at the restaurant at the top of Donauturm, Vienna’s version of the Seattle Space Needle. The ride itself is short—35 seconds to be exact—but you do get a few treats when you get to the top. The restaurant, which serves a continually changing seasonal Austrian menu and features sprawling views of the city, gives each guest a complimentary glass of champagne, while the birthday boy or girl gets a “sweet surprise” to take home.
Going to Catalina Island—a small island off the coast of Southern California—can be expensive because the island is only accessible by ferry. But one ferry company called Catalina Express throws you a bone on your birthday and gives you a free round-trip ticket. You only get the free ticket if you go out and return on your birthday, so make a day trip out of it. Hike, bike, swim, parasail, scuba dive, zip line, shop, eat, or simply stroll around the harbor.
For more tips on budget travel, read:
- How to Travel Richly on a Budget
- 6 Ways to Save Money & Find the Most Value at the Theme Park
- How to Find Free WiFi on the Road
By Brittany Malooly for PeterGreenberg.com