I don’t know about you, but I’m highly in favor of free stuff, especially when I’m travelling. It’s a new year, so here’s my list of six cool freebies you can get in 2017.
Get free admission to all national parks and monuments on 10 dates this year: Jan. 16 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Feb. 20 (Presidents Day), April 15-16 and 22-23 (weekends of National Park Week), Aug. 25 (National Park Service birthday), Sept. 30 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 11-12 (Veterans Day weekend).
2. Canada Pass
Not only is Canada a bargain this year for Americans, with the favorable exchange rate giving us 30 percent off everything, but the deal got even sweeter: Canada is offering its Discovery Annual Pass, which admits you to 100 national parks, marine conservation areas and historic sites, for free. This is to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Regular price for a family is $136 Canadian, so that’s pretty nifty. It doesn’t include tours, camping or special parking fees. I’m already looking at where we should go. Learn more: pc.gc.ca
Catalina Express is offering its “travel free on your birthday” ferry promotion again this year, with a change: This time, you’ve got to bring a friend to Santa Catalina Island, because it’s a “Share Your Birthday Ride” deal. That’s not so bad, because I don’t know anyone who goes to Catalina by themselves.
You must sign up in advance and read all the rules. You can leave the mainland only on your actual birthday, but you can return later. However, both of you must go and return together. And note that this is the Catalina Express, with docks in San Pedro and Dana Point, not the Catalina Flyer, which leaves from Newport Harbor. Make sure to check out the Birthday Island promotions once you get there that offer more freebies, too. Learn more here: catalinaexpress.com/ birthday_promo.html
If you get at least eight people together to do a service project in a…