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Free Tours by Those Who Know

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— Ryan McVay/Getty Images

Think of it as a traveler’s trifecta: You stretch your legs, your budget and get an insider’s knowledge of cities you’re visiting—with free walking tours led by town-proud locals.

Through the Global Greeter Network, volunteer residents team up with tourists for sightseeing and the inside scoop about New York, Chicago and Houston as well as cities in Australia, Canada, England, France and the Netherlands. And no tipping allowed!

A similar operation, Sandemans New Europe, offers no-cost walking tours with locals in European cities, as well as in Israel.

There are grassroots gratis walking tours in several U.S. cities—try San Francisco City Guides and, in Washington, DC By Foot, which runs a tour of the monuments.

To find other free offerings, contact the destination’s tourism bureau or chamber of commerce. And for details on 75 travel-worthy towns, check out AARP’s Travel Destinations page; if you click on featured destinations, you may find information on free tours.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about health and consumer issues.

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