I have always been an advocate of cheap travel and this is the CHEAPEST tour you can receive in any location..…THE DIME TOUR! It is also commonly known as the 10 Cent Tour. Haven’t heard of this before? This really just means that someone will show you around a location informally, i.e. not using an official guide or expert. You may recognize the saying from movies, where someone will give a visitor the “dime tour” of their home. However, you do not have to have someone else show you around, you can do this by yourself as well!
The Dime Tour is best applied when you only have a short amount of time in one city (even only a few hours), and you want to see as many sites as possible.
When I went on my "Sibling's Trip" to the United Kingdom we decided the perfect place for our first-ever Dime Tour was London. Since this is not a structured tour, you have all the freedom to decide where you want to go and what you want to do…you are not worrying about keeping up with a tour group. This does require some extra research on your part beforehand if you are travelling to a location you have never been to or do not have any friends of family there.
Below are some helpful tips that we used to make a memorable Dime Tour:
1. The tour should be done at night. This allows for you to explore a city when it is quieter and gives you the freedom to delay at locations without large crowds. (In our case, it allowed us to drive on the wrong side of the road without fear of accidentally hitting anyone!) We left our Airbnb at exactly midnight in the center of London for our first location: The Globe Theatre. Although, as many of you know, the original Globe does not exist anymore, so we were at the modern reconstruction. While we were there, we enjoyed reading out excerpts of William Shakespeare’s works with our best-version of a British accent while looking out onto the River Thames. It was a beautiful moment, and it would not have been the same during the day and with large crowds.
2. Explore touristy areas that are far too busy and crowded to see during the day. You have to make sure you can get that picture “for the gram”. Of course, as huge Beatles fans, we made our way to Abbey Road to take our version of the famous picture. Although, as you can see in the picture below, we must work on our posing skills…you would not believe that we took about twenty pictures and this was the best one. But alas, we did it! And only ONE car tried to run over us!
3. Explore local urban legends. We decided to add Jack the Ripper to our Dime Tour, and went to three locations where he committed some of his most morbid atrocities. Why, you might ask would we add this to our tour? Nothing is more thrilling than the hairs on the back of your neck standing up while exploring a city in the middle of the night. While it made some of us jumpy and ready to run back to the car, it allowed us to pay respects to the women who lost their lives there.
4. Pay homage to your favorite book and movie characters. Who else’s home would we visit than the world-renowned and best “consulting detective” THE Sherlock Holmes. After reading some of the stories and watching the t.v. show Sherlock, I was extremely excited to bring my no-makeup, glasses-wearing, tired face up to 221B Baker street and give the biggest “cheese” I could muster.
5. Enjoy the city’s scenery and lights from the comfort of the car. While driving around the city staring at the local architecture, I daydreamed about royal weddings while passing Westminster Abbey, swore I saw Peter Pan flying across the clock face when driving by Big Ben, enjoyed the lights shining brightly from The London Eye, and imagined the meetings of Parliament outside of the Palace of Westminster.
A lot can be revealed about a city when exploring it at night. From my experience, there is nothing more beautiful then a city lit up for the evening.
Thank you for reading, please comment below with cities you would like to do a Dime Tour at!