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(MCT)—With the 2012 London games rapidly approaching, many travelers are wondering how to have the most affordable Olympic experience possible. Fortunately, a number of free and low-cost options are available to visitors of this historic English city.

Live Locations: Live Olympic events coverage will be provided on large, outdoor screens in more than 20 urban locations throughout the United Kingdom, including Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and others. Sports fans looking to combine a bit of tourism with their Olympic visit will be able to keep tabs on the games while exploring a bit of history at the same time. Further information regarding these live sites and the community events they will be hosting can be found at

Ticketless Events: While tickets for stadium-style competitions can be steep, there are a number of ticketless events that London locals and visitors alike will be able to witness for free. For example, the road cycling course will travel by some of London’s premier locations including Richmond Park, Hampton Court Palace and the natural history museum. Similarly, the marathon route makes its way past other famous London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Admiralty Arch and the houses of parliament. Nature fans on the other hand should head to Hyde Park, which will host both the Olympic triathlon and the 10 km open water swim. For further information about no-cost, ticketless event times, visit

Free Festivals: Olympic fans unable to score tickets will still be able to experience their fair share of excitement through a number of free outdoor festivals scheduled for places like Trafalgar Square and Victoria Park, in Bow. In addition to large live event screens and other activities, complimentary concert performances by top acts will also be part and parcel of the party experience.

Budget Accommodations: Open to an urban camping excursion? The Camping and Caravanning Club ( will be operating several temporary camp sites just minutes away from the Olympic action, with rates as low as £7.50 (pounds) per person per night. Partner with friends to share equipment, and prepare your own food on site for even greater savings.

Theriault is the best-selling co-author of the book “10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget,” and founder of, a website for independent travelers.

© 2011, McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

Distributed by MCT Information Services.