Ways (That Aren't Uber) To Get Around Chicago for Under $25

Chicago travel guide: Unique transportation in the windy city. And It’s not Lyft either.

Travel Guide | Cheap Things to do in Chicago, IL | Emily Malkowski | Travel & Lifestyle Blogger

Recently, my older sister and I took a quick little weekend getaway to Chicago, which you’re probably well aware of if you follow me on literally any social media outlet.  While I’ll admit we didn’t do it all in true On A Dime fashion (I mean, we saw Hamilton while we were there), we knew we didn’t want to waste a ton of money on Ubers to take us to wherever we wanted to go throughout the weekend. 

Travel Guide | Cheap Things to do in Chicago, IL | Emily Malkowski | Travel & Lifestyle Blogger

Though we did waste some money on Ubers (ugh), we did end up finding some pretty cool alternatives that ended up saving us money in the long run. So if you’re anything like us, and you’re tryna save money and see the city in different ways than just through the back window of a sweltering hot Uber with the driver swerving through city traffic, flipping other drivers off, and making you hella carsick (true story), here’s what you need to check out in Chicago:

1) Chicago Water Taxi 

There are tons of water tour companies that swarm the Chicago River, trying to catch tourists in a moment of weakness and make them pay no less than a fortune for a twenty-minute ride down the river. That’s why I am so glad we found the Chicago Water Taxi company, which is hands down the cheapest option if you’re tryna live that hashtag boat life while visiting the windy city.

Travel Guide | Cheap Things to do in Chicago, IL | Emily Malkowski | Travel & Lifestyle Blogger

How It Works: There are 7 Chicago Water Taxi stops scattered throughout the city. Depending on where you want to go and what you want to do with your day, there are a couple of different options you can choose from. A one-way, single trip costs $6, or there’s also a day pass you can get for $15, which allows you to hop on and off at different stops all day, and is awesome if you want to really get all up and around Chicago instead of staying in one centralized area.

Travel Guide | Cheap Things to do in Chicago, IL | Emily Malkowski | Travel & Lifestyle Blogger

We opted for a one-way trip from Union Station (which was walking distance from our AirBnB) to the stop closest to the Navy Pier, since that’s where we wanted to go for dinner. If we had more time in the city, I would have loved to grab a day pass and do more. It’s definitely a lot more cost-effective than getting an Uber to everywhere you want to go- our Uber back from Navy Pier ended up being $18 alone!!

 

2) Divvy Bikeshare

A lot of cities across the country have been rolling out some awesome bikeshare options recently, and Chicago is no different. Aside from seeing all the blue bikes all over the city, we actually heard about Divvy from a super nice local that we stopped to 1) ask to take our picture and 2) ask where everyone was getting the blue bikes from. She even let us in on the secret that you can get your first ride FREE with the code on their website after you sign up and download the app- so here I am paying that good deed forward to anyone reading this. You’re welcome.

Travel Guide | Cheap Things to do in Chicago, IL | Emily Malkowski | Travel & Lifestyle Blogger

Even after the free ride, one single ride (10-30 minutes long) is only $3 plus tax, or there’s a day pass you can buy for $9 that gets you an unlimited number of 10-30 minute rides for 24 hours. It sure as hell beats walking to your destination, especially on a 94-degree day with an “excessive heat warning” in place in the city. I’m speaking from experience, people.

Travel Guide | Cheap Things to do in Chicago, IL | Emily Malkowski | Travel & Lifestyle Blogger

Plus it's super easy to use with their app that basically tells you everything you need to know- where the nearest bike stations are, how many bikes are available at each station, directions to different spots around the city, you name it. So if you’re in Chicago, go ride a bike- or at least take the free ride, if nothing else.  Even if you end up hating it, it’ll be free and then you never have to do it again. Promise.

Travel Guide | Cheap Things to do in Chicago, IL | Emily Malkowski | Travel & Lifestyle Blogger

comment below with your broke af travel tips for chicago!