finding the best attractions for travel with babies, toddlers and kids

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This post is installment #2 of getting the most out of your trip with kids. As mentioned in my earlier post regarding finding kid friendly accommodation, my ideal criteria for a trip is : great style, kid friendly and good value.
Here is a list of suggestions on how to see the best attractions with your babies, toddlers or kids while on vacation for the least amount of money.

1. Do your research before your trip.

Use traveler review websites such as tripadvisor.com,  familyvacationcritic.com or yelp.com to determine which attractions rate at the top with families.

Keep these attractions in mind when booking accommodation as sometimes hotels will offer package deals including local attractions.

2. Try to save yourself some money on attractions.

Great Travels Deal
As soon as you book your trip, sign up for daily deal subscriptions for your destination through such websites as  Groupon,  Living Social, and Family Find.   These websites often offer deals in excess of 50% off on attractions, restaurants etc.

If you are new to the daily deals you may find yourself lured into buying things that you may not use. Well fear not, since there is now a remedy. Both CoupRecoup and DealsGoRound allow you to resell your unused coupons.

Another way to save money is to check the individual websites of your attractions under the discounts heading to see where you might get a deal.  As an example, if you have a membership to a science center in your home city and they are a member of ASTC (Association of Science – Technology Centers), they usually have a reciprocal agreement for centers in other cities allowing you to gain free admission (see ASTC list here).

Yes, auction sites exist for attractions too. For instance you can sometimes get some good deals on attractions such as Legoland in San Diego on SkyAuction  (as well as for hotels and restaurants).

It is sometimes worth taking a look at what Costco.com has to offer under their Entertainment/tickets section. As an example, at the time of writing this piece, a 3 month pass at Legoland California could be found for $69.99 on the Costco website, whereas it was $110 for a 2 day Resort Hopper pass on the Legoland website.  You do not need to be a Costco member to order from them online, but they do charge an additional fee of $5.

One last thing worth looking at for attractions with kids is the Smart Destinations Go Card which allows you to pay one discounted price for a package of attractions.  If you like to keep your family busy, this may be the card for you.

3. See what events are going on locally.

Another nice thing is to find out what events and festivals are going on locally for families. Do a  Google search on, using Seattle as an example, “Seattle Family Magazine” or “Seattle Parent’s Magazine“.  This search brings up two great community magazine websites that list kid friendly events going on in the city for the upcoming months.

4. A couple more suggestions.

1. Sometimes less is more.  You may get more enjoyment out of doing one activity with your child per day, rather than trying to cram three activities into one day.

2. Often the best time to go to an attraction with little ones is at opening or a close, before and after the masses have descended.

 

 

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