How to Find Attraction Discounts
Vacations can get pricey! Here are our top tips on finding attraction deals and packages.
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Do Your Research
Use traveler reviews from TripAdvisor, Google or Yelp to determine which attractions are actually worth the price of admission. A quick scan of reviews will tell you whether visitors feel like the event or attraction is good value or not.
Keep these attractions in mind when booking accommodation as sometimes hotels will offer package deals including free attractions or attraction discounts.
Scan Discount Websites
When you have narrowed down which attractions you would like to see, scan websites such as Groupon and Living Social for deals. It is sometimes worth taking a look at what Costco.com has to offer under their Entertainment/Tickets section.
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).
Consider Attraction Passes
Several companies and (sometimes cities themselves) offer a multiple attraction pass which can provide good value if you plan on seeing a lot. A couple of popular ones include:
CityPASS – Offered in over a dozen cities and saving you up to 50% on combined prices for admission to top attractions.
The New York Pass – Enables you to save money on attractions and sometimes transportation combos. All available are: The London Pass, The Paris Pass and The Stockholm Pass. If you like to keep your family busy, this may be the card for you.
Note: These companies both offer a discounted children’s pass, but do keep in mind that some attractions listed are actually free for kids (museum, for example, are usually free for kids). Take this into account when deciding if you need to purchase on for your child/children.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals
If it is getting close to November and you know you have a trip coming up, hold off booking attractions until you have a chance to look at Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. This can be the best time of the year to save money.
Members Only Deals
Organizations love to have customers signed up for their membership programs and newsletters. In exchange, loyal customers are often rewarded with special members-only deals and first access to special events. I encourage you to sign up for these mailing list in advance of your visit to have the opportunity to take advantage of special deals and events.
Consider Off Peak Season and Off Peak Times
Many attraction discounts are found outside of peak season (Summer, Easter and Winter Break). You may also find great family attractions discounts in off-peak hours such as Tuesday evenings. Furthermore, some attractions (most often museums) offer one day (or evening) a month that is either free or by donation.
The best place to find these deals is by checking the attraction website under discounts or offers.
The AAA Membership
Many attractions offer a small discount with an AAA membership (CAA for Canadians). As hotels also often offer an AAA discount of 10-25%, we have found that our saving over a long weekend have often covered off our annual cost of our membership.
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.