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Tricks to Save Money on Vacation: Activities

Your vacation dollars can go further with free and discounted activities. Here are some simple tricks to save money on vacation: activities.

Tricks to Save Money on Vacation Activities Traveling Well For Less

Don’t let expensive activities keep you out of the water

In the final part of this 3 part series on Tricks to Saving Money on Vacation, you’ll learn how to find free and discounted activities. Part 1, Tricks to Saving Money on Vacation: Rental Cars can be found here.  You can find Part 2, Tricks to Saving Money on Vacation: Meals here.

You can watch the Powerpoint presentation for a quick overview of the entire Tricks to Save Money on Vacation series.

Saving money on activities

1) Costco

You can buy discounted attraction tickets at Costco warehouses and on the Costco website. But not all Costco warehouses sell discounted attraction tickets.  Usually only the Costco warehouses in tourist areas such as Hawaii, San Diego, Orlando, and San Francisco.

But you can buy some discounted attraction tickets online.

You can buy a “San Diego 3 for 1 Pass” which gives you unlimited admission for 7 consecutive days to SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. An Adult Pass costs $116.99, and a Child Pass (ages 3 to 9) is $94.99.

The same “San Diego 3 for 1 Pass” costs $149 for adults and $119 for a child from the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park websites. Buying your “San Diego 3 for 1 Pass” online through Costco saves you $32 for each adult and $24 for each child.

The “San Diego 3 for 1 Pass” is a great saving because a single day ticket (adult or child) for SeaWorld costs $64 advance purchase on the SeaWorld website. You’ll pay $84 (adult) and $78 (child) at the gate.

A San Diego Zoo 1 day ticket costs $46 for adults and $36 for a child.  You’ll pay $46 for an adult and $36 for children for a single day San Diego Zoo Safari Park ticket.

Tricks to Save Money on Vacation Activities Costco Traveling Well For Less

You’ll save at least $32 on each adult ticket and $24 on each child ticket

 

 

2) Living Social

You can sign-up to get Living Social emails special for the places you’re traveling.

You can get park admission for 2 for $15 or 4 for $29 to the Old Faithful Geyser of California in Calistoga.

The offer is valid through October 18, 2014, but the paid value does not expire.

Tricks to Save Money on Vacation Acitivities Living Social Traveling Well For Less

You’ll gush over your savings

 

The difference between paid value vs promotional value

The promotional value is the Living Social offer you bought. You have until the promotional value expiration date to use your Living Social offer. The paid value is what you paid.

So you could get $15 or $29 towards admission for 2 or 4 people through October 18, 2014 with your Living Social coupon.

Or you could use the $15 or $20 towards the cost of park admission (similar to a gift certificate) until August 11, 2019.

Remember to check the fine print before you buy because each offer has a different expiration date.

3) Groupon

Same idea as Living Social, you can buy coupons or discount certificates for activities in the cities you’re visiting on Groupon.

You could get a $6 ticket for a Los Angeles Angels game at Angel Stadium. You can buy 10 tickets per person.

Tricks to Save Money on Vacation Activities Groupon Traveling Well For Less

Sometimes Groupon deals hit it out of the park

 

4) Free coupon books and visitor guides

Some cities have free coupon books that offer free and discounted activities.

At some destinations, you can find free destination guides at baggage claim and visitors centers at the airport.

You can also contact the visitor bureau for a free visitor’s guides and tips on what to do along with coupons and discounts at restaurants and on activities.

Tricks to Save Money on Vacation Activities free coupon books visitor guides Traveling Well For Less

Lots of discounts and free activities for all ages

 

5) Yelp

You can get special offers for checking in on Yelp.

Not all tour operators offer Yelp discounts, but it only takes a minute or two to check-in.  I’ll gladly spend 1 minute to check in if it means saving money.

Tricks to Save Money on Vacation Activities Yelp Traveling Well For Less

A 1 minute check-in on Yelp could save you $10

 

6) Local events

Many cities offer free events and activities.  Usually, you can find free events and activities listed in the visitor’s guide, city website, or local newspaper.

You can watch free hula shows at the mall, the beach, and some hotels in Hawaii.

Tricks to Save Money on Vacation Activities local events Traveling Well For Less

Many cities offer free events and activities

 

And while museums may not be every person’s idea of fun, some museums are free, offer special discounts for the military, teachers, students, or certain credit card holders, or charge a small fee.

How do you save money on activities when traveling?

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