Wherever your family is traveling this summer be sure to investigate discounts that can save you money. One of the best places to find promotions is each city’s Convention and Visitor Bureau–check the website or call for information. Some offer special online deals, while others have a card-carrying program or printable coupons.
To save money on must-see attractions, consider buying a CityPASS http://www.citypass.com/. Good in 11 destinations, you can use it to see the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, view New York City from the top of the Empire State Building, explore Space Center Houston, make a discovery at the Museum of Science in Boston, or ride a boat on Seattle’s Argosy’s Cruises Harbor Tour. Buying the card can be up to 50% off combined attraction admission prices plus you will skip most ticket lines.
Before buying anything, compare the regular cost to the publicized discount and determine if it is a real savings. The few dollars you save on attractions, hotels, sporting events, performances, restaurants, tours, museums, transportation, and shopping adds up quickly. Here is a sampling of savings in destinations across the country.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Skim the Albuquerque CVB website http://www.ItsATtrip.org/ for the “Specials and Coupons” tab. You can reserve a room at Holiday Inn Express & Suites for $84.99 plus tax, receive 10% off a hot air balloon ride, or buy one dinner and get a second free.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
With Fort Lauderdale’s 2-for-1 coupons, families can save on everything from airboat rides to surf school. Receive a Summer Savings card by mail or print one at www.sunny.org/summer . Book a two night hotel stay using their online reservation form and receive a $25 American Express gift card. Offers are good for travel from May 1 though September 30, 2013.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The brand new Family Fun Pass is good for seven days at New Orleans City Park. The 1,300 acre urban oasis with walking paths, winding bayous, and majestic oak trees is home to several amusement style family attractions. The pass provides entrance to:
Carousel Gardens Amusement Park which is home to the last antique wooden carousel in the state. Other rides include: the new Musik Express, Rockin’ Tug, Coney Tower, Ferris Wheel, Bumper Cars, Monkey Jump, Red Baron mini-plane, Scrambler, Tilt-A-Whirl, a 40-foot fun slide, Umbrella Cars, Construction Zone, and the miniature train ride that tours the park.
Storyland is where the fairytales are larger-than-life. Small children use their imaginations interacting on a playground with more than 25 sculpted storybook characters. Take a picture of the kids as they climb aboard Captain Hook’s pirate ship or skip to the top of Jack & Jill’s Hill.
City Putt is a Louisiana themed 36-hole, miniature golf course. (Family Fun Pass includes entrance and play on one course.)
The Family Pass costs $30 for adults and $25 for children. Call (504) 483-9402 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Determine if your child meets the height requirements for rides and find attraction times at www.neworleanscitypark.com.
Go to www.visitmusiccity.com and create your own tailor-made Nashville attraction pass. Choose four attractions, from a list of 16. Depending on what you select, the savings can be as much as 50% off the admission price. Cost of the Total Access Pass is $50. As a bonus, every pass includes free admission to the Parthenon and 25% off the Music City Hop On/Hop Off Trolley Tour.
San Antonio, Texas
The San Antonio Vacation Experience (SAVE) www.save.visitsanantonio.com can save visitors up to $1,600. Go online to see the details or download the handy “SAVE in SA” app. The world’s largest marine park, SeaWorld San Antonio, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Use the SAVE card to reduce the admission price by as much as $12–depending upon when you visit. Need an affordable hotel? The card includes several accommodations including the Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel. Located just two blocks from the Alamo–special rates start at $129.00 per night.
Spending a little time researching the deals before your leave home can save your family money and keep the vacation budget under control.