Saving on Summer Vacations

by RollingMama

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 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 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 . 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.

carousel - august 2007 005

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 for more information. Determine if your child meets the height requirements for rides and find attraction times at

Storyland City Park New Orleans

Nashville, Tennessee

Go to 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.

ShamuCredit SeaWorld San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

The San Antonio Vacation Experience (SAVE) 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.

Barbara Twardowski writes with her husband, Jim, who is a registered nurse. The couple lives near New Orleans and are the parents of a college-age son.
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1 Heather on her travels June 6, 2013 at

We’ve found these cards to be great if you are a family that likes to see a lot when on holiday but I think you do need to do your homework and research whether it will save you money. If you’re a sit in a cafe and watch the world go by kind of traveller you probably wouldn’t get your money’s worth

2 The Beauty of Travel June 11, 2013 at

I think this info is a great idea! And great tips too! Saving money can be really important for a family, especially when many of us travel on a tight budget.

3  HTC Desire 200 GPS  June 18, 2013 at

Many people plan for vacations during summers. However, you need to think about some travel tips that will assist you in enjoying a hassle free summer trip and of course save while your travel.

4 Mark June 18, 2013 at

These are great suggestions! And it is indeed important to plan ahead your trips especially when you need to be thrifty with your budget.

5 hotelnights June 20, 2013 at

it’s so important to plan you travel well, as you told. especially the biggest amount is usually spent for accommodation, so you need to compare a book i in advance if you want to save a bundle!

6 Karen July 2, 2013 at

Awesome advice! My husband and I are heading to New Orleans soon and we’ll be checking out the citypass you mentioned now. Try checking online for discounts when you pre-purchase tickets too! We almost always buy our attraction tickets online as there is usually at least a 10% discount for doing so.

7 Tara July 8, 2013 at

I just moved to Florida and I’m an hour away from Disney. Even as a Florida-resident, it’s still really expensive to vacation around here! I wish we had a city-pass for places around here. Thanks for the heads up, though!

8 Tiffany Brock August 2, 2013 at

San Antonio and the Space center sound like a lot of fun and great places to visit. Thanks for the tips!

9 hotel near universal studios August 13, 2013 at

I want to visit Disney world theme park along with my kids i am so much excited for those places and the suggestions and tips in this post surly gonna be very helpful to me to plan my visit properly.

10 River Rafting In Rishikesh October 18, 2013 at

thanks for this post .

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