Who’s not interested in finding out how to save with multi-attraction passes and ticket booklets for several U.S. cities, plus discounted attraction passes to sights in the top European cities? With so many families enjoying big city weekend getaways, it’s understandable how these little ticket booklets have evolved into the fastest way to get a shortlist (with tips and maps) to a destination’s top attractions. Not only do they benefit the ticket holder with savings and time-saving advice, they also make terrific gifts for friends and family who are traveling.
Grandparents love saving money on admissions to museums, zoos, aquariums and observatories in several popular, family-friendly cities. Purchase a “City pass” or multi-attraction ticket to major tourist destinations and your family can zip right into the top attractions, without waiting in line or paying a penny more. In fact, by buying passes in advance, you’ll save up to 50% off admission fees. meaning that half of the sights you enjoy are free. Additionally, these companies generally provide great maps, mini-guidebooks and even some mobile phone apps that will really help the kids get excited about what’s coming up on your next family vacation.
Visit CityPass for a listing of available locations and the sites each pass covers. At the time of publication, passes were available for Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa or Toronto. Purchase your booklet of tickets at the first participating attraction (depending on the city, prices typically range from $34-79/adult, $24-59/kids 3-12, more for Southern California) and you save approximately 50% of what you’d pay if you purchased each site admission separately. And, with CityPASS, you won’t have to wait on line to be admitted — just show your pass and walk right in.
Similar savings are offered by the Leisure Pass Group in the European cities of London, Berlin, Dublin and Paris. The passes (available for one, two, three, six or 10 days) offer free entry to dozens of attractions, plus discounts on restaurants and guided tours, retail stores, and theatres, and a helpful guidebook. Some also offer an add-on transportation option. For unlimited sightseeing on a budget in London, choose the London Pass. How about free tickets to the Louvre Museum, a Paris must-see? And, as with CityPASS, you don’t need to waste time standing on line, as passholders are given immediate admission.
Flexible Go City Cards for U.S. Destinations
Get a free full-color guidebook with the purchase of a Go City Card. Utilizing up-to-date smartcard technology, Go [City] Cards offer visitors to Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Orlando, Miami, Oahu, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington DC, New York and Las Vegas free admission to the region or city’s most popular attractions, museums and tours at up to 55% off what you’d pay at the door. They also get you up to 20% discounts at local restaurants and retail stores with front-of-line privileges. Add-on hotel packages are available, and passes are available for purchase for 1,2,3,5 or 7 days. If all this sightseeing sounds too busy for your clan, build your own pass on their site, choosing two or more attractions, and save that way. Plus, you can have your GoCard delivered digitally by email or just sent to your phone. A full color destination guidebook accompanies the passes.
Can’t find a pass here for the place you will be visiting? Wherever you are traveling, check out the destination’s own tourism website to see what is available. Many cities sponsor their own discounted sightseeing and / or transportation passes, that can save you a bundle on arrival.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.