Scoring discounts on tickets when traveling with family is a great way to save money on a road trip. Many local attractions, amusement parks, science centers, and museums offer ways to get discounts on the price of admission. With a little advance planning, you too can save money on your next family road trip.
First Published: March 2018, Last Updated: December 23, 2020
We love going on day trips and finding things to do in Massachusetts. However, it can add up quickly as we're often playing for the admission price, fuel for the car, lunch, snacks and souvenirs. By day's end, we have spent a small fortune on a single day trip. Sure, it's fun and lots of memories, but I our family to be able to afford to go to places.
However, I can do without spending a hundred dollars or more for taking my boys to a museum or the zoo. Admission ticket prices can be expensive.
Discounted tickets are a must! And at most places, there is a way to get admission tickets cheaper than what is charged at the ticket counter. Planning is essential. Here are the places I check before I plan on taking my boys out for the day.
The Fun Pass
The Fun Pass Coupon Book is an annual coupon book that is a must-buy if you are visiting attractions in New England. This non-profit which is committed to eliminating lung disease and improving the quality of life for those living with lung disease offers over 100 attractions that are either, buy one get one or offer a discount on admissions.
It is filled with coupons worth $2,000, plus get free shipping when you order the book online.
This is definitely a coupon book you do not want to miss out on for discounts on tickets. Check out the upcoming year's fun pass attractions! I get the Fun Pass every year. Even if you don't do all the activities, it's a great way to find fun things to do in New England.
Discounted tickets by pre-purchasing
Many amusement parks and museums have discounted tickets available directly on their website or Facebook pages. Head over to the attractions website (or Facebook) and either search 'coupon' in their search box or check their menu for a coupon page.
Having a pre-purchased ticket allows places to have an estimated head count. And it usually saves everyone time at the ticket counter loads of time!
This one is super easy and worth a quick look before you head out on your family road trip.
Free fun Fridays
Fridays in the summer time are even better in New England when you plan on visiting one of the many free attractions and museums sponsored by The Highland Street Foundation. Per their website, "This program was created to increase access and enrichment opportunities for children and families throughout Massachusetts during the summer months."
This program gives FREE admission on Fridays to specific places. It changes each week, so be sure to take advantage.
And guess what? You don't have to be a Massachusetts resident to take advantage of the Free Fun Fridays! Everyone and from everywhere is invited to participate. Can't beat free!
Each year the schedule is released in May. It's a great way to plan ahead for the summer!
Seasonal pass or passport programs
Are you planning on going to an attraction multiple times? You may want to look into investing in a season or annual pass. Pay once and go all season (or year) depending on the pass type!
Many season pass holders may even get other perks such as free buddy passes, discount passes for friends or even a discount on souvenir purchases. While visiting, check with their membership service desk to see if you can apply the cost of today's visit towards an annual pass!
Last year, I got into the ASTC Passport Program (Association of Science - Technology Centers), when I purchased a Worcester Ecotarium annual family pass. I could then take my family to the Boston Museum of Science, the Children's Museum in Boston, as well as the Children's Museum in Dover, New Hampshire.
Libraries sometimes provide passes to museums and other places of interest for families who are members of the library. Check with your library to find out what museums or other fun places they have library passes to and to find out how to reserve them for a specific day.
Most will only let you keep the pass for a day (and many charge money if the pass is late), so be sure to check the specifics at your library before taking the passes home.
Grab a some mom or dad friends and their kids and go! Most attractions have discounts if you have a specific amount of people going at the same time. We have been able to get awesome savings by going to a museum with other mom/kids and it's great to have them with you as well!
Groupon is an excellent resource for many attractions, restaurants and even hotel rooms! Download the app or head on over to their website and search on either the destination or type of activity. Groupon has many fun things to do and by purchasing ahead of time, it can save you money on the price of admission.
After purchasing, you can then print out your coupon or some places even let you just show them the barcode in the app on your smart phone.
Remember to check the expiration date as most do expire. However, take comfort in knowing that if you are not able to use it before the expire date, you can still use the purchased amount towards the activity. Check their FAQ's for specific details.
Taking a day trip is fun to do with family or friends no matter what the season! There are so many fun amusement parks, zoos, ski mountains to be seen. Before I go anywhere, I always check for a coupon. With a little advanced planning, you can save money on the cost of admission and get discounted tickets on many popular and fun things to do as a family!