Friday, May 28, 2010

Frugal Friday

This week's Frugal Friday tip is to always check out non-traditional ways to purchase tickets to places your family wants to go. For instance, my family loves Sea World in San Antonio but it would cost us over $270 for regular 1 day tickets plus $15 to park...not to mention the cost of all the food and drinks in the park which you know is not cheap.

So I started doing some researching. I came across a bunch of different options. Sea World offers adult tickets (regularly $58.99) at kids prices ($49.99). 4 packs of tickets good for adults or kids tickets for $47.25 each. A Fun Day card, you purchase a regular ticket and get to come back the rest of that calendar year for free. If you have a friend with an annual pass you get 15% off 1 day admission.

They also have a few "better" options in my opinion. Sea World is doing a Sea World Cares promotion right now. When you purchase an adult ticket at regular price you get a child's ticket (ages 3-9) for $5. Kids under 3 are free all the time.

They also have EZ Pay for their annual passes. Annual passes include free parking each time you go, 20% off all food, drinks, and souveniers in the park plus discounts on behind the scenes tours, dining with Shamu, and coupons you can print every month and use in the park like buy 1 tray of fish get 1 free. The one year pass expires 1 full year from the date you first use it. They cost $89.99 or you can set up EZ pay. With EZ pay they will take $7.49 every month out of your checking account for the 12 months to make paying a much easier option. You can also purchase a 2 year pass which expires 2 years from the date of first use and costs $149.99 or $6.24 a month on EZ pay for the 24 months.

Right now they are offering a vacation package promotion where kids stay and play free. Most places offer 1 free kids ticket per 1 paid adult ticket, but not Sea World. We were able to get 3 free kids tickets and only purchased 1 adult. These tickets are also annual passes and not regular fun cards. When I called to verify the staff couldn't believe they were giving out annual passes with this promotion. So we got $360 worth of annual passes, plus a night in a 3 star Marriott branded hotel for $179 after taxes. It is a terrific deal, especially the more kids you have.

So my tip today is don't just settle for regular gate prices. Do some research, it is sure to save you a lot of money!


Kathleen said...

Which hotel did you all pick in SA for that Sea World deal? Our kids had the best time there last time so we would love to go back. Thanks for the tip!

Kierstyn said...

wow!!! We're planning a day trip to the Dallas/Ft Worth area. I might try to find some deals like that for the Ft. Worth Zoo, or the Ballpark (we're seeing a baseball game).