Every single time we go to an amusement park we end up spending way too much money. For a while I wasn’t sure how that could possibly happen. What in the world were we buying? When I sat down to think about it, though, our spending patterns became clear. Food, drinks and souvenirs were the main culprits. This type of spending had to stop.
I’ll admit I’m a sucker for souvenirs. I can’t help myself. It’s so easy to get caught up in the magic of the park. I have to surround myself with all of the gear that will keep that happy feeling alive at home. The problem is, once I get home, I can’t remember why I HAD to have a particular item. If my kids begged me for it, suddenly they have no interest in it at home. Now I’m left with $100 or more worth of junk that no one cares about and will end up going to the thrift store by the end of the month. Worse, it will get thrown in the basement and forgotten for the next 10 years while it collects dust.
Food is another big issue for my family. I grew up eating snacks and soggy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches my mother packed up for our adventures. This was not a fun part of childhood.
I always wondered why we couldn’t just eat in the park, or grab some breakfast to-go on our way in. Little did I know that this was a simple way for my parents to save a lot of money so we could actually afford the tickets to the amusement park we were visiting that summer.
When I didn’t pack snacks or make lunches for my kids during our trips to the park, I didn’t realize how much money I was losing. Now that I know, I pack lunches and snacks. We have more to spend on things that actually matter, like the tickets and little splurges, like an ice cream cone at the end of the day.
Saving money in amusement parks with kids doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to feel deprived. You just need to remember what your bottom line is and what is most important to you. Would you rather go to an amusement park three times in one year or just once and not have to do any preplanning or budgeting? That’s your call.
If you want more money saving tips when visiting amusement parks, hop over to Alamo Rent A Car’s Scenic Route blog. You’ll learn why your bottled water is sucking your travel budget dry and how to get your kids onboard with your new travel savings plan.