Make a splash at the water park with 4 cost-saving tips
A trip to the water park is a quintessential must-do on the summer bucket list.
Lounge in the lazy river, bob in the wave pool and scream your way down the slides. But, let’s save the surprises for the epic drops on the newly opened raft ride rather than getting hit with unexpected charges during your day trip to the water park.
Here’s some tips and tricks for saving on your next trip to the water park to make sure that you can have a totally tube-ular time, while sticking to your budget.
Plan your trip:
If your schedule allows some flexibility, take advantage of the non-peak times and hit the water park mid-week. The park is sure to be busy on Saturdays and Sundays, meaning long wait times for the most popular rides and a game of bumper tubes in the Lazy River. Also, check for half-day admission rates as many parks will give discounted admission after 1 p.m. or so. You just might be able to master the ride-per-wait ratio so that you get more rides in during one afternoon than you could during an entire Saturday. Also, check out your local park’s website for exclusive coupon deals or bundles and browse Groupon to see if you can find discounted admission deals. You’ll earn up to 6 percent Cash Back on Groupon purchases with ShopAtHome.com. Shop Groupon with Cash Back!
Pack one bag for the whole family or, if you’re meeting up with friends, consolidate all your belongings into a single pack while you’re still in the parking lot. This way, you’ll avoid pumping multiple lockers with coins throughout the day. Bring a beach bag that has some flexibility to fit into a tiny locker. This nautical-inspired polka dot bag is the perfect size and it comes with a separate “bikini pouch” that can stash wet bathing suits at the end of the day or can be used to hold small must-haves like credit cards and phones. Tri-Coastal Design Polka-Dot Beach Bag, $17.99 (plus Cash Back), Kohls.com
BYOL (Bring your own lunch):
The cost of lunch at theme parks can almost rival the admission price. But, most water parks will let you bring in a cooler — with some minor exceptions (i.e. no glass bottles). Check with your local park’s website ahead of time to see what’s allowable. An easy lunch idea that travels well and will save you money: Pick up a party sub at the grocery store and pack a big fruit salad to share. Throw in some snacks like Granola bars, Animal Crackers or chips to stave off trips to the snack shacks. We love this quilted, insulated cooler because it’s so stylish it could be mistaken as a purse. Coleman 16-Can Quilted Cooler, $16.99 (plus 3% Cash Back), Walmart.com
An unexpected cost at amusement parks: Purchasing pictures that were snapped while you were mid-scream. Why not bring your own camera, a waterproof one at that, and capture underwater funny faces in the pool and action shots of your kiddos coming down the slides? This Kodak camera will snap 27 photos — and we’re guessing it costs about the same as a couple prints from the gift store. Kodak Waterproof Single Use Underwater Disposable Camera (plus 5% Cash Back), $19.99, walgreens.com