If you’re treating your little ones to a theme park holiday of a lifetime this summer, here are a few valuable tips to make the most of your trip, and ensure it all goes to plan.
1. Book ahead of time
Booking your tickets before you set off is one of the most straightforward timesavers available and can also save your precious holiday budget too if you book far enough in advance. Many vendors offer price reductions and special offers if you book tickets together too. Check on the theme park website, and shop around on travel sites to get the best bang for your buck.
2. Create a schedule
Creating a rough schedule for you and your family to follow will allow you to make the most of your holiday before it’s time to go home. Booking your theme park tickets before you set off will help to give you an idea of exactly what you want to do while you’re way, allowing you to plan your trip around these big excursions.
3. Make a budget
You don’t want to be worrying about money when you’re meant to be enjoying your trip. Make a budget before you take off, and try to stick to it. Remember, you've got to consider airfare and/or driving expenses, hotels, tickets, food, souvenirs. The list adds up, but if you’re prepared to spend a certain amount, you won’t be counting every penny and trying to keep track when you’re away.
4. Plan when to go
Try to schedule your visit when the park isn't so crowded. Weekdays during the school year are the best. During holiday times, many theme parks tend to be least busy during weekends as most visitors travel on those days. Whenever you go, arrive at the park before it opens in the morning, to get on as many attractions as you can before lines build up for the day.
5. Plan ahead
The golden rule of saving on a holiday is to never buy anything inside a theme park that you can buy outside the park. You can get sunscreen, pain relievers, bandages, baby supplies and a refillable water bottle at home or a nearby supermarket for a fraction of the cost you'd pay inside the park. Bring a stash of waterproof, re-sealable plastic baggies too. These will come in handy for keeping your digital camera and mobile phone dry when you’re on the water rides.
6. Consider an annual pass
If you're planning on visiting a theme park for more than one day this year, you might be better off buying an annual pass rather than several single-day tickets. Even if you're going to just one park or resort, an annual pass might make sense. Compare the cost of the pass to how many single-day tickets you want to buy and go for the better deal. Keep in mind that most annual passes include in-park discounts on food and souvenirs, as well as free or reduced-price parking. 
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