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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Frugal Adventures: 5 Tips for Saving Big at the Water Park

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Schlitterbahn. I wrote it all myself though – they had nothing to do with that part.

Have you noticed a theme around here lately? I’ve been all summer and water obsessed for weeks, but honestly, I just can’t help myself. I’ve always enjoyed summer time but for some reason I was really looking forward to it this year. Leading up to summer I would catch myself day dreaming about my toes in the sand, crashing waves, splash pads, and wild river rides. Floating the “lazy river” at Schlitterbahn and watching my kids play on the giant pirate ship. Aaargh Matey! This be the life! Okay, that was kind of corny. Sorry. Not sorry.

We love going to water parks – my husband especially. I guess it makes him feel young again (don’t tell him I said that!), but let’s face it – one trip to the water park can get really expensive really fast. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! I’m the Queen of Cheap so trust me when I tell you I’ve got some great tips to help you save some dollars at the water park.

 Look for Coupons & Promo Codes

A lot of water parks will offer coupons and promotion codes on their website as well as on their facebook page. It really pays off to check these sources before you head out to the park. When you like your favorite water park on facebook you can stay up to date on any current promotions and Schlitterbahn has been known to post coupons there are only available to their facebook fans! It is also a good idea to be an email subscriber which you can do directly from your water park's website. 

Ask About Discounted Admission

Schlitterbahn offers a discounted admission if you come in the afternoon. During the summer season you get a discount after 3 P.M. and during the indoor heated season the discount starts at 2 P.M. You can call and ask your water park if they have a similar program, I know many of them do. Sometimes you can buy tickets at an offsite retail location, such as your local grocery store – check your park’s website for more information. Going in a group? Ask about group discounts!

Call To Ask About Food & Drink Promotions

Often times parks will have special deals on food and drinks. The one I see most often is buy a souvenir cup for X amount of dollars and receive free refills. This might be a good option for you instead of buying several smaller drinks throughout the day. Also, I’ve seen food packages being offered and a lower rate. For example pay X amount of dollars for one entrée, one drink, and one snack. Keep an eye out for these deals – if you plan on purchasing food and drink at the park then these promotions are a good way to save a few bucks.

Bring In Your Own Food and Drink

If you really want to save, pack up your own cooler.Schlitterbahn allows guests to bring in their own coolers as long as you follow the rules (no glass, no alcohol). This is the number one thing we do to save money when heading to Schlitterbahn. My kids drink like camels and eat like pigs. I’d much rather pack up a cooler full of food and drink than spend a ton of money in the concession lines. If your park doesn’t allow you to bring in your own cooler you can probably pack one anyway and just go out to the car at lunch time. Parks typically allow you to come in and out with your wristband.

Schlitterbahn Offers FREE Parking & Tubes

I’m so used to this at Schlitterbahn that it still shocks me when I realize that not all parks offer these perks. That’s right – at Schlitterbahnthere is no charge for parking or tubes, and they even offer free life jackets. Parking at Schlitterbahn Galveston is literally right across the street from the entrance so it’s not like we have to walk two miles to get into the park. There are tubes everywhere and unless it’s super crowded we never have an issue finding some to use. Plus, there are life jackets stationed all around the park which I love! Check with your local park to see if they offer the same sort of amenities! 

So yes, it is true – a trip to the water park can break the bank but it doesn’t have to!

Do you have any frugal tips for me? How do you save money at the water park?

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