Traveling Thursday – Theme Parks

Schools start here in just a couple of weeks. It’s amazing that the long, lazy days of summer will soon give way to fall. Where has time gone?

Even as summer fades away, I know a number of families who are planning a trip to an amusement park before school begins. I’ve compiled a list of a few tips and ideas to help you get the most from your theme park trip.

  • Check into discounted tickets. You may be able to get these through AAA or using a coupon found online, through a fast food restaurant or even on a soda can. Do a little research to find savings.
  • Look for stay-and-play packages at hotels near the park.
  • Find out if you are allowed to take snacks or drinks into the park with you. This is another way to save money and make sure you’re properly hydrated.
  • Wear sunscreen. It’s amazing how quickly you can burn.
  • Look at the park map before visiting. Decide which rides you really want to do and make those a priority. Arrive early to get a jump on the crowds.
  • Scope out indoor, air-conditioned attractions and take a break during the midday sun.
  • Wear tennis shoes instead of flip-flops. Your feet will be more comfortable and better supported. You also don’t want to take the chance of losing your shoe on a ride.
  • Stay hydrated. I can’t say it often enough. Remember that water is a better choice than soda.
  • Grab maps and designate a meeting point and time if your family decides to split up to enjoy separate attractions.
  • If you have an emergency or start to feel ill, visit the first-aid station. Let the trained staff assess your situation and help as needed. It’s much less embarrassing to visit the first-aid station on your own steam than to be pulled from the park on a stretcher.
  • Pack cheap plastic ponchos. They’re great for water rides or sudden downpours.
  • Bring along a great attitude. There will be annoyances but instead of allowing yourself to get upset, try to laugh off your frustrations. The whole point of the day is for you to have a good time. Do your best to make it happen.
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