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Tips On Saving Money On Your Next Waterpark Visit

by Terra Fuller

Waterparks are wonderful escapes during the hot summer months. Your children can spend hours hitting exciting water slides, floating down lazy river rides or playing in forts or playgrounds equipped with all sorts of water features. The one problem is that they can be a bit pricey. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can save money while still getting the most from your outings if you just do your homework and go prepared.

Make a List

Want to save money on your next waterpark outing? Then you should be like Santa Claus and make a list and check it twice. If you don't, you could leave an important essential, such as suntan lotion, back home. Of course, they will probably sell that item at the waterpark, but be prepared to pay significantly more. At the very least your list should include:

  • Suntan lotion. Yes, this is obvious, but it's easy to forget if you don't have a list. To protect your family against cancer, use one that is at least an SPF 30.
  • Sunglasses. Pack these for everyone, even the children. 
  • Towels for the entire family. Some water parks rent or sell these but why not save money and bring your own? 
  • Cover-ups for the entire family. Shade may be hard to find at some waterparks, so protect your family's skin with cover-ups. 
  • A waterproof wallet/container to keep your money, keys in. These are designed to be worn around your neck. 

Optional, but recommended: 

  • Hats
  • Water shoes 
  • Small plastic bags to keep your cell phone and other electronics, such as cameras, safe

If you are driving to the waterpark, you may want to:

  • Bring and keep a few extra towels and a change of dry clothes in your vehicle. Sometimes, towels get so wet that they become virtually useless for drying anything. 
  • A picnic lunch and drinks in a cooler. If the park allows guests to re-enter the park, this could be an excellent way to save some money on the pricey food and drink options available in the park. 

Read the Waterpark's Website's FAQs 

The websites of most waterparks will contain important information that could save you a lot of money in the long run. For example, many waterparks do not allow their guests to go on their slides if they are wearing bathing suits that have zippers, rivets or any other hard metal or plastic pieces. Some parks also recommend that you don't wear neoprene on their slides. If you do wear a bathing suit that has exposed metal or hard plastic, you may be asked to change your suit or buy a new bathing suit -- which will probably be marked up substantially. The other option would be sitting out the day watching others have fun. 

Most parks also suggest that their female guests wear one-piece bathing suits if they are planning on riding any big or fast slides. That is mainly for modesty reasons. If you don't follow this advice, you could end up flashing your private parts to the rest of the park, which could end up being very embarrassing and may cause you to need a new bathing suit. So if you don't want to waste money on swimwear, make sure to choose your suit carefully before leaving the house. 

Look for Deals

It's not unusual for waterparks to offer deals on their admission tickets, so check out the park's website for any deals before heading to the park. In addition:

  • Consider getting a season pass for the waterpark, especially if you live close by. You may be surprised at how cheap these season passes cost when spread over several visits. 
  • Look into half-day discounts. Some parks offer reduced admission if you go after a certain time, such as after 3 p.m. 
  • Check with local hotels. If you are going to a waterpark as part of a vacation, you may find a hotel that offers special packages that include accommodations and admission tickets. 

A day at the waterpark is a great way to bond with your family. And with a little planning and research, you can do make the outing more affordable.