Annual passes


If it’s something you love, why not put money into it?

My hubby and I love going to our local zoo, Chester Zoo. It was where we went for our first daytime date all those years ago, and it’s where we got engaged.

We love that we can just go there for a walk to get that step count in, or we can take the cameras and try and get that sought after shot.

When we first went it seemed expensive. Probably the best part of £50 for us both to get in. We love going and so took the plunge one year and bought a joint annual pass. We worked out we had to go four times for the pass to start saving us money. This wouldn’t be a problem.

Because we had the passes, we didn’t feel that we had to spend full days at the zoo. We would often arrive early and spend a half day, focussing on maybe just one area, before coming home mid afternoon. Having the annual pass meant we could go frequently and it certainly paid for itself.

As well as getting free entry into the zoo, the pass also gave us discount on food and shop purchases. We would often take a drink or snack with us but on the times we wanted a treat, an extra drink or an ice cream at least it wouldn’t cost as much. We also bought some Christmas gifts from the gift shop so saved more.

Before buying an annual pass for somewhere it is important to work out how often you would go (be realistic) and how much of a saving it would give you. You need to make sure you really would save money and you don’t just buy into something because it sounds like a good idea.

Another thing to be careful of is that you don’t get signed up to automatically renew after the year is out. We have now had the zoo annual pass for 3 years. Non of these have been consecutive. We might go 6 times in one year, but then the next year we might not go at all. This gives the zoo time to change and update, meaning that in a years time there are lots of new things to see and do. This keeps the interest alive.

Last time we were at the zoo we saw platinum passes being advertised. This is basically a lifetime pass. We are settled in our home now and aren’t looking to relocate. This would be something to consider if you do debate buying a life time pass to somewhere. Currently we are considering upgrading to a platinum pass but not 100% sure if it’s right for us yet. Maybe once we are a little more settled financially. Obviously the younger you are when you buy something like this, the better the ‘cost-per-visit’ will be. Is 34 too old?!

Do you have annual passes for anywhere? Any recommendations? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Happy saving!


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