One way to decrease travel entertainment expenses is to become a member or apply for membership at a zoo, museum, or science centre.
Most of the time, one of the benefits of membership is free or heavily discounted admission to other zoos, museums or science centres in Canada and the US.
See What You Want, When You Want
Reciprocal memberships offers families flexibility when they travel.
Inclement weather may force your family to stay indoors and having a museum membership allows you to spend a few hours at the museum without having to pay a lot of money (or in some cases any money).
You can work around your children’s nap schedules and you don’t have to feel bad for not seeing and doing everything in hopes of maximizing your money.
It is definitely more relaxing and less stressful to travel with young children this way – I’m speaking from experience and am learning how to change my Type A travel planning ways! 😉
This is especially true when you are offered free admission by a reciprocal facility. You can walk in and see things at your own pace, take a break and come back later. Or a few days later!
Reciprocal Membership Lists from Around the Web
- Canadian Science Centres
- Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC)
- Association of Children’s Museums
- Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Travel Tips for Families with Reciprocal Memberships
- Along with the sites mentioned above, double check with the facility you have membership with for a list of places where you can get free or discounted admission before leaving on your trip.
- Check with the out of town facility you are planning on visiting to make sure they will honour the reciprocal benefit.
- Make sure you pack you current membership card and ID as the reciprocal facility will not be able to look up your membership in their system.
Do you make use of reciprocal membership benefits while you travel?
*This post is part of Travel Tips Tuesday on Walking On Travels and Suitcases and Sippy Cups.
That’s pretty cool. I didn’t even know that existed. The closest I’ve ever gone to it is to get an annual pass that covers different attractions that exist throughout Germany that have one owner.
Yes, I didn’t know such things existed until I became a parent and started travelling with our babies ;). Maybe there is a different setup in Germany and they have something similar? I know reciprocal memberships are very popular in North America.
Andrea, Passports And Pushchairs says
Reciprocal memberships are fantastic, we love them. Even if it isn’t free the discounted admission is helpful!
Yes! I agree Andrea. Most offer at least 50% off and that is really helps keep costs down.
We love our reciprocal membership! It definitely pays for itself. Thanks for sharing.
I never really thought about reciprocal memberships until now. We travel frequently now and know that our kids love museums, science centres and zoos so it definitely makes sense for us to invest in some memberships. Thanks for hosting, Jessica!
Victoria Ess says
Wow, I didn’t know these existed, and this will save us some money when we travel.
It’s definitely a great way to save money if your family is into those types of attractions!
Sally@Toddlers on Tour says
This is great advice our local zoo reciprocates with many zoos around the world. This year My son and I joined our local Science museum there are benefits all over the globe. So not only can we get discount when we travel but we have day trips organised throughout the year.
I love that you can save all over the globe. Reciprocal memberships definitely help when travelling with little ones because they have something to look forward to when they’re away from home!