Monday, November 08, 2010

Pass on the Pass

If you travel where you are bombarded with enticements to purchase a city pass with promises of great things like free transport, free or reduced entry to museums, and faboo discounts at restaurants, think 2 or 3 times before jumping the gun. I am very leery.

For years now, when asked, I have been steering those who want to know, not to buy the pass for this great city that I live in. I cannot be more expressive. The tourism office has a deal with journalists to aid them in getting access for free to some places, in exchange for a plug on the city pass. The only success they produced was entry to one of the baths, so my loyalty is tainted.

Apparently, I am not a black sheep in the pass up the pass when you travel field. Budget Travel magazine had a cost comparison for the Paris card for a grandmother and her 12 y.o. grandchild. In a nutshell, the Paris card does not give senior or child discounts, but student discounts could be had at every museum. Sure, you get to cut in line, but as it turned out, granny would be spending an additional 48 Euros for the 3 day card just for herself. For the youngster, there was a difference of 12 euros.

If you think about it, you really need to hustle to get your monies worth. There were only 2 cities where I calculated a savings after risking the purchase. Stockholm has incredibly expensive public transportation so with the card affording us free admission to the museums, it turned into a no brainer. Major savings! Oh, and the city is tre-faboo! It should be on everyones' wish list.

Our other adventure was in Edinburgh. The card did award us with cash best kept in our pockets, but with an exception. We ran our butts off to get from place to place to fill a day in order to maximize the card. Though I must say, we did see and do things we normally would not have spent the money on, like the Scotch Museum or the Optical Illusion Museum. We totally enjoyed both after gaining access with pass rooting us on. You go guys! You can do it. Get over to that Scotch Museum, it is free entry.  When we return to Edinburgh, forget it. Been there, done that, bought the bottle of scotch.
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