City Pass – An Easy Way to Save Time and Money on Vacation

What’s wrong with taking a summer vacation?  Well, for one, vacations can be expensive.  For two, once you get to your destination, you spend half of your time waiting in line to see what you want to see.  For three, well I could keep going on and on, but let’s focus on problems one and two.

One way to solve both of those problems is to purchase a City Pass for your next trip.  City Pass saves you a large chunk of change for top attractions in major cities, and the best part is you usually get to skip the lines to get in.

We are City Pass veterans, having used the pass in Chicago, Seattle, New York, and Boston.  Here is the listing of all the cities where City Pass is available:

Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern CA, Tampa Bay, and Toronto

Our Experience using City Pass in Chicago

Chicago skyline

The Chicago skyline.

Our Chicago City Pass gained us entrance to 5 attractions.  We were able to check out the Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, Field Museum, Art Institute, and the Museum of Science and Industry.

We used the Chicago City Pass last summer and saved $113 per adult ticket and $95 per kid ticket, over the amount we would have paid at each attractions ticket counter.  Plus for some attractions, we could use the express or VIP line for entrance.

Last summer, while leaving the Shedd Aquarium, the ticket line was out the front door, down the steps, and down the sidewalk.  It was also about 90 degrees and sunny outside.  Talk about being miserable.  That day, VIP entry would be essential!

Shedd Aquarium entrance

See the awning in the background? That’s where the line was when we left!

Some of the attractions include special exhibits or extras along with your City Pass admission.  This is always a nice surprise!  We’ve seen an exhibit at the Field Museum that was fun for the kids, and we could check out an audio tour at the Art Institute the last time we visited.

Audio tour at Art Institute

Always learning!

One of the negatives about the City Pass is that for some cities there is too much to do, so you have to choose between two attractions when using your City Pass.  For example, in Chicago you can use your pass at the Art Institute or the Adler Planetarium.  Not both.

Art Institute

The grand entrance to the Art Institute.

Also, don’t buy your City Pass if you aren’t sure you are going to visit all or almost all of the attractions on the pass.  You’ll have to price out your tickets to do what saves the most money.

One More Way to Save Some Money

Once you decide to purchase a City Pass, you need to do one more thing first.  You need to go through an online shopping portal for an additional savings on your pass.  Currently the best cash back portals are Top Cash Back and Upromise.  The cash back is 5-6%, which could be worth a breakfast or at least a nice coffee drink!

If you have a summer vacation that takes you to a city that City Pass covers, you could save some big money!  Do your research and have a good trip!

Where did you use your City Pass?



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