Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Where are my fellow cheap a**es at?
Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest
Discuss theme parks, roller coasters, and mules!
Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 13140
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Location: The bar
Gender: Male
Age: 30

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:31 am

You weren't pulled over for that anyway. You were pulled over because Holiday World is in the middle of bumblef*ck nowhere and the cops are probably bored.

We drive a ton and I've never really noticed an increase in how often I get pulled over with out of state plates, but it's always a sh*tshow when it happens. I had a similar situation happen to me in Virginia where they told me that a bottle of Tums in the trunk was suspicious because a lot of drug runners swallow drugs in bags and use antacids to settle their stomach. An hour and 3 police cars later after a full pat down, a search of the vehicle, a good cop, bad cop thing where the good cop wanted to have an in depth conversation about Alex Rodriguez using steroids and threats that I was coming in for a full body cavity search they let me go when they realized they had absolutely nothing. They never told me why they actually pulled me over. :lol:

Now we have PBA cards. Even out of state those things are great. I don't really get pulled over that much anymore now that I stopped driving a red Dodge Neon with a spoiler on it (Dodge put it there... IDFK. It came with the car, I'm not some "Fast and the Furious" a**hole). That screamed "I'm a kid, pull me over". I don't want to hate on cops because most of them are great, but there are definitely some of them that have driven me insane and every single time it's in some bumblef*ck town where they have nothing to do.

Interestingly enough I never got pulled over in my first car, a purple (lol) $500 96 Neon. I always joked that if a cop pulled me over speeding I'd just laugh, hand him the keys and ask him to take it for a joy ride.That would be enough to prove my innocence. What a slow piece of sh*t. :lol:

... anyway, what were we talking about?
Last edited by coasterbill on Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:41 am.

This B&M donkey is so smooth!
User avatar
 
Posts: 139
Joined: 23 Oct 2017
Location: Greensboro, NC
Gender: Male
Age: 45

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby hoppedup » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:40 am

I always book rental cars through Hotwire. I have paid as little as $9.95 a day and never over $20 (GSO airport, YMMV). I have even gotten a mid-size under $20 a day. I also play around with the dates before I book by adding or shifting days. On a recent trip, I added a day to the rental and the overall price dropped. My truck has over 200,000 miles and gets about 17 mpg so the savings in gas more than pays for the rental. I have done hotels through Hotwire occasionally and did some research on other sites to figure out the hotel in advance by looking at rating and amenities.

I use Wyndham and Choice rewards. If I am certain of itinerary I often pay in advance with Wyndham and get another 20% off. My two trips this summer will be somewhat flexible so I won't do that. I have found cancellation policies to be mostly generous and allow same day cancellations up to 6 p.m.

A zonkey is a cross between a zebra and a donkey.
User avatar
 
Posts: 581
Joined: 27 Nov 2012
Location: alabama
Gender: Male
Age: 43

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby The Geek Mojo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:21 am

I am a fellow cheap A$$. I like to stay in nice hotels, but I shop like crazy online to get the best deals I can find. I use Hotels.com the most and now am a gold member so I get huge discounts and free nights through them. I also hate to fly cause it costs too much. I have a rule, if I can get there in less than 15 hours driving...I'll drive. But if I do fly, I also shop like crazy to find the best deals I can find online. I flew my wife and I to Cancun and back home for $600 total last month...I thought that was pretty reasonable. Traveling is the way I find to save money the most. I always drive over night and party during the day. Less traffic, means less gas...Also people in the car are usually asleep and not asking for food...So less money spent there too. So it's nothing for me to drive 12 hours and then spend another 12 hours at a park...Just get some good sleep before you start the journey and buy a six pack of 5 hour energy too. Back in February, I went nearly 48 hours without sleep driving to Daytona Beach and then to SeaWorld. I just got my sleep on the beach. Squeeze as much as you can into a 3 day weekend and you'll have a hell of a trip. Of course you'll be dead when you get home, but that's my system. Another thing is always buy annual passes...A small dollar amount each month is so much better than forking over tons of cash when you get ready to visit the park. I think I pay $3.50 a month for my Six Flags pass...And the only way to get one that cheap is cancel after your 12 month agreement is up. They'll ask you twice to keep it and offering a discount each time...But the third time is their last offer. Take that one! I wish other parks did this, but currently Six Flags is the only chain that begs you to stay. Lastly, one of my biggest secrets is Ticketsatwork.com ... I love my job for this...It gives me discounts on tickets to just about anything world wide...Parks, Shows, Events, Car Rentals, Hotels, Flights, etc...Just about anything. It helps! I used the hell out of ticketsatwork.com when I last visited New York City. Ask if your employer offers this benefit...And if they don't...Ask them why the hell not?!

Donkeys are my way of life!
 
Posts: 514
Joined: 07 Sep 2014
Location: New Lenox, IL
Gender: Male
Age: 34

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby RaceBoarder » Mon May 28, 2018 8:34 am

For those of you that are rewards members, does CHOICE or any other hotel chain have anything going on right now?

Going to Kings Island and Cedar Point at the end of July and it will be one of those 3 hotels in 3 nights kind of trips.... Looking at the Cincinnati area for Thur. July 26, Findlay, OH, Friday July 27th and then Breakers on July 28th. Just trying to milk what I can out of the 1st two nights since the 3rd night costs $TEXAS :lmao:

Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 4129
Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Location: Shelby Twp, Mi
Gender: Male
Age: 45

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby thrillrider » Mon May 28, 2018 9:30 am

We travel quite a bit, and here are just a couple of things we do to save a few bucks.

We use Hotels.com to book our hitels. They always have sime kind of decent deals, and every 10 nights, you get a free night.

When traveling east or anyplace that has a bunch of toll roads, it's worth it to invest in an eazy pass. Not only will you save $$$, but it's also faster at most toll plazas.

It's without saying that season passes to park chains like six flags is another way to save a ton of loot. Add in the dinning plan if you can as well. The dinning plan will save you money and time for not having to leave the park to eat. Most park chains have a payment program as well.

Another thing you can do is, months before your trip start buying gift cards. This is a good way to pay for some of the costs ahead of time. Every state has a McDonald's, so that's a good one to get. Gas cards can be a great thing, but just make sure that they have locations along your route.

If you are visiting an independent park, check to see if there are any online deals. Some of the smaller parks have an afternoon pass that could be half the cost of a full day ticket as well. Club TPR has a TON of discounts on park tickets, and the cost of joining is much less than what you can save on tickets in a lot of classes. The only downside to buying tickets in advance is the weather factor. So just be careful and check the weather in advance.

If your visiting multiple parks in the same chain, a refillable drink cup could save you tons. Six flags has drink cup holders on most of there ride platforms, so you don't have to get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo for it. Cedar fair parks will more than likely make you get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. If you don't drink pop, most parks will give you a free cup of ice water at food stands.(except for adventureland).

One last thing about hotels. It is almost always cheaper to stay at a hotel that is not near the amusement park. So if you are traveling to several different parks, it can save you $$$ if you stay 20 miles down the road.
Image
341 steel coasters
114 wood coasters

Obsessive Overlord of the TPR Park Index
 
Posts: 17642
Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Location: Staten Island, New York
Gender: Male
Age: 51

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby larrygator » Mon May 28, 2018 12:16 pm

If you are renting a car, always check off-airport locations. You are paying a premium using the airport location since they have 24/7 overhead costs. But make sure the location is open when you are traveling and see if they offer airport passenger pick-up and drop-off. If not consider using Uber/Lyft before regular car/taxi service. Last year I could not get a rental from O'Hare for less than $500 a week, an off-site Hertz, allowed me to rent for $210. Uber from airport to Hertz was $30 each way. Flat fee, a cab wanted $65 one way from the airport.

In you have to fly in and out of two different airports to save $100-$200 per ticket do it, but if your rental car company wants to charge an exorbitant fee for dropping off at a different airport, drop off at the original airport and Uber between airports.

Florida does not have rental cars drop off fees between locations in Florida. Provides flexibility in seeking the best airfare.

Airport parking - never park for more than 7 days if you can get a combination of rides from friends/Uber to the airport.

For my next trip to California I decided to try Airbnb. I'll be spending less than $40 per night, versus an average of $65 per night that I could have saved after perusing all discount sites.

If you gamble at Harrah's properties and have a players card, they are very liberal about offering free nights when you try to book online the first time. If you continue to try booking, but did not gamble on a prior visit they will only offer a discounted rate the next time. The casinos are not always perfect hubs for multiple night stays but may be along your route between two parks.

For smaller non-chain parks (always search "park name" "discounts") as local retailers may have discounts not on the park website, also search for "customer appreciation days" many small parks have them towards the end of summer with discounted tickets, but the offer is not easily found on the park websites.
Last edited by larrygator on Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:08 pm.
As usual, my analysis is free of charge!
Original enough to not steal someone else's quote as a signature

Image
Image

Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 13140
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Location: The bar
Gender: Male
Age: 30

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Thu May 31, 2018 4:43 am

RaceBoarder wrote:For those of you that are rewards members, does CHOICE or any other hotel chain have anything going on right now?

Going to Kings Island and Cedar Point at the end of July and it will be one of those 3 hotels in 3 nights kind of trips.... Looking at the Cincinnati area for Thur. July 26, Findlay, OH, Friday July 27th and then Breakers on July 28th. Just trying to milk what I can out of the 1st two nights since the 3rd night costs $TEXAS :lmao:


Ugh, sorry... you JUST missed “Stay Twice Get a Free Night” which is their best promotion of the year. Wyndham is running a similar but infinitely sh*ttier promotion but it ends before your trip also (its sh*ttier because with Choice you can do it an unlimited amount of times as opposed to just once).

If you don’t want to pay for a hotel room, the best thing to do is to get this. If you can hit the minimum spend in one month, those points will post to your account well in advance of your trip. 32,000 points is enough for up to 5 free nights (it says 4 but it can actually be more than that in the Midwest as rooms commonly go for 6000 points. You’ll also have at least 34,000 points, not 32,000 since you’ll get the points from hitting that spend.

I know some people freak out when you mention credit cards, but this one is one of my daily spenders. Plus, it had no annual fee so I mean... why not? No annual fee and you get 5 free hotel rooms.

Challenge me at Donkey Kong...I dare ya!
User avatar
 
Posts: 878
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Location: Queens, NY
Gender: Male
Age: 37

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coneyislandchris » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:31 am

coasterbill wrote:
RaceBoarder wrote:For those of you that are rewards members, does CHOICE or any other hotel chain have anything going on right now?


Ugh, sorry... you JUST missed “Stay Twice Get a Free Night” which is their best promotion of the year. Wyndham is running a similar but infinitely sh*ttier promotion but it ends before your trip also (its sh*ttier because with Choice you can do it an unlimited amount of times as opposed to just once).

For what it's worth, that program has JUST restarted, but in a slightly misleading manner. The way they're advertising it is "Stay 2 nights, get a $50 gift card". What it REALLY is after reading the fine print is "Stay 2 nights, get 8,000 bonus points, which you can then redeem for a gift card of your choice OR NOT and just stockpile those bonus points in your account". It's running as of today through August 17th, and registration is required at https://www.choicehotels.com/deals/gift-card for Choice Privileges members.
That coaster dad [314] and that coaster kiddo [167]. Road trip buddies for life.
Dad's faves: Fury 325. Phantom's Revenge. Intimidator 305. El Toro. Skyrush.

Kiddo's faves: Apollo's Chariot. Wicked Cyclone. Twisted Timbers. Lightning Rod. Wild Eagle.

Why do I still have a donkey title???
User avatar
 
Posts: 13140
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Location: The bar
Gender: Male
Age: 30

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby coasterbill » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:56 am

Yeah, I just saw that and found it odd (though awesome).

So yeah... it can't help you on this particular trip but if you pay for 2 separate hotels those first 2 nights you'll get enough points for a free room in the future. Make sure you register for the promotion and then stay with them again before the points expire (or get the no-annual fee credit card which keeps them from expiring forever as long as you occasionally spend on it).

Note that you actually get the best return on this by staying in atrocious hotels, so weigh your affinity for saving money against your tolerance for crappy rooms. Whether you stay at 2 $40 a night rooms or 2 $150 a night rooms, you still get 8,000 points. The only difference would be a % bonus due to your status which would be on top of your 8,000 points.

But yeah, we love Choice. We just got back from a trip to Texas and stayed 5 nights, all at different Comfort Suites locations and didn't pay a dime thanks to milking the stay twice, get a free night promo.

I own the website www.donkey.com
User avatar
 
Posts: 835
Joined: 30 Nov 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Gender: Male
Age: 25

Re: Best Programs & Deals to Save Money on Coaster Trips

Postby joelwee » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:12 pm

If you're planning a trip to Kennywood and staying at Econo Lodge in Jefferson Hills, they sell Kennywood day tickets for $29.50.

(I didn't discover that until after I had already paid regular price.)
Image
Seat, don't fail me now!
2018 Trip Reports: Castles 'N' Coasters; Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

PreviousNext

Return to Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, & Donkeys!

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest

These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment,
Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.

All onride photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by a professional ride photographer.
For yours  and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at parks without proper permission.

Disclaimer!  You need a sense of humor to view our site, 
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back now!
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER!
There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13."
Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.

cron