Purchasing a membership is one way you can save, and still enjoy getting out of the house. Reciprocal memberships are memberships you can purchase to a museum, garden or other attraction that gives you the benefit of getting you into similar places.
For instance, this membership to The Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia grants you access to over 150 children’s museum in the US. No kids? No problem! There are memberships to gardens, botanical centers, science centers, etc. that may have the same benefits. Whatever your taste is you are sure to find some kind of museum or attraction that offers admission to other local, national or worldwide places.
You will often get FREE admission, but check with the organizing body, like the American Horticultural Society’s website. With a little digging you may be able to find a less expensive membership to a reciprocal museum or garden at some other location for less than you would spend on your local museum. I personally would rather support my local museums or gardens even if it means spending a few extra dollars.
We have used this tip time and time again to a huge cost savings. I would estimate we’ve saved over $1,000 in the last 5 years. This was a HUGE savings when we traveled to Baltimore last year with the kids. We got into the Children’s Museum, and the Science Center for FREE! It saved us over $200 in admission fees.
Learn more: Use Membership Rewards For Holiday Shopping
My favorite part of using these memberships though is it gives us something constructive to do with our time, and memberships force us to get out of the house and go DO something more often.
Don’t forget to do the math! With 6 people a membership usually pays for itself pretty quickly, like our recent trip to the Philadelphia Zoo. We would have paid $106 plus parking, but instead I bought and printed out our membership for $99 which included free parking. We’re planning on heading back this month, so we’ll have saved over $100 in just 2 trips!
Tip: If you are traveling a lot with kids these Mabel’s Labels Bag Tags are a very handy and easy way to tell which ones are yours. Plus, they have great labels for anything you can think of!
Is a membership worth my money?
Here’s a simple way to figure out how many trips it will take to make membership worth your money.
$ cost of tickets x # of people= $ cost for 1 visit
$10 x 4= $40
$ cost of membership/ $ cost for 1 visit=#of visits to pay for membership (round up)
$100/$40= 3 (rounded up)
I hope you find this tip helpful! If you do I would appreciate it if you would pass it on. (there are links at the bottom of the post for you to share with various social media tools)
If you have memberships, what memberships do you have, and do they offer reciprocal membership?
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