When I was in college, my friends laughed at my coupon-clipping mother when she bought me an expensive dress for a wedding. “She saves money on cans of tuna, then buys you that dress?” they said.
It made perfect sense to me. Save money when you can, and spend it where you want. So when I travel, I’ll find the cheapest coach fare available, even if it means leaving for the airport in the pre-dawn hours. And I often take my own food onboard. But then I can justify buying that one-of-a-kind handcrafted necklace in Santa Fe.
That’s why I love the CityPASS, a discount coupon booklet available in 12 cities.
Purchase the CityPASS for your destination, which is good for nine days from the first time you use it. They are good for several attractions, and in some cases, for transportation. For example, in San Francisco, the pass includes unlimited transportation for seven days on cable cars, buses and all Muni trolleys.
You’ll save money.
That’s the prime reason many people purchase these popular discount booklets. On my recent trip to Chicago, a CityPASS booklet was $98. If I had purchased entrance fees separately, I would have spent $207.95.
I could save 53 percent on entrance fees to five attractions per person. My husband and I could use that $200+ in savings to go out to dinner. Or maybe even do a little shopping on the Miracle Mile.
The funniest part of my whole experience of standing on top of the world at Chicago’s Skydeck were the comments people posted on Facebook after I put my photo on there. It seems I was giving people virtual panic attacks. A few questioned my sanity and asked if I was Photoshopped. I also seemed to cause some uncomfortable bodily responses:
“Jan you are making my feet tingle and knees shake!” and “My butt cheeks tingled when I saw this picture. Ack! Scary! Step away from the edge!” My college roommate wrote, “Just looking at this picture terrifies me! Get down from there!”
I will admit the experience was a little frightening. And I wasn’t about to do headstands on the Ledge as one brave young lady did. But the views were magnificent and I spent quite a bit of time walking all the way around to view every angle of Chicago.
The experience at Skydeck starts by taking a 60-second elevator ride up 103 stories. From there you are free to explore and while you don’t have to walk out on one of the Ledges’s glass boxes that extend out 4.3 feet, it’s worth it for the experience of looking straight down. And of course taking a photo (way overpriced at $33 for two) that makes your friends’ hearts leap and butt cheeks tingle. But that, as they say, is priceless.
SkyDeck is open 365 days a year. Tickets are $18 for adults; $23.50 if you add an audio tour. I had a CityPASS that includes a Fast Pass ticket to Skydeck, which gave me a discount and saved me from waiting in a really long line.