Reciprocal Benefits: More Bang For Your Travel Buck!

by Samantha Rice
Originally Published: 

Our family loves to take long weekends and travel to nearby cities. Reciprocity is the key to our travels.

At home, we visit our local zoo or science center a few times a year. In most cases, purchasing a family membership more than covers the costs of two visits. That isn’t the best part of a family membership to museums and zoos, because most of these educational centers offer reciprocal benefits.

From Cleveland, Ohio to Pittsburgh, PA we have enjoyed “free” admission to some of the best museums in the Midwest. Most of the museums reciprocal policies allow for two adults, and two to four children, to visit free. In some cases, the benefit is just a discount, but it is a worthwhile one. We’ve saved admission costs, enjoyed discounts at the restaurants and gift shop, and in some cases scored free parking. For our family of six, this often means a savings near $100.

The reciprocal benefits for zoos aren’t typically as generous. Most of the time, you can enjoy half-price admission, and on occasion, some zoos will offer free admission. The other benefits such as free parking, gift shop and food discounts usually still apply.

The zoo, history or science museums where you purchase your membership will provide a list of partner centers that offer free or discounted admission and other perks. The only caveat listed is the guest center must be 90-miles from the home membership. Before traveling, you can easily map out those cities and locate a museum or even zoo who shares those benefits.

The best part is the educational experiences we share as a family. Museums are great places to learn, but the best kept secret (I think) is that they are a great place for family fun too!

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