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Ten top theme park travel tips for 2010

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Published: January 14, 2010 at 12:27 PM

I waited a couple weeks to run this because I didn't want it to get lost in the New Year's rush. Plus, I wanted to remind Theme Park Insider readers that we've got a great travel tips section where you can vote on (and submit) tips such as these.

If you've found these tips helpful, vote in favor of them. If you don't work for you, vote no. That way, the best of these tips will make it to the top of the list, where they belong.

So... here are 10 of my favorite travel tips that I hope Theme Park Insider readers will find useful during their vacations and week-end getaways this year:

1. Travel lightly - pack no more than one bag per person. If you are flying, make it a carry-on. If you are driving, make it a soft-sided bag, such as a duffel, so that you can fit it in the trunk more easily. (We did a 33-day road trip last summer holding to this standard, so surely you can do it for a one-week vacation!)

2. Have everyone in your family take off their shoes on an airplane. (Wear socks, though!) You'll all be more comfortable sitting in the pressurized cabin and your kids won't kick any seatbacks without their shoes on, either. (Vote on this tip.)

3. Bring plastic grocery bags to use as trash sacks in the car on road trips. (Vote on this tip.)

4. Eat in local restaurants, avoiding national chains whenever you can. It will help make your vacation a more special experience. Use rating services such as Yelp or ask on the Theme Park Insider discussion board for names of good restaurants around the theme parks you'll be visiting.

5. Two people can split most meals on vacation. You'll save money, avoid leftovers and save calories, too! (Vote on this tip.)

6. Always buy your attraction tickets and print them in advance. You can shop for the best deal online, and avoid lines at the front gate. (Vote on this tip.)

7. Give kids a fixed amount of spending money before going to a park. (Or have them earn it.) This way, you'll avoid whining and begging over souvenirs. (Vote on this tip.)

8. Take a photo of where you park (at either the airport or the theme park) with your cell phone or digital camera. That way you won't forget where your car is. (Vote on this tip.)

9. If you buy souvenirs before the end of the day, many parks offer a free package check service to store what you buy, without having to rent a locker. That way you can keep riding without having to worry about your stuff. (Vote on this tip.)

10. If you decide that you want to come back to the park you're visiting, look into upgrading your ticket to a multi-day or annual pass before you leave. Almost all parks will allow you to apply the cost of that day's ticket to the new pass. (Vote on this tip.)

Readers' Opinions

From Joshua Counsil on January 14, 2010 at 9:26 PM
I gotta disagree with the Travel Lightly tip. And, go figure, it's the only one without a voting link.

I am not a fan of this light travel trend. I try and pack lightly, but how can one possibly fit two weeks worth of clothes into a carry-on bag, especially if your room does not include laundry? Not to mention you can't buy much in advance to save you money, like sunscreen, and therefore must pay more at the destination.

I'd rather have a minor inconvenience at the airport than worry about laundry or shopping for things I should have had in advance.

From Anthony Murphy on January 15, 2010 at 6:28 AM
The best tip list I have seen on the site!

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