Bucket List, Half-Off

25 07 2013

My husband and I are adventure-seekers. We love heights, hiking, camping, running races, amusement parks, and traveling, but we often find our time and budget for such excursions limited now that we’re juggling our full-time jobs and a baby. This is why I love sites like Groupon and LivingSocial* (even though I don’t always agree with company choices, I’ll admit). Sometimes, I just delete the emails without reading them, but every once and awhile I come across a gem. When I know we’re going on vacation, I usually subscribe to that city’s LivingSocial deals just until we go on our trip. That’s how we scored a hot air balloon ride over the Vegas Strip as part of our trip out to the Grand Canyon for only half of the normal price. Wind conditions were not ideal during our trip, so the ride was canceled, and If we had booked through the balloon company, we would not have gotten our money back. Since we booked through LivingSocial, however, we were able to get a full refund, which we used to purchase a helicopter tour over the Canyon, instead. (And a benefit of being the smallest adult was riding in the cockpit with the pilot!)

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Some of the specialized themed races often come up on LivingSocial – the mud runs, color runs, and obstacle courses seem to pop up almost every week, so my husband and I were able to do a Color Me Rad race for only half the original price. I ran this 5k when I was 8 months pregnant:

ImageOur most-recent LivingSocial half-off adventure this weekend was actually on my bucket list. I’ve always wanted to get stuck at the top of a roller coaster (revisiting a previous post) and walk down the steps. As it turns out, Busch Gardens now offers a Roller Coaster Insider Tour, where we got to enter the amusement park before it opened and tour the maintenance areas of all the coasters, even riding the maintenance trolley to the top of the Griffin coaster. The trolley only goes up so far, and then we got to walk up the remaining steps to the platform, 205 feet in the air. It was so awesome to be up so high, looking down on the nearly-empty park with just a leaf-blower or street-sweeper peppered throughout the grounds. It was pretty windy at the top, and our guide took as many pictures as we asked him to, which we received on a CD at the end of the tour, which ended up lasting 4 hours. A great deal!

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ImageI’m also a fan of photo deals (books, canvas wraps, etc.) and vouchers to local restaurants we want to try. What kind of deals have you scored on money-saving sites?

*not endorsing, not compensated for my thoughts…

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9 responses

25 07 2013
karenleahansen

I’m a former theme park employee and am totally geeking out over the Busch Gardens tour. Thanks for sharing, I need to add that to my bucket list!

26 07 2013
RunningMOMentum

Awesome! Busch had several different tours, but I definitely wanted this one! Hope you get to do it someday! 🙂

31 07 2013
karenleahansen

I think that behind the scenes tours really add a lot to the theme park experience. I’ve done several in Disney World and it’s usually the highlight of the vacation.

26 07 2013
elbranch

I’m always looking for good deals on photo books and canvas wraps. Where are the best places to purchase these?

26 07 2013
RunningMOMentum

I love the 8×8 Shutterfly photo books – they’re all the same size on my shelf. They send out email codes frequently, but I had a LivingSocial deal on the one I got this week. I also like Picaboo, although the Shutterfly pages and covers seem sturdier. MPix makes great-quality wrap-canvases.

27 07 2013
elbranch

Thank you! I will have to check them out!! You always find the best deals!!

21 01 2014
2014 Disney Marathon Weekend Recap 4: Running a Marathon! | Running MOMentum

[…] ridden. I planned to scope out the line when I got to it and decide at that point. (Remember my Roller Coaster Insider Tour? I love roller coasters but was afraid that it would add way too much time to my run!) The FastPass […]

21 04 2014
Gallivanting around Busch Gardens | Running MOMentum

[…] Run for the Dream). We also had free roller coaster Quick Queue passes that we picked up from our Roller Coaster Insider Tour last summer, which let us cut to the front of any coaster line. I couldn’t use mine in my […]

6 07 2014
Three decades | Running MOMentum

[…] experiences | Helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon, hiked Arches National Park, rode a segway around Chicago with my best friend, did a handstand on […]

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