Friday, December 27, 2013

The London Pass - To buy or not

By Mark Fitzgerald

Of all of the city passes that I have seen - London Pass seems the most complete, useful and worthwhile pass. The question is will I buy one or not. My original analysis was yes - but it depends on a lot of things.

First Benefit - skip the lines. This is an interesting one. In the summer the lines at many of these attractions can be overwhelming. Where we plan to visit in the early spring, it may not be as big of an issue. Also at many of these venues if you buy online you get the same benefit.

Second Benefit - you have prepaid for everything and it will save you money. When we first laid out where we were going to go and what we were going to do, we had about twice as many destinations. It easily paid for itself. But when we started to add in travel time, length of visit, etc., we started pulling out attractions and the prices started to match up.

You add in that we are going as a family and many pricing options open up. For example Windsor Castle for 2 adults is £35.50. For a family it is £46.50. We have also looked at getting year memberships for things like Historic Royal Palaces and Imperial War Museums. These memberships get you admission into all of their properties for a little more than the cost of one visit.

Ahh but the Pass hasn't necessarily lost. They have in the past discounted the purchase during off peak season. A 10% discount can go a long way. It is something that we will just have to watch for.

Third Benefit - discounts at select venues. This would be like 15% off the Medieval Banquet. This sounds great - but there are other ways to get discounts, sometimes more. It just depends on how much preparation you do.

We will have two itineraries - one if we have the pass, one if don't. As we get closer, if we can get a off peak discount, we will likely get the pass.

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