Monday, September 26, 2011

The 3 and under advantage

Before Tristan turned two years old, we took full advantage of traveling. We went absolutely no where until he was 18 months old though. At 18 months, we felt he was well behaved enough to take out more in general. We went to both France and Mexico and he was free for both trips. If your child is under 2, they fly for free. It's a sweet deal really :) Because he didn't eat much, the cost of food was almost nothing and every place we visited was also free for him. Train rides were free, bus rides were free, admission to the zoo was free, and any buffet we went to was free. Of course if Tristan wasn't with us, we wouldn't be going to the zoo to start with but you get the idea :)

Once a child turns 2, things change. Tristan is 2 1/2 and turning 3 in a couple of months so he is still free for most things. The big difference is air travel. There are rarely any child rates anymore so he pays the same price as an adult. That is huge! That is something like $1000 to fly for him! Not only that but a lot of vacation tour activities now require a child rate or adult rate for him to attend. Can you imagine paying an adult rate for a 2 year old dinner cruise or Mother's Day buffet? Crazy! So this is how we are going about choosing what to do with him. We look at all the activities we want to do and then we favor the ones where he can still go for free. Some times the child rate is only a few dollars less than the adult rate, which is ridiculous. We figure at this young age, he won't remember a lot of what he is experiencing anyway. For instance, we would rather pay $200 for a helicopter ride for him when he is 5 years old than pay for it now.

2 used to be our goal for doing a lot of things with him but now we're paying a lot of attention to 3. The fact is, besides air travel, 3 and under is a huge advantage. A lot of the tourist attractions such as the Vancouver Zoo do not require any admission fee for children 2 and under. The Vancouver Aquarium is free for children 3 and under. Tristan has already been to the aquarium but we are definitely going to go back a couple more times before he turns 4! The zoo will be new so we're aiming to hit that in the next month or so. Some activities are free for 3 and under but being under 3 allows you to go to most places for free. At Confederation Park, kids 2 and under ride the miniature train for free. Maybe 3 is free too. We just visited the Museum of Vancouver this past weekend and I noticed it was free for 4 and under. Children 4 and under also ride the skytrain and bus for free. Tristan is still free for a lot of meals at dinner cruises and buffets so we'll be hitting some of those too. Some cruises, dinner shows, and buffets actually give freebies to kids under 4 or 5. I mean how much can they eat, right? If your little kid is anything like our Tristan, eating off our plate is plenty!


Related Posts with Thumbnails