What to Know Before Getting a Gift Membership or Season Pass

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This gift-giving season, gift memberships are a popular present, but before you buy, stop. Though it may seem like a great gift, you could find that membership backfires on you or the recipient. You’ll need to do some research before purchasing a season pass or gift membership this holiday season. Some planning before your purchasing will ensure that you and your family and friends have a happy holiday season.

Season Passes

A season pass to a theme park or a museum gift membership keep giving all year long

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

If you intend to gift someone a park season pass for a theme park, water park, or Texas State parks, consider a few things before you purchase it. You need to see the dates the pass will cover. Will the person be able to use it just for next year? Are there blackout dates? Look for restrictions on any guests the person is allowed to bring. Some passes grant days when the owner can bring a guest, while others don’t. Of course, double check that you are purchasing a pass for the correct park. For instance, if you know someone in San Antonio, you likely want to get a Fiesta Texas pass for that person rather than a pass for Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. Lastly, see if the season pass covers parking or if that requires a separate purchase. For Six Flags parks, season passes require an upgrade to include parking, which costs more than a base pass.

Zoo and Museum Gift Memberships

A season pass to a theme park or a museum gift membership keep giving all year long

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Zoo and museum memberships are ideal educational gifts for individuals and families. But, many museums and zoos have their own rules governing their memberships. First, see how many people a gift membership will admit. Some allow the membership owner and a guest in each time, but others require a separate ticket for guests. Check to see if the zoo or museum membership includes any other affiliate institutions. Sometimes, a membership gets the owner discounted or free admission into other museums or zoos across the country. This doubles the benefits for travelers. If you intend to purchase a gift membership for a family, see how many it allows. Some only allow two adults and two children, but if you want to give to a larger family, you may have to upgrade the pass.

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