The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More on freebies & itinerary planning

A reader sent this note on my "freebies" post: “Thanks for the tip on how I can get my family free admission to the Huntington Museum of Art. How do you find these things? Better yet how can I find them?”

A lot of experience and research time is what I rely on. Over the years I’ve discovered that many public funded not for profit organizations will waive their admission/entrance fees on a specific day. This is generally for the normal collections and any special displays and/or events have a separate fee.

For starters I browse the venue’s website for admission information and if it’s not listed I’ll either send an email or make a phone call. I also like to visit the tourism website for the city/region I’ll be visiting. They often have preplanned itinerary and sightseeing suggestions; I’ll select the attractions from these then narrow in my focus.

Another cost saving idea to check with the place you’re planning on visiting and see if they’re a member of any associations or consortiums. For a fixed fee you can purchase a pass that will admit you to partner locales around the country or the globe.

For example Ashland, Kentucky’s Highlands Discovery Center ( has partnered with the Association of Science-Technology Centers ( and offers an ASTC Travel Passport program. Currently a Highlands family membership costs $58.00 a year and includes the ASTC benefits.

This passport program allows members to visit museums/science centers like Cincinnati’s Museums Center of Natural History and Science and COSI both in Columbus and Toledo Ohio. You'll discover partner places to visit across the USA and Canada.

Happy travels! Happy New Year!