Do you hate standing in line?
Nothing is a more significant waste of time than standing around in a queue waiting to do something. We only get 24 hours in a day. And your time is the only thing you truly own. Do you really want to spend it standing in line?
Nope, not me! Especially in my off time. Standing in line not only wastes my valuable time but it also reduces the quality of my experience. My feet start to hurt, I get thirsty, sometimes sunburned, and finally, by the time I’m doing the thing I was standing in line for, I’m tired and cranky.
So, today I’m sharing with you the things David and I do to stop wasting time in tickets lines. Instead, we spend more time doing the things we want to do.
1. Buy Advance Tickets
Just like with a dinner reservation, booking tickets in advance reduces the amount of time you waste in line. But don’t think that buying in advance will get you completely out of standing in line though. It means you stand in line with other advance ticket holders. BUT the advance ticket lines are ALWAYS shorter than the regular ticket-buying line. AND you gain entry before the “regular” people.
When buying advance tickets, book the first slot of the day. Then arrive a little early, and you’ll better your chances to gain entry with the least amount of people. Once through the door, go straight to the most favorite part of the attraction first.
In most cases, advanced tickets come with a cost, ranging in $3 to $5 per ticket. That’s a nominal price compared to standing in line for over an hour (or more) at favorite events and attractions. Your time is worth so much more.
Now there are times when buying advanced tickets aren’t worth the added fee. During the offseason, weekdays, or early or late in the day, most attractions won’t need advanced tickets. During the primary season, weekends, or extremely popular sights, pay the fees, and not wasting time in ticket lines.
2. City Pass Tickets
City pass tickets always include “skip the line” entry to all covered events and sights. Do keep in mind, that doesn’t mean you won’t stand in any line. You could stand in line with all the other city pass ticket holders, but usually, the lines are much shorter. Also, city pass tickets are only worth the money if you see enough of the included sights.
Three to four of the most expensive attractions equal the full cost of the ticket. See those and everything you see and do at that point is a bonus because it’s free. Plus, most city passes include the added value of unlimited public transportation access as well.
3. Go at the Right Time
Prime season, weekends, and midmorning to midafternoon are the most popular times that people visit events and attractions. Visiting during the offseason, weekdays, or early mornings and late afternoons often reduces your queue time.
Also, don’t forget to make sure your planned event is open. It’s a massive waste of time to show up, and the event or attraction is closed. Globally, many museums and historical sites close on Mondays, but not all. So, just remember to check ahead when planning.
4. Book a Tour
Guided tours are always more expensive than standing in line. BUT the benefits of a tour often outweigh the extra costs, especially at top-rated attractions. Often guided tours give you access to areas where regular ticket holders can’t go. Plus, you get to skip the entry lines. And your gain your guide’s insight and tidbits of information about the place you’re visiting.
The Pristine Sistine Tour with Walks of Italy allowed us into the Sistine Chapel one hour before it opened to the public. We saw the Chapel with only around 100 people in the room. It was so full several hours later; you couldn’t move in the Sistine Chapel without bumping into someone. And we didn’t spend three-plus hours standing in line to get into the Vatican first thing in the morning. Instead, we skipped the line and walked right in with our tour guide.
If you’re planning to book more than one tour, try booking all with one company because most companies offer bundle discounts of 10% or more off the regular price when you buy more than one tour. Also, check Groupon and Living Social for special deals on tours.
I hope so because it means you’ll be spending more time enjoying yourself and stop wasting time in ticket lines.
And don’t forget to combine the tips. David and I saw Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery with less than 20 people in the room. All because we bought advance weekday tickets for the first time slot of the day and arrived early, going straight to see the David first. An hour later, you could not move around the room and hall before it without bumping someone. We used the same techniques to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris.
When you’re deciding whether to spend extra money or stand in line, do a little research. Travel bloggers and reviewer sites share tips on how long wait times are at popular attractions. Then consider what your time is worth and how much time you’ll waste in line. In most cases, a little planning, timing, and a few extra dollars can vastly improve your experience. And you’ll stop wasting time in ticket lines. The decision all comes down to “what’s your time worth to you?”