Thursday, 8 November 2018

How to go to the zoo for less than £1

I love a day out but days out can be expensive. Especially the zoo. Every time I go I am shocked by how much they are asking for. Recently I found a life hack that enabled me to visit the zoo for just 45p (or 90p for two people) rather than the £25 entrance fee I'd normally have to pay. How you ask? Read on to find out!


The life hack in question was using Tesco's Clubcard Voucher exchange here. If you shop at Tesco regularly, make sure you sign up for a Tesco Clubcard here to collect points on every shop. Because trust me, they do add up. I belong to several loyalty cards schemes and Tesco's Clubcard is up there as one of the best.

Years back I bought one of my first iPhones through Tesco and the points I earned were INSANE. From that one purchase, I made so many amazing memories with days out, travels, dinner dates and so on (and obviously had the phone's camera to capture it all with!) Nowadays I have a Tesco credit card meaning I can build up my Tesco points even when I'm shopping in other stores outside of Tesco. Recently I bought a new sofa from DFS here so I'm due a massive payout!

HOW TO USE TESCO CLUBCARD VOUCHER EXCHANGE

Log into your Clubcard account here and click "spend vouchers"

You will then be presented with a list of categories that - at the time of writing this -  include "travel", "eating out", "fun" "home & essentials" and "lifestyle".



For fun days out, click "fun" to find further categories to choose from:



In my case, I opted for "days out" where you can choose from a vast selection of theme parks, castles and wildlife parks. To refine your results, select by "category" and / or "region".




We wanted to visit a zoo, but not London Zoo as we've done that one a lot and fancied a change. We managed to find a suitable zoo that wasn't too far away.


CONVERT YOUR VOUCHERS

At the time of writing this, the offer on the Tesco website was that 50p of Tesco vouchers translated to £1.50 in credit to spend towards your zoo ticket. So if you need £60 to cover your family ticket to the zoo, you would need to convert £20 in Tesco vouchers.

It's always worth checking the conversion rates on the Tesco Clubcard website as recently they changed some of the offers from tripling the worth of Tesco vouchers to doubling them. I think I got in there just before the changeover, but the vouchers we converted meant that we only had to pay 90p at the gate - bargain!

THE ZOO IN QUESTION

I hadn't been to Whipsnade Zoo since I was little, and I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of space they had there. With some zoos, it can almost feel a little claustrophobic and like the animals don't have adequately sized enclosures. Located near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, at Whipsnade the enclosures were generously sized and it didn't feel like the animals were as confined as some other zoos. The brown bears enclosure was huge, and the elephant paddock was something else.

WHIPSNADE PARKING

If you ever visit Whipsnade, wear sensible walking shoes and prepare for a lot of walking! For the elderly or less able, Whipsnade does offer parking spaces around the zoo, however you do have to pay for this privilege. This is currently £25. Otherwise parking is free if you park outside the zoo. It's not a long walk to the entrance, but it's advisable to get there early so you're not parked further away in the overflow (field!)

WHIPSNADE FOOD OPTIONS

As with any other tourist hot-spot. extras like ice creams were extortionately priced. I don't think I've ever spent so much on ice cream.. but then we made the error of going on one of the hottest days of the year so far.


There were plenty of food options, including River Cottage in the most incredible setting. Food here was a little pricier and nothing took our fancy that day (I would love to try this next time though!) Instead we sat in the family restaurant and ordered chips as it was far too hot to eat anything more.


The cafe was very tech forward and you ordered your food on a tablet.


Just select what type of refreshment you are after / your meal choice


Saying that, I would be tempted to pack a picnic next time because look at these views


HIGHLIGHTS

Being shadowed by these guys. They followed me every direction I walked. Maybe I look like the keeper who feeds them?


Seeing the brown bears go for a dip. One of them was even smiling


These guys clowning about. And how nice is their backdrop?!


Seeing every day people being allowed to feed the giraffes. I've never been so up close to one before


A really nice butterfly house that one of Mr Curiouser and Curiouser's colleagues recommended to us. The house itself is a lot bigger than the London Zoo one, so feels less claustrophobic - however it is every bit as hot. We were there on one of the hottest days of the year, so didn't spend too long in there


My favourites.... ELEPHANTS. I love how they look like they're smiling


The monkeys frolicking in the sun


Birds of prey in flight. So majestic.


And finally this guy who looks like how I feel on Mondays


Next time you plan a day out - whether it's to Whipsnade zoo, another zoo or somewhere else entirely - do log into your Tesco account and see whether you can convert up vouchers for it. And if you don't have a Tesco clubcard, then what are you waiting for?! Get collecting those points!

Apologies in advance to all my international readers for a UK specific offer / life hack - hopefully the lifestyle day-at-the-zoo types pics are enough to pique your interest!

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