Grown-up Travel Tip: Jump the queues at the big sights

We’re in holiday mode here at Grown-up Travel Guide – as you read this post we’re exploring Sardinia in Italy with limited access to the internet to update the site. Still, rather than close up shop we delved into the archives and have dusted off some of the earliest articles published back when we were lucky to get 50 readers a day. So you may well have missed these, yet we consider them just as relevant and useful now so hopefully you’ll have something to tide you over before we return. Of course we’re still putting out daily photos and some new articles too – we’ve actually been abroad since last Thursday but scheduled the new stuff to automatically publish in our absence. See you in a couple of weeks!

Travel tip #3: Use a combination ticket to jump the queues

c AP

Image (c) AP

Sight-seeing takes time, and having to stand in line makes it take even longer. Happily there are ways round this for many of the major European destinations if you plan ahead a little and check out the online options.

Nice. Once again, the internet is your friend, right?

Precisely. Unfortunately not all of these places are as high-tech as they could be, and so it is vital that you check the procedure before you leave home. It may be necessary to print out tickets in advance where flashing a smartphone barcode is not yet an option.

Good idea – not many of us carry a printer around when traveling…

No, and getting a printout while abroad would be a whole new time-waster. Anyhow, some examples: if you are planning to visit Italy go to where you can buy advance tickets for many of the biggies like the Uffizi and the Vatican. You can also buy a seven-day Rome Archaeological card which grants access to nine attractions. For Paris click through to and you will find that you can get queue-free access to 60 museums – including all the major ones. They have 2, 4 and 6 day passes and you can visit each place as often as you want. The MadridCard gets you in to over 50 museums including the Prado and also includes other discounts for restaurants and shops.

Any more?

Too many to mention here, but we will be covering city cards in a separate article. These are more comprehensive and often include public transport as well as discounts and freebies. We´ve tested such cards in New York, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Berlin amongst others and will be reporting on which ones offer the best value for money.

Have you tried using one of these tickets? Do you have any other queue-avoidance tips? Whatever, we want to hear from you. But we’ll still block any offensive stuff of course. Or spam…