The Royal Show. Jam packed with entertainment, energy and festival magic, it’s one of the most visited events of the year for many West Australian families.
But partnered with the fun and excitement is expensive show bags, rides and food, potentially leaving you a fair few hundred dollars lighter than when you walked in. We’re all guilty of indulging at the show, it’s easy to get wrapped up in atmosphere, so here’s a few helpful tips to keep your enjoyment levels high and your expenses low.
Set the bar
As you and the family walk down the alleys and through the events, it’s easy to make a handful of ‘small’ purchases along the way. But before you know it, you’re covered with show bags and your stomach is filled with one of every chocolate bar in the range. To minimise the shock when you look at your bank account, set yourself a spending limit for the day; and make sure you have put aside what you need to pay the regular bills, like your mortgage. Many people find it easier to keep track of their purchases by only bringing cash, rather than blindly tapping your savings away.
Plan your Show Bags
We’ve all been there. Standing in front of a wall of show bags, trying to figure out which one gives you the best lolly to merchandise ratio, whilst fighting the urge to just buy all of them and simplify the process. This scenario is even more stressful when you have to explain to your child why they can’t get the ‘premium’ show bag that they simply have to have.
Make use of the show bag catalogues that are sent out before show week and plan which bags give you everything you want, for the price that doesn’t pain your wallet. It also speeds up the process on the day, giving you more time around the show and less in the shoebox pop up shops.
Take the train
Unless you want to pay inflated parking prices at the venue or hand over a small fortune to one of the local ‘entrepreneurs’ offering up some lawn space, public transport is the ideal plan of attack. With a train station in front of the main entrance, you can get almost door to door service for a fraction of the price. You’ll save on fuel, and it makes bringing your daughter’s team of friends (and their parents) a lot easier. Groups of up to seven people (two adults and five children or two adults and five concession fares) can travel to and from the Showground on a FamilyRider ticket which allows unlimited system-wide travel on weekends, public holidays and after 9am on weekdays during school holidays.
For more information, head to the Transperth website. They have all the info you need including timetables, fares and service outages.
Bring your own lunch and dinner
The Showgrounds isn’t a small park in the suburbs, it’s a monolithic sized space, jam packed with twists, turns and hills. Walking around it with show bags, prams and whatever you pick up along the way is sure to work up a hunger that could eat into your savings. Instead of forking out $20 for a burger and cutting into your sideshow alley budget, plan ahead and bring your own food. It’s also a great idea to bring as much water and snacks as you can because it all adds up! If you think that you might stick around over lunch and dinner, keep in mind that you’ll need to bring a cooler bag, or face the anaconda food truck lines.
Get your tickets before the show
If you can secure your tickets before setting off for Fun town, you’ll end up with more money for… anything you want. This is because ticket prices at the gate are higher than pre-sale, so get your hands on yours at shopping centres or online.
This is especially important if you’re bringing the entire family along for the ride (lucky you). Saving a handful on each person could add up for a hint of indulgence later in the day.
You can however get half price tickets on the gate on Thursday for the kids. If you don’t mind which day you go to the show, this can be an easy win.
You can purchase tickets and find out more info at the Royal Show website.
Everyone loves a freebie so this one pretty much goes without saying. With so many free food testers and handouts from almost every stall, you’d be a real clown to walk away empty handed. Although some of the giveaways are just cheap merchandise, a lot of them can really come in useful, not just at the show itself, but also for many months to come.
We want you to enjoy the show, not worry about how much you’re spending. So with a few notes from these tips, you’ll be on your way to a jam packed day of fun, entertainment and freedom!