Why book tickets in advance?

by Ale Werner

Today most tourist sites in more developed countries allow online purchase and reservation of tickets in advance. For example the Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or an art gallery in New York.

In high season or if you have little time to visit each city or destination, booking your tickets in advance will be a real benefit. Here we tell you the sales and disadvantages of buying your tickets online before your trip.

Today technology lets us do this and much more. For more useful application tips on trips enter here.


1. Secure your ticket

Especially in high season tourist sites fill up. Although many places always leave some tickets for on-site sales on the same day, many others sell all the spaces to go up to a landmark or visit attractions with days in advance.

If you travel in high season and you die for doing some activity, then book your tickets in advance

Line to climb to the dome of the Vatican
Line to climb to the dome

2. Money Saving

On many occasions, making online bookings of, for example, museums or amusement parks, allows us to find offers or be able to compare the prices of tickets on different days of the week.

By doing the search on a web page you can see the prices of all your alternatives and schedules. Maybe tickets are free on Sundays and Saturdays, or maybe going early in the morning is cheaper than in the afternoons. If this is the case, you will not make the mistake of going on a wrong day or less convenient day and book your tickets in advance

It can also happen that there are offers for purchases in advance or with a specific means of payment. This happens for plays or festivals, not in museums or galleries.

3. Time-saving and avoid rows

This is key. If you are adjusted for time and do not want to waste time looking for the sales booths or making the rows to get the tickets, then buying online will always be your best option.

You never know how full a place can be until you get to it. Imagine that you visit the Palace of Versailles from Paris and only when you arrive you realize that it is full and what you thought was going to be a long visit to the palace becomes only 3 hours because you could enter too late. Rows can last several hundred meters for popular attractions.

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There are also many sites, such as the Colosseum in Rome, which sell tickets for entry times. You have, for example, between 10:00 am and 11:59 am to enter the Colosseum. If you arrive at the place and there are only schedules for later, then you will face an unnecessary and perhaps boring wait.

Coliseum inside, panoramic terraces
Every day hundreds of people visit the Roman Colosseum.

4. Organize your day better

The most important thing when we travel, especially if it is with little time, is to organize our days. Most travelers prefer to leave the hotel or hostel with an idea of what to visit.

Booking your tickets in advance can help you. As we said, avoid unnecessary rows and you can enter directly into your established schedule. Once inside, the time you dedicate to tour the place is your decision.

Avoiding unforeseen events is always important when we travel, especially if we have little time for each city or place.


1. Little flexibility.

If you are one of those travelers who gets carried away at the moment and does not know what they are going to do, then booking tickets in advance is not for you. Once the payment is made online, the possibilities of making changes to date or schedule are almost nil.

Just as for some it is the best to know what they will do and organize, for others it can be a headache.

Tickets to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg are sold out days in advance in high season.

2. If you had an unforeseen event, it’s your problem.

Imagine that your flight to New York was delayed a full day and you just had tickets booked to climb the Empire State Building. Here the unforeseen will always play against us. Maybe your hotel understands you and you reimburse the money of the day you lost, but most likely, museums and tourist attractions do not have the same policy.

Maybe that day you woke up with an unbearable headache or sick; and you do not want to leave your room. It is a risk that exists. If you don’t have a medical insurance, it can be even worst; sometimes the insurance can refound you the lost tickets if you are sick and could not attend the museum, show or activitie.

Luckily there are some travel insurances that include in their policies the responsibility in case of cancellations and delays of flights, or of illnesses. There are also some credit cards that cover these expenses if you have paid for everything with them, such as MasterCard Black or Visa Platinum.

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