Did you know that you can do more with Avios than just saving up for flights? I have to admit that this was news to me when they got in touch recently to give us the opportunity to spend a day out as a family that was paid for with points rather than pounds. The Do More With Avios challenge has come into being after research revealed that a quarter of people from the UK forego holidays to work more.
They gifted us 30,000 Avios and allowed us to take our pick from their range of days out. As we hadn’t been able to go on a summer holiday – due to me fitting the demographic perfectly by going freelance in July – we wanted to take the boys somewhere big and with plenty of variety, so we chose a day out at Chessington.
We set out early on Saturday morning and arrived shortly after the gates had opened. Dylan and Xander were very excited and especially so when they spotted the carousel. They’ve been campaigning to go on one since I refused to pay over the odds for the four of us to go on the one at London Zoo on Dylan’s birthday – mean Daddy! – so we were off to a good start!
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go on many other rides after this as a couple were closed and Kate wasn’t allowed on some of the gentle, kid-friendly ones we hoped to go on as she’s pregnant. I was surprised at this – the train journey in was more vigorous – as well as a little annoyed with Chessington as it wasn’t made clear on the website when we were planning our day. An area for improvement, perhaps.
I took Dylan and Xander on the Bubbleworks – which, despite their grumbles about getting wet bums, they both enjoyed – while Kate scouted out some food options for later on and we all went to Hocus Pocus Hall, but the queues had built up by the time we’d done these, so we decided to turn our attentions to the zoo.
One of the reasons we chose Chessington was because the boys love animals and, this side of the day didn’t disappoint. They loved getting up close to the lions, tigers and gorillas and were fascinated by the fossas and ocelots. Dylan insisted on going into the Creepy Caves to see the boa constrictor – his favourite creature for some strange reason – so we also said hello to the other reptiles and studiously ignored the spiders while we were there.
Then it was time to visit the sea lions and penguins before heading into the Sea Life Centre and, finally, the children’s zoo. Despite not getting to go on many of the rides, we packed in a lot and it was great to have a nice family day out before autumn kicks in. While we weren’t able to experience everything due to certain restrictions and the fact that Dylan and Xander are still very young, I still think it represents good value for the Avios that it costs and we’ll definitely be going back when we’re all able to do more.
Disclosure: Avios provided me with points to spend on our day out.