MILLIONS rely on Universal Credit to help with the cost of living – but the benefit can open up discounts on a host of activities too.
Households can get reduced zoo tickets and even money off travel for days out this summer.
Not only that, but thrifty families could save money taking trips to any number of parks and museums across the UK.
Here are just a few of the days out you can get at discounted prices or for free if you're on Universal Credit.
Remember too, that some of the discounted trips and travel are open to people on other benefits, including Pension Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as well.
Eden Project, Cornwall
The Eden Project is a giant 30-acre botanical gardens in the south west of England.
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The site features a number of steel domes with thousands of plants housed inside.
And families on Universal Credit or Pension Credit looking to explore the grounds can get tickets from just £1.
An adult ticket will set you back £1 while a children's ticket for kids aged five to 16 costs £1 too.
Under fives, Blue Peter Badge holders and a person accompanying a person with disabilities all go free.
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You can buy the discounted tickets via the Eden Project website.
London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo and houses all sorts of animals, from giraffes to zebras, wild hogs and hippos.
It's based in Regent's Park and easily accessible via public transport.
Households on a number of benefits, including Universal Credit, can nab tickets from just £3.
The other benefits that qualify you for the reduced rate include Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The tickets can only be bought for up to a maximum of six people per household.
Crucially, you have to buy the tickets online in advance as the reduced-rate tickets can't be bought at the gate.
You can book the tickets on the London Zoo website.
Royal Horticultural Society gardens – UK-wide
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) runs five garden centres across the UK where you can peruse plants and sign up to workshops.
And in April, it launched a new scheme offering households on Universal Credit and Pension Credit access to their gardens for just £1.
Carers with a disabled visitor, school children on guided and self-guided school visits and under-fives can already get free entry.
You can book the cheap tickets online via each garden's website.
Bear in mind, you'll need to bring proof of your benefit with you when visiting the gardens.
You can bring either a paper or electronic letter for proof.
London Transport Museum
Visitors to the London Transport Museum can catch up on 200 years of history 362 days of the year.
The museum also regularly runs guided tours and workshops.
And households on Universal Credit and Pension Credit can get unlimited daytime entry to the Covent Garden-based museum for a whole year, for just £1.
You can buy the annual pass on the London Transport Museum website.
It's worth noting, you will need to bring proof of your latest allowance for either Universal Credit or Pension Credit with you each time you visit.
Discounted travel, London
While not a day out, the cost of public transport on a day out can be one of the biggest expenses – especially if you're going with the whole family.
But if you're on certain benefits and living in and around London you can get 50% off pay-as-you-go adult fares.
The discount applies on buses, tubes, trams, the DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line and most National Rail services in London.
You can get the discount if you're on Jobseeker's Allowance, Universal Credit, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support.
But you have to meet specific criteria including claiming:
- Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit, be aged between 18 and 24 and unemployed for 13 to 39 weeks
- Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit, be aged 25 or over and unemployed for 13 to 52 weeks
- Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support and actively engaged with an adviser in returning to employment
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You can apply for the discount through your local Jobcentre Plus office.
To find your nearest Jobcentre Plus office, you can use the Government's Jobcentre Plus locator online.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].
You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.
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