There's lots of conflicting views over "Guest Passes" - do you need them? Or are they really just an additional, unnecessary expense to your holiday?
All Holiday Companies work differently! Not all Holiday Parks even issue "passes"... but if they do:- it's worth remembering that their "official" title is "Entertainment and Facility Passes" as that's exactly what they cover!
If you book with a Company that issues passes, there will be areas within the Holiday Park that you need a pass for... in general these include the pools and wherever the Entertainment is provided.
There will be areas on the park that you can access with no need for a pass, such as the site shop, launderette, amusement arcade, some restaurants, outside areas etc.
So - if you book on a park that issues passes - do you NEED them?
- If you intend on using the park's pools and Entertainment provisions: YES!
- If you are using the Holiday Home as a "base" and are not interested in the facilities provided: NO!
Usually, if you book direct through the park itself - you will automatically be issued with passes as part and parcel of your booking, whether you want/need them or not! BUT, if you book through a private Owner, or a "newspaper deal" - the passes are usually an additional cost to your reservation. Some Owners DO include the passes in their quote to you - so make sure you ask if it's not mentioned!
Pass prices vary from Holiday Park to Holiday Park, even if they are the same company! This is based on the facilities and level of Entertainment provided.
Expect pass prices to rise during peak dates, (ie: school holidays!) - some say this is unfair:- but in reality, this is because more Entertainment is provided during the peak dates than the lower seasons and the Company's entertainment budget has to be covered!
Contrary to popular belief - On most Holiday Parks: Owners do not get guest passes any cheaper than you can buy yourself! So if you are booking privately, do be clear with your Owner whether they are included in the quote you have been given or not.
A very small handful of Holiday Parks will issue guest passes to Owners free of charge - so if you are in any doubt at all over what you are being charged, simply give the relevant Holiday Park a call direct and ask what the pass prices are for your holiday dates.
Some Owners will offer to provide the passes for you - but will obviously have to add the cost to your holiday. Again: If you are in any doubt at all over what you are being charged, call the relevant Holiday Park direct and ask what the pass prices are for your holiday dates.
Other Owners will state that passes are not included at all and you will need to purchase direct from the Holiday Park on your arrival. Be sure to check that if you need any paperwork to purchase them, the Owner provides it to you! Also be aware that, in general, passes are purchased from the reception office - so remember to ask your Owner for the opening hours to avoid upset Littleys if they can't go see the dressed-up-people-in-bunny-suits that evening because you arrived too late to purchase the passes......
WHY are passes issued?
Most Holiday Parks' licensed areas are licensed under "club" laws:- which basically, is no different to your local "Working Man's Club" - in that you have to be a "member" to be able to use the facilities provided, or have been "signed in" by a member.
With regard to most pool areas, the passes are usually required to be handed in as you enter the pool and handed back as you leave: this is used as a safety measure, in that the lifeguards in attendance know exactly how many people they have in the pool area at any one given time - and if it came to any "major incident" - who they are and which accommodation they are staying in.
Why can't I use the Owner's pass?
Take a look at our blog!
Couldn't I just use the facilities without a pass?
Some Holiday Parks ask for you to show your pass on entrance to the facilities that require them - some carry out regular spot checks......
ALL will require you to leave the complex immediately if you cannot produce a valid pass. (which causes embarrassment in front of everyone there and upset Littleys if you have them with you on your Jollidays)
Which sorta leads onto the subject of "smuggling" your own food and drink into the Holiday Park's complex!
Really a "no-go-area" as far as the Holiday Parks are concerned, as is with any other company providing food and drink on their premises!
Would you really go to your local pub and hide drinks or food in your bags, so you could sit in the pub all night after buying your "one obligatory" round of drinks, without being expected to ask to leave? NOPE! So please don't expect your Holiday Park to be any different... you will just be very promptly asked to leave .....
ETK wish you a happy Holiday for 2016!