This post is part of a series answering questions about theatre breaks, following on from How to Book Theatre Breaks Online with Confidence and Theatre Breaks By Car. The full series will be available as the Theatre Breaks FAQ
Today we are looking at the issue of how you get your hands on the actual physical printed cardboard tickets so you know after all the anticipation that you will be let into the theatre and are definitely going to see the show!
How do I get my theatre break tickets?
Theatre breaks agencies do vary a little, some send your tickets out by post, but most will have them left at the theatre box office for you to collect on the day. It may depend how far in advance you book your theatre break, but there’s really nothing to worry about. Once you’ve confirmed your booking and authorised payment there will be a seat with your name on it. Well, it’s easy for me to say that I know, because part of the excitement of going to see a big show is the tingling anxiety that builds up in the hours before the big day. One way to help with this is to turn up as soon as the box office opens, which is usually about an hour before the show, when the queue should be fairly short still, present your booking voucher or just tell them your name and booking reference and collect your tickets. Phew! You’ve now got an hour to enjoy a pre-theatre drink or a stroll around theatreland and you can keep getting your tickets out to look at them as often as you like. You might want to memorise your seat numbers as this will aid negotiating your way around the various entrances once inside the theatre and after your tickets have been torn in half by the usherette. In any case you should really collect your tickets at least 30 mins before the performance starts.
What about the Hotel?
Hotels don’t issue tickets but you may receive something called a “Hotel Voucher” as part of the email confirmation you get back stright away when you book theatre breaks online. There’s no need to print this out if you don’t want to though, you can just quote the booking reference and your name when you arrive at the hotel. Earliest check in time is usually about 2pm so if you arrive early in London on the day of the start of your theatre break it’s best to take advantage of the opportunity to settle in, dump your luggage and then go out again for the afternoon or early evening.
Rail tickets booked with theatre breaks
Show and Stay is one theatre breaks agency that offers discount rail tickets when booked in advance with a theatre break. It’s a good deal because you can save up to 40% on the travel costs and arriving in central London by rail is really the best way to do it in most circumstances. These rail tickets will be sent out separately by first class post in plenty of time before you travel.
London Eye Tickets
The London Eye is the most popular add-on attraction booked with theatre breaks packages so how do you get your ‘flight’ tickets? This can get a bit complicated so please read your email confirmation carefully. If you book the London Eye River Cruise option, which is a lovely thing to do, then there’s a telephone number you need to ring to tell them when you want to go and arrange the booking. Do so as soon as you have decided upon your itinerary in order to be sure of getting your ideal flight times, and at least 72 hours in advance. You’ll also get a “London Eye Flight Only” voucher and in both cases you are asked to retain this section of confirmation to give to the London Eye people as proof of pre-booking, so in this case you probably will need to print it all out. For the Fast Track and Champagne flights, you still need to book in advance but you can turn up only 15 minutes before your flight at the fast track check-in desk and exchange your voucher for tickets there and then.