Below is the latest article from our friend Alexia at Destinations in Florida
Last week we discussed the top 10 ways to save on a Disney World vacation. Over the next few weeks, we will be going over these points in a little more detail. This week we will be discussing making a budget and sticking with it. This seems like a pretty basic thing, especially for those of us who coupon. However, vacations are often a time when many people have a difficult time sticking to their budget, especially somewhere like Disney World when your kids what everything they see in every single gift shop. Most people have a set budget ahead of time and work out the details around their budget. The average family of four spends $3,000.00 on a Disney World vacation. Of course, you and your family may have to adjust your budget based on your family size and needs.
Make sure that your budget covers all aspects of your vacation. This includes transportation (If you are flying this would include your flight, baggage fees, airport parking, etc. If you are driving this could include gas, toll fees, etc.), hotel room, park tickets, food, tips (don’t forget about housekeeping!), and souvenirs. There is no worse feeling than pulling up to a toll booth and realizing that you forgot to budget some cash of the toll roads or getting to your hotel and realizing that you forgot to budget some cash for housekeeping tips!
I think one of the most difficult aspects of sticking with a budget at Disney World is on souvenirs. I know I’m not the only one whose children want at least three things in every gift shop they go in. Here you have a few options. First, you can decide ahead of time not to buy any souvenirs at the parks at all. Stock up on souvenirs before you leave (Think Dollar Tree, Wal-mart, Target, and Disney Store Outlets) and give your children a few small items each morning. This way they will not be as tempted in the parks. Your second option is give your children a budgeted amount in Disney gift cards or Disney Dollars. My girls (ages 11 and 2) were given Disney gift cards for their birthdays from other family members and for doing chores. They each ended up with a total of $100.00 each and were allowed to spend $20 a day. I was really impressed by how much thought they put into each of their purchases. Even my two year old would ask each day if the items she wanted were a “smart choice”. Giving them each gift cards worked perfectly for us!
Hopefully these tips will help you with making your budget and sticking with it. Next week we will discuss the age old debate of on-site vs. off-site hotels.
Alexia is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for Destinations in Florida. When she is not helping plan magical vacations you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Get the best price on your Walt Disney World Vacation Package… Guaranteed! Get FREE DINING if you book a Disney Resort Package between 8/25 and 9/27 – click here for a quote!