You’ve done all the planning, made your reservations, and taken advantage of every discount you could find. Now there’s the not so small matter of paying for it all!
Here are ten small ideas that can add up to saving big for your Disney trip.
- Vacation Club. This is a twist on the traditional Christmas Club. Save a little bit each month for your Disney vacation by depositing a portion of your paycheck directly into your Disney vacation fund. It’s easier for me to save the money if it’s not available in my general checking account waiting to be spent on those cool new shoes.
- Reward Yourself. You clip coupons, scour the weekend paper for the best sales, and fill out those annoying rebate forms. Reward your efforts by putting your savings into your Disney vacation fund. I routinely save over a hundred dollars a month using this technique. Couponing to Disney is a great resource for finding some great deals.
- Earn Rewards. If you’re spending money, you should be earning rewards, right? Sign up for a rewards credit card, the Disney Rewards Visa Card is my favorite. If debit cards are more your speed, debit reward cards are gaining in popularity although their rewards are usually less than their credit counterparts. Disney also has a Rewards debit card.
- Massage and Mani/Pedi Clinics. We all like a little pampering but the price of beauty can add up. Try a massage or a manicure/pedicure at a local massage or beauty school clinic for the fraction of the cost. You’ll also feel good helping students gain experience.
- Designer Savings. Saving for a Disney trip shouldn’t have to mean depriving yourself the rest of the year. If you’re a fashion lover, check out member only sites such as Zulily, for your baby needs, and Gilt Groupe, for fashion and luxury brands, that offer savings up to 70% on designer items.
- Adjust the Thermostat. Energy websites show that increasing the temperature just one degree in the summer can save approximately 10% on your cooling costs. Likewise, setting the programmable thermostat one degree cooler in the winter will save on average 5%. Once you’ve adjusted to the temperature change, try adjusting the thermostat just one more degree for even bigger savings.
- Go Green. Bottled water seems to be everywhere these days; go green and save money by filtering tap water and investing in a couple of stainless steel, reusable water bottles for when you’re on the go.
- After Christmas Sales. We have relatives that we never see until after the Christmas holidays and we don’t exchange presents until we get together later in the year. I get some amazing deals on their Christmas presents in the days following Christmas. The same goes for stocking up on Christmas cards, wrapping paper, bows, and decorations during after Christmas sales. Throughout the year, I keep my eye out for bargains on stocking stuffers and teacher gifts to try to keep our Christmas expenditures in check.
- Bag It. With tax and tip, a casual lunch with co-workers adds up; this is lunch money that can buy more than a couple of Mickey bars at Disney World. Keeping that in mind makes it a little easier to bring lunch at least once a week. By doing a little prep the night before, I save hundreds of dollars a year and eat healthier too. Talk your spouse into taking the challenge or pack a lunch twice a week and you’ll be meeting your Disney goals before you know it.
- Make Coffee. You’ll be able to pay for a couple of nice table-service meals at Walt Disney World if you channel your inner barista and brew your own coffee instead of making a daily stop at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. If your mornings are a blur trying to get yourself and kids out the door on time, look into a coffeepot that allows you to program it to automatically brew at the specified time.
Our own Chris and Chip have more tips for saving for your Disney vacation.
Please share your best tips for saving for your Disney trip in the comments section below.
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe.
You call follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DisneyExplorer.