Setting and Keeping Your Vacation Budget

Setting A Budget

We are on to Step 2 which is the most important step…. Setting your family vacation budget! Now that you have set your where and when, we get to look at how much this whole trip is going to cost. I am using our budget for Disney World to walk you through my thought process for budget setting.

Our plan for our Disney World  trip is set for July 1-July 7, 2018. Being an animal lover, we want to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge so that is our resort of choice. In the past, I have stayed at the Polynesian on the  concierge level which was a great benefit because they have a buffet of food and snacks all day long plus we had a better view from our room. Personally, it was worth the extra money. At Animal Kingdom Lodge, concierge level gives you the view of the Savannah with the animals which would put Danyella on cloud nine. This put us at $5525 for the week-long stay with access to food all day.

I did toy with the option of staying at the Polynesian again because of the access to the monorail which makes traveling between parks a lot easier with a baby.  At the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we will be utilizing the busses to get around. (Thank goodness for strollers and baby carriers!)

The next thing I added to our package was upgrading our Park Tickets to the Park Hopper with the water park option. It added more money to our overall cost but it is worth it because we will be going to different parks through the day so we have time to bring the baby back for naps and breaks. This put us at $5812 to add the Park Hopper option.

Something that was suggested to me from a yearly Disney World traveler, was to get the Memory Maker package because they will take better pictures then we will take. Her pictures proved it! So we added the $169 Memory Maker to the package which put us at $5981.

When I was at Disney, 15 years ago, there was no Dining Add-On Option for our vacation package so I consulted others that have been there and they all say that the Dining Plan was a must especially when you want to do the character meals. I got lots of tips on how to use this plan to get the best benefit out of it. Now add $1359 to our package price to make it $7340.

Onto our travel plans…. With an infant we are flying a direct flight from Philly to Orlando and using the free transport that Disney offers from the airport to the resort. This added $934 to our package. Plus I opted for the $155 travelers insurance just to be on the safe side. This put our Package total at $8429! Holy Cow!!

One of the nice thing about booking your trip through Disney, you can start with a deposit instead of paying for the whole trip up front. The deposit price includes the flights so that they are booked immediately. Our deposit for the trip is $1288 which is due immediately in order to book the trip and the balance is due on January 1st, 2018

For us, this will be our starting off point because we don’t have the $1288 just laying around the house but we will be finding ways to save this money. Yes, this will change our flights and possibly our price but we are not ones to use credit cards to charge things for entertainment purposes. Overall, with spending money our budget for this trip will end up being $10,000! Wowzers but this includes our travel, lodging and food which is the bulk of any trip. The rest will be just what we want to buy or spend money on!

Now it is your turn to get the budget in place for the major expenses: travel, lodging and food. If you destination doesn’t offer a package like Disney then you will need to make the package yourself. There are a ton of apps that can help if you choose to travel by car that will help with gas mileage and prices so you can add this to your budget. Then you can look and compare prices for the lodging to add that to your budget. The last big cost to include is your food. If you are renting a house in your destination, you can bring your own food and save a ton of money! There are so many ways to save on food if you look at what restaurants are in the area of your trip.

I hope this breakdown helps in your budget setting! Next week we will look into the savings jar and breaking your budget down to small goals. disney

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Setting Your Family Vacation Place and Dates

 

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This week we are going to start breaking down my 5 steps that I highlighted in last week’s savings vacation post. So we are starting with Picking your place and dates to start your budget planning!

First and Foremost, get yourself a notebook designated just for your Family Vacation Planning. This is essential because you can take notes, write down your budget and keep your family on track for some vacation fun!

Time for a family vacation meeting! Grab your notebook and a calendar to get you started. If your kids are older, then gather everyone together to begin to discuss where you want to go and when everyone can go. This is the fun part of the planning!

Where do you want to go? The beach, a specific city, a historic site, Disney World, or another exciting place that your family is going to enjoy and cherish! The possibilities are endless! For my family, our first choice is Disney World. Having a 10-year-old little  big girl, this one is a No Brainer because she wants to experience to Happiest Place on Earth with all the Princesses she has fallen in love with over the years.

Next step is planning how long the trip would be. 5 day vacation, a week-long, 2 weeks or just a long weekend? The length of the trip should be considered with the budget because the longer the trip, the more money you will need for lodging, food and spending on the extras. We are looking at a week long vacation for our family.

Here comes the most difficult step for today’s post…. When is the vacation going to fit into your family’s schedule? Ok so this is the hardest part for my family between school, work and now dance schedules to try to figure out when we can all go to have a family vacation. Oh and don’t forget, we are awaiting for our baby girl’s arrival! This pretty much narrowed down our open months to July and August or Christmas Vacation. For my family, it is way out of our budget to plan a Christmas Vacation at Disney World so we are opting for July or August.

Once you have the destination and dates down, it is time to start pricing out your vacation. It is best to look as many different options when you are planning this part. I like to research different travel sites, hotels and other options before solidifying my plan. Another factor to consider is transportation, are you driving, flying or taking a train? This will go into your planning as well because flights need to be paid up front and booked as far in advance as you possibly can. After you research and have a set plan of whom you are booking your vacation through consider if you need a deposit or need to pay for the whole trip up front. All of this needs to be planned into your budget. I know when you book through Disney’s website, you need a deposit if the vacation is booked so many months in advance which is our best budget option.

These are factors to consider in your budget planning for your family vacation. Next week will get into the nitty gritty of budget planning for your family vacation so make sure to check back next Sunday!

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5 Steps to Save for A Family Vacation

5 Steps to Save for a Family Vacation

One thing that I haven’t gotten to do but have wanted to do for so long is take Danyella on a family vacation. We have done fun day trips or trips where we went away for a couple of days but never an actual vacation. At 10 years old, she has been dying to go away and learn more about the world and see other places. Top of both of our list is…. Disney World!

Yes I know so cliché to want to go to Disney World but as an artist and artist in the making, Disney World is filled with so much art and entertainment and just fun that why would a kid of any age want to go. I have been there once and that was 14 years ago when both the older kids were just little ones. It was fun but in that time there has been so many changes to Disney World that it is time to go back. So now it is time to find the money to go down….

We are a credit card free family which means we save our cash for our bills and entertainment. If you are looking for ways to save for your Family Vacation without running to your credit card then this is where these tips will help us save for Disney World and you save for your family Vacation!

  1. Pick your Family Vacation and Dates! This is the most exciting part, besides going on the actual vacation, is picking where and when you want to go on vacation. Get your family involved in the process to see where everyone would like to go and make sure you have your calendar ready to see what dates you need to black out. I know in my family we have the dance recital the same week every June so that is a black out for us. Then there is arranging around when school starts and ends and other life events. Once you pick your destination and dates mark them down on your calender.   Orange Circle Studio 2018 Do It All Magnetic Wall Calendar, Aug. 2017 – Dec. 2018, Mom’s Do It All
  2. Set a Budget! This is the research phase of your trip planning. You will need to find out how much your trip is going to cost and how much you need to budget for the lodgings, transportation, food and spending money. Some places (like Disney) will offer packages that include the hotel, transportation (flights), and food. It is best to get this down on paper so you can see what you need and want to spend your money on. Another thing is to find out if the package or lodging wants a deposit or pay full at the time of your booking. Home Budget Workbook                                                                                                               
  3. Start a Savings Jar! This is something that I started for my girls Las Vegas trip about 6 months before our trip for my spending money. As a waitress, I lived off of my tips so I always had cash on me but I didn’t want to have to go to the bank every time I wanted to deposit the money for the trip. I am a visual person so I created a jar, got fun Las Vegas scrapbook stickers and decorated away. Everyday that I worked, I would take the couple of ones that I had left over and stuffed them into the jar. By the time I left for Las Vegas I had saved over $1000 and watching the jar fill up was making the countdown to the trip just as fun as the trip itself.My Las Vegas Trip Jar
  4. Break Down your Budget to Small Goals! How much do you want to save each month or week? Do you need to save for the deposit first? This is where a great notebook dedicated to your family vacation will help with setting and keeping your goals. Keep an eye on those goals so you know when you need to pay for specific things and where you need to increase your savings.Mead Spiral Notebook, 1 Subject, 70 College Ruled Sheets, Assorted Colors, 6 PACK (73065)                                                                                                     
  5. Find Small ways to Save Money! This is going to be the most important part of your saving for you trip is where you can save the money to go on vacation. I plan on highlighting different ways to find the extra money the rest of Sundays in October but here is just a few to think about… Grocery Shopping savings: Set your budget then when you use your coupons, take the left over money from your shopping and place it in your savings jar! Cut out your Dunkin or Starbucks coffee for a month and place that money in your savings jar! Use the savings apps to purchase gift cards or deposit in your Paypal account so you use it towards your trip!

I hope this encourages you to start your family vacation planning today! I will be highlighting ways to save for your trip every Sunday in October so keep an eye out. What ways have you and your family saved for your family vacation? 

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