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View Full Version : Saving for a Disney vacation? Don't forget about the extras!


kahblue
03-11-2011, 11:53 AM
I've been reading a lot about how people are saving for a Disney trip or any vacation. Sometimes, when you buy a package you look at that number plus airfare or other travel costs and forget about the other little things that add up once you are there.

My dh sets up the budget for the vacation and anything over that I have to come up with (I'm a stay-at-home mom). This is actually really fun for me!

I make up my mousekeeping envelopes and put my spare dollars in there. When that's done, I feel like I've accomplished a lot and move on to the next thing. I figured out what baggage fees would be. I saved for that and was happy to feel like I'm contributing. The next thing was tips for table restaurants. I have that covered now thanks to my Disney VISA rewards card. Now, I'm working on spending money which i have been doing thru Sunshine rewards - $125 since November - YAY!

It's a great feeling to know that once we get home from our trip, there will be no other expenses and I can work on saving for the next year.

We're considering doing some different things like the hot air balloon ride and/or a horse and carriage ride. Those are on my list to save for just in case we decide to do them.

So, you can see my point! Make a list of all those extra things outside of airfare, hotel, tickets, meals, or whatever. Figure out the cost and start savings for each one individually and check it off as you reach each goal. it is really self-rewarding and for me, since I don't have a job outside the home, I really feel like I'm helping out with the cost of the trip.

KIM - Disney trip #5 August 2011

DawnM
03-11-2011, 01:19 PM
It is all in there, including the dog sitter cost!

kahblue
03-11-2011, 01:30 PM
I also have laundry, coin presses (my son collects those) and tips for the bus drivers.

KIM

CouponCon
03-11-2011, 01:32 PM
About a year before we go, I make a very detailed list of things we will need for vacation...ex shampoo, conditioner, brushes, toothpaste...Then I take a plastic tub and start filling it up a little at a time. Usually by the time we go it has everything on my list and we don't have a couple hundred dollar walmart run before we leave.

Love Love Love the Planning!!:lovestruc

Auntie Sherry
03-11-2011, 04:53 PM
I also stay at home. I Plan for every cost I can thiink of. Including Magical express tips, Mousekeeping, ride to the airport or parking garage. I even plan on the cost of printing photos or photo pass. I have all the money befoer I go. Last time I earned all the money by doing ebay, surveys, two yard sales, and I picked blueberries every day four to six hours for five weeks in the summer. It was a good felling to have everything coverd. I also went during the free meal plan. I did not pay one cent for food and took home leftover snack options.

comicguy
03-11-2011, 08:47 PM
Don't forget tips for:

mousekeeping (extra pillows, towels, etc...)
Mousekeeping (daily room cleaning)
luggage handling, (airport checkin @ resort)

tink&stitchmom
03-12-2011, 07:23 PM
I also went during the free meal plan. I did not pay one cent for food and took home leftover snack options.

Don't forget that if you have the dining plan tips are not included for the table service restaurants.

myheartlivesatwdw
03-12-2011, 07:29 PM
Great tips. Thanks!

momof1princess
03-12-2011, 07:36 PM
also, if you drive down, don't forget gas money and tolls!

jgates
03-13-2011, 12:10 AM
I always factor in a few dollars for the ME bus driver & the bellman if they bring bags to the room. None of these add up exceptionally, but just keep them in mind.

DisneyAndRedSox
03-13-2011, 05:34 AM
The budget buster for me is always airport parking! Boston can be well over $100, sometimes $200. When I went to WDW in Dec I saved a ton on parking by flying out of Hartford instead of Boston- still a direct flight on JetBlue.

Food and drinks at the airport. No matter how many snacks I bring I always get suckered into buying food and drinks.

Our last trip baggage fees (American) was a killer, totalled $150. They sent my bag to Guatemala- so I ended up spending another $115 in emergency supplies that I am still waiting for a reimbursement check. :eek: And I am still trying to get the $25 baggage fee returned for bag they lost! (Sorry- but shouldn't be an automatic refund when your bag is lost for 8 hours and then once it is found takes additional 25 hours to make it to your hotel?)

Other costs- we don't take ME- so I end up getting smart carts at the airport, $4 each way (sometimes I find a 'free' one outside as DH is waiting for the baggage to come out!)

One trip I flew in, then I had to pick up parents at MCO later that night, then drop them off at MCO a few days later, then I flew out a few days later- the tolls near the airport added up!

Someome mentioned pet sitting- my parents we going on a cruise with friends and they have several dogs (not sure if 2 or 3 at the time- one is HUGE)- it was going to be over $700! They almost cancelled the trip!

MickeyP
03-13-2011, 07:37 AM
I was appalled at the number of people who did not tip their magical express driver! I felt terrible for him.

fakereadhed
03-13-2011, 08:05 AM
I was appalled at the number of people who did not tip their magical express driver! I felt terrible for him.


ITA! But the same people are leaving tips for Mousekeeping, which isn't a tipped position. The DME driver IS a tipped position. Sure, he's not going to make you a towel animal, but he is going to drive you on your free ride to/from the airport and deal with your luggage. If he touches your bags, you need to pay up!

Pembo
03-13-2011, 09:30 AM
Don't forget to budget for sunscreen! I just started buying some last night...as my kids get older we go through a lot more than when they were little. lol

Also don't forget to budget cash for airport food. We always seem to buy something at the airport before the plane home.

NickNElliesMom
03-13-2011, 09:38 AM
I was appalled at the number of people who did not tip their magical express driver! I felt terrible for him.

OK, I have what might be a dumb question. We've always traveled to wdw with ex-h, and he's always taken care of tipping the driver. Have a trip planned end of August, and I have no idea what the appropriate tip is?

GOOFY4DONALD
03-13-2011, 10:49 AM
I always tip about 1.00 a bag. I was the first one to tip after quite a few people so I made my tip a little more obvious, for the other passengers to see, and after more people were reaching into their pockets.

4luv2cdisney
03-13-2011, 03:23 PM
I was appalled at the number of people who did not tip their magical express driver! I felt terrible for him.

Well I can honestly say that if I did not read the Disboards, I may not have even realized or known to tip everyone that handled our bags. We have only been on an airplane a handful of times and there was only 1 trip anyone helped us with our bags. We took a parking lot shuttle bus (driver loaded our bags), someone was waiting with a cart to move our bags when we got off shuttle, ME driver loaded and unloaded our bags, then we had to get someone to give us a ride on a little cart when we got to POR, because it was something like 1 am and our kids were sleeping in the lobby.:rotfl: So, 4 people handled our luggage! At $1/bag, 6 bags, 4 people ....$24 one way and I think we gave the guy at POR more because he transported us as well! It does add up. Another poster mentioned that he made his tip very obvious and then others followed. Perhaps those people didn't know until they saw someone else do it!

tchrrx
03-13-2011, 05:52 PM
Baggage handlers at the airport:
ME driver:
Mousekeeping:
(We are staying DVC, so they don't come in every day. How much do we tip?)

Cruise ship-
Do we tip the driver that takes us to port?
Dining Room server:
Assistant server:
Head server:
statesroom keeper:
Do we tip the driver that takes us from the port back to WDW?


Who else do we need to tip?

ekatiel
03-13-2011, 06:57 PM
Don't forget that if you have the dining plan tips are not included for the table service restaurants.

Great point, we budget about $20 per table service meal for tips (we have a family of four, two adults, two kids). That's always a little shocking to me, since we can eat at a sit-down place at home for about $20 (DH and I usually split and entree and the kids split a kid's meal). --Katie

GraysMom
03-13-2011, 09:27 PM
Baggage handlers at the airport:
ME driver:
Mousekeeping:
(We are staying DVC, so they don't come in every day. How much do we tip?)

Cruise ship-
Do we tip the driver that takes us to port?
Dining Room server:
Assistant server:
Head server:
stateroom keeper:
Do we tip the driver that takes us from the port back to WDW?


Who else do we need to tip?

I'd like to know about the cruise tips as well. It's been 9 years since we've been on DCL and I'm guessing the amounts have increased a little since then :rotfl:

ChisJo
03-13-2011, 10:49 PM
Things that I budget for that isn't in the norm:

parking @ disney/universal/airport (we stay off property)
tolls (these suck by the way...we don't have them where I live!)
Shopping (I budget a ridiculous amount so if I don't reach that number, I feel like I'm ahead!)
Groceries
Duty free liquor (live in Canada)
public transport
tips
snacks
locker rentals
calling charges to back home/cell phone charges
airport food & coffee (always get something here no matter how hard I try not to)
internet charges (if the hotel i'm staying at doesn't have free wi-fi)

SunnieRN
03-13-2011, 11:19 PM
I tip our Mousekeepers $1 day per person, even at DVC. So, day 4, 5 people, $20 and the same when we leave.

I have also had the experience of being the first to tip the magical express driver. It elicits a lot of comments.;)

DisneyAndRedSox
03-14-2011, 05:34 AM
I'd like to know about the cruise tips as well. It's been 9 years since we've been on DCL and I'm guessing the amounts have increased a little since then :rotfl:

We were on the Dream last month, this is the recommended amounts from DCL when I got my luggage tags in the mail (amounts are for both adults and children):

Restaurant Server- $4.00/day
Assistant Server- $3.00/day
Head Server- $1.00/day
Stateroom Host(ess)- $4.00/day
Room Service- at your discretion

So for a family of 3 on a 4-night cruise= $144.00 (plus room service and specialty restaurants)

cglaura
03-14-2011, 11:48 AM
I always forgot to budget money for the ride photos. I usually don't get them, but on occasion, our expressions were just too good to pass up.

So now I keep a gift card in my wallet just for that. I shoot for $120, which can get us around 4 pkgs, depending on size.

Since we go every two years or so, this only dents my personal budget $5/month.

Troy01
03-16-2011, 06:07 AM
Disney world is a fantastic place to go on a long vacation with family and friends and share some memorable moments. Many people save money for Disney vacation as it very expensive, but thanks to Disney vacation homes. It has helped many people to save quite a good amount of money in their accommodation bills.

Marionnette
03-16-2011, 06:44 AM
Some of the things that I budget for that I hadn't thought about for the first few visits to Disney:

Laundry costs - soap, fabric softener, coins for the washer/dryer
Sample sizes - toothpaste, bodywash, deodorants,Advil,antibiotic cream, etc
Camera stuff - batteries (if needed), extra memory card, lens cleaner
Airport parking or shuttle van plus tip
Pharmacy stuff I only need at Disney - earplanes, moleskins, Bodyglide, high SPF sunscreen
Snacks for the airport and plane.

camikey
03-16-2011, 08:52 AM
Some of the things that I budget for that I hadn't thought about for the first few visits to Disney:

Laundry costs - soap, fabric softener, coins for the washer/dryer
Sample sizes - toothpaste, bodywash, deodorants,Advil,antibiotic cream, etc
Camera stuff - batteries (if needed), extra memory card, lens cleaner
Airport parking or shuttle van plus tip
Pharmacy stuff I only need at Disney - earplanes, moleskins, Bodyglide, high SPF sunscreen
Snacks for the airport and plane.


I just bought Purex 3 in 1 laundry sheets 20/pack for 2.99.
Sometimes you can use a coupon on trail size so watch your coupons.
If you rent a car or go off site alway pick up snacks it is cheaper.

Also, for tolls you can purchase a mini Sun pass online ahead of time. :thumbsup2

aprilfoolwed
03-16-2011, 10:01 AM
For those of us staying off-site, parking really adds up, so make sure to include that!

We drive - so gas is a big one (especially with the rising price of gas).

Budget a little extra for uh-ohs that happen. Last year we had silly problem - a small coverplate on the underside of our car came loose and it flapped all the way from PA to FL! We ended up having to pull over many times, and had to find a store to buy industrial duct tape! It got us through the trip, but cost us $30 in tape (only to find out, when we got home, that it was a $5 part from the dealer to fix!).

Sunscreen is expensive too.

And budget extra for things you will forget - a hat, sunglasses, lip balm etc. There's always something!

We stay off-site in a house, so we try to take as much as we can from home. We take down ziplocks, garbage bags, paper plates/cups/napkins, laundry detergent etc. We buy in bulk at home, so I just take some from our stash. Otherwise, I'd be buying them.

I did what someone else posted too - bought the Purex 3-in-1 on sale at CVS this week. Much easier than toting liquid laundry detergent AND fabric softener on the road!

I also try to bring grocery staples from home too. If I sneak a few things in my regular grocery shopping each week, we don't even notice it!

We have a yard sale in the spring to make some spending money for the trip - that gets us an "Extra" chracter meal, or extra souvenir money.

aprilfoolwed
03-16-2011, 10:03 AM
Oh - and another thing I tend to forget about until the last minute is budgeting for thank yougifts for our neighbors who watch over the house while we are gone. They typicall take out our trash one night, water the garden, mow the lawn for us while gone, and I like to bring them some Mickey pasta and a sweet treat for their kids too.

SaraJayne
03-16-2011, 10:21 AM
ITA! But the same people are leaving tips for Mousekeeping, which isn't a tipped position. The DME driver IS a tipped position. Sure, he's not going to make you a towel animal, but he is going to drive you on your free ride to/from the airport and deal with your luggage. If he touches your bags, you need to pay up!

I don't tip for housekeeping. Never have anywhere.

If the ME driver handles our luggage, then I tip them. :)

Otherwise, those are the only tips I give out on vacation, other than wait staff.

We're never in our room when our luggage shows up, so no tip there.

SaraJayne
03-16-2011, 10:28 AM
Some of the things that I budget for that I hadn't thought about for the first few visits to Disney:
Laundry costs - soap, fabric softener, coins for the washer/dryer
Sample sizes - toothpaste, bodywash, deodorants,Advil,antibiotic cream, etc
Camera stuff - batteries (if needed), extra memory card, lens cleaner
Airport parking or shuttle van plus tip
Pharmacy stuff I only need at Disney - earplanes, moleskins, Bodyglide, high SPF sunscreen
Snacks for the airport and plane.



If you're staying at a DVC resort (either on points, you own or paid OOP) laundry facilities are free. :)

Desnik
03-16-2011, 02:20 PM
I love this thread! I budget for everything before we go and separate it all in envelopes. For this coming trip we will be renting a car so that is something extra to budget for!

We tip the ME driver each way. We usually only have 3-4 carryon size bags and will tip $3-$4.

We tip bell services who take us along with our bags to our room, usually $10 so $20 total.

I budget $150 a day for food for the 4 of us.

We are DVC members and I do not tip housekeeping. for the length of our trips, usually 5 days, they only would come for trash and towels and we don't let them come in the room for that. I can wash the towels and take out the trash myself. This time we will be there for 8 days and I will leave the " do not disturb" sign up as usual. Once we are in our room, I don't like anyone else coming in there. I am weird like that!;)

I have to budget $250 for the dog kennel.

Usually I have to set aside around $100 for airport parking. This trip our neighbor will be driving and picking us up for $50!!

Our kids, ages 13 and 8 save their own money through out the year for souvenirs. They each have $50 saved so far and our trip isn't until Aug.

I plan on buying some breakfast and snack items as well as water once we are there at a super market so I am setting aside $100 for that.

I set aside money every week into a vacation account. I use my Disney Visa card to earn points. I use my Chase rewards debit card and those points I can use to get cash back into my account.

Sue (mom of 3 boys!)
03-16-2011, 04:47 PM
I am confused about ME. We will be using it, but the bags won't be with us on the bus as I understand it. Are we supposed to tip the driver or not?

bumbershoot
03-16-2011, 05:13 PM
Great point, we budget about $20 per table service meal for tips (we have a family of four, two adults, two kids). That's always a little shocking to me, since we can eat at a sit-down place at home for about $20 (DH and I usually split and entree and the kids split a kid's meal). --Katie

Is the plan really worth it, if you are eating differently than you normally would? Have you done the math to see what the costs would be to eat normally?

Also, I've read repeatedly that when everyone's on the dining plan, you can share meals at non-buffet/family style restaurants (and leave credits to use for a future meal). Would that be helpful for you guys? Would lower the tip as it would lower the potential bill.

We split, are vegetarian (so our entrees generally cost less than something like a fancy steak would), and avoid most desserts while at Disney b/c of ingredient issues....the dining plan just wouldn't work for us. (we upgraded to APs and got TAbles in Wonderland, which takes 20% off meals and booze at most table service and a few counter service places, and even though it causes an auto-tip of 18%, it worked PERFECTLY for us b/c we ate exactly what we wanted)

I am confused about ME. We will be using it, but the bags won't be with us on the bus as I understand it. Are we supposed to tip the driver or not?

People sometimes bring their checked bags on the buses (they don't put the ME tags on and collect them at baggage claim), but other people put their carryons below the bus, and that is when you tip the driver.