How do you afford multiple trips?

MICKIMINI

Love the Mouse!
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
We start saving about a year out. Although with the way prices are going up and the fact that I'll have two kids to buy tickets for next year. I'm not exactly sure what those vacations look like going forward in to 2022. We typically like to go down for around 8-9 nights with a budget of around $8000. You don't seem to get a whole lot for that anymore. The moderate hotel rack rates are getting hilariously expensive.

I've dabbled with the idea of DVC however I really don't have 30-35 grand to drop then turn around and pay the dues.
When Mods are in the $400's they are not Mods anymore IMO. Consider looking at resales. You don't have to spend nearly that amount of money to get started. Buy a fully loaded OKW or SSR contract for 10K or so with about 700-800 in MF's (assuming 100 points or so) if you can afford it (maybe you didn't travel this year) and then you are only paying MF's. You can get a studio for 7+ nights or so with 100 points. The nice things is, this contract continues to retain value and can be sold if needed. Good luck!
 

Pesky

"Who's the monkey?!"
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Okay, we don't visit frequently (you'll see from my sig block) but we do travel and have at least one big trip a year. We are fortunate to both have good jobs but there is a lot of help too behind the scenes. Here's how we do it:
1. DH is in sales so usually (in non-pandemic times) that means a lot of travel and he racks up the airline miles and hotel points. You can look into a credit card to accomplish the same thing but you need to ensure you are disciplined about paying it off every month for it to work and not create debt. Nice thing about a CC for hotel/airline rewards is that you can use for other non-Disney vacations if you like.
2. Disney CC. Again, I'm disciplined about it and pay it off every month or at least every 2 if I have a higher than normal balance due to something. The rewards helped tremendously with our WDW trip and bought our tickets to DLR last visit.
3. Vacation savings account. I had to start siphoning off money to a separate account (I have an emergency account as well and it was difficult to keep the two things separate in the same account for me -- weird, but there you are). I know the upcoming travel and costs and I usually start saving well in advance (we are talking more than a year usually). I'd rather over-save than under.
4. Watch the timing of your vacations and if possible, visit at non-peak times. We are lucky that our kids have a fall break so we've been able to go in October, which is often the shoulder season in many places.
5. Economize! I realized I don't need Starbucks (both $$ and calories!) and am perfectly content with my coffee at home. We've reduced eating out as well. I also plan for emergencies so when those hit, it doesn't hit my vacation fund ideally (you can't plan for ALL emergencies but you can plan for a new tire or a plumber visit).
6. At WDW, we hit up a grocery store before we went to the resort and that way had plenty for breakfast and some snack foods as well. It can save a lot of money over time, even with the occasional splurge. You can look into the delivery services too if you don't want to go to the grocery store. For us, it was easier because we went to USO first and had a car service for that and our transfer so easy enough to factor a grocery store stop in there along the way.
7. Limit your vacation spending. I gave the kids a voucher from me for ONE reasonably priced souvenir/toy of their choice, ONE Christmas ornament if they liked (they have plenty of ornaments now so decided against any more), and ONE clothing item. It forced them to carefully consider their options and they all picked something they liked. Also look at souvenirs that are less costly (ex pressed pennies) or you can create (ex autographed photo mat or pillow case).
 

kwdw

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
1. Value resort when they are 20% off.
2. I know the cost of flights from my closest airport in order to match up cheap flights and cheap room rates.
3. I drink the coffee in my resort room..... never enough creamer in the room, so I pick it up at the food court at resort or bring it from home.
4. Only order water with meals. No alcohol purchases.
5. Some food comes from home in the suitcase.
6. I tend to have one TS meal per day. I eat what I want, when I want, but don’t order more than I need. Sometimes I eat a Dole Whip float or popcorn for lunch. Might order an appetizer as main course. If travel with my partner, we might split an entree but add an appetizer or dessert. Basically, I’m cognizant of not overeating.
7. I used to spend a lot more on souvenirs, but now I am much more careful on that.

To save at home, I bought an espresso machine I love. Much cheaper than Starbucks. Even before working from home, I took my lunch to work. I am sure to buy clothes that give me a mix and match wardrobe, I avoid clearly trendy stuff, nothing that requires dry cleaning, one purse for all year, and I own very few shoes. We bought a freezer for the basement so we shop food sales. We work hard to keep our internet, phone, and TV charges low. Invested in a couple gym items for home years ago and hence, no gym fees. I drive an old car, so no car payment. I don’t buy bottled water, my Hydroflask goes with me everyone. I avoid shopping as much as possible to avoid buying material things I don’t really need. Rarely eat out. Love movies but I watch them at home

Basically, it’s a mindset. Travel is prioritized over stuff. And well, no kids to support!
 

Julie Amber

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
I take the approach of earning extra money instead of just looking at what expenses we can cut on a daily basis. Last year, we started making fabric masks and now earn at least an extra $1000/month doing that on top of my regular business. So that's plenty for a few Disney trips. On the trips themselves, we usually stay at a value resort. In Sept 2020, we got a deal off of Hotwire to stay at Pop for $80/night which was $100/night cheaper than the going rate at the time. We get a lot of water instead of soda. I don't drink alcohol ever, so that's an expense I don't have to worry about. We shop cheap flights and found $33 round trip tickets from Utah last year. That was incredible. I'm going in a couple of months and it will be my 3rd trip in a year.
 

TCRAIG

Member Since 2010 SS/OKW/HH/BCV/WLV/BLT/GF
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
We go 3-4 times a year for 6-7 days each trip - we always stay in a 1BR or larger depending on if it’s just the 2 of us or are bringing family.
1 - DVC where majority of points bought years ago
2 - we drive - we live in the Carolinas
3 - Gold annual pass renewed annually at the ‘blue card’ discount
4 - we don’t buy any dining plans - we pretty much eat like normal and don’t drink alcohol (we don’t like the taste- not because we have anything against it)
5 - we bring our own drinks - husband only drinks Arizona diet tea and I need my Diet Pepsi - neither available at WDW
6 - we don’t buy souvenirs- after 50+ trips - we don’t need or want anymore tshirts or hoodies or other assorted stuff.
7 - I use my Target Red Card to buy Disney GC at 5% off to pay for just about everything
 

DisneyMama811

🇨🇦 Disney Dreamin'
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
I had a little giggle at putting away bonuses in savings, I'm a PSW working in long term care, the only "bonus" I've ever received is an increased chance of contracting covid 😂 I'm insanely jealous of people who get paid like they actually matter to their boss lol
 
  • Starport Seven-Five

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2019
    I had a little giggle at putting away bonuses in savings, I'm a PSW working in long term care, the only "bonus" I've ever received is an increased chance of contracting covid 😂 I'm insanely jealous of people who get paid like they actually matter to their boss lol
    For most, that bonus is part of their compensation packages. Their bosses have little to no say in them. :)

    I would gladly trade my bonus for guaranteed income. I pretty much treat it as a "surprise" every year even though I know I should be getting at least 1/2 of it.
     

    bex7583

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 29, 2012
    We are a family of 5 in the UK😞 it takes so long to save for trips😴

    We find the actual airfare and hotel costs reasonable but once we start adding park tickets the costs instantly become double and upwards.

    I save reward points and have an amex British airways cards. These usually give me a few £100 discount off airfare and accommodation costs.

    Obviously ticket prices are non negotiable really and not any huge savings there apart from missing and skipping parks or whole groups of parks.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    Okay - You have to look at spending at home first..

    Look at household expensive -
    Cable, internet, light bills, phone plans, car insurance + shop around, look into bundling house, cars, toys into one package...

    Grocery and household goods spending - inventory your pantry, freezer, fridge... properly stock your pantry freezer and fridge, with how you cook and how your family really eats...

    Make a list and stick to the list...Plan your shopping...

    Spend time looking at who has what on sale - Shop seasonal for produce... when I was working outside the home, I would clip coupons, and check out the sale flyers, and make a list and meal plan - all on my lunch hour every day...

    Meal planning - after you look at whats on sale - you have to know what your going to make with the groceries you buy...

    As well look at your calendar - special meals, birthdays, parties, family/holiday gathering, house guest - plan accordingly and plan ahead...

    Freezer meals... things like red sauce, soup, casseroles, meatballs, beef stew...

    As well what to do with left overs...how to best use them...whether it's for lunches the next day or make sides dishes...

    I started doing some shopping at Aldi, mostly for pantry staples, then each time I would buy a few different items. So now I do a good amount of shopping at Aldi... I am saving around 350.00 to 450.00 dollars a month... which is a huge saving...even at 350.00 a month that 4,200.00 a year.. and that's just what I am saving at Aldi

    A few years ago, I adjusted how I shop, and where I shop and how often I shop... which has really paid off... It has to become a lifestyle change, you just have to find your rhythm...

    If possible take your lunch to work... you can really save alot, not only lunch, add in snacks, and drinks... and pocket the money you would spend into the vacation account... When I was working in a office I took my lunch, 4 days a week, on Friday we would all chip in 10 bucks for take out... I saved around 60.00 dollars a week X 4 weeks = 240.00 X 11 months( taking out for vacation weeks, and holidays and forgetting lunch) = 2,640.00 thats alot of cash... and if you both did it.. that even more cash to move into the vaca account...

    Stop online shopping... it's just to easy to over spend, and buy stuff you don't really want or need... then the whole returning it process. If you are shopping on line research each purchase before hitting the buy now button... know what your buying before hand..

    Check out your credit cards for hidden perks, points and such...
     

    ford91exploder

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 30, 2009
    As my partner and I have made more money, we have consciously kept our spending virtually the same. That gives us more money to play with each year. We invest most of it and use the rest to fund our obsession with travel.

    A big house, fancy clothes, eating out, or expensive cars don’t make us really happy. Sure, they are nice...but we don’t need them to sustain our happiness. Travel makes us happy. So we have cut costs in all other areas and put that money towards travel.
    you have discovered the secret, to want what you have not be constantly wanting what others have
     
  • Carolynleanne

    Canadian Disney mom
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2012
    When there: Credit card points for flights. DVC rental for accommodations (studio, with a kitchenette.) Eat only one meal a day in the parks. Groceries for the rest! Travel off season.

    Life: Only one vehicle. Don’t eat out. Our kids aren’t in any extra curriculars. Budget!!!
     

    disneymom0104

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2008
    We have always done WDW with free dining. For our family of 6 (5 of which are now adults by Disney standards)- it has saved us a TON of money and makes the trips manageable. In the last 10 years we have gone to Disneyland almost every year and WDW only once though- DL is closer to us so flights are cheaper, the trip is shorter (we do 7 days at DL with 5 in the parks, at WDW we like 10 days in the parks). It has been almost 5 years since our last trip to WDW and my kids are dying to go back. But planning now it is going to look a lot different. We will likely be off site so we have space to move around, we will have to pay for food out of pocket, we will have to rent a car and pay for parking. It all adds up quick! I have been sitting here with sticker shock over how much the prices have increased vs. our trips way back in the 2007-2010 range.
     

    Disneyfan754321

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2019
    Our trips are budget minded so we can do it again or stay longer. Taking our own food in the parks and staying in a value hotel are our biggest money savers.
     

    wilbret

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2018
    Everyone on the boards seems to go to Disney almost yearly, how do you all afford it? We are from Canada and I feel like we've been saving forever!! I would love to be able to go yearly but it's so expensive! last time I was at Disney was in 2011 with my then boyfriend now husband, since then we've bought a house got married and had 2 kids and are only just now getting to a place where Disney is a financial possibility (then covid came along 😡) I've been pricing things out and once you factor in the exchange rate we are already pushing $5K not including flights food or souvenirs.

    savings tips from frequent visitors would be great
    I often wonder the same thing when I see folks planning 2-3 week trips. We go several times per year, but most trips we never set foot into Disney parks, and we just do long weekends where time off isn't required.

    -DVC. Stay in places you could never afford, and/or split it up into a bunch of mini-visits.
    -Live within driving distance.
    -bring food, don't eat at Disney every meal
    -travel a lot for work, and have hotel points (hello, IHG!)
    -learn to decode priceline/hotwire deals
    -drink 2 of your own beers before buying 1 Disney beer, lol
    -remember that Walmart and 100 cheesy gift shops sell Disney souvenirs, too... :-)
    -SeaWorld, Lego, etc... honestly, the kids LOVE these places, and you can buy an annual pass to both for the cost of 2 days at Disney.
    -military ticket deals. Typically 5 days for the cost of 1 or 2 days. Universal deal is unlimited this year.
     

    redrosesix

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 29, 2008
    Mine will be like many other posters -- we are frugal at home to afford the things we do. We rarely eat out and never fast food (where I live diners are cheaper and better). I have always had a small wardrobe, and many of my clothes are used or vintage.

    My daughter has a competition in WDW every year (cancelled the past 2 years due to covid) so the trip was a must-do. That said, it was not our only comp trip and there were classes and outfits to be paid for too. But by going every year, you find a lot of things that you dont have to do every year...and if you did them every year, they might not feel so special. :rolleyes1All of our trips are at least 8 days, and most closer to 2 weeks.

    - we stay at a Value resort, which we prefer because we see green grass as soon as we step out the door (much better than stepping out to winter, which is what we would have at home)
    - we only do 1 TS per trip, exchanged a couple of years for a fireworks dessert party, and only at place we love (like Boma)
    - we have food in the room so we dont waste money on expensive snacks, and only eat breakfast in a park or at the resort food court on days where we can actually eat a full breakfast...otherwise we eat in the room while getting ready. We often buy kids meals, or share an adult meal. My husband prefers burgers most days -- just a burger, he hates fries.
    - we only get 4-5 park days and we get WPF&M so we have the same number of water park days (which are some of our favourite days)
    - we only buy a couple of souvenirs each year and they come with us on every trip. Those became our Disney clothes because for the most part that is the only place we wear them.
    - when our trips creeped up to 2 weeks, we realized how much of our budget went to food and we bought a very nice but less expensive timeshare for half of the trip.
    - we dont try to do all of the other parks. Some years we went to SeaWorld or Universal, but never both, and most years we did neither.
    - I do the rental car like it is a mission. Some years I was able to get Alamo vouchers through Airmiles but sadly they dont have those anymore and rental car prices are much more than they used to be. I need to change my strategy for the next trip

    Our favourite and most memorable trips are not the most expensive ones and our favourite things in our house are neither new nor expensive -- seriously, the house is 100 years old and old vintage furniture actually looks better than new . I guess my husband and I both had some rough times growing up with sick family members and other things that money couldnt fix. We just appreciate having the time to be together as a family.
     

    ElyseInWonderland

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2016
    Dual income, no kids :cool1:

    Also we rarely eat out, and live in a suburb with a low cost of living & home ownership. Cooking and eating at home makes a HUGE difference when it comes to budgeting!
     
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2016
    We buy AP’s and do 4 week long trips over the 12 months. (2 each calendar year) this brings the cost of our per parks day down To a very reasonable cost.

    we rent DVC points at a very reasonable per point cost.

    we use points to fly.

    we have soda, water, snacks, lights meals, and alcohol delivered to our resort.

    we buy discount Disney gift cards when we see a good deal throughout the year.
     

    Tattylou

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2014
    OP-
    I’m with you - not Canada, but New England. So we always have to fly. We also have to go peak times bc my husband is a teacher. We have two kids: I just booked CBR for Feb 2022 for 7 nights plus park tickets for 6 days and it’s almost $ 5k and that doesn’t include flights or food. That’s pretty much how it usually ends up for us. I do have a Disney Visa so I use that for a lot during the year to get points. Usually I use the points towards airfare - because of course flying school vacation from Boston to Florida costs triple what it does on no -school vacation weeks. I’m not one to pack lunches to bring to the parks and all of that to save money. I know it works for some people, but when o go I just want to eat where and when I want and I like the Disney bubble so we eat on property. Usually I get the dining plan so it’s just paid for when we get there. It isn’t a cheap trip that’s for sure. I do try to budget during the year for it. We don’t go more than once a year generally. If airfare wasn’t a factor, I might have done annual passes and a few extra small trips if we could drive there easily.
     

    EllenMurphy

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 3, 2021
    Hey OP another Canadian here! I may be going back to Disney for the first time but I chat a lot with another American who has gone several times. A lot of the tips and tricks she offered me are not available. The reality is...its harder for Canadians. We have to pay an exchange rate, our credit cards do not offer to same point values as American cards. My friend was shocked at limited options. She racks up travel points so easily and some of the best ones have a income threshold that I do not meet.

    Our cost of living is WAY higher so it is a lot harder to cut some of the costs as some suggested above. We do not have the the amazing coupons like Americans do. Take an American into any of our stores and see the sticker shock on their faces :P

    That is a lot stacked against us! The only people I know in Canada who do multiple trips to Disney (again this is only who I know) have a way higher income than I do or kid-free.
     

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