Planning a Trip in 2020? Let's Share Our Budgets!

pinkxray

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
We just did a quick weekend for Marathon weekend. When I started planning it last year it was supposed a super cheap weekend. However, after a health scare in Oct. I upgraded it. It was DD and myself to start. A week before the trip Dh agreed he and the 2 little kids would like to come. Flights for them were double what I paid for DD and I.

Sw flight for DD and I - 168 each plus $50 each for EBCI
SW flights for Dh,DS,DD 368 each plus $25 for EBCI(only did it for them returning home) thankfully I had just enough SW points to pay for all the flights so just paid fees and EBCI out of pocket (my SW points are wiped out though)

1 night at YC/ 1 night regular dining plan/4 - 2 day park tickets 1900ish (used discounted Disney gift cards)
1 night YC around 500 but used AA miles so $0 OOP
1 night GF $600 but used AA $0 OOP

Food/souvenir around $700 (used discounted disney gift cards)
car rental 150(used chase points so $0 OOP)
Parking at resort and airport at home $175

So without using any points it would have been over $5000 and we came in under $3000which isn’t horrible for 5 people staying at Deluxe resorts.(we used Disney gift cardsI got at least 10% off but some were more like 20% but I don’t cheap a running total of how much I save on gift cards )
It was an amazing weekend and I was able to complete my first half marathon since having our 2 youngest so almost 7 years.

We are taking another trip in Nov. at Universal/ Disney cruise. I just totaled that one up but need to track down the paper. Not pretty.
 

disneyduonj

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 13, 2016
We just did a quick weekend for Marathon weekend. When I started planning it last year it was supposed a super cheap weekend. However, after a health scare in Oct. I upgraded it. It was DD and myself to start. A week before the trip Dh agreed he and the 2 little kids would like to come. Flights for them were double what I paid for DD and I.

Sw flight for DD and I - 168 each plus $50 each for EBCI
SW flights for Dh,DS,DD 368 each plus $25 for EBCI(only did it for them returning home) thankfully I had just enough SW points to pay for all the flights so just paid fees and EBCI out of pocket (my SW points are wiped out though)

1 night at YC/ 1 night regular dining plan/4 - 2 day park tickets 1900ish (used discounted Disney gift cards)
1 night YC around 500 but used AA miles so $0 OOP
1 night GF $600 but used AA $0 OOP

Food/souvenir around $700 (used discounted disney gift cards)
car rental 150(used chase points so $0 OOP)
Parking at resort and airport at home $175

So without using any points it would have been over $5000 and we came in under $3000which isn’t horrible for 5 people staying at Deluxe resorts.(we used Disney gift cardsI got at least 10% off but some were more like 20% but I don’t cheap a running total of how much I save on gift cards )
It was an amazing weekend and I was able to complete my first half marathon since having our 2 youngest so almost 7 years.

We are taking another trip in Nov. at Universal/ Disney cruise. I just totaled that one up but need to track down the paper. Not pretty.
How many AA points did you use for the hotels?
 

pinkxray

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
How many AA points did you use for the hotels?
Honestly, it was a ridiculous amount. Something like 90,000 for GF and 60,000 for YC. It was probably a horrible use of points but I had them and don’t really have any need for AA flights in the next couple years. If I did plan on using AA flights eventually there is no way I would have used them on a Disney resort.
 
  • 5kidsmommy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2013
    September trip: 7 days/6 nights
    Polynesian $1938 - paid DVC
    5 day ph tickets $1461
    Food $800
    Grocery delivery $80
    Tips $100
    Souvenirs $100
    Plane tickets $800 (estimate for 3, dates haven’t ooened yet)
    Total: $5279

    I have some Visa and other credit card rewards that will help with the food costs. I also have some gift cards I’ve been collecting. Trying to decide if buying tickets from a broker will be cheaper or getting the tickets through Disney and using discounted gift cards. I would really like to get the trip under $5000.
     

    disneyduonj

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 13, 2016
    Honestly, it was a ridiculous amount. Something like 90,000 for GF and 60,000 for YC. It was probably a horrible use of points but I had them and don’t really have any need for AA flights in the next couple years. If I did plan on using AA flights eventually there is no way I would have used them on a Disney resort.
    Thanks!! I burned a bunch of Alaska miles on my hotel...horrible redemption but I wanted the hotel more than those miles and had no plans for them
     

    pinkxray

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 4, 2009
    Whomp whomp.. Holy moly. I just added up our total for our Nov. Universal weekend and DCL cruise in Nov. It coming in a little over $10,000 right now.
    We will use credit card points for as much as we can and I buy discounted Disney gift cards when I can. I also throw any swagbucks/Ebates/rewards points towards our trips.Hoping to keep our actual out of pocket cost around $5000.

    DCL Merrytime Cruise 5 night 5588
    Gratuities (estimated) 337
    Youngest daughter doesn’t have passport $115
    Excursion Nassau $400
    Airport parking $80

    Using points so far (flights estimated)
    Rental Car 500
    Universal hotel $800
    Flights 1250

    Misc food at Universal/souvenirs

    We did book with Costco so we will get a Costco card back that will be used for groceries the month we get home.
    Most of the cruise will be paid using Disney gift cards purchased at least 10% off but sometimes a little more.
     

    tzeitel

    Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2008
    I did Disney math (the only math I am good at ;))! We are flying in a day early because it was cheaper than on our original day, plus our flight home dropped $20 each (gotta love SW!). This is the best scenario for us, the plan was to arrive at around the same time as my mom so we could all drive down to the Dolphin together - but our flights would arrive at least 2 hours apart. This way we get there the night before (arrive at 9:30PM), we will stay the night at a Choice hotel near the airport (I get the employee rate which is $35-55) and in the AM take the courtesy shuttle back to the airport to get the car and my mom on the way. We would get to WDW about 3 hours before we would have if we had flown in on the original date - already made ADRs for an early dinner at Beaches & Cream, might change it to Epcot if I can convince everyone to add a day to the tickets (it would be $12 each so I think I have a very good shot).

    I got the flights for $129/$109 from DEN. Was able to use gift cards for most of it - could have sworn we were able to use 4 forms of payment per ticket on SW (was going to use 3-4 gc per person), but it is now a max of 2 gc per person (plus the credit and then a cc). I have some gcs left over but I am sure I will use them :rolleyes1
     
  • DianeW

    Worshipping at the shrine of the corporate Mouse
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2011
    Feb. 25-March 5 Just my hubby and myself. Woot!!
    Airfare from Salt Lake City - $650
    Accomodations: First 3 nights at Old Key West in a studio, next 6 nights at Boardwalk in a studio - $0 (We own DVC)
    Souvenirs: $500 (budgeted, doesn't mean we'll spend that. But those Dooney bags tend to call my name.)
    Food: $2000 (budgeted, not necessarily what we'll spend. We have one table service reservation each day._
    Park Tickets: $577ish for my hubby's 10 day Park Hopper. $0 out of pocket for me on this trip, because I have an annual pass.

    May 3 - May 10 Family Trip
    Airfare from Salt Lake City for 4 people - $1600ish
    Accomodations - 2 bedroom villa at Old Key West $0
    Souvenirs - $500
    Food - $3000 for 5 people. We will probably do some cooking in our villa, since we have a full kitchen. But we do have a table service reservation on most days.
    Park Tickets: 6 day Military Park Hoppers (my married daughter can get these, since her husband is in the service) for 3 people, around $900. I have my annual pass.

    I always budget much more than we usually end up spending, but I don't want to be caught short. My food budget includes any grocery delivery we may use.
     

    blobula

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2018
    June trip: 9 days/8 nights with 2 adults, 2 kids and infant
    Package Summer and Fun - Port Orleans French Quarter, 6 days tickets (no hopper) and Memory Maker - $4339.16
    Food: $800
    Grocery delivery: unsure
    Souvenirs: $200
    Plane tickets $525 roundtrip
    Total: $5864
     

    pooh2001

    been there, done that, TRYING to go back
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2000
    Moderate and 5 day park hopper = $3200
    Plane would be about $800
    Food & stuff at $200/day = $1600
    Total = $5600
     

    Carolynleanne

    Canadian Disney mom
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2012
    I have to share my joy with you fellow budgeters. We just returned from WDW for ten days. Our grand total on food and shopping was $690 USD!!! For FIVE people. We were in a DVC studio at Boardwalk and ate two meals a day in our room. Even my husband couldn't believe it haha. We all had one souvenir to bring home and my daughter had a mermaid makeover at Pirates League.
     
  • azdisneylover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2008
    I have to share my joy with you fellow budgeters. We just returned from WDW for ten days. Our grand total on food and shopping was $690 USD!!! For FIVE people. We were in a DVC studio at Boardwalk and ate two meals a day in our room. Even my husband couldn't believe it haha. We all had one souvenir to bring home and my daughter had a mermaid makeover at Pirates League.
    Way to go!!
     

    Rob Huff

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 22, 2016
    When we bought DVC on the resale market in early 2018, our idea was to travel to WDW each year, alternating big, park-heavy trips with resort-only trips. In April 2019, we enjoyed a huge trip, spending 12 days at the Poly and visiting at least one park every day. It was great.

    Now, it's time for the resort-only trip. We live in Michigan, where I grew up, but my wife settled in Florida in her Navy family. When we moved back north a few years ago, one of our agreements was that we'd still get south, especially in the winter, to enjoy some warmth. The fireplace does tremendous work, but it can't fully replicate the feeling of warm, outdoor air.

    Here's what we're looking at for this January's trip:

    Trip: 7 days, 6 nights (Wednesday January 22 through Tuesday January 28)

    Who: Me (33), my Wife (32), and our daughters (8 and 5)

    Airfare: $871.84 (4 round-trip tickets from Grand Rapids, MI to MCO)
    ----- Waaaay cheaper than spring break travel from last year. We initially booked with Frontier to try an ultra-low-cost option...but then they moved our flight to a different day, we got a refund, and booked with Southwest instead. Weather permitting, we'll be at the AKL for lunch on our arrival day and splashing in the pool into the afternoon on getaway day. The flights came together beautifully.

    Tickets: $0
    ----- British tickets offered big-time savings last year, but they were substantially more than this. I do wish that Disney would offer more of their annual passes to non-Florida residents -- I, for one, would be very pleased to have access to the Weekday Select annual pass despite my distance from Florida. We'd spend a good deal more time in the parks if we were passholders again, but with only the Platinum Pass available to us, we'll be living at the resorts and Disney Springs for this trip.

    Lodging: $746.57 (4 nights at AKL-Jambo and 2 nights at BLT; 76 total points)
    ----- This factors in a ratable portion of the upfront purchase price and annual dues for our DVC resale contract at the Poly ($8.91 annual per point purchase price for 2018 purchase in 2018 dollars, plus 5% annual inflation estimate (given that dues increase faster than overall inflation rate) --> $9.82 per point for this trip). The 2019/2020 cash cost attributable to 76 points was much lower given that we purchased the DVC contract in cash such that our only ongoing expenses are the annual dues. This blows me away: sure, we don't get certain Membership Extras because we purchased our points resale, but at $124.43 per night on this trip, we're staying at some of our favorite places in the world. It's absurd (in a good way).

    Food/Souvenirs/Misc.: $900
    ----- This includes groceries, meals, tips, and souvenirs. We have table service meals scheduled at Boma and Artist Point as well as some type of sit-down at Beaches and Cream (could be dinner, could be dessert). This estimate is very high given our actual spending on prior trips, but I'd rather budget for a bunch of quick service meals and have cash left over than budget for PB&Js and be disappointed if we eat at The Mara a few times. We really enjoy dining at resort quick service locations like Capt. Cook's, Geyser Point, and The Mara. But as we found on our last trip, there were plenty of days where all our kids wanted for lunch/dinner was easy mac, a carrot, and a clementine. That's a solid, easy meal, and between grocery delivery and a suitcase full of food (thanks for those checked bags included in the fare, Southwest!), it's plenty cheap to pull that off.

    TOTAL: $2,518.41

    Now, it's time for me to put on my old man, get-off-my-lawn cap for a moment: I don't like the idea of suggesting that the use of airline miles/credit card points/hotel points/etc. makes a portion of a trip "free." I definitely understand the rationale for doing so -- rewards feel like found money -- but there's a real cost to using your points in that way. For example, if you cash out your credit card rewards for cash and contribute the cash to a Roth IRA, you've generated a unicorn: truly untaxed cash that also grows and gets distributed tax free. Is that the most efficient use of your cashback rewards? At 1 cent per point, no, normally it's not even close given the efficiency offered by some travel rewards portals. But it is another option for your rewards dollars and that's one of the costs of using your points for travel.

    <soapbox dismount>

    Happy budgeting everyone!

    (EDIT: Items I left out above: we'll board our dog at my parents' house ($0), get dropped off at the airport in Michigan ($0), and take Magical Express to and from MCO (inc. in tips). Compared to many of our peers, that's a few hundred dollars right there.)
    We're back from the trip and I just completed the financial tallies. In the end, overspending on meals was offset by remarkably cheaper-than-expected airfare.

    The categories below track our:
    • budgeted expenses
    • actual expenses (includes the prorated cost of our DVC purchase and annual dues for the points used)
    • expenses against budgeted expenses
    • actual cash expenses (includes only the cost of our DVC ratable portion of our DVC annual dues for the points in question, and reflects our purchase of discount gift cards and my daughters' use of unexpected Christmas money received from family to buy souvenirs that they otherwise wouldn't have bought)
    • cash expenses against budgeted expenses

    Item
    Budgeted
    Actual Expense
    Expense v. Budget
    Actual Cash
    Expense v. Budget
    Airfare
    $1,200​
    $872​
    $328
    $872​
    $328
    Tickets
    $0​
    $0​
    $0
    $0​
    $0
    Lodging
    $715​
    $715​
    $0
    $497​
    $218
    Food/Souvenirs/Tips
    $900​
    $1,153​
    -$253
    $943​
    -$43
    TOTAL
    $2,815
    $2,740
    $75
    $2,311
    $503

    The flights turned out to be one of the big wins of the entire trip, not only coming in well under budget but also turning out to be direct flights that got us to WDW around 1:30pm on our arrival day and enabled us to stay at BLT under almost 2:30pm on our departure day. It truly felt like we got bonus vacation on both ends of our trip!

    Our grocery, tips, and souvenirs estimates were right on, but we went a bit over on dining out given our affection for specific eateries. Our big-ticket meals went well -- Boma and Beaches & Cream were both good and Artist Point was one of the true stars of the trip -- but we found that we wanted a couple of additional chances to eat at The Mara. That was a good choice as the food was delicious every time. We already knew that the combination of Captain Cook's + Pineapple Lanai + HEA from sunset point at the Poly was a winning trio; even with a drizzle, that was one of the best parts of the trip and left us all feeling stuffed, including dessert, for $25.

    It turns out that getting lucky with our flights and removing the cost of park tickets enabled our family to have a much less expensive trip than our prior trips to the parks. Who knew?
     

    Kduke15

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2019
    Oh I must share will you all. I'm working on getting my savings down but I must share my differences from my first budget when I thought of our trip in September, to changing travel in December, then getting free dining, to my total savings now (I know. It's a lot to take in)

    We are doing Disney and Universal in September this year (My boyfriend hasn't been to either. I've never been to Universal and it has been 10 years since I've been to Disney)
    First plan was to go September 12 - September 19. I was gonna have use fly Southwest Saturday to Saturday. My boyfriend was nervous about flying and convinced me to drive so that brought down our expenses. And then I decided to go with free dining which put us a week ahead so September 5 to September 12 or 13.
    I've got 5 day park hoppers and planning on 2 days for Universal.

    Ps Our original lodging choice was All Star Movies (nostalgia for me) but now it's Port Orleans Riverside which I'm excited for cause it's a change for me. Not sure yet on Universal. Still have to decide that.

    September 2019December 2019Current Budget
    Trasportation (flight, car, gas, parking)$1,044$300$0
    Disney (Hotel, Dinning, magic maker, parking, and tickets)$2,165.45$2,627.83$2,527.83
    Universal (Hotel, dinning, photo pass, tickets$1,161. 97$1,158.62$761.97
    Total$4,371.42$4,086.45$3,289.80

    So far we are saving $‭1,081.62‬ from our original budget and have saved ‭$796.65‬ from December. That's using my credit card points to pay for gas and our hotel. And I've saved $100 on Dsney gift cards so far to pay for that portion.
    I can go into more detail if anyone is interested. I have many other goals of getting more savings. This also isn't including buying stuff for nothing on Amazon that we will use on our trip. So I'll definitely update y'all as This changes more.
     

    TwoMisfits

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2002
    I have 2 trips next year...a trip to Hershey Park/Pittsburgh/Columbus (12 nights) and a trip to Florida to help my sick mom and take the kids to a theme park of two (could be 7-14 days, depending how many we do in Melbourne at my sister's house which will have very little cost beyond travel and entertainment there, b/c we'd have her house and supplies). I think I'm gonna have a vacation budget of $8-9K for 6, which is gonna be very tight to do both, but I do have the hotels booked for the 1st trip (with great rates), my timeshare available for the 2nd trip (so no direct cost - aka, not needed to fit in the $9K), and 6 1 day any time MK tickets and $350 reward dollars from Chase that are expiring (so bonuses to the budget), so they need to get used up and will "add" to the budget...

    I'm gonna start working on budgets to make things happen. We do have kitchens available everywhere, and I have a dairy allergy, so we eat in a lot and plan special meals to enjoy (that won't take me down for vacation)...and this makes our grocery and eat out budgets very close (since I splurge on the groceries and alcohol b/c I can trust them:))...
    So, previously, I mentioned this switched to Hershey/Pittsburgh/Columbus and then a 5 day NY trip, breaking the budget into $6K for the 1st trip and $3K for the 2nd (b/c I can use my timeshare there)...well, I finally got around to buying and setting in stone some of the 1st trip, so here's what I have so far...

    Hotel
    Fairfield Inn & Suites Hershey Chocolate Avenue (Hershey 5 night stay) - Larger Studio, sleeps 6 with free breakfast - $760.35
    Home2 Suites by Hilton Pittsburgh Area Beaver Valley (Pittsburgh 1 night stay) - 2 Queen Bed and sofa bed, sleeps 6 with free breakfast - $147.85
    Residence Inn Columbus Downtown (Columbus 6 night stay) - Two Bedroom Suite with Two Bath - Larger Suite, sleeps 5 with free breakfast, but have to pay parking - $1496.96 + $182 parking = $1678.96

    Total Hotel and Hotel Parking = $2587.16

    Gas and Tolls Total for Whole Trip $300

    Entertainment

    Hershey - Hershey Park - 6 1-day tickets with 3 hour preview entry (so 1.25 theme park entries) = $280 total (after extra fees - $43.95/each for 6) - purchased
    Hershey Park Parking - $15
    Knoebel's 1 night bargain night bands for 4 (spouse and I are vets and will just use our $20 in free tickets) - $48+tax or about $50
    Hanover Pretzel Factory Tour - Free
    Utz Factory Tour - Free
    Yuengling Factory Tour - Free
    Hershey Chocolate World - Still TBD - will do the free ride - still deciding if we will do more
    Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine Tour - $60 total (hoping to get a deal and get this cheaper, but it's saved as a max cost b/c we are definitely doing this)

    Total Hershey so far $405 - I plan on budgeting $600 for entertainment here, with Groupons for the Hershey museum or the gardens or the trolley...or the riverboat in Harrisburg...but it's a rough guess:).

    Total Pittsburgh - Zero - family stop - so, no entertainment - family will entertain us

    Columbus - Origins Game Fair Bands (3 adult - 1 vet, 2 free kids, 1 free volunteer) - $175
    Origins True Dungeon $200 (for 3-4 folks)
    Origins other event tickets $200
    TBD activity on arrival or last day - TBD - I'm gonna save $100 here to play with and to have extra money for souvies if desired

    Total Columbus - $675

    Total entertainment = $1275

    Food

    Using my Busch Gardens trip experience last year, and knowing since we're working with the allergy, we tend to only eat out at most 1x/day (even more true when we have a hotel breakfast every day, which we do this trip), I'm planning the following...

    Hershey
    Groceries and Food Factory purchases $300
    Food Out $300

    Pittsburgh $0 (family feeding us)

    Columbus
    Groceries $200 (will be using some of the stuff from Hershey)
    Food Out $300

    Food on the Road $200 (1 cracker barrel or fast food meal on each driving day - so 4 meals)

    Total Food $1300

    Total Overall Budget as of now $5462 (of $6000) - any buffer not used flows to NYC or next year's funds, so this figure makes me happy for now:)...
     

    hsmamato2

    <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2005
    Hmmmm..... ok.... travel budget for *just* trips to Orlando? Or for all 2020 trips?
    For Orlando (with a nod to the various ways of calculating cost I've seen on here-ex. does using points truly = $0? DVC isn't 'free' either etc)
    ---Trip 1-
    Spring Break 2020- traveling with extended family- I'm paying for 3 people
    SWA flights $36 (cc points,those are taxes)
    7 nights/8 days Universal Cabana Bay- $0 (cc points)
    Travel to/from MCO, not sure,approx.$60?
    Park tickets -5 day/3 park $0 (cc points)
    Food- calculate $100 per day,so $700-$800
    Groceries- $70
    Airport parking $65
    Petsitting $125 (?)
    so $1156 is my planned total for this trip.....which breaks down to $144 per day,or approx. $48 per person,per day. I'm good with that:thumbsup2
    ---Trip 2-
    Late fall 2020- 12 day cruise for 2
    Total cost $499 pp (plus port taxes) Actual oop $0 (cc points)
    Car service to port- ??? maybe $100-200? still figuring out
    Flight home from cruise $22 (cc points)
    Will likely add an excursion onto this cost.....
    So somewhere between $200-$500 is my planned total here...this breaks down to approx. $42 per day,or $21 per person,per day.:cool1:
    (could I cash out some cc points etc as noted above? Yesss..... but in comparing the 'cost' of doing that vs. what I can do with them *instead* of paying cash oop,coupled with the joy of the experiences themselves makes this a 'no brainer' for me, this way I get experiences I NEVER could afford if it was all oop...)
    ---Trip 3(?)-
    prob gonna go visit family once or twice this year also
    airfare- $5.60 each leg (cc points)
     

    Macemom39581

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2019
    Hmmmm..... ok.... travel budget for *just* trips to Orlando? Or for all 2020 trips?
    For Orlando (with a nod to the various ways of calculating cost I've seen on here-ex. does using points truly = $0? DVC isn't 'free' either etc)
    ---Trip 1-
    Spring Break 2020- traveling with extended family- I'm paying for 3 people
    SWA flights $36 (cc points,those are taxes)
    7 nights/8 days Universal Cabana Bay- $0 (cc points)
    Travel to/from MCO, not sure,approx.$60?
    Park tickets -5 day/3 park $0 (cc points)
    Food- calculate $100 per day,so $700-$800
    Groceries- $70
    Airport parking $65
    Petsitting $125 (?)
    so $1156 is my planned total for this trip.....which breaks down to $144 per day,or approx. $48 per person,per day. I'm good with that:thumbsup2
    ---Trip 2-
    Late fall 2020- 12 day cruise for 2
    Total cost $499 pp (plus port taxes) Actual oop $0 (cc points)
    Car service to port- ??? maybe $100-200? still figuring out
    Flight home from cruise $22 (cc points)
    Will likely add an excursion onto this cost.....
    So somewhere between $200-$500 is my planned total here...this breaks down to approx. $42 per day,or $21 per person,per day.:cool1:
    (could I cash out some cc points etc as noted above? Yesss..... but in comparing the 'cost' of doing that vs. what I can do with them *instead* of paying cash oop,coupled with the joy of the experiences themselves makes this a 'no brainer' for me, this way I get experiences I NEVER could afford if it was all oop...)
    ---Trip 3(?)-
    prob gonna go visit family once or twice this year also
    airfare- $5.60 each leg (cc points)
    Wow you have a lot of cc points!
     



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