Sunday, March 25, 2012

Organizing Disneyland Part 1

Our family has been working hard and saving for our upcoming trip to Disneyland! We are so excited to go and I can't wait to share all the things we've learned for our trip.

I've been before but as a child with my own parents and then again with my husband and our very young son. Now I'm going not only with my husband but with my 3 children (ages 7, 5 and 11 months) as well as with my niece (age 3). It's going to be an adventure.

I love to plan trips, I love to organize and prepare things to do. Oh how I love spreadsheets, they make my brain do happy flips on a trampoline!

So here are some of the things I have done with planning for this trip. We are on a budget, a tight budget mind you.  We debated driving, it's definitely cheaper with a family of 5, but after considering that we would spend an additional 4 days driving (2 days each way), plus then the cost of a hotel and additional food, we looked into flying.

Tip #1 - Look for smaller airlines and airports.
We found that by driving two hours south to a smaller airport and flying a smaller airline we could save over $400! That made the price of flying comparable to driving with the cost of gas, hotel and food factored in. Not to mention that we were saving our sanity! 4 children under the age of 8 for two days in car (oh the horror!)

Tip #2 - Start saving that change!
We got a large empty water jug and started putting our extra dollars and change into it. We encourage the kiddos to put their money into it, and everytime they got a little extra cash from Grandma or Grandpa, or for doing an extra chore they would put their money into it. Lo and behold after several months we had $150 saved up. That is going to be the kids spending money.

Tip #3 - Ask!
I had no idea where to book a hotel. We can't afford a fancy place like the resort hotels. So I used my best friend for finding tips, Facebook!  I posted the question to my friends, where was nice, inexpensive place to stay in Anaheim close to Disneyland. The reccommendation that I got was for the Days Inn on Harbor Blvd. My friend told me that they stayed there and thought that the place was comfortable, clean and the staff was friendly. I checked it out through and I got the place for $75 a night. I thought very reasonable for a family of 5 with 2 queen beds.

Well more to come next post...I have lots more planning tips to share!

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