Sunday, March 25, 2012

Organizing Disneyland Part 2

We're in the countdown phase...3 weeks from today and we fly to Southern California for some much needed sunshine and a visit with the man himself, Mickey!

I seriously love traveling, and I know I can blame this gene on my father. His love for traveling has left me itching to take my family places! I hate sitting still, it's just not something I can do!

I have more tips to share and again these are all pre-trip phase. When I return I will report on how good my tips really were.

For tips # 1 - 3 see Organizing Disneyland Part 1

Tip #4  Shop around!
Since we are flying into Los Angeles we needed to rent a car. Having lived in the area before we are confident into our ability to navigate the area (large amounts of patience is needed!). I looked at so many different travel sites and car rental sites and I was surprised that and their travel section had such good prices. We were able to rent a minivan for under $300 for an entire week (Sunday - Sunday)! I also considered another site, but it seemed too difficult to actually get the minivan from the airport. So I picked one that was not only well priced but conveniently located. I mean come on, we'll have 3 extremely excited children with us and a busy baby girl!

Tip #5 Budget (this probably should have been Tip #1)
There are a lot of things that you need to consider when planning any vacation. Before getting all excited and just starting booking things, budget what you are going to need. I did not want to come home to piles of debt and stress, I really wanted this to be a vacation. Where we came home and did not feel the stress of the finances for months afterwards. Don't forget to plan for hotel, airfare, car rental, gas, food, spending, activities and emergencies (i.e. forgot sunscreen, etc).  Once you figure out your budget, reasonably figure out a time frame in which to save up the money for the vacation and where the money is going to come from. Do you have the additional money available in your budget, do you need to pick up some part time work, or are you using your tax refund? Just remember to plan!

Tip #6 Food Budget - save where you can
I think food is one of those items that you can WAY overspend on. Trust me, you must feed me or I am a big grump. My poor hubby learned that the hard way when we were dating. He still married me!
So here is my plan. One of the other reasons we picked our hotel is that it comes with a complimentary breakfast. Not just one of those rolls and juice breakfast, but a full on choice of waffles, juices, cereals, muffins and more. This should help us save money, since we will be pigging out every morning before we leave the hotel. My middle child is a BIG breakfast eater, so this should help her attitude before we even leave.  We will be buying inexpensive snacks for the kids to eat at Walmart or Albertsons once we get there. I'm going to let the kids get a special treat when we are at Disnelyand, but I want inexpensive snacks to calm their constant snackiness. Then we are planning to eat at restaurants where we can split larger portioned size meals to save money.

Okay so those are my money saving and budgeting tips. Next time I'm going to show you some of the fun things we've been doing to get ourselves ready for this trip.

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