Thrifty Thursday: Start Disney Vacation Planning With a Budget

IMG_0467The holidays are over, the decorations are coming down, and if you are like many, the post-holiday blues are setting in. So what better time to plan a vacation! Nothing gets rid of those blues like having a magical Disney vacation to look forward to! With that in mind, I will have some thoughts this month to help you get that planning jump-started. And since this is “Thrifty Thursday” it just makes sense to start at the beginning…with a budget.

Creating your budget is super important because you really need to know what you can afford before you do just about anything else. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

What’s even more important than creating that budget however, is that you have to be honest with yourself and be realistic. Having an idea at the beginning, of what you can truly afford to spend, will help you greatly in your subsequent planning. No matter what the amount is that you can afford, knowing your budget right from the start will then help all the other pieces fall into place.

You may decide to splurge in some areas, and scrimp in others, and only you will decide which are the areas of your Disney vacation that are most important for you to splurge on. This is different for everyone as we all have different priorities. But the thing is that a Disney vacation consists of a lot of “pieces” (like a puzzle) and they are all variable and can be moved around until everything all fits just right….for YOUR family.

This brings me to a little secret I want to share with you: Not having an extravagant budget does not mean you can’t have a magical vacation! It just means that you will need to use flexibility and move those pieces around until it is something you are comfortable with, cost-wise.

Which is why I recommend knowing your budget FIRST.

Now you can do it the other way around….figure out everything about your trip, see how much it will cost, and then save up until you can afford to go. This is what many folks do, and is certainly what we did for our first trip: we decided what we “thought” it would all cost (based on other people’s opinions I might add, not actual research), and then saved until we could afford to go. Which is one reason why our daughter was 7 before we went to Disney World for the first time.

But once I realized that what you paid for a Disney vacation was actually variable, I changed my way of thinking. On subsequent trips, I figured out what we could afford to spend, and then created a vacation to fit that budget. We still had to save, mind you…but we went more frequently, and I knew that I was never spending more than what I was comfortable with.

Yes, it’s just a different way of looking at it, and of course, my way may not be right for everyone. But it was the best way for our family (and for many others I might add.) So, if you agree with my way of thinking…then first make your budget, and then plan around it. 

In fact, planning and flexibility, are really the two main ingredients here. The further you plan ahead, the more options you will have for finding ways to save money on your trip. And the more flexible you can be with the various aspects of your trip -when you go, where you stay, how you will get there – the easier it will be to create your vacation to fit your budget.

So create your budget, plan as far ahead as you possibly can, and be as flexible as you can. And  if you want some personal assistance with figuring it all out so that you can find the best options for your Disney vacation, be sure to let me know.

Happy planning!

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