Well, here we are 103 days until our trip to sunny Florida. I wanted to fill you in on where we are in the planning and saving stage of our much-anticipated next adventure. Some quick stats about our vacation: We will be staying at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort (a value resort) for 5 nights in December. We have 6 day park hopper tickets, since park hopper is a requirement for the Free Dining package. We upgraded from the Quick Service plan that comes with the value resorts to the standard Disney Dining Plan. We really enjoy experiencing the awesome food at Disney’s table service restaurants, so for about $150 more, we’re still getting a good deal. In all cases, it’s good to do the math to see if the Dining Plan is the best for your family.
We opened a Disney Vacation Account online here in July, so we would have plenty of time to save and get our bonus gift cards ($20 for every $1000 spent on your vacation.) As of this post, we are about 1/2 way to our goal. We ordered 11 Disney Gift cards in $100 increments from BJ’s Wholesale Club, for $94.99 a piece, for a savings of around $55. We put the gift cards into our DVA account, where we will get 2 $20 gift cards when we pay off our trip. For our trip deposit, we used our Dream Dollar rewards from our Disney Chase Visa, for a grand savings total of $295 off our trip.
Besides budgeting at home for your trip, the goal is to pay as little for your trip as possible, right? Our financial goal is to pay our trip off completely before we go, and use gift cards for spending while we are at Disney. If we fall a little short paying up front, we know we can use the Disney Chase Visa and have 6 months interest free to pay if off.
For us knowing that we have half of our trip paid off three months out is a huge win for us. We see a finish line ahead and know that we do have a little wiggle room, in case other unexpected expenses come up. Our little saving tricks allow for a little breathing room for those of us that have to save our way to the happiest place on earth.