Budgeting For a Family Vacation to Disney World

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Disney World is a magical and fun place for a family of four. The sound of excitement filling the air, kids jumping and dancing around waiting to start their day at Disney. But as we know going to Disney is not as easy as it sounds. You need to budget your way to get to Disney World. Saving and planning is your first priority. How are you going to get there and where are you going to stay when you get down to Florida. Most important of all, well to the kids, the Disney Park, and which ones to go to. Wanting to go to and actually going to Disney World is two different things.
So you decided you want to take a family vacation to Disney for a week. Before you pack your bags you need to plan everything out. You need to start saving up for a trip like this because it is not cheap. Take some money out of your income each pay and it will add up fast if you put it in the bank, it will also add some interest on it. You may be wondering, how much money needs to be saved? Well when you add your transportation, tickets, hotel, house and pet care, food, extras, and more you’ll know. If you want to save faster or can’t take a lot of money out of your income, just cut down on things. For example, buy the off-brand of things instead of the name brand things. Don’t get unnecessary things or if it can wait than wait. Pushing aside the money part, you have to figure out when the right time of the year it is to go to Disney. Is it cheaper a certain time of the year? Is air fare cheaper or gas a certain time? Should we go when school is in or out? A lot of questions to ask yourself before going. September – December, except holiday periods, second week of January – March (except holiday weekends), any rainy days, weekdays. Days not to go are all summer, thanksgiving weekend, weekend before Christmas, the week on either side of Easter and Easter weekend, other holidays, during special events. There is a value season at Disney world which is January 3-6, 10-14, 18-febuary 11, July 18-september 30, November 28- 16.

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Cheapest day to fly is a Wednesday, the best time to buy airline tickets is Tuesday at 3pm eastern. It’s better to go when they are in school. So save up and plan for your trip to Disney World!
A lot of people don’t think of their house when they are planning a trip. If you have any pets they need care you need to figure out what you’re going to do with them. Are you going to get a pet sitter? What about a Kennel? Or even a resort? Well depending on your pet you can choose where you want to take them. If it’s a fish or hamster or small furry pet or if you have a farm you’re more likely to have a pet sitter. A dog or cat is more likely to go to a kennel or resort but it can also be cheaper if you have to sitter. Having a sitter is going to be like $10-$20 a day if you have a farm that needs looked after than it will most likely be more. For a kennel it goes by size and/or weight, so for example its nineteen dollars for zero to thirty pounds, twenty dollars for thirty to sixty pounds, twenty-one dollars for sixty to ninety pounds and so on. A resort is going to be a little more expensive because it’s more luxurious than a kennel, because they will have a TV, cot, treats, and special needs stuff, and grooming along with playtime. So the prices for that is going to range from thirty-two dollars to fifty-four dollars, plus all dogs have to have a going home bath so it will be an additional twenty-five to forty dollars. If you have plants at your house or a garden that you would like to be alive when you get home than you may need to get someone to come water you plants for like a couple dollars a day depending on how much tending to the plants needs to be done. But if you have no pets or plants and just want someone to turn on lights at night or other things than that will be a couple dollars as well. If you don’t need anything done at your house while your away than your good and don’t need to worry about spending money on those things and can save money there as well.
You’re debating should we drive there or fly there? If you drive down you’re going to need to find out if you are driving your own vehicle down or renting a vehicle to drive down. If you take your own vehicle down you save on rental fees, but say it doesn’t get good gas mileage and you want to take a rental car down. At enterprise the earliest they open is 8 am so you might have to get your car a day before. So that’s an a day onto your fee and then on your way home you will have to give the car back the day after you get back because it depends on when you get home and you will still have to fill up the tank and give it back before they close. So after those calculations they price for renting a car is between one hundred and five hundred dollars for all those days. The drive down is about sixteen hours and one thousand and seventy-five miles, but that is with no stops so add a few hours on to that. Gas today is three dollars and forty-two cents in Pennsylvania. Going with the thirty-one mpg highway gas will come out to be for a round trip not counting places you stop is one hundred and eighty-three dollars and seventeen cents. So it would only be gas money and emergency situations you would have to pay for, but for the rental car you would have to pay for gas and rental services. Now if you choose to fly you need to find out how much the plane tickets are going to cost you. But first which airline company you’re going to choose. Are you going to choose by low prices or by if they are highly rated or not? If you have to kids between the ages of twelve and seventeen the cheapest flight is US Airways which costs three hundred and ninety-eight dollars round trip. The highest price is eight hundred and thirty-six dollars which is JetBlue Airways. AirTran is six hundred and five dollars, American Airlines is four hundred and twenty eight dollars, Delta is five hundred and fifty-four dollars, and United is five hundred and sixty-three dollars. If your kids are between the ages of two and eleven the cheapest flight is US Airways for three hundred and forty dollars. The most expensive flight is nine hundred and fifteen dollars which is JetBlue Airways. AirTran is five hundred and seventy-one dollars, American Airlines is four hundred and forty- four dollars, Delta is three hundred and sixty-nine dollars, and lastly United is four hundred and forty-six dollars. Those prices can vary though depending on where you want to sit at on the plane, and any extras on the plane. The length of the flight is between three and four hours maybe five depending on the airline you choose and if there are any delays or layovers on your way. If you fly you will get there fast, but driving would save you money. So you choose flying or driving.
Before you leave for your trip you’re going to need to pack. Depending on what time of the year you are going you need to bring the right clothing to dress in. for example, if it is winter and you go down there you might need to buy summer clothing for the trip because it is going to be warm down there, so you are going to have to spend money on getting clothes. But if you go down in the summer you won’t need to buy summer clothes because you’ll already have them. If you choose to fly down you will need travel size things if you want it in your carry on. Also you will need to buy activities for your kids to keep them busy on the ride down there, flying or driving. Snacks you will need to buy for in the car so you can have food to munch on instead of stopping and wasting money fast food. So any extra/ things you only will need for this trip is a cost you have to think about too. If you are flying you can fifty pound luggage for each person, also its twenty dollars a person for have luggage, and carry-on bags are free unless you need more than two each person depending on your airline. If you are driving you don’t have to pay for having luggage. But you have to make sure it will all fit in the vehicle you are taking. You can buy a luggage bag that goes on the top of your car for more space but that is more money, so you could just limit your items you are taking so it will fit in the back of your car. So, remember it you get a lot of little extra things it could all add up to a big price that you weren’t expecting, so watch what you buy when packing.
You make it to Orlando, Florida from either flying or driving, now you need to go to you hotel or where you’re going to stay. Well before you left you choose where you are going to stay. Location is a good place to start, do you want to be close to Disney World or do you want to be a couple miles from it. Being closer to Disney World could cost you a little more because how popular it is and how close it is. Being a few miles out of Disney World will save you some money, and from all the craziness around Disney World. There is also the choice of staying inside of Disney at their many resorts that they have to offer. They also have their own resorts outside of Disney to stay at instead of a hotel. To name a couple of hotels near Disney is the Caribe Royale Orlando which is a four star hotel and is one hundred and seventy-six dollars a night, the Double tree Suites by Hilton, in Orlando and is three stars and is one hundred and sixty-nine dollars a night, lastly for the hotels is the Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando which is four stars and is ninety-nine dollars a night making it the cheapest hotel out of the three. Then a couple of the resorts are Disney’s Pop Century Resort which is one hundred and twenty-nine dollars a night, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge which is three hundred and sixty-nine dollars a night. So resorts are going to be more expensive than hotels are. Depending on what you choose if you go with a resort that is going to raise your savings amount also if you want a really nice hotel. Then there are also the extra little things at the hotel that might cost a little more so you need to save for those little things as well. Be care with the extras at where you choose to stay and you’ll be fine.
Food is one thing that you might forget to budget into your savings. You do need to eat and dinning for four is not cheap on vacation. You’re going to want and eat out because you are vacationing and not want to cook for every meal especially if you’re at a hotel with only a microwave and fridge. Most hotels or resorts come with complementary breakfasts so your breakfast is free unless the place you are staying does not than you can either go to breakfast or buy breakfast foods at the store that you can make in your room which would save you money than going out. Lunch time you’ll most likely be at the parks so you can grab something there. It might cost just a little more than somewhere outside of the park but you probably won’t want to leave just to go eat. For dinner you can either get room service at the hotel which will most likely be very expensive than going out. Dinning out, depending where you go, will be a normal price that you will be able to budget in. If you are at Disney at night, like for the firework or an event that’s at night you can dine there. For snacks now, you can just go grocery shopping, maybe on you first day there, and get the stuff you need for your room so you can get snacks and breakfast foods or lunch food, whatever you need. If you don’t want to go grocery shopping and you are driving down you can bring your own food from home. So, there are many ways to budget when coming to food and what you need when you’re down there.
It’s time to go to Disney but first you need tickets to go and maybe a plan on which park you’re going to go to first. First off you have to choose how many days you are going to the parks and when. The tickets go by days, so you can buy two to ten day tickets. But since you are only going for a week you only need up to a five or six day ticket or if you don’t want to go every day of you vacation then get less than a five day ticket. There are six parks, four theme parks and two water parks. So you could go to all six in six days if you want to, but the six day tickets cost one thousand two hundred and seventy-three dollars and seventy-six cents, the five day tickets cost one thousand two hundred and thirty-one dollars and sixteen cents, the four day tickets cost one thousand one hundred and eighty-eight dollars and fifty-six cents, the three day tickets cost one thousand one hundred and sixteen dollars and twelve cents, and lastly the two day tickets are seven hundred and eighty-three dollars and eighty-four cents. Those are for all four adult tickets which is ten and up. The tickets with two adults and two children three to nine are a tiny but cheaper, like up to fifty dollars cheaper. You could research and find coupons or discounts on tickets to get them at a better price. There are also fast passes you can get that are actually free that come with your ticket. There are also park hoppers which allow you to go to different parks in one day, but those cost two hundred and thirty-six dollars. Another one is called water park fun and more which is the same price as the park hopper pass, or you could get both for three hundred and thirty-six dollars. Lastly, you can have more fun there if there is an event on that day to go to, so pick your days wisely so you don’t miss an event you want to go to.
If you are going to do anything outside of Disney World, like other than the parks, than you are going to have to save for that as well. There may be activities that your kids see and want to do either on the way down to Orlando or at Orlando, and they cost money so you need to budget for the unexpected activities and things as well for the things you know you will be doing. Also, there is always shopping being done on vacation. If you don’t plan on spending a lot than budget for not spending a lot but maybe has some extra money for emergencies if you need something. So, budget for emergency money.
In conclusion, Disney World is great place to go for a family vacation for four. Seeing your kids eyes light up from the magic and excitement of Disney, and having fun with the people you love. As long as you budget out your vacation and find out how much you need to go all you will need to do is save you money. Once you save your money you are on your way to have the time of your life at Disney World. How are you going to get there and where are you going to stay when you get down to Florida will be a breeze now since you know what to do. Most important of all, well to the kids, the Disney Park, and which ones they pick when they get there. Now that you know wanting to go to and actually going to Disney World is two different things, you can budget your way there.



Works Cited

Kayak. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.kayak.com/flights/PIT-ORL/2013-12-16/2013-12-22/2adults/children-17-17
Disney. (n.d.). Theme park tickets. Retrieved from https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tickets/
Paws Here Awhile. (2012-2013). Boarding. Retrieved from http://pawshereawhile.com/boarding/dog-boarding.html
Enterprise car rental. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.rentalcars.com/SearchResults.do?doMinute=00&brandedFiltering=true&driversAge=25&doHour=10&searchType=geosearch&puLocationType=airport&rateQualifier.rateCode=&puHour=10&supplier=Enterprise&coordinates=40.491467,-80.232872&puDay=16&filterTo=50&puSearchAgainInput=Pittsburgh Intl, US (PIT)&countryCode=us&doDay=24&serverName=&rateQualifier.discountNbr=&preferred_company=Enterprise&filterFrom=0&puMonth=12&rateQualifier.partnerCode=&puMinute=00&doMonth=12&puSearchInput=Pittsburgh Intl, US (PIT)&doYear=2013&rateQualifier.accountNo=&puYear=2013



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