Money Saving Tips for your Next Family Vacation

Tips to Save you and your family money while traveling

Summer is over for another year – deep sigh – but you may still have plans to go away with your family on a vacation. Perhaps those wintry slopes of a ski resort lie in wait, or if the cold isn’t your thing, and your hometown is prone to those annual visits from cheeky Jack Frost, then you may be thinking about heading to sunnier climes. Or you may be thinking about next year, planning your annual family vacation when summer rolls around again. Whatever the case, here are some tips that will help you save money on your travels.

  • Start your vacation fund. If you still have a long way to go before you head out on your holidays, start to put money aside now. The more you save, the more you have to play with when away. You might even start to make some extra cash, so you won’t have to donate huge chunks of your pay into your vacation fund.

Vacation tips for families

  • Book your vacation early (or late).  If you know where you want to go, look for early booking deals with your travel agent, or visit travel sites online. You may be able to get cheaper prices on flights and hotels. Some travel companies also allow you to set up price alerts, so you will be notified by email when prices drop. If you’re not ready to book early, then book late! Conflicting advice we know, but there are sometimes special travel deals for late bookings, as travel companies try to cut the losses of any cancellations.

 

  • Sign up to a travel rewards credit card. A credit card is one way to lose money, but provided you act responsibly, signing up to something like the Amex platinum edge credit card can be cost-effective. Not only will you get a signup cash bonus, but it doubles as insurance, meaning you have a backup should your flight get cancelled, or you lose your luggage.

 

  • Choose a cheap destination. When traveling with kids, nowhere is particularly cheap, especially if you give in to their ‘I want’ demands (hint: don’t!), but some places are cheaper to travel to than others. Consider the cheap family vacation ideas here, as this useful guide may hold the ticket to the next place that captures your family’s heart. Alternatively, head to somewhere that is less touristy. This way, you are less likely to fall prey to hotel and food diners who hike up their prices to ‘steal’ money from gullible tourists.

Travels Tips for Families

  • Research available discounts. When you have chosen a place to visit, research the destination, and look for any discounts that may be available. Some places offer a CityPass for discounted admissions into popular attractions, and there may be family travel passes available that will make getting around a town or city on bus or train cheaper than it otherwise would be.

Disney Travel Tips

These are just a few of the ways you can save money on your family vacation, but if I have neglected to mention any money-saving idea that you use, please share in the comments!

Visiting the Magical Kingdom with Toddlers

Tips & Tricks we learned taking our two Toddlers to The Magical Kingdom!

*Gifted courtesy tickets in exchange for a review.*

From the second the idea of doing Disney with our kids popped into my head, I couldn’t stop obsessing over it! Most of our friends and family said we were a little crazy for taking two toddlers to Disney since they won’t remember it. I, however, beg to differ! I went all out trying to make this a truly magical and memorable experience and vacation for them (check out how we surprised them with the trip in this post!)

I’ve since learned, I am indeed not crazy and people are taking children as young as infants to Disney! It truly is such a magical experience and I’m so glad my kids got to experience it! Now on to the nitty gritty stuff. Let’s talk what to prepare for when going to the Magical Kingdom with two toddlers because that was no joke.

You can find my post here where I link up some of my favorite Disney clothing and accessory finds. I snagged two adorable kid sized travel back packs for the kids and stuffed it with Target dollar section finds. Another tip, if you have the store 5 below near you check them out! Everything is the store is marked $5 and under and I found some cute activities that kept them busy there. Also, SNACKS! My kids get hangry real quick so keeping blood sugar up was a big priority of mine. For more of my travel specific tips, head to this post!

We arrived in Orlando on Sunday and spent the entire day exploring and playing at our hotel, Animal Kingdom Lodge. Our kids were fascinated by the animals and the entire building, they also loved the safari feel of the lodge and the pools! We had an amazing experience at this hotel. I do wish that they had double rooms for a less expensive option but we went with a single room that had bunk beds. We asked for a crib for Marley and the staff was very quick to bring that up to accommodate us. We all ended up sleeping great in the room!

Monday we spent the most of the day at The Magical Kingdom. Here’s a run down of tips I’ve learned and well as what I’ve heard from others of your doing Disney with young kids.

1. Bring your own water and snacks. I mentioned in this post that I grabbed the kids two new water bottles from Target before leaving. I refilled these often, for free, at the Starbucks locations in Magical Kingdom.

2. Get there early! The park opens at 8AM for most and you want to get there to prepare for lines. What I learned is there a wait for a lot of things. There are lines to enter the park, to get through security, to get on the monorail, etc. If you get there early you can hop on some rides before the lines get really long. Our first (and favorite) ride was the Dumbo ride!

 Traveling to Disney with Toddlers

3. Book your fast passes early and do your research. I talked with other moms who had done Disney and The Magical Kingdom to find out where to best utilize our fast passes. I had originally booked a fast pass for it’s a small world however I ended up changing it because someone said this ride rarely has a long line thus no need for a fast pass.

4. Kids under 3 are FREE! I actually did not know this when we decided on Disney. Marley was completely free and she is at the age where she still had SO much fun! Take advantage of going to Disney with young kids.

5. Bring a stroller. Trust me, you’ll want it and the kids will want it. Our double stroller by Delta had a shade which allowed some protection from the sun when it got to be too hot. Also, bring a small portable fan! They are expensive in the park so better to grab one before you go. It was HOT in that June Florida sun, we also located a small splash pad area (near the Dumbo ride) where Kellan got soaked and couldn’t have been happier! This cooled him off (on that note, be sure to remember changes of clothing!)

I wish we could’ve spent 2-3 more days exploring Disney. You honestly could see something new everyday. The staff is beyond wonderful and they truly make it the “most magical place on earth.” We will definitely be planning more trips in the coming years. This is another reason I didn’t really mind going early, I know we will back and the memories will only continue to build!

Disney Themed Scavenger Hunt

Planning a Disney Trip? 10 Scavenger clues to surprise your kids

Scroll to the bottom to see our amazing video created for us by Jenn Scott! If you are local to the Central New York area, consider Jenn & her husband Brent for any videography needs! You can check out their Instagram here or visit their YouTube channel here.

Putting our Disney scavenger hunt together was at the top of my to do list once our trip was booked. I did some googling and some pinteresting and ultimately came up with 10 clues that worked great for us.

Planning a Disney Trip? 10 Scavenger clues to surprise your kids Disney Boumd T-shirts

I knew I wanted most of the clues to be outside, so hoping and praying for nice weather was obviously key. This was the perfect way to tell the kids about our fun vacation we had planned. We waited until the day before we left to do the scavenger hunt so the anticipation nearly did me in!

If you want to see tips on how I put these clues together, check out my highlighted Instagram stories (labeled Disney) and I’ll be sure to link some of the products I used below.

  1. Clue # 1- Here is the first of ten clues, work together and you can’t lose. Start where you take a snooze! (Clue led to Mickey & Minnie PJs)
  2. Now head downstairs where you play. The next clue flies high everyday! (Clue led to the playroom and I hid a few toy airplanes)
  3. Into the play house you must go! Look where you slide, search high and search low. (Led outside to their playhouse and I hid a mickey & minnie hat)
  4. I hope this clue doesn’t leave you stuck, look on the deck for a big truck! (I hid a Disney themed towel in big toy truck on our deck)
  5. We’re halfway now, almost there! I’d start searching under a green chair! (Hid two Disney themed sippy cups under our deck furniture)
  6. Now that we are outside enjoying the day, check in the sandbox where you often play. (Hid sunglasses in the sand box)
  7. A suitcase is ready, on the double! Find your next clue by the bubbles. (I hid two travel sized kid backpacks by a bucket of bubbles on our deck)
  8. The safari roads lead to our garage, I wonder if the next clue involves our lodge? (Clue was in our garage and it was these Disney Bound shirts)
  9. Go Ahead! Do a big twirl, because Kellan & Marley are headed to…. (clue was a big wrapped box which had balloons and our Disney magic bands)
  10. DISNEY WORLD! (Taped to the inside of the box)