About the Column

Congratulations! You're going to Disney World, the Happiest Place on Earth! Now what? Do you have a plan? Do you know what to expect? Are you determined to 'see it all' - or die trying? Lesley Sawhook has been there, done that so many times that in her sleep she counts marching Mickeys, not leaping sheep. Her years of experience as a Disney mom, a Disney planner, and now a Disney Certified Travel Agent uniquely qualify her to dispense the Happiest Tips on Earth. Learn from Lesley how to have the Happiest Time at the Happiest Place on Earth.

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FROM: Happiest Tips on Earth Published Fridays

Saving Towards Your Dream Vacation

Coming up with the money for a FULL luxury trip to a Disney resort can feel like an overwhelming task in this "tight-budget" times. Lesley talks about some simple changes and ways to save that you may have overlooked.




Do you ever feel like you have a Disney Dream vacation in mind that is simply unattainable? I have been going through that this week. With Disney opening it’s brand new Aulani resort and the new Adventures by Disney itineraries being announced  I am instantly wishing I had a magical lottery ticket to cash in.

Aulani Resort

We are Disney vacation club members so the price of the per night at Aulani isn’t an issue, but the airfare for a family of 4 is SO HIGH, especially since I am a teacher and I can only travel during peak times. I figure this is an issue for most families since kids shouldn’t be pulled out of schools. So, if the reality is around $4,000 for airfare for a trip you’ve always dreamed of, is it worth it? If it is worth it (which I definitely think it is), how do you get there? How can you save that money to turn your dreams into a reality?
For me it will take some major planning and lots of time and patience but I do think that with careful planning and creativity it can be done, but how???
Here are my Happiest Tips for saving money in a mindless way, and who doesn’t LOVE saving for Disney, do you honestly NEED more motivation!?

-Pay yourself!!??  My husband and I recently were listening to a Disney Podcast that we love and one of the ways mentioned to save money is to “pay yourself” each pay day and put that money aside. If you pay yourself 50 dollars per paycheck that could add up quickly. Would this be enough for the airfare, hotel and spending money? No! However if you are dedicated and do this among other things it will help you get one step closer to your goal. I get paid bi-weekly, so if I did this that’s an additional $100 per month = $1200 per year!!!! (we’re getting closer!!)

-Forgo a meal out once a month: We love to reward ourselves after a week of hard work by eating out on Friday nights. If we were to forgo one meal out per month we could save an additional $50.00 each week – that’s $200 a month= $2400 a year!!!!! (not too shabby!)

-Couponing:  O.K, I’m not a coupon FREAK, but I do buy a weekly paper (sometimes two) and will compare those to our weekly grocery fliers to save money. I am proud to say that I average around $40-75.00 in savings (according to my register receipt) in coupons alone. If I would take that money saved and put it aside for future Disney trips instead of just blowing it on other things that would add up quickly as well. I go shopping twice per month, so if I put $40.00 aside from those coupon savings every other week that is $80.00 per month =  $960 per year!!!  That makes getting out those scissors on Sunday’s seem so much more worthwhile! ; )

-The good ol’ coin jar: Yes, I went there………. A coin jar can be an invaluable way to save money towards that dream Disney vacation. Put it by the door of your house so you can empty your pocket change upon entering your home and you will be amazed at how quickly the coins will add up. We did this for two months once before a Disney trip and we had $50.00 in those two months just from spare pocket change. If we did this consistently that would be about $300 towards Disney in one years time.
If you add up the simple things I mentioned above that is $4860 in ONE YEAR!!! I can hear Hawaii calling my name already……………….Aulani here I come……………….EVENTUALLY!!! : )

What do you do to save for your Disney trips? I would LOVE to hear from you, together we CAN do this!?


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