How to Go on a Walt Disney World Vacation on a Budget

The Walt Disney World park admission, hotels, and food costs can become very expensive very quickly! In an effort to entice families, there are now many Disney World vacation packages available, but upon closer inspection, these all inclusive Disney World packages aren’t always a great deal.

This is why I have sought out an expert to help identify how to take your family to Walt Disney World without bursting your vacation budget. Kelly Goode, author of “A Mom’s Miserly Guide: Orlando, Disney & Universal on $25 a Day!”, has generously offered to share some of her tips when planning a Walt Disney World family vacation.

Griffiths

Your guide to planning a family vacation in Orlando for $25 a day is such an intriguing concept! How did you come up with this idea and how long did it take you to write the book?

Goode

Having been a travel agent for over 15 years in Florida, and an avid Disney World fan, I sensed the need long ago for a comprehensive, realistic guide for families to save money when visiting Orlando and Disney World. I learned that people dream about and plan these vacations for years in advance, and it broke my heart to hear and see people struggle to afford their vacations when there were actually cheaper ways for them to enjoy their Disney Dream Vacation. The book took about a year to write, but it is an ongoing project due to the constant changes in Orlando and the theme parks.

Griffiths

When you say that you can go to Walt Disney World for $25 a day is that per person or is that based on a family of four, two adults and two children?

Goode

Families can visit Walt Disney World on $25 a day – and that is for real. The $25 is a per person rate and is based on real hotel choices, car rental choices, and discount tickets. I actually have a chart in my book that shows exactly how families can achieve this goal. All families may not, of course, only spend $25 a day because they may want different hotel choices, different theme park choices, or various restaurant choices that increase their vacation budget. My book, however, allows families to see how they can achieve this vacation on this basic budget and move up if they like.

Griffiths

How often is the eBook updated with information? I know that when I seriously consider buying such a guide, I worry that the information is dated.

Goode

As I mentioned, the book is an ongoing project because it must be constantly updated to give people the new information they need on hotels, attractions, and prices. I update it continually and I also have a blog which I update daily with updates that pertain to Disney, Universal, Sea World, Orlando, and saving money on their vacations.

Griffiths

What are the 5 top most expensive errors that families make when going on a Walt Disney vacation?

Goode

Well, every family is different, so I hate to label them with “errors,” but if you force me I have to say that these are the most common ways families deny themselves savings:

1. They travel at peak times, as opposed to taking the kids out of school for a day or two. Value season decreases prices tremendously.

2. Families think that the only way to see Disney is to stay at a Disney Resort, and quite often they are the most expensive accommodations to be found.

3. Discount airfares aren’t secured because people aren’t comfortable with purchasing discount airfares on the Internet – and they aren’t savvy to the sales. (My book helps with this tremendously)

4. Families don’t take advantage of theme park discounts, whether that means going through a special operator, purchasing tickets online, or just taking an extra step or two to find discounts.

5. Parents aren’t aware of the restaurant and food savings they can get from various venues in Orlando. Hundreds of vacation dollars can be saved with coupons, kids-eat-free locations, and special planning.

Again – my book helps in all these areas!

Griffiths

A Walt Disney vacation could easily cost thousands of dollars in a week if a family hasn’t planned an appropriate budget. How far in advance do you recommend families plan their Walt Disney vacation to ensure that they are squeezing every dollar effectively?

Goode

Planning is very important because everything from the dates, to the airfares, to rental cars, hotel accommodations and theme park tickets come in to play. I believe a family should start about 9 months out, but continue to be flexible when searching for the ultimate savings in vacation dates.

Griffiths

What impresses me most about Kelly’s Walt Disney vacation guide is that she doesn’t accept any sort of payment from the companies that she recommends. It really adds credibility to the guide as well as offering a 100% guarantee. Being creative with budgeting for vacation can often be part of the vacation experience! The more you plan in advance, the more likely you will be able to stay on budget while creating memories for your family.

Travel the World on a Budget

Traveling the world is a dream that so many of us have, but never get to fulfill. The reasons that so many people never achieve this dream is because it doesn’t fit into “society’s plan”, they are too scared to travel, and also because most people think that they just can’t afford to travel. The truth is that traveling doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think. If you do your research you can travel all around the world on a budget. Some destinations cost more than others, for example traveling in Asia is a lot cheaper than traveling in Europe. But it doesn’t matter where you go, there is always a way to save money to make your dream of traveling around the world a reality.

The first thing you need to do is work out your finances. If you are like most people living in western society, you will probably be in some sort of debt, and will spend your money on buying “things”. It is these “things” that generally cause you to go into debt in the first place, and do you really need these things? Or do you just think that you do because everyone else around you has them? The fact is that things can’t make you happy if you are not living your dreams. Instead of buying “things” you could be putting your money towards fulfilling your dreams, to traveling the world, experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and just truly living and loving life. There is no better feeling in the world than achieving your dream.

So stop spending money on things that you don’t need, pay off your debts and then save save save. But how much do you need to save to travel the world? Well it all depends on where you are going, and how long for. If you want to take a typical year long around the world trip, spending time in a mixture of cheap countries and expensive countries, then a lot of people spend around $20000. It sounds like a lot of money, but think about it. That is all you need to travel around the world for a whole year! How much do you currently spend each year living the life that you don’t want to live?

Some people spend more, some people a lot less. It all depends on what you spend your money on, where you stay and where you eat. But $20000 is about an average price.

If you don’t do your research however, that $20000 will be gone in no time! So you have to be careful, and always think about what you are spending your money on. What you need to spend your money on to travel around the world is transport, accommodation, food and activities. Carry a backpack or bag with a few clothes and accessories such as a camera. You don’t need to pack your whole wardrobe, nor do you need to buy endless amounts of souvenirs, your photos and memories are the best souvenirs you can get!

Have a good look around for flights in advance, there are always plenty of airlines competing for the best price, so don’t just pick the first one you find. Compare a whole bunch until you find the cheapest one. Take public transport where ever you can, and walk whenever possible because not only is it free, you also see a lot more!

The cheapest places to stay are hostels and guest houses. Most places around the world have dorm rooms which are cheap and you get to meet a lot of other travelers and have some great experiences. In places like Asia, you can get private rooms in guest houses extremely cheap. In Laos for example, you can find rooms for as low as $2-$3 a night! And even in more expensive places like Australia, you can find dorm rooms for around $20 a night. That is a lot better than paying over $100 for a hotel room, and it’s a lot more fun!

Most hostels around the world also have kitchens, so you can buy and cook your own food, saving you a lot of money. If you want to eat out, try to avoid touristy areas, and eat where the locals eat. Street stalls have some of the cheapest food you can find, and are often delicious and local. In South East Asia you can get street food for around $1 per meal. In Italy I got delicious pizza for about $2 a slice.

As far as sightseeing goes, try to visit places that have free entry, and avoid booking expensive tours when possible. Many cities, especially in Europe, have free walking tours. Of course you can’t do this everywhere, some places will cost money, and you still want to have fun and see what you want to see. So make sure to budget some of your money for activities.

Traveling the world IS possible. It’s not just for rich people. Anyone can do it! All you have to do is put the effort in to make it a reality. Make you dreams come true, get out and see the world!