Paris, Hawaii, Disney World, or Italy – These are all dream vacation destinations. They also have something else in common. They are all very expensive! Here are 3 ways to save for your dream vacation.
This past summer, my cousin got married in Disney World. She really wanted me to be her matron of honor and my kids to be her flower girl and ring bearer. I really wanted to make the trip a week-long vacation for my family, since my kids had never been there. However, with the costs of the wedding attire, airfare, a hotel room, food, and activities, I didn’t think that would be possible.
With a year until the wedding, I decided to start saving as much money as I could. I booked airfare and a room for the full week in hopes that I would be able to save enough money to pay off the credit card charge before we left. Plus, I wanted enough money to cover food, tickets, and activities, so those wouldn’t have to be paid for with credit. Here are the 3 ways I saved the most money for our dream vacation.
#1 – Use Credit Card Rewards
I’ve had the same credit card since I graduated from high school, and I’ve never used the reward points. It turns out that they accumulated over the years, and I had enough to get some air miles for free. Using my Capital One miles to cover part of the airfare reduced that bill significantly.
Around the same time I found out my cousin was getting married at Disney World, I received a credit card offer in the mail. It was for a Disney VISA card. They were offering a special promotion. I would receive a $200 Disney gift card if I signed up for a card. The timing was perfect, so I got a Disney VISA card. I put all of the expenses for the trip on the card and earned points for them. That allowed me to exchange the points for even more Disney gift cards. Those provided spending money for the vacation.
While the Disney VISA strategy only works for Disney World, most credit cards have point systems. If you save your points, you can use them toward airfare or gift cards to spend on your vacation.
#2 – Use Coupons to Save Money
I started using coupons to save money about three years ago when I was on maternity leave with my daughter. At that time, we needed to save the money so I could continue to stay home for the rest of the school year. When I found out about my cousin’s Disney wedding, I was working again. I decided to put any money I saved toward our Disney trip.
Check out my post Make 2017 Your Year of Saving for all of my money-saving strategies. Each week when I got home from the grocery store, I looked at the bottom of my receipt to see how much I had saved. Every time I made an online purchase using a coupon, I noted how much I’d saved. I used a notebook to add up my savings for the year. My grand total was $5,156.18. Using that money, I was able to pay off my credit card bill before we left for our dream vacation.
#3 – Save Your Change
All those pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters don’t seem like much as they build up in your wallet. However, letting them accumulate over time can amount to some serious money.
I put a bucket on our kitchen counter. Every time my husband or I had spare change, we added it to the bucket. Even the kids got into it. They took coins out of their piggy banks to put in the “Disney Bucket,” as it became known. They even wanted to go with me to the bank when I exchanged it for cash. We poured it into the machine and were very excited to see it add up to $468.35. From that money, each of my kids got $50 spending money in Disney World. The rest went toward our meals.
Our Dream Vacation
Using these three money-saving strategies allowed us to have the ultimate dream vacation in Disney World. We even had enough extra money to have dinner with the princesses at Cinderella’s Castle. Start saving for your dream vacation today!
You may also want to check out this post on frugal vacation planning for even more tips to help save money on your dream vacation.
Where would you go for your dream vacation?