Don't Trip Over the Trip
Hey, Lifers. I've had the best time sharing a few coin-saving tips and trip updates from our getaway to Disney World's magic. If you follow me on social, I've shared that we haven't been to Walt Disney World (WDW) in 10 years! I love Disney and didn't plan to take a decade-long hiatus, but life life'd, and this mama postponed year after year. Being a divorced mom of two requires budgeting and planning to get the best experience out of our vacations and the most for my coins. It also requires an open mind on what vacation looks like for our crew. And while I've encouraged my community to 'Book the Trip,' I know everyone's situation is different, and booking the trip might not be the best option at this time. So, don't trip over the trip. I know what it's like not to have the funds for vacations because making ends meet was a higher priority. I'll let you in on a secret, some of our most memorable getaways are ones when funds were low. There are other ways to get away without the guilt of overspending.
Book the tour. For the next opportunity, consider booking the time timeshare tour. There's no shame in my game. I've sat through a few timeshare presentations in my day for the four-day, three-night getaway, some attraction tickets and such. I did my research and only accepted invites from reputable companies with nice property offerings. These usually offered additional trips as part of the package, so you could have two to three other getaways. Just be sure to research the properties offered for those extra getaways and pay the minimal fee to upgrade when necessary.
Book the experience. If travel is out of the question, especially with today's gas prices, consider your local entertainment options. Look for museums that offer discounts on certain days and times or free, open-house events. Regularly scan discounted sites such as Groupon, LocalFlavor.com, etc., for deals around the city. I purchased four tickets for half of the package price for a local hot air balloon festival. I paid $28. It's more about the experience than the destination, and I love hot air balloons.
Book the festivals. Spring and summer offer some great fun-in-the-sun festivals, but so does fall. Pull your local festival listings to find the ones that your family might enjoy. Many offer food truck access so that you can make a day out of it, or if you're watching those coins, consider packing your lunch/dinner, a pop-up tent (if you have one and if it's allowed), a blanket, some bubble guns and bug spray.
Stay close to home. When the world paused for a bit in 2020, I embraced my backyard. We grilled out a couple of times a week, enjoyed our garden and watched plenty of sunsets under the gazebo. There's no place like home, and sometimes a good ole fish fry or grill day is all you need.
Planning is the best way to go because it allows for budgeting for week-long or more getaways, and there's nothing wrong with saving up a couple of years for a special vacation. Stick to your budget, let a travel agent help you with arrangements, especially for overseas travel, and enjoy affordable day or weekend trips in the meantime.
If you're financially able, book the trip. If you have other priorities, consider the options shared here or share your coin-saving ideas. Remember, in the end, the memories count, not the sky miles.
Be easy, friends.