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Ways to Save for Family Vacations

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I love going on vacations with the kids - I want them to be world travelers and see beyond their backyard.  We just got back from a wonderful European vacation last week to see my family (I grew up in East London and hubby wanted to do a Guiness and Jamison tour in Dublin).  This was the kids first trip abroad with their brand spanking new passports.  So we cashed in our Mastercard miles (that we had been savings for 5 years) and my husbands frequent flyer miles to score free airline tickets for all four of us.  We stayed at my brother's house (free accomodation) and we ate breakfast and dinner at my parents each day (free food).  I went online to scope out discount tickets and free things to do with the kids.  I always sneak my 3 year old into tours by saying she's 2 (free ticket).

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Last year we took the kids to Disney World.  We stayed on the Disney property so we could be part of all the action and this was a once in a lifetime trip for us as a family.  As you all know Disney World is not a cheap trip by any means.  I booked our flights when a great deal came by and booked through ebates to get cashback on my purchase.  My 2 year at the time had free entry.  I searched online for all the Disney hotel discount codes available, my sister in law had old entry passes that were transferable which helped tremendously (free entry tickets).  We took in our own food and drinks and found great websites to help reduce our overall bill.  There are so many websites out there that gives you advice on what to do and see and all on a great budget.

Disney Cruise Line Vacation Planning DVD

So I'm now thinking about a Disney Cruise maybe in 2 or 3 years time.  Click here for a free planning DVD - and then figure out what you want to do and then go online and figure out how you can reduce that enormous bill. 

Taking a family vacation can be a great educational experience for your child.  My children know that England has a Queen and her Palace is closely guarded by Guards who carry bayonnets with spears attached and they know all their Disney Characters.

 Where there is a will there is a way.  Where will you go tommorow?

8 COMMENTS SO FAR:

Stephie C said:

Weleave Thursday for England with my 8 year old and 6 month old! We are not only staying with family but also had friends and family loan us a travel cot, car seat, baby monitor etc...so we don't have to haul ours with! And our little ones god father bought her a new pushchair that will be awaiting us! We plan on staying one night in London and have been searchign out family friendly B&B's as opposed to big name hotels!

The Freebie Junkie said:

Oh wow - have fun! My brother borrowed car seats and stroller for us too. It is expensive there so go to the supermarket and stock up on juice boxes and snacks for your day trips! B&B's are so wonderful - they always give friendly advice and plus they are quaint. The kids are free to travel on the buses, trains and underground. My kids loved Buckingham Palace - we didn't do the tour (no need to). If you have time Battersea Park is awesome - it has an amazing playground for the kids - all free of course. Lots of walking -s o bring comfy sneakers.

Chris said:

Can you give us the websites that you used for your trip to Disney? We are taking our 3 year old this summer and I would like to do it as inexpensively as possible.

The Freebie Junkie said:

I loved
www.mousesavers.com
disneyworldforum.disney.go.com
http://www.passporter.com/articles/best-disney-world-trip-advice.asp

I also brought a book which gave me some tips and advice - I think it was the unofficial guide

If you have specific questions just google it - you never know what might come up. Thats what I do for everything.

When I was planning I was totally confused and overwhelmed but at the end of the day do what you can in your budget and you seriously cannot fit everything in so just plan on doing less and going with the flow otherwise you will go stir crazy.

With the character breakfasts just keep on calling, I kept on calling and was so despondent each call and finally real close to the date I found an opening and it all worked out for the best. We did the Princess dinner in Epcot and the Winnie the Pooh in Disney World.

Have fun!

Kristen said:

While I don't agree with lying and saying a child is 2 when they're 3 (especially when you can obviously afford to pay the correct price), I will say that I do love traveling abroad. :)

Unknown said:

Disney World at Christmas when all our boys are old enough to really enjoy it is my goal :)

Unknown said:

We love traveling and with a family of 5 it can be very expensive. What we do is save all our change and dollar bills in a jar and every week we deposit the money in our 'vacation fund account' We take a trip every two years with little out of pocket money and the kids know that we need to economize while traveling.

Unknown said:

Good tips. Every little bit helps. I plan on getting a miles reward credit card in the near future. Just gotta travel more to make it worthwhile.

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