Today, we are excited to welcome Katie Miller, for a second time, on our blog for our Where To Wednesday series. Katie & I were high school friends & I am excited to reconnect with her in the blogging world! She is super knowledgable about Disney & is now a travel agent with Mouse World Travel. She has a great blog, Most Delightful Place, where she shares about all things Disney. We are excited for her to share her wisdom and tips with you today in the post below!
Thank you to The Chirping Moms for having me as a guest writer today! My name is Katie, and I’m a travel agent with Mouse World Travel. I specialize in planning vacations to Disney Destinations around the world. I’ve spent the better part of 15+ years traveling to Disney World and on the Disney Cruise Line, and in the coming months I’ll be sharing with you tips and information on how you and your families can have the most magical Disney vacation ever!
Getting ready for a vacation takes time, planning and of course, saving money. I’m a firm believer in getting everyone in the family on board with saving for a vacation (in an age-appropriate way, of course) – so how can you do that? Here are some ways you can get everyone in the family excited for your vacation, and teach some pretty valuable lessons about money, too!
* Make a loose-change jar and keep it in a place where everyone can see it.
You’d be surprised at how much money accumulates from a few nickels here, and a few dimes there. Take a jar or can, let the kids decorate it and place it in a high-traffic room of the house (such as the kitchen). When you get change, place it in the jar and watch it grow!
When it’s time to take it to the bank to be counted, have everyone in your family make a guess as to how much money is in the jar. OR, use it as a math activity and have your kids count the change.
* For older kids, bring them into the discussion about your vacation budget, and let them help you pick a hotel, travel package, etc.
I remember in upper elementary (maybe 5th grade?) doing a project where our teacher gave us a dollar amount, and then we had to plan a week-long vacation for a family of 4 with that money. It was not only SUPER fun (and probably planted the seed for my current job as a travel agent!) but it also planted the seeds of how budgeting works, and that we needed to appropriately use the money for all aspects of a vacation – transportation, accommodations, food, etc.
It also made me realize just how much money it takes for a family to go on vacation, and gave me a new appreciation for the times we were able to travel.
* Have certain chores or household to-dos that the kids can do to earn spending money.
For chores or household to-do items that are beyond the everyday task list, consider assigning those chores a dollar amount and letting your kids use those items as a way to earn spending money.
This not only gives them a sense of pride in earning money for themselves, it also teaches them a valuable lesson about the value of a dollar. Win-win!
* Buy gift cards with pre-loaded amounts of spending money, so you stick to your souvenir budget.
I do this for myself ALL the time. With Disney, for example, you can buy Disney gift cards at lots of places (including Walgreens and Target), and use those during your trip for your souvenir budget, food, etc. And remember, if you have the Target Red Card you can 5% off on gift cards, too, so there’s some money savings for you!
If you’re going to a destination that doesn’t sell its own gift cards, buy general Visa gift cards. You can find those at lots of places, too.
For kids, this is a GREAT way to give them a souvenir budget. They know that once the gift card is empty, their souvenir spending is done. It also helps them make choices about what items they want; do they want to spend their whole souvenir budget on the Cinderella castle, or would they rather have 2-3 smaller items?
* Bring your kids into the discussion about ways you’re budgeting for vacation.
Perhaps you’re choosing to eat out one less meal per week, and putting that savings into your vacation budget. Or maybe you’re selling items on eBay or Etsy. When children are older and are starting to grasp that Dad and Mom don’t have a money tree in the backyard, bringing them into the discussion about ways you’re saving for vacation can be very valuable. It not only makes them a part of the process, but also teaches them about earning money, saving, etc.
How do you bring your kids into your vacation planning?
Thanks Katie for sharing some awesome Disney planning tips! Make sure to check out her previous post, Planning Your Day at Epcot with Young Children, here.
(Visited 62 times, 1 visits today)