Do some research and see what kind of discounts are accepted wherever you are planning to go on your trip. Here’s some examples of what’s available:
Vacation can be expensive. So why not do everything you can before you leave for your trip that will save you money? Some discounts you have to be in for the long run, as you earn them over time and usage of that particular company. Some come with a fee in the beginning or an annual/monthly fee, but can be worth it. Others are free to sign up for and offer immediate benefits! Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
Hire a travel agent!
This is my number one tip. They have expertise in areas you don’t even KNOW you don’t have knowledge of. Travel agents know the difference between a great deal and a great value. why do you need one then? A good travel agent is always looking out for their clients! A deal drops, I have you in mind. A policy is updated, I share that info with you immediately. You don’t want to get up early to book dining reservations, I can do it! Or you weren’t able to get the day /time you wanted at that popular restaurant? I will check daily for new openings to reschedule you! This is just a FEW examples of what services I provide to you.
I spend countless hours researching the ins and outs of every destination I offer. And it’s complicated, sometimes. Trust me. Vacation is very similar to a glass slipper, you have to find the perfect fit. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all. I understand that each family is different and that is why I personalize every detail of your trip to fit your family perfectly. I like to think of myself as my client’s very own Fairy Godmother. I take the time to get to know each of my families so that I can truly plan the most magical trip possible for you!
When you book your trip with me, you receive all of my concierge services at no additional cost to you! Booking with me costs the SAME as booking directly on your own. The commission travel agents are paid is built into the price of your vacation whether you use us or not. So why not allow me the opportunity to plan some magic for your family?
Most hotels accept AAA discount. Some also have their own incentive program you can sign up for free to get a discount. Some of them, the discounts start right away, and some build over time as you continue to use their brand.
Some credit cards offer special promotions or rewards. You can earn frequent flyer miles with several. Others you earn points that can be redeemed or cash back as you use them. Let’s use the Disney Visa as an example. They often run promos for signing up. The current promo is you earn $300 statement credit when you spend $1000 in the first 3 months, and 0% APR the first 6 months. Right off the bat, if you use it to pay on your vacation, you’ve saved $300. You also get 10% discount on all purchases over $50 at all Disney parks, resorts and even Disney stores.
There are two levels of the Disney Visa. Here’s some of the differences:
What I want to be very clear about is be sure to use any credit card responsibly. You aren’t saving ANY money if you don’t do it right. Never charge more than you can afford to pay off immediately. As soon as you charge on it, or at least once a week, go online and pay your balance off. This will also help build up good credit, if you need the assistance with that.
You may notice that many vacation packages or destinations actually are more expensive during the holidays. However, some all inclusive resorts offer sales on holidays. Recently several of them did discounts for Fathers Day. That doesn’t mean you have to travel for Fathers Day. It’s just a discount if you book a vacation by Fathers Day. All inclusives are amazing, but can be pricey, so this is a great way to get some savings!
Sometimes special promotions are offered for occupations such as first responders, teachers, or military, and they aren’t always advertised. If you want to go to a certain destination, be sure to ask your travel agent if they have discounts for whatever field you work in!
Many restaraunts offer discount programs as well! For example, Landry’s, Inc., who owns Rainforest Cafe, TRex, and Yak & Yeti at Disney World, has an amazing program. You get priority seating for up to 6 without reservation, earn $25 on your birthday and $25 for every $200 spent. We LOVE this program and have saved so much money being a part of the Landry’s Select Club. Once you’ve decided on some places you may want to eat, or even made reservations, do some research to see if that company offers a discount program.
There is also the option of buying gift cards to certain restaraunts at a discount at stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. You could get, as an example, $50 of gift cards for $43.99. Sometimes on black Friday, they offer even bigger incentives, like get an addition $15 gift card with purchase. This past black Friday, we got $115 of Landry’s gift cards for $75. That is HUGE savings, especially when used in combination with our select club card.
A Note on Disney Gift Cards
Similarly to the above strategy, many people buy Disney gift cards at a discount at Sam’s or Costco. Or you can get them at Target with your Target card and save 5%. However, do this with caution. It can be risky if you have to cancel your trip and you’ve paid with all gift cards. Disney will only refund you in gift cards if that’s how you paid. You may think…I will never cancel. In March of 2020, we were supposed to go to Disney. Thirteen days before our trip, they closed the parks. We rescheduled for October, but because of changes we had to make due to availability, and having purchased the dining plan and after hours tickets originally, we were getting over $1000 refunded. All. On. Disney. Giftcard. Did we end up using it on our trip? Yes. But what if we hadn’t? Or had to cancel and NOT reschedule for a reason such as we had an emergency and needed the funds? A Disney gift card would present a problem in cases like that.
With just a little bit of time and research, and you could save hundreds! And, don’t forget that your travel agent will also be watching for any discounts that become available during your trip for you!