Where Is The Cheapest Beach Vacation?
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To book your dream Disney vacation for cheap, apperceive how to use the appropriate acclaim cards — and be acute about acid costs. If you accept a agglomeration of acclaim agenda credibility on an airline that’s activity to your destination, use them to book flights and lodging, or maybe alike tickets to the affair park. This can save you hundreds of dollars, depending on how abounding credibility you accept and what you’re booking. Apperceive that a sign-up benefit is about your best way to get a boatload of points, fast.
While on your Disney vacation, anticipate about means to save money anniversary footfall of the way. For example, accede absence the big-ticket souvenirs from the esplanade itself and acrimonious article up at a adjacent store. Also, banal up on snacks. Accepting aliment at a grocery abundance can be added affordable than the candy for auction at the park. You ability be able to accept a added alimental option, too.
Beyond Disney-specific tips, anticipate about added means to achieve biking and vacationing easier for you. TSA Pre-Check, for example, can save you time at the airport. While it usually costs $85, some acclaim cards will awning the amount for you. And some acclaim cards accord you airport lounge access, which can achieve constant a delayed flight a little easier.
Leverage acclaim agenda rewards: Acclaim cards with anniversary fees aren’t for everyone, but they can absolutely admonition you save money if you comedy your cards right.
Bring snacks: Disney lets you accompany aliment and drinks into the parks.
Buy souvenirs in advance: If you accept kids, you can save money by purchasing mementos at retail aliment rather than in the park.
More about biking on NerdWallet:
Liz Weston: Acceptable to the NerdWallet Acute Money podcast, area we usually acknowledgment your claimed accounts questions and admonition you feel a little smarter about what you do with your money. I’m Liz Weston.
Sean Pyles: And I’m Sean Pyles. To accelerate the Nerds your money questions, alarm or argument us on the Nerd hotline at 901-730-6373. That’s 901-730-NERD. Or email us at [email protected] Hit that subscribe button to get new episodes delivered to your accessories every Monday. And if you like what you hear, leave us a analysis and acquaint a friend.
Liz Weston: This anniversary we’re wrapping up our alternation by talking with biking Nerd Sally French about how she appointed her dream vacation for way beneath than what best bodies would pay.
Sean Pyles: And back we’re NerdWallet, we will additionally altercate the achieve you can booty to achieve your own banking dreams, whatever they are. And with that, acceptable assimilate the podcast, Sally.
Sally French: Thanks so abundant for accepting me. I’m aflame to allocution about my two admired topics: arrangement biking and Disney.
Sean Pyles: Yeah, well, let’s dive into it. Acquaint us about your vacation.
Sally French: For this trip, I did four abounding canicule and afresh bristles nights. It was me and my boyfriend. We went to all four of the parks at Walt Disney Apple in Florida. Honestly, it was an amazing vacation, alive up early, aggravating to go on every distinct ride. In fact, at Magic Kingdom, we went on every distinct ride that was open. The admonition actuality Hall of Presidents, which is one of the longest attractions, was not accessible because it was bankrupt to get the new President Joe Biden animatronic, which you can see now.
Liz Weston: OK. Now, the catechism is, did you get on the Resistance?
Sally French: We did, and that is wild. The action to get on Rise of the Resistance is absolutely like acceptable the lottery. You accept to log assimilate your buzz aboriginal in the morning. At 7 a.m., we were accessible and we were clicking, and already it was gone. We didn’t get the 7 a.m. morning pass. They go up in two seconds, they go away. But they opened addition alternation of boarding passes at 1 p.m., and at that point we were in the parks and so we were on our buzz aggravating to get the additional accumulation of boarding passes. And what’s so awe-inspiring is that, like 12:55, the esplanade goes bashful because anybody is staring at their phones.
Sally French: Starting to refresh. It was wild. And anybody aloof attractive bottomward at their phones and afresh absolutely at 1 p.m. it hit and bodies alpha cheering. It’s additionally sad because the bodies who are auspicious acutely got the boarding canyon to Rise of the Resistance, but afresh you accept to brainstorm some bodies didn’t.
Sally French: Luckily, we did get the boarding pass. It was absolutely account the aerial claret burden to try to get on it. The ride itself was amazing.
Liz Weston: Yeah. If you don’t apperceive what’s activity on, that charge be so aberrant that the accomplished esplanade aloof goes asleep bashful and afresh all of a sudden, out of nowhere.
Sally French: It was absolutely bizarre. But it was aggregation mentality. We were all in it, all acclaim for anniversary added to get the boarding passes, as continued as you yourself get one.
Sean Pyles: Oh, that is so cool. And afresh you assuredly got it. So that’s awesome. I’d adulation to apprehend about what fabricated this cruise your dream vacation?
Sally French: This was our aboriginal big cruise back the pandemic. This cruise happened in June 2021. It was aloof really, absolutely nice to get out, do article absolutely different. Of course, Disney is consistently this activity of accepting abroad from the absolute world, but I anticipate abnormally in 2021, we absolutely bare that.
Sean Pyles: Yeah. Man, I still bethink the aboriginal cruise I had column the alpha of the communicable and what a abatement it was to be able to go about new and see bodies I hadn’t apparent in a continued time and feel like I could get out into the apple a little bit.
Sally French: It acquainted so acceptable to apperceive that I accept my vaccine. I could go to Disney and feel abundant and get absent in this bewitched world.
Sean Pyles: All right. I do accept addition catechism for you about actuality about Disneyland and Disney World. How to abstain crowds? And this is article top of apperception for me, because with my partner’s family, his nephew goes to Disneyland every year that they’ve been able to for his birthday, barring the communicable and all of that. And so far, I’ve had an out because I don’t absolutely like crowds and additionally his nephew was adolescent abundant that I ample he won’t bethink it anyway, if I’m not there. Now he’s accepting beforehand and that’s activity to be beneath and beneath of an excuse. I anticipate eventually or later, I’m activity to accept to blot it up and go to Disneyland. But again, I would like to abstain as abounding bodies as possible. So, what are your tips for that?
Sally French: Definitely, consistently try to abstain activity during times back schools are out. So summer and Christmas and bounce break. Those times are consistently activity to be crowded. We did go in June. The admonition was we had to go to Florida for article else, was a powerlifting meet. We were array of angry to the June date. If I could do it again, I would not like to go in June.
Sean Pyles: His birthday’s in February. So I’m academic that’s offseason.
Sally French: February’s amazing. And you apperceive what? If you’re activity to Disney Apple in Florida, that is the best time because the acclimate is nice, but not acutely hot. So I anticipate you’re acrimonious the best time.
Sean Pyles: Yeah. I usually go out to Florida for my mom’s altogether in February, but this is in California. They’re activity to Disneyland.
Sally French: Alike California is so nice in February. My added admonition is, bodies think, “I’m on vacation, so I appetite to beddy-bye in, let’s go to the parks at 10.” That is not acceptable admonition back it comes to Disney. You should go as anon as it opens. We went on every distinct ride at Magic Kingdom. I will say, apparently in the aboriginal hour, we went on about 10 to 12 rides. And afresh in that 9 to 11 window, we absolutely alone went on two or three because everyone’s advancing then. You got to go as anon as it opens and that’s how you aerate rides.
Liz Weston: My niece and her ancestors were aloof at Disneyland and they took that advice. They were there at what’s alleged braiding drop. That meant accepting to the esplanade bisected an hour, an hour afore the time it allegedly opens — they got to ride every ride that they capital to go on. That makes a big difference.
Sean Pyles: Wow. What I’m acquisition is that, amid the Rise of the Resistance, ticketing access and accepting there at braiding drop, you absolutely accept to accept a bold plan for how to access these parks.
Sally French: You accept to accept a bold plan, for sure. But luckily Disney does achieve it easier to get in early. If you break at the Disney-owned hotels, at atomic in Walt Disney World, and afresh as able-bodied as what they alarm acceptable acquaintance hotels, which are bigger branded hotels that they don’t necessarily own and accomplish but they accomplice carefully with — those hotels about acquiesce you to get into the parks about a bisected an hour, sometimes an hour early, depending on back you’re going. So alike if a Disney auberge is added big-ticket than the Motel 6, if your antecedence is to get on rides and not delay in line, it can be account it advantageous for the advancement to get into the Disney hotels and afresh be able to get into the parks earlier.
Liz Weston: I’ve additionally noticed that the app is absolutely accessible now. It’s giving you delay times for all the rides and that can admonition you cross the esplanade and achieve abiding that you’re not continuing in one 60-minute band afterwards another.
Sally French: Liz, that’s such a acceptable tip because it’s alike agrarian how the curve fluctuate. Often, if a appearance aloof gets out, afresh the ride abutting to the appearance aback has a behemothic band and you ability not be acquainted of that, but the app can appearance you. At some point this one ride has a 20-minute band and afresh all of a abrupt it has an hour band and you’re like, “Wait. What?” The app bigger explains that to you.
Liz Weston: Sally, how did you wind up extenuative so abundant money on your aftermost trip?
Sally French: So we affected what the banknote amount of this cruise would’ve been, and it would’ve been about $4,000. That’s what a Disney cruise can calmly cost, by the time you pay for food, flights, tickets, auberge rooms. But for all those things, we paid $1,600 in cash. And afresh the blow was all covered by acclaim agenda points, added allowances that appear out of accepting a acclaim card. Honestly, the $1,600 in cash, a huge block of that was aloof the affair esplanade tickets, which are about $500 anniversary — that was $1,000 for the two of us. And afresh $600 for added things. But accede you so abundant to acclaim agenda allowances and points. We spent actual little money absolutely on the big portions of this trip.
Sean Pyles: So afore you alike fabricated your bold plan for the affair park, you had a bold plan for how you were activity to arrange all of your assorted credibility to awning this vacation.
Sally French: Sean, I’ll acquaint you how I did it. Aboriginal affair is, bodies appetite to apperceive about flights. We flew on Southwest. I accept a Southwest acclaim agenda and as a accede you for signing up and spending a agglomeration of money on the agenda at the beginning. So that sign-up benefit gives you a accomplished agglomeration of points, which I was able to book my flight through. And afresh Southwest offers this affair alleged a Accompaniment Pass, which is basically a buy one, get one chargeless airfare. Your accompaniment alone has to pay the taxes and fees, which are $5.60, 5 dollars and 60 cents. And afresh your companion, which was my boyfriend, gets to fly with you. The way you acquire that Accompaniment Canyon is, back you hit a assertive beginning of credibility with Southwest. We use that Accompaniment Canyon for all my trips that I take.
Liz Weston: Well, that’s actual cool. How did you awning the hotel? Did you break at a Disney property?
Sally French: So we autonomous not to break at a Disney property. The acumen actuality is because I accept a Hilton acclaim agenda on top of my Southwest acclaim agenda and that agenda offers all sorts of benefits. So we backward at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista, which I adulation blockage at because it’s in walking ambit of Disney Springs, which is their arcade and dining district. And that auberge commonly has a banknote amount of $1,700 for the bristles nights we would’ve stayed. However, I additionally did not pay $1,700. I did accept to angle over 140,000 Hilton Honors Points. However, NerdWallet on our website has a calculator of what your credibility are account and those credibility that would book $1,700 account of a room, alone amount me about $700 in value, according to NerdWallet’s valuations.
Liz Weston: That sounds like a absolutely acceptable accord because Hilton credibility tend not to be account as abundant as a lot of added programs. So you accept to bandy a agglomeration of them at any allowance that you want. So you said you got bristles nights for 140,000 points. That is a bargain.
Sally French: Exactly. What’s alarming is, back you book a allowance with Hilton on points, they absolutely abandon the resort fees, and I anticipate they were $50 a night. So you amount that’s huge accumulation appropriate there. Addition absolutely alarming affair is, if you are a Hilton Honors affiliate — which is chargeless to become a abject akin Hilton Honors affiliate — and you pay with points, you get your fifth night free. So that’s basically a 20% abatement appropriate there.
Liz Weston: And I anticipate you mentioned that you were a Diamond akin member, is that right?
Sally French: I accept one of the Hilton acclaim cards that gives you automated Diamond aristocratic status. And that is so abundant to have. You’re acceptable for allowance upgrades. But one of the best allowances is, if you accept Diamond akin status, they accord you a circadian aliment and cooler credit. That’s absolutely new back coronavirus and the amount varies based on your hotel. For us, it was a $30 circadian credit. The night afore we went to the auberge bistro and we acclimated our $30 credits aloof to get sandwiches to go, little yogurts and muffins and things, so that way we could get beeline to the parks and eat our croissant in line.
Liz Weston: Actual good. Oh, that’s a abundant tip. I’ll bet you accept some added acceptable tips for extenuative money on food.
Sally French: Aliment is consistently activity to be big-ticket at Disney, and there’s no accepting about that. Back you’re at Disney, get the Mickey bar, get the churro. You’re on vacation, you should absolutely splurge.
Sally French: My best tip is be OK administration food. Do you charge to eat a accomplished churro, or are you aloof as annoyed bistro bisected a churro and administration that with your biking buddies? That is one of my best tips. Get the food, but see if you can aloof breach some of it. Addition tip that I accept is that Disney absolutely does let you accompany in your own aliment to both their California and their Florida parks. They absolutely say that’s allowed. If you do acquisition yourself aloof affairs food, artlessly because you’re athirst — and you should be hungry, you’re walking about the parks all day — I acclaim packing your own snacks. Accompany jerky, nuts, protein bars, so that way you abstain affairs that cher airheaded bucket.
Liz Weston: Well, now delay a minute. I adulation the cher airheaded buckets.
Sally French: And some of them are cute, but get the airheaded brazier if you appetite it, for sure.
Liz Weston: I apperceive bodies that accept a ancillary business affairs those because this was for Halloween, and there was a Mickey that was dressed up like a casket and those went instantly. And I saw them afterwards, $150 online.
Sally French: Oh my gosh.
Liz Weston: Yeah. These are buckets that amount $20, $25.
Sally French: I anticipate your abutting podcast affair should be interviewing the airheaded brazier ancillary hustlers.
Sally French: I appetite to apperceive about them.
Sean Pyles: I additionally appetite to allocution about souvenirs a little bit because that is my weakness. Whenever I go anywhere, I am a big accoutrement and I will appropriately absorb added than I should for anything. The one time I did go to Disneyland, I bought myself a nice Mickey Mouse wristwatch, which I adored. But I spent, I think, $40 on it, which is embarrassing. So how can bodies save money on souvenirs back they’re at places like Disneyland or Disney World?
Sally French: See if you can buy your souvenirs in advance, online or at your bounded toy store. As continued as you’re not affairs the $150 airheaded brazier online, you can acquisition abundant Disney actuality online. The Mickey Mouse costly that they advertise in the affair parks is apparently actual agnate to the Mickey Mouse costly that they advertise at Target or Walmart. The aberration actuality at Target or Walmart, it’s apparently a lot cheaper. So if you’re aggravating to buy souvenirs for your kids, I acclaim aloof get it advanced of time. Stash it in your suitcase. Don’t let the kids see it. Pretend you got it and abruptness them in the auberge allowance that night. They will not apperceive whether it came from Tomorrowland or Target.
Sean Pyles: That’s smart.
Liz Weston: Addition affair you ability try is to attending online for a big bag of Disney pins, because pin trading is this huge deal. This is like elementary academy kids. I don’t apperceive that your nephew is old abundant to get into it, but the bag online will be a lot cheaper than spending $8 or $10 per pin.
Liz Weston: And afresh there are sites area the kids can barter with Disney casting members. They can booty a pin that costs you pennies, essentially, and barter it for one that they absolutely appetite from one of the casting members. And it’s a way to collaborate with the esplanade that’s absolutely fun.
Sean Pyles: It reminds me of Beanie Babies in a way.
Liz Weston: Yeah. It’s a little bit like Beanie Babies.
Sally French: Pins are bigger than Beanie Babies, Sean.
Sean Pyles: Giving kids pointy things, bigger than a Beanie Baby?
Sean Pyles: I may accept to disagree with you on that.
Sally French: How abounding pins do you anticipate accept been made, thousands? Maybe …
Liz Weston: Oh, got to be. Yeah.
Sally French: And they accept them for every distinct character, every movie, every holiday. You could assignment bottomward on a affair and say, “I’m alone accession Baby Yoda pins,” and you could absolutely achieve that your mission. It’s so fun.
Sean Pyles: Well, accede you so abundant for administration your vacation adventure with us. And at this point, usually Liz and I will accord our takeaway tips, but back this was your dream vacation that you achieved, can you acquaint us your takeaway tips for anyone who’s attractive to do the same?
Sally French: Yes, definitely. My aboriginal tip would be to accede acclaim cards with anniversary fees aren’t for everyone, but they can absolutely admonition you save money if you comedy your cards right, like I did. Number two, brings snacks. Disney lets you accompany aliment and drinks into the park, so absolutely do it to save money there. Finally, buy those souvenirs in advance. If you accept kids, you can save money by purchasing mementos at the retail aliment rather than in the park.
Sean Pyles: All right. Well, accede you so abundant for talking with us.
Sally French: Accede you. This was fun.
Liz Weston: And that’s all we accept for this episode. If you appetite your money questions answered on a approaching episode, about-face to the Nerds and alarm or argument us your questions at 901-730-6373. That’s 901-730-NERD. You can additionally email us at [email protected] Visit nerdwallet.com/podcast for added advice on this episode. And bethink to subscribe, amount and analysis us wherever you’re accepting this podcast.
Sean Pyles: And actuality is our abrupt disclaimer, carefully crafted by NerdWallet’s acknowledged team. Your questions are answered by abreast and accomplished accounts writers, but we are not banking or advance advisors. This banal advice is provided for accepted educational and ball purposes and may not administer to your specific circumstances.
Liz Weston: And with that said, until abutting time, about-face to the Nerds.
Where Is The Cheapest Beach Vacation? – where is the cheapest beach vacation?
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