First Person: A Week at Disney World for the Best Price

Disney World is every child’s dream vacation and many parents want to make that dream come true. It’s just that little thing called a budget that gets in the way.

I work as a travel agent and have some great tips for saving a lot of money on your Disney Vacation.

Tip One:
Are you a member of the military? If so, Disney wants your business and is willing to give you some amazing deals to earn it. Sometimes the offers are up to 40% off or more. The time of year that you travel can make a big difference when you look for discounts, however for members of the military, the discounts normally extend throughout the year.

Tip Two:
Free dining can save a lot of money when you’re staying anywhere for a week. Many of the packages that Disney offers to guests do include complimentary dining for a family of four. Do be careful here however, make sure all of your meals are covered and you aren’t being charged anything extra. Looking for this type of package can save over $1,000 for a one week stay.

Tip Three:
Do consider better accommodations and buy at the right time. Often, luxury accommodations don’t book up as quickly as hotels that are less expensive and at times you can actually stay in a villa or resort for the same price or less. Shop around but be quick about it. Often people pass up great deals because they want to make sure they are getting the best one available. If that great deal comes along; take it when it’s on sale. If you wait you miss out.

Tip Four:
Doing a timeshare tour will save at least 50% on your vacation. This is completely up to you. Florida and Las Vegas are notorious for the timeshare industry. Truly, if you do your homework and travel with a reputable company you will save big and enjoy your vacation. If a tour is the route you’re taking to save money; remember these tips. Make sure the company has been in business at least ten years, has a great rating with the Better Business Bureau, find out when you receive your gifts; before or after the tour, and never agree to a package if you don’t know where you will be staying. All reputable companies will tell you exactly what you are getting and when you are getting it. Before you hang up the phone you will have a conformation number, a number for customer care, and a website to view what you’ve purchased.

Tip Five:
Stay an entire week and book in advance. Staying longer than the minimum saves money most of the time, not only on hotels but also park passes, area attractions, and dining. Booking in advance is crucial. Every single day at work, i receive requests from families that want to book condos, hotels, and cabins within a week or two. Often, there is nothing available at that point. When I am able to find something that quickly, I cringe at the price I have to charge. If they had simply booked 3 months early the savings generally average well over $500. Don’t expect your travel agent to work miracles.

More from this contributor:

TimeShare Tours: How to Vacation for Pennies on the Dollar

The Best Day Trips from Los Angeles

The Maldives: Travel Advice and Must Knows