We’ve all seen those advertisements that promise “free”vacations if you visit timeshares or sign up for different things. I’ve taken those before and not only did they end up costing me a lot of money I didn’t plan to spend but the experiences were terrible! What if I told you that it is possible to get a Disney vacation for no money that is in no way a scam or locks you into cheap hotel rooms or off-season dates?
The key is to be creative and watch for opportunities to save up throughout the year. I said it would be free, not simple. But I can tell you from experience and the experience of many members of my website Sunshine Rewards that it can be done. Here are some tips.
First sign up for any points programs that you can that will allow you to exchange for travel awards. This might be a credit card that you are already using (and hopefully paying off each month) or even your debit card associated with your checking account. Using those points, exchange for either gas cards to drive to Disney or points to book flights. This will be the hardest part of your planning if you need to fly. If you do not have a points opportunity like this, try setting up a change jar in your house and have everyone in the house pitch in to it regularly until you start accumulating enough to pay for the transportation.
Next, sign up with Disney to get on their mailing lists for special rates and start bookmarking a couple of Disney travel sites that will tell you when Disney opens up special deals like free dining. Free dining is the key if you want to be able to have a fabulous trip that is totally paid for. You will also sometimes get special deals from Disney exclusive to you if you participate in their official sites.
Lastly, sign up for an online rewards site that will allow you to cash out for Disney Gift Cards. We send out thousands of dollars in these a week, and I know that there are other rewards sites that do as well. Start doing everything you possibly can on those sites like taking surveys, signing up for newsletters, and completing free offers. When you shop online, shop through the site and get your cashback.
Once you have a fair amount accumulated and can project about how much you will make each month, book your Disney trip as soon as they announce the next free dining opportunity. You will use the Disney gift cards to pay for the room and ticket package and the dining will then be included. You’ll use your other points to pay for travel. It may take you a couple of years for all of it to fall together, but it will be worth it!
And this great resource book will help fill you in on Disneyland insights and secrets.
Tricia Meyer is a work-at-home-mom, Disney fan, and the owner of Sunshine Rewards. Her passions including vacationing and saving money, two things that are often hard to reconcile.
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