Disneyland Booked!

Our trip is less than 23 days away and we I am getting so excited.  I say *I* because Mason has no clue we are going.  I've managed to keep it a secret, despite some slips in conversation.  

I've been busy as a bee researching and booking; here is a rundown:

  1. Flights  $662.20
  2. Hotel.  $850.00 So after much deliberating, we decided to book through VBRO as Mason and I are travelling with another family and instead of squishing us into a hotel room, we opted for a lovely 1500 sq foot townhouse just minutes from DL.  The cost shared between two families worked out to be $120 including tax for a week which is just below what I'd pay for at a hotel BUT I am getting:
  • space!
  • separate bedroom for Mason
  • washer/dryer
  • access to 6 pools 
  • full kitchen
  • save money on dining out as we can buy groceries and eat in

3.  DL Tickets - $525 (not including tax) We are opting for the 4 day pass and will buy them from a travel agent as there is a $25.00 discount.  I've scoured the net and there doesn't seem to be a way to get a better reduction in price other than if you are a CA resident or through the Army.

4.  Food.  $300 - I had a hard time budgeting for food because I have no idea what I'm going to spend and how much we are going to eat in vs dine out.  I've heard that food prices are inflated so I wanted to be sure I had enough to cover it.  I used Google Map to check out where our townhouse was in proximity to the local grocers.  Since we don't have a rental car, our option is taxi or walking.  Another option is to find a grocery store that delivers and share the cost between the two families.  This ensure healthy meals and having snacks to go.

5.  Excursion - LegoLand! $107.06 (Including tax).  So if you go onto the LegoLand website, you'll see the tickets are much higher on their website.  I never book anything online without searching for a promo code first.  And boy did I find one, child admission free!! That was a $90.00 savings!  I would have loved to share the link with you but it looks it expired on the 21st of this month.  Retailmenot.ca is a great site for promo codes.  I also needed to figure out how Mason and I were getting to Carlsbad which is where Legoland is located (about an hour drive).  Two options were rental car or bus.  I hummed and hawed about renting a car which would give us a lot of mobility but being so close to DL, I figured we didn't really need a car.  So I opted for bus.  Grayhound offers day trips to many tourist attractions.  They will pick us up at the closest hotel (a 6 min walk from our townhouse) and the cost was only for me (kids are free).  I also found a promo code for 5% off.  Total = $48.85USD. return trip.

6.  Transportation - $100.  This refers to the taxi from airport to townhouse and return.  I emailed *every* taxi company in Anaheim trying to get the best price and the rates varied.  Highest was $180 return (not including tip) and the lowest was $75.00 for 6 of us including a car seat and two boosters.  The company is Transtar Shuttle Service.  I am going to commend them on their rapid response to my emails and answering all my questions.  Great customer service. 

7.  Extra's - Souvenirs, girls night out & ???.  You need to have a cash surplus for 'those things' that happen unexpectedly.  I budgeted an extra $300.  If I don't spend it, I'll bring it home :)

Total cost $2718.11.  Total saved $2720.00

Okay so I booked the flights end of November, how the heck was I able to save us so much money for this trip?  Keep in mind I am on a single income (full time) and not rich by any means.

  • First off, I saved $1000 from my last tax return (I didn't touch it, was sooo tempted to to though). 
  • I sold anything I didn't need anymore through Buy & Sell groups through Facebook and Craigslist.
  • I took future money from my January budget set for food & gas which I wouldn't need for the week I was in California
  • I also received small gifts (USD) from relatives towards the cost of the trip.

Now all that's left to do is countdown the days!  The plan is to pretend I'm dropping Mason off at daycare but head straight to the airport.  More than likely he'll ask where we are going, I'll tell him we have to pick up our friends at the airport.  Once we are ready to check in, I'll spill the beans and then watch in delight as he jumps up and down with his friend Reina.  I will record it too :)

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