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I need you to know that a lot of thought has gone into this gift guide. I have been keeping a running list of gift ideas in my phone over the past 365 days!
Last year I was frantically searching the internet 72 hours before Christmas (thank goodness for Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping!!), trying to find something worthwhile and within budget for hubby. Only to end up buying something he courteously acted excited to recieve. But we both knew it was a flop…
I made it my mission to give him a gift this year that had thought behind it and I could be sure it was something he would actually be stocked to get!
You’re not going to find “Ties” or “Socks” on this gift guide for guys!
What’s more is that I LOVE that I got input from our Pearls for these gift ideas! I put it out there on Instagram last week asking for your best gifts ever given to the men in your life. Dads, hubbies, brothers, uncles, or whoever. If it was a win, I wanted to hear about it!
You guys had some brilliant ideas and I’m excited to have included them in this roundup to share with everyone! So thank you so much!
There is a lot of costs to consider when planning your family Disneyland vacation. The good news is there is always a way to save on every single part of the trip! Today let’s dive into 8 Disneyland tips for saving money on your hotel!
Figuring out where and how to get the best deal on your hotel can be more complicated than you think. It’s not as simple as pulling up a price comparison website because they don’t take into account all the “small” things that can actually save you major cash!
To make sure you are absolutely saving the most money possible on your Disneyland vacation, follow these 8 easy tips!
There are always new hotels popping up around Disneyland and the prices are always changing. So instead of telling you exactly where to stay I want to equip you with the Pearl tools necessary to find the best prices on somewhere to stay during your Disneyland vacation!
1. Visit in the off season.
This is probably going to be a major factor into many expenses of your Disneyland vacation but has the highest impact on the cost of you hotel.
To take advantage of the lower hotel prices, shoot to schedule your family vacation sometime between January and Mid March or end of August through September. I know! That’s doesn’t leave many options but it can make a huge difference in the cost of your hotel!
It’s a great idea to always like to look at a Disneyland Crowd Forecaster like IsItPacked.com.
2. Make sure breakfast is included
It is really easy to find a hotel that includes breakfast. If you look at the cost of eating out for breakfast, having it included in your stay could save $10-$20 PER PERSON per day! That could save you around $50-$100 per day for a family of five!
There is always the option of packing your own hotel friendly breakfast food like milk, cereal, and fruit. That’s always a pretty cheap option!
3. You need a refrigerator and a microwave
Speaking of bringing your own food from home. Make sure that wherever you stay has a fridge or mini fridge! Especially if you are traveling with kids, you will want to keep some essentials on hand that you bring from home or grab at a nearby grocery store.
Buying items like milk, juices, string cheese, fruit, or applesauce pouches before you go into the park can save you over 50%!
4. Parking included
Another one of my key Disneyland tips for saving money is to make sure that your hotel stay includes the cost of parking. Sometimes if you book your hotel through a travel agency like Get Away Today you parking will be included but it might not be if you book directly through the hotel.
Hotel parking and even street parking in Anaheim can cost you upwards of $20 a night. If you’re staying an entire week, that’s another $100 that you are saving!
5. Free nights stay
Another great way to stack the savings is to find an offer to get a free nights stay. I see this all the time with Get Away Today! There is always several options of hotels that offer a third or fourth nights stay for free!
6. Book early
The closer you get to your travel dates, the more likely it will be that the cost of each night’s stay will go up. So book your trip as soon as you have the cash!
7. Share a house airbnb
Yes, technically it’s not a hotel but it’s a lot easier to say “save money on hotels” rather than “save money on your place of lodging”. So… ya get me!
If you are able to share a vacation rental and split the cost with another family, this has to be one of the best Disneyland tips for saving money! Or if you have a large family and would need to rent two or more hotel rooms, this might be an excellent option as well. We are talking savings in the hundreds!!!
When considering vacation rental there are a few things you need to consider when comparing the price.
The cost of breakfast that would have otherwise been included in your hotel stay
Cleaning fee (Usually $150-$300)
Service Fee (Usually $150-$180)
Distance to Disneyland (Disneyland parking is currently $20 per car per day)
8. Distance to park to save on shuttle and/or parking
The entire reason you are looking for a place to stay is so you can go enjoy your time at the happiest place on earth! So a another one of my Disneyland tips to save money is to take into consideration for your vacation budget is the cost of parking, shuttle, uber, or however you plan to get there.
The very best option is to find a hotel that is close enough to the park that you can walk. This could save you the cost of parking at the park or taking a shuttle from the hotel.
If a close hotel isn’t a budget friendly option, look into the cost per person of using the hotel shuttle versus ordering an Uber. (I have to give credit to my hubby for this idea!)
If there are just a couple of you in your party then the shuttle is probably the way to go since the cost is usually around $5-$8 per person each day. BUT if you have a party of three or more an Uber might work out to be cheaper since a ride from a hotel within 2 miles of the park will cost you about $8 each way and that cost can cover several people!
If you haven’t used Uber before, you can use my Uber CODE: brittanyc16157ue and you can get your first ride for FREE! (value amounts vary by location)
BONUS! Mock Scenario – Hotel Cost Breakdown vs. Vacation Rental Cost Breakdown
To help give you a better visual of what the cost break down of hotel costs versus AirBnB costs, I created this worksheet for you to take a look at.
Make sure to watch the video to get a better explanation of how I got the numbers for the cost comparison.
Going into debt for Christmas is not an option for us Pearls! Christmas on a budget is the opposite of a bad thing! It means that you will have strategically told your money what you want it do this Christmas rather than wondering where it went.
CNBC.com reported last January that on average most Americans went into over $1,000 in debt for Christmas alone. It will take those families month’s to pay it off and will end up paying a ridiculous amount in interest. So much for that “black friday sale”!
If only they took 30 minutes to sit down and write out their Christmas budget…
Kids thrive when they have sort of order to their day. That is where your summer routine for kids comes into play! In order remain “the fun mom” and still compose some sort of sanity, you have to find a balance of fun and order.
Use this FREE Summer Schedule for Kids Printable to get your family motivated to get the important chores out of the way to make room for fun summer activities.
It took our family four weeks to pull ideas together for this incredibly fun summer bucket list for families!
Don’t you hate it so much when you feel like you need money in order to “have fun”? Sure, if we all had endless amounts of money filling our days with activities would be a no brainer!
But that’s not the case. Well, not for our family that is. Is it the same for yours?
Part of living your Pearl Life is all about enjoying where you are in the present. It is great to plan for the future, but you can still fully bask in the life you are living today! This summer bucket list for families is going to help you guys do exactly that!
There was a time when we were deep in debt, no savings in site, and had zero hopes of being able to make a Disneyland trip happen. Then we realized that if we were intentional about our vacation spending then we could have an amazing Disneyland vacation on a budget! Can I show you how to do the same thing for your family?
Our family has started planning our second ever trip to Disneyland. Our first trip in 2017 was amazing and I have been dreaming about our next trip ever since we started walking out of the park on that last day!
Has your family ever done a Disneyland Vacation? I would love to hear how you saved money on your trip! Where did you splurge on your trip? Comment below and we can chat!
Main Costs of a Disneyland Vacation
There are four main costs associated with planning a Disneyland vacation.
If there is one category that you guys want to splurge a bit on, you will have to rework your budget and find other areas that you are willing to cut costs in order to fund your splurge.
1.Save on Travel to Disneyland
My rule of thumb is that usually if we are traveling with two or more people, it is cheaper to drive than to fly. Now there is so much more that plays into that decision. Schedules, timelines of driving, or drivers.
If you decide to fly make sure that when you are searching for flights to take into consideration cost of luggage and times of flights. Depending on what time you are flying will decide how many meals you will have to pack or purchase at the airport. 🤑
2.Save on Park Tickets
You will NEVER find a discount if you shop tickets directly from Disneyland’s website when you’re planning a Disneyland vacation! Well… there is an exception for locals that I’ll tell ya about in a sec. So how in the world do you save money on your Disney tickets?
The only place I have ever seen offer savings on Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park tickets is through a FREE travel agency called Get Away Today. They are the experts in all things Disneyland!
One of their most popular ticket sales is when they offer adult tickets at kids prices! If you make sure to follow me on Instagram then you will be the first Pearls to learn about any promotions that Get Away Today is offering.
A recent amazing sale that you might have heard about if you are signed up for my newsletter was when they offered your 4th day free ticket! An entire day at the park for free!
As soon as I saw this deal I immediately started to see if I could plan a “business trip” to Disneyland next month! Just the hubby and I!! Ahh! I can’t wait! I sure hope we can get the babysitting figured out! SHHHHH!!! This trip is going to have to be kept a secret for eternity from our kids! They CAN NOT know that we went without them!
The exception for Southern California residents is that most years Disneyland offers So Cal residents a 3day park hopper or 3day one park per day tickets for just around $160. Which is a major deal! But tickets are only valid usually January through May. This option also is not guaranteed to happen every year. Fingers crossed!
If you are local and can hold off till the beginning of next year, you might want to take your chances because that is the very best deal on tickets I have ever seen! That’s what we plan to do next year for our family Disney vacation!
BONUS TIP: The more days you spend at the park, the lower the daily ticket price will be.
3.Save on Lodging
In my eyes there are three options to help you save money with lodging when planning a Disneyland trip.
Stay with someone you know (Lucky!!!)
Find a hotel that offers free parking, free breakfast, and 3rd or 4th night free
Find a vacation rental to split with friends or family
If you know someone to stay with, do that!
If your not that lucky (like us…) then you need to know if you will be vacationing as a single family or if you will be going in a group.
When our family travels just the five of us I look to Get-Away-Today again to stack the savings! I’ll look for ticket sales and they make it super easy to find hotels that offer free parking, free breakfast, mini fridge (to keep lunch/dinner food cold), microwave, AND a 3rd or 4th night stay totally free!
If you purchase your park tickets and hotel stay with Get Away Today, you can use code: PEARLS to save a little more!
Let’s be honest! This is where our family likes to splurge! We sure love to try out all the fun treats that can only be found at Disneyland! The copycat recipes come close but it’s just not the same!
I plan to do as many videos as possible when hubby and I go to Disneyland and one of those will be searching out the best bang for your buck when it comes to the food at the Disney Parks! Would that be an interesting video to you?
If you don’t care that much about the food from the parks, then be sure to load up your backpacks and strollers with all the food from home! Disneyland says that this is 100% okay! One of the many reasons we all love them so much!
When we went last year, we were able to find Disney themed snacks all over Walmart and the Dollar Tree. Stocking up on the themed foods BEFORE you go in the park will save you a ton!
When is Your Next Disneyland Trip?
Now that I went through writing you this letter, I am giddy with my planning! Reply to this email and let’s chat all about your next trip and brainstorm together how your family can save on your next Disneyland adventure! I would LOVE to hear all about your Disneyland savings hacks and vacation tips!
This post is sponsored by HelloFresh. Thank you so much for supporting Pennies Into Pearls by using my links. xoxo
Whew! We made it! We are all moved in! This picture right here is real life in all its glory! Kennedy and I got super sick four days before moving day and then Oliver got super sick the day we picked up our moving truck. It was a little crazy but we are home at last!
The kids were not feeling the picture situation so hubby and I decided to document the occasion with smiles on our own! haha!
Make sure to watch both videos below to see what our moving week looked like PLUS a bonus video this week all about our first week as homeowners! What are your real life memories from moving? Share them in the comments.
In these two vlogs we share tips on getting packed up and ready to move. Also all the unplanned expenses of moving in and a few surprises that came with our move. Here is a clue… SNOW in San Diego!!!
With all the craziness of being sick on top of the craziness of buying our first home and moving, I am so grateful we planned our order of HelloFresh into our meal planning his month! It takes all the planning, shopping, and prep work out of cooking and just leaves the fun of crating a gourmet meal!