1. Start a coin jar
2. Ask for Disney gift cards as gifts.

3. Make payments as you go.

You may make payments on your vacation for as little as $25, making that final payment a lot easier to take, even if you just make the occasional payment now and then. There's no limit on how many payments you can make per week, so feel free to make one whenever you have some extra cash.

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4. Book the trip you can afford now, not the trip you think you can afford later.

  • one discount at a time.
  • Most Disney travel agents will apply discounts automatically, but ask just to make sure. Don't be shy about reminding your agent when a discount comes out.
  • If you have a Disney package, Disney reserves the right to impose a $50 change fee if you apply a new discount less than 45-days prior to travel.

Get Park Wise: Booking engines such as Travelocity, Expedia and others may have stiff cancellation penalties, depending on the promotion. This can make any subsequent discount moot. Make sure you understand their policies for cancelling or changing a reservation before you book. Sometimes these policies are full of confusing legalese. If you don't fully understand it, book elsewhere.
6. Clip coupons and pocket the savings. 7. Never book a trip with anyone who charges fees.

You should never pay a fee to an agent to book your trip, make dining reservations, or plan itineraries. Further, if you run into a travel agency that charges cancellation penalties (other than the ones imposed by Disney), find another agency. There are too many honest agencies out there that will gladly provide you a service without charging any fees.

8. Shop around for onboard credits when you cruise on Disney Cruise Lines.

9. Buy Disney gift cards to save money elsewhere.10. Never lose your deposit.

Worse case scenario, you have to cancel a trip. If you cancel prior to the 45-day mark, you'll get a full refund, but if you're past that deadline, you forfeit your $200 deposit. Well, at least in theory. The good news is, even if you didn't buy insurance, you don't have to lose your deposit. Instead, call Disney or your travel agent and have them move your trip. You can do this as many times as you like, so you don't have to be definite about your new travel dates at the time you change them, you just want to save yourself from losing your deposit. Then regroup and continue to save. The good news is, Disney will always be there when you're ready.

Travel is a luxury in this economy and we're all looking for ways to save. What about you? Do you have any unique and painless ways to save? I'd love to hear them.

Park Wise is written by Chris Wood.

You can find her at Everything Walt Disney World.

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If you have any specific questions you would like me to tackle, please leave me a comment!