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  • [Question] First time being in charge

    This March my sisters and a couple of friends are hoping to go to Disneyland for spring break. This is the first time I haven't had my dad to rely on for travel planning and stuff. What do I need to know to help make this trip affordable for 3-5 college students while not making it totally miserable?

    Each of us can budget about $900, I think.

  • #2
    Re: First time being in charge

    need more information to see if $900 per person is high or low. how far? fly or drive? one room or two? how may days in the park? any other attractions your going to visit? you might want to look into some of the Southern California ticket packages that include Disneyland, Universal, Knott's etc.

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    • #3
      Re: First time being in charge

      Check out Disney travel company...they are really good...the sooner you book the cheaper it will be...I actually book our vacation a year out through the DTC and it makes it more affordable. Tripadvisor.com can help with research so you can make sure you are staying in a decent hotel.


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      • #4
        Re: First time being in charge

        Originally posted by gary94080 View Post
        need more information to see if $900 per person is high or low. how far? fly or drive? one room or two? how may days in the park? any other attractions your going to visit? you might want to look into some of the Southern California ticket packages that include Disneyland, Universal, Knott's etc.
        Oh, I probably should have thought to specify that. We'd be leaving from Albuquerque, through whatever means were more economical, trying to spend as much of the week as possible on the resort (though one of my sisters wants to see a few other places), Rooms depend on if our (male) friends end up coming or not.

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        • #5
          Re: First time being in charge

          Albuquerque is about 800 mile, 11 hour drive.

          make a list and start getting an idea of the costs.

          gas or airfare, car rental or shuttle cost if you fly
          hotel
          food
          tickets
          etc

          the more you add to your list the better idea you will have on the cost.

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          • #6
            Re: First time being in charge

            This is how I begin:

            Fuel cost calculator. com to estimate gas
            RandMcnally.com to get directions and total milage (they are way better than Mapquest imo)

            On to Orbitz to get an idea of airline carriers that service my airport as well as price. After that go to specific airlines to see if there are better deals.
            Remember that shuttles from LAX to Anaheim are $30. Bus or individual shuttles from John Wayne airport (SNA and the closest to Disenyland) about $20.
            Disneyland parking is now $15 a day. ART shuttle to the parks are $4 a day. (ART isn't really that bad)
            Then I price separately:

            Hotels- go to Kayak for onestop shopping to get an idea on price then a little cross comparison with Priceline. You might want to consider a suite or adjoining rooms soemtimes that is most cost effective.
            Check out Travel Advisor.com for hotel reviews. Just becareful because some reviews are spamming the site for good ratings.

            Look at Bidding For Travel. com to investigate Priceline bidding strategies and hotels that people have "won". Priceline is really good for cheap and decent (3* catagory) places to stay. Just make sure to look up added resort and parking fees (if you drive). There is a Priceline thread in the planning section that you might want to look up.

            Tickets to the parks and any other places you want to visit.
            Remember that Disneyland parking is now $15 a day. ART shuttle to the parks are $4 a day. (ART isn't really that bad)

            After that analysis you can price Walt Disney Travel packages. In my experience it is quite a bit cheaper to get everything individually than in a package. Packages are very conveient though.

            Then I add conservative estimates on food, extra gas, soveniors, emergency money.
            Generally I plan $40 for food and have money left over. Souvenirs are about $50 or less. (The last few times there wasn't anything I wanted to buy) The rest is guessing.

            That is about all I figure on when planning. I hope this has helped.
            Sig by Poisonedapples!

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            • #7
              Re: First time being in charge

              If you want to simplify the vacation, don't fly, drive. You are close enough, and you can make the adventure a part of the trip - take a different route back, mix it up. I'd rather go get a root canal without anesthesia before dealing with the TSA and the airlines again. With the economy in the dumper and flights cut way back to shave costs, every plane is packed like the proverbial 'cattle car'.

              With 4 or 5 drivers you can rotate the duties and all arrive fresh - and you don't have the expenses of a rental car to deal with on top of the plane tickets. And with 4 or 5 people carpooling you will almost certainly beat the cost of flying, since the car only loses maybe 1 MPG with a full house over a solo driver. You would have to find "Fare War" level discounting for flying 4 to beat driving 4, and that just isn't happening.

              The caveat is having one midsize car or a minivan that is in excellent condition (breakdowns are bad...) and every one can get in (with your luggage) without feeling like a Sardine. You might have to mug one of your Mommies and borrow her Mommy Van for the weekend.

              Or pick a car with a trailer hitch and rent/borrow a small trailer for all the luggage. Make sure it has a spare tire and you have a lug wrench that fits when you go on a long trip, no matter how good the tires look. (Been there, burned once, never again. Flats Happen, and the spare from your car never fits...)

              AAA Membership! Not an option! (One's good for the whole car-full.) They have a Travel Agency, Maps and road conditions, and in case you have troubles they will send out a Knight on a Shining White Steed (Wrecker) to rescue you.

              And check with the Insurance Company first, some automobile policies reduce the coverage if the car is "loaned out" and someone not named on the policy is driving - even if a named insured driver on that policy *is* in the car.

              Now you get to decide the least expensive ticketing options. "Length of Stay" from the hotel, or multi-day, or AP's. If you have at least one Premium or Deluxe AP in the party you get the Parking and the discounts, make that you or someone that will be back within the next year. The ones that go "Okay, Seen it. I'll be back again in 5 or 10 years" - they get the regular tickets.

              Oh, and parking is up again - $14 for cars, $20 for trucks and motorhomes, $25 for buses and semis. Suddenly having that AP with parking option starts sounding real good...

              I'll be back with more if needed.

              --<< Bruce >>--
              There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

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              • #8
                Re: First time being in charge

                just did a quick check on Travelocity. flights would start around $250. packages with hotel for 4 for 5 nights $326 per person.
                Last edited by gary94080; 11-13-2009, 12:38 AM.

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