Having been able to visit both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World this year with Tink, I thought that I would share my Top 5 Money Saving Tips when travelling with a pre-schooler.
5. Eating in the room. This saves a lot of time and money and ensured we got to the parks for rope drop most days. This was not only to save money but Tink is a really fussy eater and didn’t eat when we did go for breakfast, even fun things like pancakes were not touched. This isn’t funny when you are literally throwing away money. Cereal and fruit in the room was far better for everyone. We also had lunch in the room a few times too, this wasn’t home made, we bought it out of the parks, but it worked better for Tink to eat at the hotel rather than the distraction of the rides and characters.
4. Taking snacks and drinks to the parks. I don’t mind buying Tink a cookie or some milk or even the power pack box now and again but she is a total snacker and could easily graze all day long. Bringing a bag of gold fish, cereal, raisins, sugar free sweets and the cartons of juice she was used to from the UK just worked for us, saving both money and time trying to track down a snack quickly!
3. Taking her favourite toys from home with us. Because she brought her well loved Mickey, Minnie and Donald to the parks every day it meant we didn’t have to splash out on big toys for her. She still had way more than she really needed but at least we didn’t duplicate toys.
2. Plan ahead for the journey. Buy some toys, comics, snacks etc for travelling to Disney before you get to the airport, gas station, services or anywhere you stop en-route. We had a to-go bag of things to keep Tink busy at the airport and on the plane, which kept her going in the hotel room too. These were not expensive gifts – comics, colouring book and crayons, stickers, fuzzy felt shapes, some costume jewellery, a new purse for her own money and such like. If you suddenly have to buy books, toys, sweets, must-have items because your child ‘needs’ them, especially on the plane, this can work out very expensive. We also took some sweets and treats onto the plane, this was not so much for expense as we had complimentary snacks on board but so she had immediate access to something she liked.
1. One present a day. We tried to stick to this as much as possible, to save money and of course luggage space! Sometimes she did have more things if went to the mall too for example, but these things were packed away until we came home. This also makes them think about what they really want and make them appreciate the gift more. With a slightly older child you can give them a set amount of money each day which is theirs, but the rule is once it’s gone, it’s gone. Tink had money from her grandparents but at just 2, she had no concept for this trick.
Hope these tips help!