Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Family Vacations

I am wondering how so many people can go on so many family vacations...........and big ones!?! We have never been on a "real" family vacation. Unless, of course, you count Southwest Iowa a vacation destination. I don't. We did go to Colorado a couple of years ago as a "mini-vacation", but since that was really a work trip of Scott's that we tagged along on, I don't really count that either. Especially since Scott was in meetings the entire time. It doesn't count as a "family" vacation when Dad isn't present!
As many of you know, we started saving to go to Disney World over a year ago. (I'm wondering if I have posted about this already as I am having a bit of deja vu? If I have, just nevermind. I'm getting old and forgetful!) Every time I heard of someone going to, or had been to Disney World, I would ask them how much money we needed to save. Not to be nosey, though. I just needed an amount to set as my goal to save for. And since we have never really been on a vacation before, I really had no idea how much we should be trying to save. We were told about $5,000 each time I asked. So, $5,000 it was! We reached our goal in December and we are planning to go to Disney World over spring break, in March. We are SO EXCITED! However, there is bad news. We have already spent our $5,000 (+) on reservations, etc. WE HAVEN'T EVEN GOTTEN THERE YET! OMG! So, as we continue to stick as much money as we can away before our trip of a lifetime in 27 days 9 hours and 28 minutes, I wonder how do people do it? Do they actually save money over an extended amount of time, then go (like we have)? Do they just have that amount of extra money to spend? Or, do they put it on a credit card and never pay it off? Because we are still paying (hopefully for only 6 more days as we are supposed to close on our house in Bismarck on Feb. 28) 2 mortgages, 2 electric/heating bills etc, it's not easy to stick much money away right now. But we're trying!
We have great plans for our vacation, and we'll most likely need a vacation when we get home! Once we land in Orlando, we will pick up our rental car and head east. We will be staying in Cocoa Beach our first night so we can spend the next morning playing in the ocean. (We will also be meeting up with a good friend of mine who is in Florida spending time with her family while we are there!) Around noon that next day (surely 4-5 hours will be enough for frolicking in the Atlantic Ocean!?) we will head south. Our destination is Chokoloskee Island for our Everglade Area Tour in KAYAKS!! We will be doing a sunset kayak tour that evening, and then doing a boat-assisted kayak tour the following morning. Later that day, we will head back north to Orlando. We will be staying at Universal Studios' Hard Rock Hotel for the next 3 nights as we take 2 days to spend at Universal Studios' Island of Adventures Park, where we will go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!! I don't know if we will spend our 2 days at just Harry Potter World, or if we'll spend some of that time doing other things in the park. With our special package, we will be allowed to enter the park 1 hour earlier than the general public, so we're hoping to get some of the things done that require alot of wait time during that hour, before the park fills up. We also have reservations for breakfast at The Three Broomsticks, which is inside Harry Potter World. We are going to try out some Butter Beer. ;-) After these 2 tiring days, we will then move to The All-Stars Movie Resort located within Disney World!!! We will spend the remainder of our trip here and have 4 days to spend at Disney. We plan to attend 1 of each of the 4 parks each day. I didn't realize there were 4 parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) within Disney World. Thankfully, an old friend from high school saw my cry for help on Facebook and has helped us make reservations, etc for this trip.
I'm not sure when or where our next vacation will take us, but you can believe that the Disney Fund jug will turn into savings for our next big family vacation destination. Now that we have an idea how much these kind of vacations cost, we'll try to save more money next time! OUCH!


Shannon said...

You all will have a blast and a tiring one it sounds like!! You will have to let me know all about it when U get back so when we go in a few years I will know what to do and what not to do

Laura said...

Same for me! I hope we get to go next year. Yikes that is a lot of money. Have a blast.

Laura said...

I agree with Shannon. I hope that we get to go in the next year. Yikes it is expensive. Have a great time.