Should you take out a loan to go to Disney World?
I only took my kids to Disney World when my oldest was 7, despite the fact that many people visit me every year since their kids have been in diapers. To be fair, Disney just wasn’t high on my list of places to go, so instead of going there, we chose to take our kids to national parks and other parts of the country. . But eventually I gave in, saying we would go once to give our kids the experience.
Well, it turns out there’s a reason so many people are talking about Disney magic – my kids had such an amazing time there that I ended up bringing them back for a second year in a row. Seeing how much joy a Disney trip has given my kids made me happy that we were able to go twice. But succeeding in these trips was not easy. To balance them, we had to buckle up and save – a lot – because the last thing we wanted to do was go into debt while on vacation.
Yet many people do rack up debt to visit Disney, and that’s not surprising, with the typical trip costing $ 6,033, according to Initiated. If you want to go to Disney but can’t afford it, you might be considering taking out a vacation loan. But here’s why you shouldn’t – and how you might successfully avoid one.
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Debt stress is not worth it
I know a lot of people who talk about the wonderful memories they made at Disney. At the same time, some of these people also remembered stubborn debts as a result of their travels.
Going into debt can be very stressful, so as a general rule, if you have a non-essential expense that you can’t afford, you shouldn’t go into debt to pay for it. And that extends to the holidays.
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While Disney World can be a wonderful place to visit, if you take out a personal loan to take a trip there, those vacations will end up costing you more in the form of interest. Also, you can have debt payments hanging over your head for years, eating away at your income and preventing you from reaching other financial goals. A better bet may be to find another destination that your family will enjoy that is not as expensive.
How to get to Disney for less
Having said that, your family might really to have your heart set on a Disney trip, and that’s understandable. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to make your trip more affordable.
The two times I took my kids to Disney we drove 16 hours each way as the cost of fuel and a hotel stay en route was much cheaper than flying. Not everyone has the patience (or the spare time) to spend so many hours on the road, but if you’re willing to do so, it could drastically reduce the cost of your trip. My family, for example, saved well over $ 1,000 by driving rather than flying.
Another thing that got us to Disney two years in a row was having a friend who owned a property nearby that he rented out to us for free. Most people not only have access to a house adjacent to Disney, but if you stay outside the resort and eat outside the parks, you could save a lot of money in the process. On our side, we always had breakfast in the house we were in, made our lunches and dined mainly in a local restaurant rather than inside the park itself.
Finally, in our first year at Disney, we were pretty generous with memories, but our second year back, we got more stingy. Disney has souvenir shops and kiosks everywhere you look, but if you limit your kids from the get-go, you can lower your costs.
Disney World can be a truly wonderful experience, especially for children. And after the year we’ve all had, you might just be looking forward to giving your family a visit. But before you go into debt to make that trip, consider other options, like taking a low-key vacation this year and saving for a Disney trip next year. That way, you can enjoy your time at Disney without ending up with a bunch of debt – and stress – afterward.