Summer is almost over, and I'm gearing up for a busy fall full of adventures! Some of my travel will be for fun, like my girls' weekend and family vacation to Walt Disney World; some of my travel is really for work, like my Cruise World and Destination Weddings conferences. I'll let you in on a little secret -ALL of my travels are exciting and enjoyable, I'm very fortunate to have a career that I love! But I have to dispel one common misconception: being a travel agent does not mean I get to travel for free! That means, just like all of you, I'm always trying to maximize my vacations funds. Notice: I don't say 'getting the best deal'. Why? It implies that I'm willing to settle for the least expensive option everywhere I go, and that's definitely not the case.
Don't confuse maximizing your vacation funds with 'booking the cheapest everything'. Most of us are working within a budget, and you want to get the most bang for those precious travel bucks - I get that, trust me. But I ask you to consider, what is the the value of every element of your travel package? Let me give you a common example! A lot of first time Walt Disney World visitors come to me and ask, 'Kayla, be honest with me - isn't it a lot cheaper to get a hotel not on Walt Disney World property?' The short answer is always, yes.
Consider the Holiday Inn near Disney Springs - their average nightly rate is always going to be lower than that of a Walt Disney World resort. But what about the perks of being an on-site guest at Walt Disney World, like Extra Magic Hours, earlier access to dining and Fastpass+ reservations, complimentary roundtrip transportation from the airport and shuttles to the theme parks?
These perks don't necessarily have a price tag but they do have value. Are these things going to make your vacation easier and more enjoyable? Absolutely! The value of these perks is almost always going to outweigh the minimal savings of staying at a less expensive off-site hotel, so maximize your vacation funds by staying on-site and getting a lot more bang for your travel buck. In short, it's not always about the bottom line. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper and really consider the experience as a whole to ensure you're maximizing your vacation funds!
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