This article is going to seem like a no-brainer, and it does repeat some information found on far worthier sites, but how many sites show you a picture of a finger monkey first for no particular reason?
We, as a species, buy on credit, a lot. (not like that responsible little finger monkey up there…*stares for a minute*) It is kind of second nature to do so, and no greater time is this more prevalent than when one is getting ready to go on vacation. There are some things to do to avoid having your trip cost a lot more in hidden fees and interest after the fact, though, and they are easy to do.
First of all, if paying for everything all at once is an issue and the goal is paying it off over time, why pay afterwards? Why not pay in advance? Not only is there no interest, but where’s the fun in paying for something that is already over? “But I can’t save money, ” I can hear you pleading through a mouth of fine cheddar. I, too, experience this problem, and the solution is simple. Any number of places where gift cards are sold now sell Disney gift cards in various denominations. $25 here, a $50 one there, and after a few months you can have a substantial amount saved up in a form that you can only spend at Disney. They can be used for just about everything on property, including food and drinks, and if they are lost or stolen, and reported as such right away, you can have it frozen and replaced. Just make sure you write down the numbers in a safe place. I recommend taking a clear picture of the number with your cell phone, so you aren’t in Fantasyland, and your card numbers aren’t in the desk drawer back in Iowa. (Note: the cell phone trick also works with remembering where you parked-take a picture of the sign, and being able to describe your kids if, god forbid, they wander off at Disney-just take a new snap each morning as you leave the hotel. ) Just keep in mind that vacation packages can currently only be paid for with gift cards in Disneyland, not Disney World. I recommend crying and stomping your feet until this is changed.
If you MUST have a credit card, be smart and cunning. There are some awesome cards out there, not the least of which is the Disney Visa Rewards card, that get you extra goodies and awesome things just for doing what you were going to do anyway, namely pay a buttload of money to go to Disney. As I am not a financial advisor (my “portfolio” consists of a big blue piggy bank with “Vacation Fund” painted on the side), I won’t give any comparisons of cards; I will just encourage you to look into which cards might be best for you, and importantly which cards allow transfers of balances, so if you have already paid for your vacation package, you can reduce the interest. As for the Disney Visa card, there are a number of perks associated with it, most excitingly a chance to have a private Meet and Greet with characters.
Other ways to save in advance for Disney are covered in a far more comprehensive (though less finger monkey intensive) way over at Couponing To Disney and I highly recommend checking it out.
I, in the meantime, will keep feeding my piggy. He feel a little light, though…he must be lactose intolerant.