How Your Kids Can Make Travel Magic Happen!
Remember how Peter Pan had a little helper sprinkling pixie dust to make dreams come true? Well, I've got some enchanting news for you. Your very own fairy helpers are probably running around your house right now. Yes, I'm talking about your kids!
In my previous chat with you, we unlocked one of the best-kept secrets to planning your vacations – opening up a dedicated savings account. If you haven't read it yet, go back and have a look; it's packed with handy tips that'll help you create a budget and kick-start your vacation savings in no time.
Now, let's talk about how to fill up that savings account, despite the whirlwind of family life and with no side hustle in sight. Ready for it? Bring the kids on board!
Your Roadmap to Adventure Planning
Ever caught yourself daydreaming about your next adventure but felt your wallet holding you back? Guess what? You're not alone. Better still, I have the perfect roadmap to navigate these financial crossroads while keeping your travel dreams alive.
Any financial guru worth their salt will tell you - it all begins with a good budget. Now, before you run a mile, hear me out. Budgeting doesn’t have to be as scary as scaling Everest
Let's break it down:
Step one: Kick off with calculating your income. If you have a steady salary, it's a breeze. For those with a variable income, like yours truly, working with estimates or averages will be your go-to strategy.
Step two: It's time to get up close and personal with your fixed and variable expenses. My preference is a biweekly budget, but if going month-to-month works for you, that’s wonderful.
Start your budget journey by rounding up your fixed expenses, like your mortgage or rent, phone and utility bills, car payments, and minimum debt repayments. Once you've got a handle on this, it's time to subtract these figures from your income. What you’re left with is your pot for variable expenses!
This part’s a bit of guesswork, but you've got this! Estimate your variable expenses, such as groceries, fuel, recreational costs, kids' activities, and of course, pet pampering. Review this at the end of each month or pay period to understand your spending patterns.
Step three: Achieve a zero balance on your budget. This is where the magic happens. If you’ve got loose change left after all your expenses are covered, it's time to pile it into your savings or further reduce your debt. In the world of finance, we call this the zero-based budgeting method.
If you already have a smooth-running budget mechanism, that's fabulous! Just tie in your savings goal to your current budget and designate an amount every month (or biweekly) towards your 'Shine under the Disney fireworks fund.'
Remember, savings and debt pay-offs should be at the top of your plan.
But, wait, there's more! Let's supercharge that vacation fund with these savvy tips:
Tip #1: If you’ve just cleared a payment obligation, like a car loan or credit card, reign in the urge to breathe easy. Instead, redirect that same payment toward your vacation savings account. It's like you're paying yourself for all the fun awaiting!
Tip #2: To keep the vacation savings untapped, set up a dedicated account and schedule automatic transfers. I highly recommend opening a high-yield savings account where your money does some additional heavy lifting. Look at banks like Ally, Capital One 360, or Dollar Savings Direct for easy set-up.
Tip #3: Declare all "surprise" money as dedicated vacation fund boosters. Think tax refunds, work bonuses, mystery checks, and even that $10 bill you found inside your winter coat! Make all these unexpected treasures part of your vacation fund.
Now here's the ultimate hack to saving big on your trip: Commit to it NOW! It's no secret that as time passes, prices skyrocket. So why stall when we can start planning your dream vacation right away.
Start by scheduling a call with yours truly. Let's embark on the journey to making your travel dreams come true, one budget plan at a time!
Dreaming alongside you!
Here we are, waltzing into February, and I've got something really close to my heart that I want to chat with you about. Yes, it's time to blend dreams with plans, and who doesn't get a little thrill from that thought as we step further into the New Year?
There's something almost magical about a brand-new year unfolding before us, don't you think? It's like being handed a fresh, unwritten book filled with possibilities and adventures waiting to be discovered. So, what story are we going to write on those pages for 2024?
Although fall hasn't quite arrived here in Georgia, school is back in session and we're already feeling the heat of over a hundred degrees. It's the perfect time to start thinking about winter break trips! In fact, many people have already taken advantage of early discounts and secured their trips to popular destinations like Disney and Universal for Fall break.
Winter break trips are going fast, with resorts still trying to make up for lost revenue due to the pandemic. While there are still some affordable options, hidden costs can quickly add up and take away from your vacation experience.
Disney Cruise Line may not be the cheapest family vacation choice, but it's definitely worth the splurge.
I LOVE Planning Universal and Disney vacations. I can’t believe I get to wake up every morning and help Families (most with special needs) make magical memories like the ones I have.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself!
I believe travel brings the family closer together while broadening their horizon at the same time
I believe vacation is the best way to really let go and let everyone be themselves!
I started this business to help special needs families enjoy those things together as families that most most families take for granted!
I want to do the same for your family.
So how did I get here?
Then my three year old son was in a terrible car accident and everything changed for me. Something as simple as going to the local park became a chance for a major melt down. His 4 year old sister deserved her childhood back.
I learned everything I could about special needs travel through Special Needs Group at Sea, The Travel Institute, as well as the parks themselves. I had long conversations with Disney when they made the change from the GAC to the DAS (on what worked and what wasn't working so well).
I've had long conversations with Guest Services at Universal as they have revamped the AAP just prior to Covid and after they opened back up. Not only about the things that deal directly with my son's disability, but with my grand daughter's amputation as well.
I have made it my mission to make travel for all members of the family important!
My background in underwriting taught me to look at things analytically. I focus on planning for special needs in a way that integrates the rest of the family too.
I LOVE to travel and want YOU to love it too.
I love learning exactly what you envision for your trip and making it happen.
I will share my honest opinions and treat each vacation differently but still as lovingly as if it were my own.
IF I SOUND LIKE SOMEONE, YOU WOULD WANT TO TRAVEL WITH. . . stop letting the hassle of planning a vacation keep you from getting away.
Let me help you take care of everything so you can enjoy your vacation with your family.
Your goals are very personal, especially if we are talking about priorities that give life meaning and a purpose. But, studies found that people who shared their goals with others showed better commitment to fulfilling their objectives.
In my experience, what the research says about sharing your goal with someone is not only accurate, but it also makes you more motivated. In addition, it holds you accountable, and you may even receive unexpected help and support.
Beyond that, the more you share it, the more you will also reaffirm your dedication to yourself.
If you are a little timid to share with your closest friends and family, you can start with me!
I would love to be your accountability buddy, check in on your progress, and help you book those vacations when you are ready.
All you need to do is schedule a call!
In my last blog, I shared a great way to ensure you are continuously investing in your vacation.
If you missed it, make sure you go back and check it out. There are some great tips and resources there, and I hope they inspired you to sit down, create your budget and designate a special vacation savings account.
You may be wishing you could start planning your next vacation, but you are worried about how you will afford another trip so soon.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, Americans leave some 768 million unused vacation days. You can read articles about how vacations will help productivity, sleep, focus, energy, etc.
But most still don't listen and continue to put work first and let those vacation days waste away.
Days off are essential to overall health and well-being, helping to re-energize, re-focus, get rested, and ultimately be happier.
Most of the content is written by people at JMorris Travel. Every once in a while we will have a guest blogger, usually it is part of our 'family'.Always with a nod to Family Travel!