Hey folks...I'm look for thoughts on how much additional funds to budget for our trip. We have our airfare and hotel taken care of already and we will be on the dining plan. As this is our first trip, I don't know what more I need to plan for. Souvenirs, tips at meals, mousekeeping....what else am I missing? If you had to recommend an amount to plan for with a family of 5, what would it be?
Lots of variables. Tipping is 18-20%; you should be able to "guesstimate" that. Checking menus for the places you plan on going to should allowyo to get a pretty accurate number here. Mousekeeping is typically $5.00/night.
For me, souvenirs and alcohol are the two biggest factors. Beer averages $7.00, mixed drinks $10.00-15.00. Only you know how much you will spend on souvenirs. When I go solo I might get a tee shirt or a hat and a couple of Christmas ornaments. When DW comes with me, well, let's just say it's a lot more...
We did a 5 day trip with 4 people on the dining plan, and I remember being pleasantly surprised that the charges to the room/card totaled around $350. I'm pretty sure my kids had gift cards to spend as well though. There are too many variables to know for sure, but maybe that will give you a ballpark idea.
For a budget? I would set aside (or try to) roughly an extra $500 for each adult, and $250 for each kid or so. At the bare minimum, I would say $1000 total. That might sound like a lot, but budgeting that much relieves any "price shock" anxiety you'll get (and you will get some!) while you're in the parks and allow you to enjoy what you're doing and maybe even splurge on something that strikes your fancy.
Plus, there's obviously no requirement that you have to spend ALL of what you budget, and if you have a little left over by the time you're home, that's just a bonus.
Regarding other expenses, don't forget you might need money for
tips for luggage handlers
dolewhips (technically a snack, but deserves a special mention)
I order our kids a giftcard for our trip, on the disney store online you can pick what the card looks like (this year since going at Christmas, I picked a holiday theme). I order each of our girls a $75 gift card and they can buy whatever they want, but when the $$ is gone, its gone. During our last trip, $75 really seemed to be more than enough (they are 5 and 7). It also helps that we always let them use our leftover snack credits at the candy store before we come home, so they feel like they are shopping even more. It always shocks me that we have leftover snack credits, but we always do.
I agree with @bswan26 There are soooo many variables it is hard to know. It really does depend on your spending habits.
2 adults, 1 child - last year - our room charges were $900 for 8 nights/9 days. This was using the dining plan, covered most tips, and only about $50 in souvenirs for kiddo. This covered only a handful of beers. We ate breakfast in our room about 1/2 of the time using cereal I brought with us. We probably had one appetizer per sit down meal and TS meals that were included in the total listed above. We could have easily cut out $250-$300 if we were willing to sacrifice a bit more.
I set aside $100 a day for incidentals. Meals at the airport, tips, "what the heck's" and "didn't think ofs" - however we are pretty good at keeping things to a minimum. I do NOT skimp on tips - tips are the cost of doing business. So need $$ for baggage handling, dining, mousekeeping etc along with meals.
We don't drink much alcohol as w whole - but on rest days will have a few drinks poolside. My wife likes Prosecco - so have to keep that in mind - HA
Usually we don't do much for souvenirs. Kids have to provide their own funds. This year we did get more than usual as it was our first time to Universal and the Harry Potter stuff was just cool. We also got a topiary as we were there during the garden festival.
As a whole thought $100 a day and then I try NOT to spend it
How do you get a topiary home? (That sounds like the set up for a joke.) Gratuitous use of tree emoji.
Ha - actually a very insightful question. CAREFULLY. So it is about 15' x 12' 8' so not particularly big. However - they bubblewrapped it pretty well. It wsa in a large bag and that because one of our carry on's. We put it under my daughter's seat (leg area). It traveled very well and thrived for several months. Then one day - just died. However we were able to get new fig plant and since then it has been doing fine.
15 feet by 12 feet 8 feet? What? That certainly doesn't sound small! (Single quote is feet, double quote for inches.)
This Is Spinal Tap. Anyone? Anyone?
no - it was actually that big - we had to leave two of the kids behind. I hope they are doing well
goes all the way up to 11
It's a shrubbery! Nee! Nee!
Tis only a flesh wound
(Dear God, what have I done)
Thank you all so much for the thoughts and humor! This was definitely helpful as we plan our trip. It will be our first time at Disney, so I anticipate our souvenir money might be a little bit higher than usual, but I love the idea of doing a gift card for each kid and when it is gone then it is gone. That way I don't have to worry about tracking expenses and making sure everything is "fair" between kiddos. Thank you!
We have done that as well. We also let our kids know that the vacation is our gift and any souvenirs are ON YOU. Now we do help out a bit here and there if we think it is "COOL" and negotiate "this is birthday" or "this is Christmas" as well. Luckily our kids aren't "Hey he/she got . . ." so that helps.
Also a way to save some $$ - my wife gets the glow sticks from Target prior to our trip - that way we get all the GLOW stuff and bring it for MUCH LESS $$$