It has always been a dream to head out to Florida and take in the magic of Disney World, however, it has not always gone to plan. However, as that plan seems a little more realistic now, we need to start thinking a little more practical about a trip out there. This includes where to stay, insurances, our ESTA Visa and should we hire a car?
With so many things to start thinking about I have started to look a little more in depth to what we need to do as a family.
Getting your ESTA
It was only recently that I discovered what an ESTA visa was if like me you had never heard of it, it is an Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It basically tells the USA you can travel into their county. From what I have read it is very easy to submit an ESTA application so this should be the easy part when it comes to the trip. Once we have our ESTA we can travel back into the USA for up to two years before it needs to be renewed.
ESTA is a cheaper and easier option compared to the standard visa so should save a little time. Once we have our ESTA visa, we can then move on to more pressing matters.
Where should we stay?
With so many options on offer, I think I need to start thinking about the budget for the whole trip and then work backwards.
The main aim of the trip is to head to the parks, I’m just not sure whether for us financially it is better to pay a little more but stay on the park and get free dining or to stay in a villa a little distance out and drive ourselves in, whilst being self-catering.
There are lots of great posts on the best ways to enjoy Disney World however so many people have their own opinions on this so it is all about the best options for your family. For us, I think being at the park would be the better option as it would allow us to get around a lot easier. We tend not to hire a car when we are away, so the saving on the car hire and insurance could be put towards staying on the parks.
Whilst this may be a slightly more expensive option, it would allow us to look into the various options that are offered out with the package holiday option. There are lots of these out there from free dining to 14-day park tickets for the price of 7.
As newbies to Disney World maybe this is the way to go for our first visit. I get very stressed planning things, I have to check multiple times that we have our passports before we even fly as I have a fear of getting to the airport and leaving the passports at home!
I have already been looking into the prices of a holiday for the 4 of us during the summer next year, already the prices are quite eye watering! I know it is the once in a lifetime experience but I will need to do a little research before I make our mind upon when and where we are going. That, however, doesn’t stop me from looking at holidays in Virgin Holidays! My dream location would be the Animal Kingdom Lodge, however, I know realistically that is way out of our budget!
We would be over there for 2 weeks so we would also need to give some consideration to which parks we would like to visit. As our children are getting older they are more likely to want to explore more, however, you can’t miss the experience of seeing Mickey and Minnie!
As a trip out to Florida is so expensive, make sure you do a little homework before you fly. Savvy in Somerset has this great post on things you can buy before you fly which would save you a few pounds on the trip already.
With this trip being such a financial investment, there is a lot of thought that needs to be put into it. It really would be a once in a lifetime trip for us to enjoy and there is no doubt the memories you make would stay with you for a lifetime. We just need to make sure we are getting the best deals for our money and ensure we have all the relevant information such as ESTA and insurances etc before we travel, last thing I would want is not to be able to get on the plane after all the planning!
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