First, a few things- this is going to be a multi-stop trip! I was initially worried about that, but as I posted here, my TA Erin can help me with ALL THE DESTINATIONS! Even better, if she can’t get me a better price, I’m able to book certain aspects of the trip on my own- but I still get to take advantage of her knowledge of the area. I’m thrilled- not only that I know I’ll be getting the best price either way, but because Erin has firsthand knowledge of the areas we are planning on visiting, I can rely on her to tell me what hotels to steer clear of. That’s hours of researching off my plate…and I don’t even have to pay for it.
One thing I’ve learned and would suggest to you is to be very upfront with your TA about what you want, and what you’re willing to pay for. Yes, we would all like to stay in a deluxe suite. No, we won’t all pay for that luxury. I’ve been very clear with Erin. I want the best I can get for the cheapest price (don’t we all?). To get that, I’m willing to do a little driving on certain aspects of the trip, but I don’t want to stay more than 30 minutes away. On one of the stops, I want to be within just a few minutes of the destination. I’ve given her details on our family- likes, dislikes, ages. I gave her a list of things we wanted to do in one area in particular, so she can help us with tickets. The more details you can give, the more accurate your quote and the better chance she has of finding discounts or offers for us. At the same time, you don’t have to be STRICTLY SCHEDULED right off the bat. We actually have a few days flexibility one way or the other, and I’ve let her know that as well.
So, without further ado- In 2020, our family will be visiting LAS VEGAS, ANAHEIM, SAN DIEGO!
We’ve never visited Las Vegas and are excited to add another state to our “collection”. We’re planning on getting to Vegas early, then spending one full day and night here, before leaving the next morning.
After Vegas, we plan to drive to Anaheim- and y’all know what’s there! DISNEYLAND, BABY. Miss Bongo has never visited and we’ve only been once ourselves. At Erin’s suggestion we are looking at three day tickets. Disney has been the big hold up, because they did not release Disneyland prices when they released Disney World. In fact, those prices are still not out! Erin send me an an estimated quote four FOUR different hotels (2 on property and 2 off property), because she’s good like that. I have tried to look at hotels and pricing on my own, but the hotel tiers are different out there and they have a ton of good neighbor hotels! Not to mention, a few have bad reputations. This is where the biggest savings comes into play- not spending hours ripping my hair out pricing these places and reading reviews. Ack. Trust me, this is the way I usually plan trips. I know my crazy well. While the prices aren’t out, Erin has done her job so long that she can extrapolate based on 2019 pricing and give me a general estimate of what our costs will be. I know it’s subject to change, but at least we’ve got the general idea.
After three days in Anaheim, we’re going to bop down to San Diego for the rest of the trip. We can’t wait to hit the San Diego Zoo & Safari park, take Miss Bongo to our favorite places, and just enjoy a city we fell in love with years ago.
Then, it’s all over but the crying. We’ll fly home from there! Depending on the official price quote, we’ll firm up our plans a little more and I’ll finally have a true target goal. I’m happy to get the estimated quote now though, before we get our hearts set on spending 3 days at Disneyland, only to realize we’ll have to cut it to two to save money. It’s just nice to know how things are going to be, ya know?
Each of our destination estimates from Erin includes at least 3 hotels. So there is a range of pricing and options- but I also can research each of them and make my decision, instead of having to sift through literally hundreds of options. Knowing my tentative budget, Erin has made sure not to include any place that is ridiculously expensive. She also knows the number one priority is cleanliness, so she’s skipped out on any of the super cheap places to stay that may or may not include a dead body in the bathtub. Again, Again, Again- I can totally do this on my own, but the TIME SAVINGS is incredible- and it’s FREE. So no matter where you want to go, even if you don’t think you need a TA, I’d recommend shooting Erin an email and just seeing what she can do for you. Wouldn’t we all like a little more time, even if all we do is use it to scroll Facebook?
Onto the savings!
2020 West Coast Trip Goal: $4000
June 23rd – June 29th earnings:
$38.10- Secret Shops
$25.30- Credit Card Rewards
$13.42- Disney Refund
$10- Dabbl– Disney GC
$8.86- Various Tasks and Surveys
$6- Mindfield Online
$6- Pinecone Research
$6- Pinecone Research
$5- Bing Reward- Amazon*
$4.20- Class Action Lawsuit Check
*Amazon gift cards get squirreled away to pay for gifts, although you can also buy gift cards on Amazon!
Total earned this week: $122.88
Fund Total from last post: $674.84
Current Fund Total: $797.72
Only $3202.28 to go!