Saving For A Vacation Travel Tips Vacation Budgeting Vacation Planner

8 Easy Ways We’re Saving For A Vacation

August 7, 2017

Saving for a vacation can be stressful…especially when you’re on a budget.

We know that stress all too well. We’re an average family with an average income. So, we don’t have the luxury of just packing up and going on vacation whenever we feel like it.

The good news is that with a little bit of work, we’ve been able to cut down our out-of-pocket costs. On particularly good years, we’ve even been able to go on “free” vacations to Walt Disney World. That just means we’re earning our vacation money elsewhere and not taking any money out of our paychecks.

It typically takes us about 1 year to save up enough to go on a Disney Vacation. And honestly, if it wasn’t for the following methods, my family wouldn’t be going to Walt Disney World nearly as much as we do.

Saving for any vacation...How we're able to travel without emptying our bank account

How we save for our vacations


Scoff if you will. But, Swagbucks has made up a large portion of my savings and big reason we’ve been able to travel at all.

There is a little bit of a learning curve to learn what pays out and what doesn’t. But, once you get the hang of it, you’ll start seeing the earnings roll in pretty regularly.

Thanks to my growing business, I don’t have as much time to dedicate to Swagbucks as I used to. But, with quick videos and surveys, it’s still one of the best ways to earn vacation money.

A small cart sitting in the grocery store

Grocery Apps

I’ve used grocery apps for a long time. But, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to use my earnings to get my family back to Walt Disney World.

After all, I have to feed my family anyway. So, I may as well use my weekly chore to my advantage.

The apps that earn me the most money are:

A glass and pitcher of juice

Reward Programs

If certain brands have a reward program, now is the time to start earning some rewards. After all, you’re buying their products anyway.

Dreaming of a Disney Vacation? Sign up for Disney Movie Insiders. Eat Kellogg’s? They’ve got a Reward Program that pays out in Gift Cards, as well.

Receipt Apps

By now, I’m sure you’re sensing a pattern. There are a lot of legit apps out there that give you cash back.

But, snapping pictures of your receipts are quite possibly the easiest way to save for any vacation.

Are you going to be able to pay off your entire vacation this way? Probably not. But, I can usually save enough to cover the souvenirs I want to buy.

A box labeled "online shopping" sitting on a laptop

Cash Back for Online Shopping

Have you been shopping online more than usual lately? You may as well be saving for a vacation at the same time.

Before cashing out, I check Swagbucks Shopping, Top Cash Back, Rakuten, and Rapid Rewards Shopping to see who is giving the best cash back that day.

Sell unused/Unwanted Items

It seems obvious. But, if you have items in your house that no longer have a purpose, sell it.

With 2 growing boys, I have an unending number of clothes and toys that they have outgrown. It’s so convenient to bring clothes to Once Upon A Child or Kid2Kid and receive cash within an hour, even if the return isn’t that great.

While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get more for your items, I’ve had luck selling my kids’ old clothes to online consignment shops. The only downside is it’s going to take longer to get your money. was my preferred online consignment. But, their warehouse seems to fill up quickly. So, I’ve switched it up and started sending my kids’ clothes to ThredUp. They will send you a Clean Out Kit to fill and return to them. All you need to do is ask.

Fruit salad sitting in heart bowls

Losing Weight

I know it sounds silly, but I actually make money when I lose weight. When I’m feeling particularly motivated, I bet on myself using DietBet.

Losing some weight before going on vacation always reminds me that I can do anything I put my mind to. Of course, the extra money doesn’t hurt, either.

Mystery Shopping

I’ve you’ve got some spare time, consider doing some Mystery Shopping.

There are apps like Mobee and EasyShift that show you what is available in your area. Most of the time, all you have to do is take photos of certain displays and submit the photos to the companies.

I was able to cash out for a $10 Dunkin Donut Gift Card after completing just 2 shops on Mobee. Want a head start? Enter the referral code ZNBD when you sign up. You’ll receive an extra 300 points after your first mystery shop.

Piles of luggage. After saving for a vacation, you're ready for the next adventure

What tips and tricks do you use when you’re saving for a vacation? I’d love to hear them!

Have questions? Feeling anxious? Don’t know where to start? That’s where we step in.

We know what to do, and more importantly, what NOT to do. We’ve done the training, we’ve made the mistakes, and have learned from them, And that’s what makes us the perfect people to help you.

From perfectly curated itineraries to direct access to your Travel Professional, our goal is to take the stress out of planning your vacation.

Simply fill out whichever form works better for you, and we’ll discuss your options. is not authorized or endorsed by, or officially connected with The Walt Disney Company, or any of their affiliates. For official Disney information, visit

Hawaii Destination Specialist

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