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Money Saving Tips / Budgeting Discuss How much money to take for a roadtrip? in the Vacation Planning forums; We've never been on a roadtrip and are driving down for the first time in May. It'll be me, DH, DD, DS, and DMIL ( LOL.....TIA...
  1. #1
    sweetea's Avatar
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    How much money to take for a roadtrip?

    We've never been on a roadtrip and are driving down for the first time in May. It'll be me, DH, DD, DS, and DMIL (<----she kinda doesn't count since she'll have her own spending money and what not). The hotel is paid for since we're staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek and we're using our membership points. We're staying for a full week (Sun-Sun) and we're driving either a Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Caravan. I'm not sure about tickets 'cause we kinda want to wing it and do a variety of things but we know that we're only going to do Disney for 3 days and Universal for maybe 2 (at the most!), but that's not set in stone because we consider the whole ride the vacation so we'll of course make a few stops with Orlando obviously the final destination. We don't plan on spending a lot though. Since I plan on purchasing any theme park tickets before we go (once I make up my mind), the only thing to worry about is basically gas, food, and some souvenirs. We're driving down from the Philadelphia area.....ok..... :sigh: .....so how much is a good amount to have? Some in cash and some on cards.

    LOL.....TIA
    August 1990 --> Offsite Timeshare
    April 2006 --> Coronado Springs
    May 2009 --> Wyndham Bonnet Creek
    April 2010 --> Polynesian
    August 2011 --> Animal Kingdom Villas


  2. #2
    disneycrazy1956's Avatar
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    Last June we drove from Delaware in a Honda Accord and I tracked the mileage & our gas usage. We averaged 32.5 MPG and used just about 63 gallons for the whole trip at an average of $3.95 a gallon. Luckily, the price of gas is alot lower for you, hopefully it still will be. This was our third time driving to WDW and we leave at 3 am and DW and I take turns doing the driving. one note we stayed on property and didn't drive alot once we got there. You won't average 32.5 MPG in a minivan, but your not spending $4 a gallon. I usually budget about $100 a day for food and we don't do alot of sit down meals. That's a little high, but I'd rather have extra than worry about not having enough. i prefer cash for food so I don't have a whole bunch of charge slips from meals. I think the amount for souveneirs depends alot on you and your family. How old are the kids? Old enough to have some of their own money? When my daughter was younger, I would get disney dollars from the disney store for her and she would ask for gifts in disney dollars when she got a little older (tweens). We always go a little over board on souveneirs, but that's just us. You only live once right, lol. We pretty much just do disney so I can't help with the U place.
    "I just want it to look like nothing else in the world... and it should be surrounded by a train" -Walt Disney.
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  3. #3
    Spodie's Avatar
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    I have driven in a minivan from Philiadelphia to Atlanta before. We left with a full tank and had to fill up 2 or 3 times on our trip. I've also driven in a minivan from Atlanta to Orlando and we stopped twice to get gas I believe, but I also don't think we were close to empty either time. That being said, my guess is that you'll be using 3-5 tanks of gas.

    As far as food goes, it depends on what you decide to do. You may or may not know this, but Disney allows outside food, just not glass or alcohol (I'm sure there's more, so you should check). If your hotel has a refrigerator, it will be easy to just pack a cooler of sandwiches and go. Since you guys have a car, it will also be easy to find a Publix to get food at. There's a Goodings right outside of Disney's gates, but it's rediculously overpriced. If you don't want to bother with packing lunches, counter service is obviously your best bet (a table service meal will easily go over $100 - in fact, I don't know if a family can eat at any table service restaurant under $100). You can actually order a double cheeseburger with fries and order an extra bun for $.30. Many cashiers don't know the code for the extra bun, so oftentimes, it's free!
    So, how much should you budget for your meals? If you bring your own water bottles into the parks (i.e. don't order a drink at mealtimes), share meals, and bring snacks to munch on during the day, I think that the four of you can get away with $50-$60/day.

    As far as souveniers go, if you're on a budget, I would give them a set number of souveniers before you go, so there is an expectation on their end (i.e. they can each get one souvenier at Disney and one at Universal, or something like that). Souveniers can get expensive (I spent $19.00 on a medium-sized Stitch doll), so if you guys have a lot of shopping willpower (which I have absolutely zero of), I would say about $100-$150 for souveniers.
    ~Ashleigh









  4. #4
    sweetea's Avatar
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    Thanks! I guess I should clarify the ages of my children. DD is 4 and most likely will eat from us since she is kinda picky anyway and has a habit of wasting food, and DS will be 4 going on 5 months at the time so his food is already taken care of by me....lol. So I guess food wise, it will be a lot less than I think.
    August 1990 --> Offsite Timeshare
    April 2006 --> Coronado Springs
    May 2009 --> Wyndham Bonnet Creek
    April 2010 --> Polynesian
    August 2011 --> Animal Kingdom Villas


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