Are family outings no longer affordable?
Having fun has never been so expensive.
A new study has found that classic family outings — baseball games, movies and theme parks — have become insurmountable costs. These hobbies passed down from generation to generation might have to stay in the past if people can no longer afford to participate in activities that are simply too expensive.
Dreams of catching a fetid balloon or visiting Cinderella’s castle are common aspirations among young families. It’s part of a tradition that has remained relatively unchanged since Walt Disney opened its first theme park.
“Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, dreams and hard facts that made America – with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration around the world,” Walt Disney explained.
Inspiring, yes, but with high costs, is it really achievable?
At the price of priceless memories
Summer vacation is often the time when a family goes on a road trip, whether it’s to splurge on Disney or go to the movies. What has changed is that now everything is expensive and wallets are suffering from these rising costs.
“I had to explain to the children that Mickey was not in dad’s budget,” explains Steven Martinez, who had promised his children a trip to the House of Mouse. Costs of Visiting Disney World $109 per day, and that’s only for one ticket. For a family of four, this means a high price $436, and that’s before hotels, food, and souvenirs.
Disney offers many categories of places to stay, ranging from luxury resort hotels to so-called value resort hotels and even their own timeshare. Yet even supposedly budget accommodations are often out of reach for young families.
But it wasn’t always like that.
A more affordable middle class
According to a study conducted by The Hustle, traditional family outings have “ cost increase at 2-3 times the rate of inflation. Additionally, the study – which compared family outings in 1960 to today – concluded that “American families have to work up to twice as many hours as they did 60 years ago”.
Since most people can’t double their hours to go on vacation, what are real families doing to combat the rising cost of basic activities?
“The topic of expensive family outings is close to my heart,” Lauren Tingley Explain. “Last weekend, we spent over $200 on snacks and gas to take my kids to their swim meet in a town that was only an hour away,” Lauren says.
Still, she’s optimistic and offered some simple tips for getting the most out of family activities without breaking the bank.
“Be a tourist in your own town,” Lauren recommends. “We’ll walk around the city center, visit the local museum or art gallery, and eat before leaving.” She suggests spending time in nature, enjoying free events such as concerts or festivals, and hanging out with friends and family. Airbnb, hotelsor trying to navigate in a timeshare rental or business. What about trips to Disney? “We’re skipping them for now,” Lauren told us.
What are other parents doing?
Alexandra Fung, mother of four and co-founder of Upstream, use this trick: invest in subscriptions to places you can visit several times a year. “We’ve had memberships at various state parks, zoos, museums, and amusement parks,” says Alexandra. She cites factors such as her interests, the ages of her children and where they lived as deciding factors in where to sign up for membership.
Hacks like Lauren and Alexandra’s are great inflation-fighting solutions and could change the way we view family traditions. If fewer families can visit a large theme park like Disney World, it may lose some of its popularity.
Some savvy parents have learned to make an unreachable vacation possible by planning ahead and staying organized.
Start early when deciding on a budget, destination and dates. “The two factors are choice and priceLorie Carson told us. “The earlier you book, the better your chances of designing the perfect getaway,” she says. Lorie manages to make the most of her travels by arranging a budget, so she’s never shocked by tickets along the way.
Finally, she recommends looking for credit cards that offer cash back travel bonuses. “I used my Capital One rewards to pay for accommodation, meals and gas,” she says. While these hacks are undoubtedly effective, they still raise the question: Is Disney worth what it costs? “Yes,” Lorie believes, “a Disney World vacation is worth it, but there are certain expenses that will undoubtedly make the trip unaffordable.”
Crafty moms and dads need to develop life hacks and hacks as family outings become increasingly out of reach for ordinary families. Walt’s original vision for Disney is worth returning to a place where families can have fun together. “We didn’t go to Disneyland just with the idea of making money,” he said. Unfortunately, with prices starting at $109 just to get into Disney World, it’s possible that Walt’s Original Vision is ignored in favor of greed and dollar signs.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Geek Wealth.
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