When I tell people that I’m going to Disney World or Universal Studios or some other fantastic destination for a work trip, they assume that I’m going to be playing in the parks all day. But really, I’m like a super-secret ninja spy scoping out the parks to make sure you have the best possible travel experience.
Seriously, the reality is that I make a point of going to the parks regularly so that I can stay on top of new things happening that might affect the way you tour the parks. You wouldn’t want to use a travel agent who uses Google to answer all of your questions, would you? You want boots-on-the-ground perspective and I aim to give it to you! In addition to staying current on changes, I like to troubleshoot issues I see people having and finding ways to spare my clients the same mishaps.
I like to look for what I call the “breaking points” for people – the areas where families find themselves at the end of their rope, frustrated and ready to call it a day before they’ve really gotten going. One of the biggest breaking points I have found is at the exit of a ride. Theme park designers are marketing geniuses, spilling you off of a ride into a store with merchandise related to the fantastic ride you just enjoyed. Parents and children are arguing over yet another toy their child just has to have. Inevitably, I see parents telling their kids no, leaving the store with a child in tears, questioning why they decided to take a vacation if all their child is going to do is cry over a silly toy.
This is where my “ninja” skills come in. I have a solution for you! Kids like to feel they have control, and they are inundated with things they “must” have. Rather than dread the battle, try giving some freedom to your child, while still calling the shots.
Before you leave home, give your child his own wallet, with his own money in it. The terms are that you will let him spend this money on whatever he wants. You won’t argue over his choice, even though you know he doesn’t need another stuffed animal. But when that money is gone, it’s gone. There will be no more. The key here is that you have to stick to those terms. If you waiver at all, or enter into negotiations at any time, then this system will not work.
Whatever amount of money you decide to give your child, put it in their wallet in small bills. Children don’t grasp the concept of money well, but they do understand when they have a lot of something and when that starts to dwindle. You can hold on to their wallet for them so that it doesn’t get lost or you can let them have that responsibility.
I have tested this method on my three children, now ages 13, 9 and 8, since each of them was 3 years old and it has never failed me. I have been shocked at how it ended the “can I buy it now” battle and how much money it saved me! It also teaches the life skill of money management. So now your vacation is a valuable learning opportunity as well!
Do you have a question about touring the parks that you’d like to ask me? Let me know! I’ll be going on another one of these work trips in a few weeks – to both Disney World and Universal Studios – and can’t wait to come back with tons of new information and ideas to share!
Want to benefit from more of my expertise? Let me plan your trip!