We are a family of travellers. Since 2012, we’ve taken over 100 trips together – exploring, learning, bonding, creating. In fact, the most enriching experiences I’ve had as a parent center around introducing my children to new cultures and cuisines. Family travel is awesome.
However, it was time to bid the kids adieu and TAKE A REAL GROWNUP VACATION!
My husband and I were (over) due for some alone time. Months ago, I started researching quick getaways where we could leave for a few days without overly disrupting the boys’ schedule or putting too much pressure on my mother-in-law (who would be looking after them in our absence). I kept everything a secret from my husband, mostly because I didn’t want to get his hopes up just in case I couldn’t pull something together.
Weekend at the spa? Been there, done that.
Quick beach getaway? We get bored too easily.
Walt Disney World? Without the kids… no… but could we? Should we?
OF COURSE WE SHOULD.
Since we’re both bona fide Star Wars geeks, the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the end of August represented the perfect reason to head to Orlando. I timed the getaway for just after the start of school in September, because a) there are generally lower crowds at Walt Disney World, b) with the boys in school, my MIL would have fewer babysitting duties, and c) the airline seat sale promos for fall were coming in fast and furious.
I did take into account that September is traditionally hurricane season in Orlando, however, with an exceptional credit card such as the World Elite Mastercard, we would be protected in the event our trip was interrupted or cancelled (as long as the flights were purchased using our eligible Mastercard). With this added peace of mind, there was no reason not to start something priceless!
Here’s how I pulled it off:
1) I purchased the flights online, taking advantage of an exceptional seat sale from Air Canada. Then, I secured our hotel and purchased 2-day park tickets directly from Walt Disney World. Since I charged everything to my Mastercard, I was able to have a clear accounting of my spending which helped me plan my vacation budget.
Another benefit of booking with a travel-focused credit card is the inclusion of travel insurance. In my case, it meant I could bypass purchasing separate travel insurance and take advantage of additional travel protection, such as emergency medical, baggage delay, lost/ damaged luggage, hotel burglary insurance, and more. (See your credit card agreement for a complete list of travel benefits.)
2) I conspired with my mother-in-law to ensure she was available to look after the boys while we were away. Thankfully, the timing worked well for her, and we were able to keep things hush-hush from my husband. Then, deciding that priceless moments are better when shared with others, I invited two of our dearest friends to join us!
3) I meticulously planned our three-day vacation at Walt Disney World. First, I scheduled our fast passes and read up on the procedures surrounding the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Part of the new offerings include Extra, Extra Magic Hours, which means we were able to enter the park at 6:00AM! Since it was an adults-only trip, not only was this doable – it was the perfect case scenario for ensuring we were able to experience the land in its entirety.
One week before the trip, I surprised my husband with all I had planned! His reaction? You know it – PRICELESS – especially since I had also taken part in a little pre-trip shopping, including this awesome Duke Caboom shirt that he proudly wore at Toy Story Land.
Speaking of shopping, of course we spoiled the boys with souvenirs from the parks. Side note: I rarely pack cash and always use my Mastercard for everything I need while on vacation, because a credit card is the safest and most reliable way to spend while travelling. Mastercard is accepted around the world, and cardholders are always protected from unauthorized transactions if a card is lost or stolen.
It was the first time I had spontaneously planned a trip for two, and now I certainly don’t think it will be the last. I hope I’ve inspired you to start something priceless with your own loved ones!
This post is sponsored by Mastercard. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.