Epic California Road Trip – 5 Tips for Traveling by Car

Last spring break my family and I hit the open road on our first family road trip since adding two more to our brood! We drove from San Diego and headed to Pismo Beach first. Along the way we visited, Monterey, Lake Tahoe/Reno and Bishop. Nine years ago we took a similar road trip when our older kiddos were in kindergarten. Now that we have four kids, we were excited (and a bit nervous!) about taking the whole family on the road. You might be wondering what is a good itinerary for a west coast road trip? I’ve got the California road trip tips with ideas on where to stop along the way and what to do with the kids.

My family and I were hosted at several of these locations on our trip. Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making  a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

California Road Trip Tips

My husband and I are big time “planners” and like to have a solid route and itinerary. We knew a bit ahead of time what we’d be doing at each location, with free time built in for relaxation, play and adventure! With our little one only just turning one year old, we knew that extended time in the car wasn’t feasible. We planned to be in the car no longer than 3 hours at a time (aiming for her nap time!) We also worked in plenty of time to get out, stretch and play at each stop. Read more about the Art of the Road Trip Pit Stop from my friend Patty at My No-Guilt Life.

Check out these helpful tips for a California road trip.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Ventura, California

We’re started our road trip from San Diego and the first stop was in Ventura. Even as a SoCal native, there are so many coastal towns I’ve never been to, including Ventura! We parked the car at Plaza Park and walked up the street a few blocks to the busy Main Street. Here, we dined at Anacapa Brewing Company. It was a nice break after the initial drive. Afterwards we walked along Main St. to stretch our legs. There was a man with parrots, posing with them on the kid for photos in exchange for a few dollars. We let the kids play at the park before getting back into the car for the next leg of the drive.

Other Things to Do in Ventura –

  • Stop at Marina Park Beach for a picnic lunch and allow the kids to play on the pirate-themed playground.
  • There’s a Golf n’ Stuff here for a rousing round of mini golf!
  • Rent a bike (and more) from one of the six locations Wheel Fun Rentals has in Ventura.

Road Trip Tip #1 – No reason you have to eat all fast food or expensive restaurant meals on your entire road trip. Make a quick stop at the local grocery for healthy fruits, prepped veggies or freshly made sandwiches. Our favorites in California are Whole Foods Market and Sprouts.

Check out these helpful tips for a California road trip.

Dinosaur Caves in Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach, California

Our first overnight of the road trip was in Pismo Beach with a stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. After a cheap dinner at In n’ Out we took the kids for a walk along the Pier. We then window shopped on the streets near the Pier. Lots of cute beachy-souvenirs here that won’t break the bank.

Other Things to Do in Pismo Beach –

  • There is an amazing Monarch Butterfly grove here but it’s only open from October to February each year.
  • The Livery Stables offers horseback riding on private trails through the Oceano Dunes and Beach.
  • Pismo Beach Surf Shop has year round stand-up paddle boarding with board and wet suit rentals available.

Road Trip Tip #2 -Check the City Calendar

Before your visit, check the city calendar online to see if any special events are occurring. There might be a festival, art show or seasonal activity. We also stopped in Pismo Beach in spring break of 2010. Our kids participated in an awesome Easter egg hunt and festival at Dinosaur Caves Park that overlooks the ocean. This event was a highlight of our road trip several years ago (totally free and fun for the kids before we got back on the road).

Check out these helpful tips for a California road trip.

Where the mountains meet the ocean in Big Sur

Monterey, California

Next up for us was two days in Monterey. With a county that includes Big Sur (a waterfall that pours into the ocean!), Pebble Beach (golfing!), Carmel-by-the-Sea (shopping!) and Salinas (food, glorious food!), there are countless things to do in this beautiful coastal area. We stayed at the Monterey Tides Hotel, right on the oceanfront. It was absolutely a perfect location and easy to get to all of the activities within minutes. We took in the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium, an agricultural tour at Earthbound Farms, and a surrey ride from Adventures by the Sea. We also dined on local fresh seafood at Flaherty’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar and Peter B’s Brewpub. You can read the entire 2-day itinerary for Monterey on this TravelingMom post.

Other Things to Do in Monterey –

  • Take a hike in Big Sur. This majestic area is a must-do for anyone vacationing in Monterey.
  • The Dennis the Menace park was a favorite of my kids on our previous road trip. Lots of fun play equipment, along with peddle boats for rent along the lake front.
Check out these helpful tips for a California road trip.

Dennis the Menace park in Monterey

Road Trip Tip #3 – Study Road Conditions

Check for road construction, updates and closures online before your trip. 7 years ago we drove Hwy 1, a two-lane route alongside the Pacific. Gorgeous, but slow-moving at times. And there is a section of this highway that is currently closed so thank goodness we’re aware of this and not planning on taking the same route this time! Check with CalTrans before your visit for a quick look at road closures.

Fairfield

About 3 hours outside of Monterey we stopped in Fairfield, home to two cool factory tours. Grown-ups will enjoy the Anheuser-Busch factory tour (with beer sampling). Kids (and adults!) will love the Jelly Belly Factory Tour. The Jelly Belly tour was really a lot of fun! They were making lots of neon colored Jelly Belly on our visit and wow, the scent was really strong! Check out our video outlining the tour:

Road Trip Tip #3 – Research Between the Big Stops

When plotting your course, check out those little towns along your route and see what they have to offer. We never would have considered a stop in Fairfield if we hadn’t seen that the Jelly Belly Factory offers tours here. Fairfield  was the perfect place to have lunch, take a family-friendly tour and make memories!

Lake Tahoe & Reno

After two days along the Pacific, we headed inland for “snow-much” more adventure! We stopped in Lake Tahoe and Reno Nevada area, where we visited family and exploring the area. We stayed with my husband’s family, except for one overnight at the Atlantis Casino in the city. I was in heaven, getting pampered in the Atlantis Casino spa for my very first massage!

Check out these helpful tips for a California road trip.

Enjoying the snow in Reno, Nevada

Road Trip Tip #4 Allow Plenty of Travel Time –

The last time we drove this route (from Monterey to Reno) we got held up in a snow storm. Being SoCal natives, neither of us had ever driven in a snow storm before so it was a very tense few hours. After putting on chains, it was a late night white-knuckle drive through the pass that had us arriving to our destination several hours later than expected. This time we allowed ourselves plenty of drive time and left much earlier in the day.

Bishop

Our final day of travel included an overnight in Bishop, CA, one place we’ve never been before. We arrived late at Law’s Historic Village, and wished we’d had more time. It was a snapshot of the old West, including trains, incredibly detailed historical rooms and a gold mine reproduction. We took a warm dip at Keough’s Hot Springs. Bishop is where many “cowboy” movies were filmed, so as we left town we stopped in for a tour of the Museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine.

Other Things to Do in Bishop –

  • Even though it looks like a hole-in-the-wall, stop in at the Burger Barn for delicious grass-fed beef burgers and handcrafted shakes.
  • Older kids who like history, may enjoy a visit to Manzanar (a Japanese-American internment camp).
  • Take a short hike in the Alabama Hills to view some of the movie sites.
  • For a more in-depth review on some of these activities, see 6 Unique Family Experiences in California’s Eastern Sierra on TravelingMom.com.

Road Trip Tip #5 A Mix of Fun and Learning –

Along your travels see where you can combine history and teaching as well as fun. From Law’s Historical Village to the Manzanar site (place where Japanese Americans were interned during WWII) there was lots to learn in Bishop. If you have very young children, be sure to leave space in your itinerary for free play and fun.

What are your road trip tips? Share with me in the comments!

Check out these helpful tips for a California road trip.

Is It Worth It To Stay At a Disneyland Resort Hotel VS Off-Site?

When considering a Disneyland vacation, you really have some outstanding options when it comes to accommodations! With Disneyland located in the middle of city there are a bounty of “off-site” hotels to choose from. So why would anyone choose to stay at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotel when there are hundreds of other lodging options surrounding the Parks? What are the benefits of staying at a Disney resort hotel? I’ll break it down and determine whether it’s worth it to stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel…or not.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!


Should You Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel or Off-Site Location?

My family and I have stayed at all three of the Disneyland Resort Hotels over the course of many years. We’ve also stayed at dozens of the off-site locations and found some of them to be nicely accommodating!

So which one should you choose – A Disneyland Resort Hotel or an Off-Site Hotel? Are Disneyland hotels worth it? Or are off-site Disneyland areas hotels just as good? I’ll be giving you many discussion points to review before you book your Disneyland-area vacation hotel.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

Disneyland Hotel monorail pool after dark

What Hotels are on the Disneyland Property?

The Disneyland Resort area is smaller than Walt Disney World and includes only three resort hotels – Disney’s Paradise Pier, The Disneyland Hotel and Disney Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

Each of the Disneyland Resort hotels have themed rooms and pool areas that offer a full day of entertainment. Each hotel offers a unique Character meal. The hotels are located within walking distance of the Parks. Some of the hotel areas are more “Disney” than others. Each of them offers great customer service and that feeling of being inside the “Disney Bubble” while on vacation.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

Disney’s Paradise Pier – Always the lowest cost of the three resort hotels (but still not “inexpensive” by any means!) The hotel has a whimsical beach theme with a rooftop water slide and great views of Disney California Adventure park.

Disneyland Hotel – This hotel is a classic. The entire hotel is heavy on the Disney theming, from the Mad Tea Party teacups in the lobby to the imaginative light-up musical headboards in each room. A fantastic pool area with Monorail-themed water slides make this a magical place to stay.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – The closest hotel to the Park and hosts it’s own Resort guest-exclusive entrance to Disney California Adventure park. The dramatic lobby and more sophisticated style with subtle Disney details add to the upscale nature of this beautiful hotel.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

Disney fans will appreciate the nods to Walt inside the Disneyland Hotel.


CLICK THIS IMAGE TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE DISNEYLAND & DISNEY WORLD VACATION PLANNING VIDEO


What are the Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels?

Good Neighbor Hotels are off-site Anaheim area hotels that Disney promotes on their website. Not sure if these are actually hand-picked and approved hotels by Disney or if the hotels pay to be listed under the “Good Neighbor” umbrella?

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

Castle-themed room at Anaheim Majestic Gardens

I’ve stayed at over a dozen and there is a vast range in quality, from low budget basic rooms to elegant family suites. Bottom line is that some of these hotels are better than others. Some of them are downright lousy, if I’m being honest!

Tips for choosing the best Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotel:

  • Do your research!
  • Read Yelp reviews.
  • Take a look at the area map. Some hotels are close enough to walk & some are many miles away.
  • Do a Google search.
  • Ask a friend or join a Disneyland planning group to ask for advice.

Two of my favorite off-site Disneyland area hotels:

For more ideas, see my post with 5 favorite off-site Disneyland area hotels.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

A suite with a view! Watch fireworks from this window at the Holiday Inn & Suites.


Save Money at DISNEYLAND!

Purchase discount tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount). 

https://www.getawaytoday.com/?referrerid=7529


Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

Why Should I Consider an Off-Site Accommodation?

Cost

Far and away the best reason for booking off-site are the more reasonable low costs for a room. Hotel accommodations can be the major expense of any vacation and with Disneyland resort hotel rooms at $300+ per night, you might want to consider off-site lodging that is considerably less cost.

Walkable

Many very good off-site hotels are within walking distance of the Disneyland Resort. In fact, some are even closer to the front gates than the Disneyland Resort hotels!

Be sure to look at a map of the area before booking though. Some off-site locations boast that they’re across the street from Disneyland only to find out that you’ll still have a long walk to get to the entrance!

More Dining Options

There are restaurants and fast food places located all around the Disneyland area, many of them inside off-site hotels. Many of the off-site accommodations also have a complimentary breakfast – sweet!

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

Free breakfast at the Holiday Inn is awesome!

Shuttles or Public Transportation

Even if the off-site hotel is a mile away, many of them offer free or low cost shuttles to the park entrance. Public transportation (like the ART) stops near other hotels for a nominal fee (definitely cheaper than parking your vehicle at the Disneyland parking lot!)

Variety of Room Options

The rooms at the Disneyland Resort are all pretty standard sized. If you need something with more space or a suite on a budget, looking off-site will give you what you need.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.


What are the Benefits of Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel?

Extra Magic Hour

Want to get inside the Park early and avoid extra long queues? Disneyland Resort hotel guests can take advantage of Extra Magic Hour for each day of their stay.

Staying in the Magic

If you prefer to avoid the “outside world” while enjoying a Disney vacation, you’ll love the Disneyland Resort hotels. You’ll never have to leave the area or step outside of the Disney bubble!

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

Wall of historical photos inside the Disneyland Hotel.

Special Guest-Only Offerings

When you check in, the Cast Member will give you a calendar of items that are happening at the Resort during your stay. This may include pool-side activities, Disney movies under the stars, early access to shops in the Downtown Disney District or free tours.

A History Like No Other

When you take a look at this wall of photos in the Disneyland Hotel you can see the rich history of the resort and what it has meant to so many. That’s a history that many Disney fans will love to soak in!

If you want to know more check out these valuable reasons to stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel.

Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

The beautuifl lobby inside Disney’s Grand Californian


Save money at DISNEYLAND!

Purchase discount tickets and vacation packages from my affiliate Get Away Today. Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount). 


 Disneyland Resort Vs. Good Neighbor Hotels? Tips on how to choose the right spot for your family vacation in California with advice on picking the hotel that works for you.

For more opinions on what is & isn’t worth the splurge at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Is It Worth It? Loop:


Can’t Afford a Trip? 7 Ways to Take a Family Vacation on a Budget

Taking a Family Vacation on a Budget

For a majority of families, what stops them from the family vacation of their dreams is their wallets. They think they can’t afford a vacation.

I think they’re wrong.

Even as a family on a tight budget, we’ve found that there are many ways to make a vacation happen.

Travel brings so much joy, adventure and memories to families. I can safely say that most of our happiest family memories are from our vacations. I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.

So why aren’t you taking a vacation? What is truly stopping you from planning and going on that dream vacation? And if your answer is “money”, here are a few ideas to consider.

Think you can't afford a trip? Here are 7 tips on how to take that family vacation on a budget, without crazy sacrifice or drastic penny-pinching!

Think You Can’t Afford a Trip?

According to a recent survey on Spring Break Family Travel, conducted by Vacatia, TravelingMom and TravelingDad, agreeing on a budget and coordinating payment is a concern for 36% of respondents. If you’re on a tight budget than you might fall in that 36% range.

I’ll be frank though – My family is on a tight budget and we still find a way to take several vacations a year. I think family travel is way more important than having the newest gadgets. That little sacrifice can go a long way! Here are 7 ways we make those all-important vacations happen:

1. Day to Day Savings

Naturally your day-to-day spending can make or break whether you have extra vacation money or not (those lattes add up!) By cutting back on little things (generic instead of name brand, packing a lunch instead of purchasing), you can always seem to “find money” that can be used for your vacation.

Think you can't afford a trip? Here are 7 tips on how to take that family vacation on a budget, without crazy sacrifice or drastic penny-pinching!

Every dollar counts! Put saved money towards your trip & get the kids involved.

Yeah, it can be a downer to eat pb&j from home when you’d rather get a sandwich at the deli but the $5+ savings means more money for you to take that trip. But there are little ways to cut back without it feeling like a major sacrifice. Consider a month of no extra expenses. Take a hard look at all the money going out and choose a few easy ways you can save on expenses.

2. What Can You Do Without?

I’d rather plan another vacation than have cable television. That’s just me, but traveling is just more fun than watching TV. I make the choice to do without. What do you have that you could cut back, freeing up more money for a trip?

It can be hard to tell the kids “no” when it comes to spending on things. When my older kids ask why they can’t have a cell phone or my preschooler wants a toy at the store, I use a distraction technique. I remind them about an impending trip and how we’re using extra money towards our vacation. Then I’ll bring up a certain part of the trip I know they’ll want to talk about and soon enough they’re excited, talking about the vacation instead.

Think you can't afford a trip? Here are 7 tips on how to take that family vacation on a budget, without crazy sacrifice or drastic penny-pinching!

3. Buy Less Stuff

A recent article suggested that parents should spend less on toys and take more vacations. I’m all for that. We save toy purchases only at Christmas and even then, we try to choose high-quality classic items that work for a wide age group.

We take this concept of limiting stuff even further by branching out into other parts of our home. All the money saved by not buying “stuff” (Dollar Spot, I’m looking at you!) goes into our vacation fund.

4. Use Points for Your Trips

I’m not a huge credit card hacker but I do have a few practical and very easy tips for earmarking points towards travel. Since we do a lot of Disney travel, I have a Disney Visa that I use to pay household bills. The Disney Dollars earned go towards our meals at each trip and we have very little out-of-pocket expenses there.

Think you can't afford a trip? Here are 7 tips on how to take that family vacation on a budget, without crazy sacrifice or drastic penny-pinching!

Our Costco Visa is used solely for groceries and gas and we earned about $250 in Costco cash last year. I took the check we received to Costco, they cashed it out for me and I’m using that money on our road trip. I’ve also plotted out on a map where all the Costco gas stations are on our route so we can get our gasoline at a great price! We purchased 2 new cell phones at Costco last year and received a $450 Costco gift card rebate so this is our gas money for the road trip.

I also use and love Ebates and book all my travel through the links. I get paid in a “Big Fat Check” and naturally, that’s money to go right towards the vacation.

5. Realize that Separate Vacations Are Okay

According to the responses in the survey, 38% say that coordinating everyone’s schedules is the worst part of planning a vacation. And once you do choose a date that works for everyone there’s also the challenge of making everyone happy. 32 percent say the ickiest part of planning is finding a destination that makes everyone happy and 24 percent say it’s choosing accommodations that will make everyone happy.

Here’s a solution to this issue – Plan separate vacations. Don’t wait until you can get things “just right” because that day might never come. When trying to work out a trip between my husband’s work and school schedule, the kid’s school year and allotted vacation time, finding that week when everyone is available is the equivalent to a needle in a haystack.

Think you can't afford a trip? Here are 7 tips on how to take that family vacation on a budget, without crazy sacrifice or drastic penny-pinching!

We compromise with separate vacations. My husband likes going to Disneyland as a family once a year for a few days but traveling cross-country to Walt Disney World for a week is not his idea of fun. He’d rather be riding the ocean waves in his kayak, fishing for tuna (definitely not my style!) while the kids play in the sand.

Our kids get the best of both experiences and nobody is gritting their teeth through a week of something they’re not happy with. And on the budget-side of this, a vacation with fewer family members is going to cost less.

Think you can't afford a trip? Here are 7 tips on how to take that family vacation on a budget, without crazy sacrifice or drastic penny-pinching!

6. Find Ways to Budget on the Trip

Once you nail down the itinerary, decide what features of the trip are the most important to you. If spending time at a fancy hotel suite is a must-do, place the majority of your budget there. If you don’t care where you lay your head, then scrimp on the hotel costs and drop your money where it matters most, like on activities or meals. Survey respondents note that they spend about half of their travel budget on accommodations, which tells me that maybe the call of the upscale hotel pool is high!

Think you can't afford a trip? Here are 7 tips on how to take that family vacation on a budget, without crazy sacrifice or drastic penny-pinching!

7. Take the Time Off (and Save More)

If you’re white-knuckling those sick leave hours, you might need a vacation! Here’s a hint: Your coworkers can survive without you. Take the vacation time!

If you wait until summer vacation when the kids are out of school, the costs of a trip during peak travel season will be higher. Consider pulling the kids out so you can plan your vacation when the travel prices are best. I’m taking my kids out this spring for 5 days so we can take a road trip. I was able to contact their schools about independent study. The kids will be able to get their school work done on the road and not get “dinged” with unexcused absences while they’re gone.

Research tells us that family vacations have long-lasting impact on your child’s happiness. I know that seeing my children soaking in new experiences is going to have a greater impact on their lives than any gadget ever will!

Think you can't afford a trip? Here are 7 tips on how to take that family vacation on a budget, without crazy sacrifice or drastic penny-pinching!

Save money on your family vacation!

Purchase discount vacation packages to destinations like Orlando, Hawaii and California from my affiliate Get Away Today. They even offer a layaway program for as little as $125 down.

Use the Promo Code REWRITTEN and receive an extra $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package. (Hotel and 2 ticket minimum purchase to qualify for the discount). 

 

Win a Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Castle Vacation Giveaway

Win a Disney's Beauty and the Beast Castle Vacation Giveaway

Have you ever been to Scotland? Ever slept in a castle? No, me neither.  How about a vacation with 20 of your closest friends? Well that sounds like a lot of fun already, doesn’t it?! Keep reading to find out more about this amazing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast vacation giveaway from HomeAway.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. #partner

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Castle Vacation Giveaway

The grand prize is absolutely mind-boggling – One winner will win a five night stay in the HomeAway castle holiday property “Duns Castle” in Scotland for the winner and up to 20 guests, including the costs of economy airfare & ground transport to and from the Castle Holiday Rental. Also included are some meals, entertainment and cash to off-set the taxes. I’m already plotting which of my 20 friends I’d invite!

Win a Disney's Beauty and the Beast Castle Vacation Giveaway

Imagine the fantastic conversations we’d have over dinner around this table!

And if you aren’t the lucky grand prize winner, HomeAway has other vacation giveaways in this contest to five runner-ups. Wow, wouldn’t I love to take my family to Italy. Or Australia. Or Hawaii, I can’t decide!

You have until the end of the month (March 31st, 2017) to enter. You can only enter once so your odds are as good as anyone else! Good luck 🙂

ENTER THE HOMEAWAY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST VACATION GIVEAWAY HERE

 

 

 

Best Books to Buy When Planning a Disney Trip

I’m all for doing my online research ahead of time. I search Google for everything far and wide so I can get the most information when planning a Disney trip. But there’s just something about having all the tips in one place – A book! To have a book in hand is invaluable; to be able to flip the page, see photos, tab and highlight favorite sections – That’s one of my favorite parts of Disney vacation research! See my recommendations for the best books for planning a Disney trip.

Books For Planning a Disney Trip!

Whether you’re just in the research stages, getting the kids familiar with Disney or looking for some background and history there is a Disney book for everyone in your family! You can even take some of these books along with you for the trip. There are some very helpful books for planning a Disney trip – or even just some good reading to put you in the Disney vacation mood!

For more Disney book suggestions, check out 7 Books for Kids to Read Before a Disney Vacation.

Please note that I use affiliate links in this post. Clicking through and purchasing through the links helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Planning a Disney trip? Pick up one of these recommended Walt Disney World or Disneyland books for everyone in your grou

1. Research Books to Help You Plan & Stay Organized

If you read this blog at all you’ll know that doing your pre-vacation research is an important way to save money and time on your trip! These Disney vacation research books will help you properly plan and be prepared. The Unofficial Guide was my go-to research book when planning my first vacation to Walt Disney World.

   

  

2. Books for Kids to Get them in a Disney Mood

Get the kids on board by supplying them with a few Disney themed titles. They can help with vacation planning or just get in the Disney mood with a few storybooks. My son owns several of these Disney Storybook Collections and they are a bedtime favorite leading up to our vacation day whenever we’re planning a Disney trip. My older kids have read and loved the Kingdom Keepers series.

     

            

3. Books for Little Ones

If this is baby’s first Disney trip you’ll want to make them familiar with characters. These sweet books are ideal. The encyclopedia is great for acquainting kids with the characters and you can take it with you on the trip to have each character sign inside!

     

4. Books with a History and Background

Ready to dig a little deeper into Disney lore? You want a book with a bit of history or that gives you some background into the Disney experience?
I’m wanting The Disney Book for myself, it looks like an amazing read!

  

                    

5. Books to Use When on a Disney Trip

Once you’re on vacation, there are a few books that you can bring with you to maximize your Park experience. They also help alleviate boredom when standing in line or waiting in restaurants! I think my preschooler would get a kick out of finding Hidden Mickeys on our next visit!

               


CLICK THIS IMAGE TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE DISNEYLAND & DISNEY WORLD VACATION PLANNING VIDEO


Planning a Disney trip? Pick up one of these recommended Walt Disney World or Disneyland books for everyone in your group! They are sure to make vacation planning easier and help you get into the Disney vacation mood too! #Disneyland #DisneyWorld