Monday, February 16, 2015

Traveling to Walt Disney World from South Africa

By: Shendl

I am a self-confessed Disney addict who unfortunately lives a VERY loooooong way away from WDW!!

This is about the planning that goes into a trip to WDW.

Your first step is to choose your Disney Vacation Planner (or DVP) and get a quote. The reason I book through an American Agent is that you cannot get the discounts Disney Offer if you book through a South African Travel Agent.

Oh and make sure that you have an Authorized Disney Travel Agent, that way you know you are getting the best service and they are definitely above board. BONUS about booking with an Authorized Disney Travel Agent is that you can pay it off over the months before your visit, if you use an SA agent; you have to pay it up front!! EEEK

I did an internet search and emailed a few agencies for prices; eventually I settled on my chosen agency and got a quote from my DVP, Julie B.  I am so glad that I got Julie as my DVP because we have since become friends and you can always use more Disney Friends!! She really went the extra mile and a half for me!!

After I made the booking, the next step was to get a VISA! Now getting a Visa to travel to the USA is a big process. You pay $130 each for your application and then you submit the documents and book your appointment. Your Visa is decided before you even get to the Interview based on your documents that you submitted. We were lucky to be granted 10 Year Travel Visa’s and I intend to make as much use of them as I can afford!!

Once we had our Visa’s…. it was time to book Flights. I did a lot of research prior to booking tickets about what airline we were going to fly, finally we settled on Lufthansa as I had heard really good things about them from friends that have flown with them before.

I watched the airfares everyday twice a day for a week before I booked the tickets. It fluctuated day to day and I finally got the tickets I wanted.  The downside to flying Lufthansa is the transit time in Frankfurt and the fact that you have to fly twice Johannesburg to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt to Orlando, 10 hours each flight. It is a draining journey but so worth it in the end!

Our currency, The South African Rand, is so much weaker than the US Dollar, so it costs us so much more to vacation in the USA. The Exchange rate at the time was R10 to $1. Basically you are taking your vacation amount in Dollars and multiplying it by whatever the Exchange is at the time to get your Rand value of the vacation. We were very lucky to get Free Dining which saved us a bunch of money and enabled us to bring a little extra spending money. You always need Extra spending Money Right?

 Our Next Trip in SEPT 2017 is in the planning stages already and the saving commenced the moment we got back from our Sept 2013 trip! Our Total Trip Budget including Flights, Spending Money, Accommodation and Food for the next trip is just under $9200 which is R110 000 in our currency. I try to put as much money away each month as I can into a special savings account and it is all tallied up onto a spread sheet so that I can keep track!!

I really can’t wait for Our next Trip to WDW!!

1 comment:

  1. i cannot wait to your next trip for all the pictures!


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