Monthly Archives: July 2016

How much money that you need to visit in Shanghai Disneyland

When guests first enter the doors of Shanghai Disneyland on June 16, they’ll experience a multitude of new attractions, enjoy never-before-seen entertainment, and be the first to see a completely new Disney park.

But how much does it really cost for international fans? The $5.5 billion dollar resort has relatively low ticket prices, but there are plenty of additional costs for those who want to plan a trip around the theme park.

With the park currently open to select Disney staff members and their guests, we dug through their hotel Instagrams, the #ShanghaiDisneyland tags and even found a few restaurant menus in YouTube vlogs. From what we can tell, this is how much a trip to Shanghai Disneyland Resort will cost you—and this isn’t including the flight or souvenirs. All pricing has been converted from Chinese Yuan and rounded to the nearest US Dollar.

Getting There

Flight prices will fluctuate, but one thing that won’t is the cost of a Chinese visa. Each adult American citizen will have to spend $140 on top of the $10 or so required for new passport-sized photos. And if your passport does not meet China’s requirements (you’ll need at least two blank pages, and the passport must not be within six months of expiration), a replacement passport will cost you $110.

Total: $150 – $260

Ticket Prices

Guests hoping to experience Shanghai Disneyland’s exclusive rides, like Tron LightCycle Power Run and Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure, will save money when it comes to tickets. Shanghai Disneyland’s pricing is actually well below that of the California parks. One-day adult tickets are $56 and $76 during peak season; in Anaheim, single-day admission ranges from $95 to $119. (The park is also said to be priced 20 percent cheaper than Hong Kong Disneyland, which is about a two hour flight away.)

Total: $56 – $76

Hotels

Lodging is pretty reasonable, too. Rooms at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel start at $250 before taxes and fees with the standard option topping out at $340, and the Magic Kingdom Suites range between $478 and $570. The less expensive option, Toy Story Hotel, has rooms starting at $130, with garden view rooms priced between $175 and $220, and park view rooms between $250 and $296, on average. To compare, a weekday off-season standard room at the mid-tier Disneyland Hotel starts at $340, so the savings stack up.

Total: $130 to $570

Food

What exactly will guests spend all the extra yuan on? Food. Soup dumplings are more than six times more expensive inside the park than in the rest of the city, and the pricing of most food items is on par with American parks.

Disney park mainstays, like character cupcakes ($4), churros ($4) and turkey legs ($8) are just as expensive as cute homeland favorites, like red bean buns in the likeness of Minnie ($5), as well as Mike Bread, a green sweet in the shape of Monsters Inc.’s Mike Wazowski ($4).

Combo meals in Fantasyland cost $12 for fish and chips or $11 for Sichuan chicken, but some choices are more frugal than others. Guests will spend nearly $13 for a Rapunzel-themed drink in a souvenir goblet, but standard beverages are much less expensive than at the U.S. parks, with soda, juice and tea costing just over $2 each.

That’s not to say it won’t be worth it for guests visiting from the states. Packaged meals may be brought in, which can curb high food cost. The pricing also feels far from exorbitant, as many of the foods will be Chinese favorites with a distinct (and somewhat adorable) Disney touch. Roast duck pizzas come shaped like Mickey Mouse and dishes like braised pork knuckle are paired with Mickey carrots, while plenty other dishes are served in Mickey-shaped bowls and containers.

Other Entertainment

You can experience even more of the cultural mash-up on Shanghai Disney Resort grounds, and not just by bypassing the $9 hot dogs in Tomorrowland. The DisneyTown district just outside the park is home to the first-ever Mandarin staging of The Lion King, and tickets are much more reasonable than the show on Broadway. Upper level tickets start at just $29 on some nights and $44 on others, and top out at $152 each for prime orchestra seats. (A premium orchestra seat to The Lion King on the same Saturday night in New York City is $215 dollars.)

Save Money Tips For Reant Car When You Are Traveling

Do you travel for business? Uber is hot on the heels of your rental-car habit. A recent study by Certify, a company that sells software to track travel expenses, found that in the first quarter of 2015, 29% of business travelers took an Uber when they were out of town for work, vs. 36% who rented a car and 35% who traveled by cab. Avis better start trying even harder than it did before.

But what about when you’re driving yourself on vacation, particularly in destinations that lack reliable public transportation? How do you determine whether Uber is going to be cheaper than a rental car, especially considering the unpredictable and variable pricing that affects both modes of travel? We looked at several common vacation questions and came up with these five guidelines:

No. 1: The Length of Your Visit

For trips that last three or four days—say, an extended weekend—Uber often comes out on top. For a short stay, travelers are more likely to explore the city and its immediate surroundings but not drive too far to attractions on the outskirts of town. As a general rule, if your longest round-trip is between the airport and the hotel, taking an Uber to and from will save you money.

No. 2: Walkability of Your Destination

Can you walk to a few restaurants, as well as museums and historical sites? If you’re staying in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, for instance, you’ll have easy access to the National Aquarium, a slew of tours, shopping, and eateries. If you estimate most of your trip will happen on foot—but you might need a ride to one spot per day—Uber wins out. One good tool to help you estimate: walkscore.com.

No. 3: Parking Garage Availability

More often than not, this factor tips the scales. If you’re staying at a hotel with its own free parking lot and you can come and go as you please, you’ll almost definitely want to rent a car. But if you’re staying in the city center, where parking’s at a premium, think twice about a rental. Most urban hotels have a garage with valet parking, which will cost anywhere from $14 to $25 a night. Some hotels have a self-park option available or nearby; but those garages, which can be just as or more expensive than valet parking, charge you a fee each time you enter. If you’re looking at a parking bill of $75 or more (in addition to your rental fee and gas), Uber often sneaks in well below that total, even if you take more than one car trip a day.

No. 4: Timing Is Everything

Traveling to Louisville around Derby Day? Forget about Uber. The company hikes fares when demand rises, so keep an eye out for “surge pricing.” You can’t totally predict the variable bottom line, but you probably know if you’re likely to be out during peak times (weekend evenings, for example). Search for any local happenings in your destination during the visit that could contribute: huge conferences, school and business holidays, annual contests, and even sporting events can result in surge pricing that might mean the fixed cost of a rental is the way to go.

No. 5: The Hotel’s Take

Not sure if Uber will be available when you need it? Call the hotel concierge and ask whether he or she has heard complaints. If the concierge seems knowledgeable, also ask about any local patterns in surge pricing. On the flip side, ask about parking options too: valet costs, self-park options nearby, etc.

Wondering how these tips may come together to help you save on an actual trip? Check out our three-city comparison for travel scenarios—and some great vacation ideas (at no extra charge!).

What is the important of travel rewards card

You often hear of travel hackers earning first-class flights, and reposing in four-star hotels, by strategically employing a host of travel reward signup bonuses and limited-time offers. You may also yearn to be as crafty.

But new research from NerdWallet shows that travel rewards cards often fail to provide the best value on your spending, and that some customers would be better off sticking with plain old cash back.

It all depends where you’re going, and how much you tend to spend.

If you are flying to MONEY’s Best in Travel destination San Diego, for instance, or hiking the Appalachian Trail this summer, you’re probably better off with a cash-back credit card, according to a new NerdWallet survey. Travelers sticking in the U.S., and planning to spend less than $8,600 a year on flights, hotels, and restaurants, would do better with cash-back cards, which tend to deliver higher return rates.

The calculus may change under certain circumstances. “Most Americans should opt for cash back rewards, but there are always exceptions,” says NerdWallet credit card expert Sean McQuay. “If you travel internationally, if you spend more than $8,600 on travel per year, if you use travel benefits like free baggage, or if you tend to open new cards every year or two, consider a travel rewards credit card.

A few reasons you might still benefit from a travel card:

If you travel internationally at least once a year.

Global travelers save $120 both by getting higher rewards — worth $26 more, NerdWallet finds — and by avoiding foreign transaction fees, which average 3% on other cards.

If you change cards every year or two.

The best value of a travel card is the signup bonus, which can be worth more than $600. The further you get away from that initial sugar high, though, the lower the card’s returns, NerdWallet notes. Plus, travel cards often come with higher annual fees than cash-back cards, although the fee is often waived the first year. Motivated cardholders might consider canceling the card after using the bonus, but before the fee kicks in.

If you actively use the ancillary benefits.

If you travel only with carry-on bags and go offline for your flights, some common travel card extras won’t be worth much to you. But benefits like free checked bags and free on-board Wi-Fi can save quite a bit of money for frequent fliers who’d otherwise pay for those privileges.

How to get free on traveling

No one likes to waste money, least of all on a vacation. Nothing kills the buzz of a dream trip faster than standing on line for that top tourist attraction, handing over your hard-earned cash, and discovering that it was all a bunch of hyped holiday hooey.

To save you money and time, we’ve compiled a list of 20 sights that are, in fact, worth every dollar. Some are on the expensive side, such as the $50 ticket to the country’s best aquarium. Some aren’t that pricey at all. (Guess where you can take any streetcar you desire for only $1.25?) And how much would you pay for an underground cave that doubles as a bluegrass concert hall? How does $45 sound?

In addition to these worth-it wonders, we’ve added a few that you might call meh. They’re the kind of places you should avoid, either because they cost too much for what you get or they just cost too much, period. You might well disagree—and if you do, please tell us why. Even better, send us a postcard. Just remember to have fun wherever you roam.

P.S.: We’ve organized this photo tour by cost, starting with the cheapest, going forward to the most expensive, and ending with the stuff that’s not worth your money. (Though do check them out here, to save you the trouble on the road.)