Planning our trip to Orlando, Florida. Tips & How we plan to save money.
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
We have been coming up with our travel plans for 2020/21 and we already have some pretty awesome destinations lined up.
One of those destinations for 2020 will be Orlando. This will be our “big” holiday at the end of next year. Let’s face it Orlando is a dream holiday with the huge amount of attractions, the weather and the fact that it’s Orlando.
What made us choose Orlando for 2020 was our kids. They will be 14, 12 & 8. I think some of the attractions are best done a few times whilst they are young and then again when they are older.
What planning have we been doing?
Ok, the important part first is working out what it is that you want from your trip, what are you going to Orlando for? Will you be doing the usual parks? Will you be doing a mix? Is it just the beaches you want? And how long will you be going for? A couple of weeks is reasonable if it’s for the theme parks.
We are going for two weeks in November as we Home Educate, we decided that we would prefer to go off season. There’s no way I would go in high season in the middle of Summer with three boys moaning that it’s too hot to do anything.
We have also come up with a list of things that we would like to do whilst we are there, but obviously we probably won’t get to do them all so that’s just another excuse to go back! On Our List So Far is:
One of THE top Attractions in Orlando. Home to Universal studios, Volcano Bay and Islands of Adventure. We have been told to spend more than one day here but we are not 100% yet. Elliot is a huge Harry Potter fan so I know he will be wanting more than one day here.
Again it’s another popular attraction, it is a must see though isn’t it. With all the best characters and shows to wow visitors of all ages it’s just a magical place.
I am a huge Dolphin lover, I have always wanted to go to Discovery Cove and swim with the Dolphins. However the cost is extortionate. So we are thinking of missing this and using the money for some other things ( $1500 for 5 ) That’s just silly.
This is an absolute must for us. We plan on going on boat tours and exploring the amazing Everglades. We want a thrilling experience with Alligators and various other creepies.
We are huge huge Space nerds. This will be a highlight of the trip and one that we are so excited for. So much to do here you can easily spend a full day here.
We have three very excited Lego crazy boys and this is there top thing they want to do. They just love Lego. The boys would stay here for the full two weeks if we let them.
A proper Floridian beach day. We want to just relax and have a slower paced day on the beach, maybe hit up a farmers market too. We will also be stopping off at Daytona Speedway hopefully to catch a show on another day.
These are just a few of the things that are on the list. You don’t have to spend loads of money to enjoy yourself.
How we plan to save for Orlando and how to save when you’re there.
Come on let’s face it, 5 people to Orlando. It’s not cheap. But we do have some plans set in place to make sure our spending money stretches as far as possible.
Best Time To Go ~ Look at when is the best time to go. Obviously off peak it will be cheaper. We plan on going in early November, so we have a full year to save just for Orlando. We home educate so we are not tied down to only when the school breaks are. Also look at the weather, if you want hot hot then go in the Summer with lots of sunscreen.
Look for the best flight deals ~ Keep checking various sites for special deals, do you want to stay at a resort? Or do you want to stay further out to keep the cost down? We are staying in an apartment in Kissimmee and it is much cheaper to stay on the Disney side. Be flexible with Airports. It is cheaper for us to drive to Newcastle rather than Edinburgh. If you don’t mind travelling to a different UK airport, you can save some cash here.
When to book ~ Some people will tell you to book early, some will tell you to book now. Us? We are last minute bookers. It’s when you get the best flight deals and upgrades. Im talking a month or two before you plan on going.
Cars ~ Do you plan on Hiring a car? If not you can save almost $600 on your trip. We are hiring a car so we can explore further. Also try not to use Airport Gas stations. They cost much more.
Park Tickets ~ Seriously, shop around for park tickets. The cost varies massively. Keep an eye out for special deals by the theme parks themselves too. Consider getting an Orlando Explorer Pass as this can save you quite a bit.
Food ~ Food is expensive in the parks. Take your own food in (check that you can do this) Walmart is a life saver. You can buy all sorts of goodies that you can create a fab picnic from and take your own water bottles in with you because you can refill them for free in most of the parks.Otherwise it’s $3 for a small bottle every time. Eating off site in one of the millions of restaurants to choose from is loads cheaper.
Walmart ~ Again check Walmart because they sell official merchandise so much cheaper than the parks especially Disney merch.
How we are saving for the trip
We have an Orlando pot. Any change left lying around goes in it.
We have stopped having Takeaways, not that we ever had loads anyway, because we live rural.
When shopping absolutely do a meal plan of the ingredients and stick to it.
Do not go shopping while you are hungry. You buy up to 20% more than you actually need when you’re hungry.
If you can budget for everything then do it. Obviously I’m not talking about going back to rationing food and stuff, but really have a think about the things you spend on now and if you really really need to have it. Recently we waved goodbye to our £100 a month Sky subscriptions because we were only using free channels and Netflix!
Before you go to Orlando, check out local stores like Primark. They sell amazing disney merch like T shirts etc.
Book online. Sorry travel agents, but, from our experience, it’s actually loads cheaper to book everything online. Unless you can get family discount of course.
Check out the Visit Orlando Site for special deals.
What travel destinations do you hope to get to next year?