Home to some of the world’s biggest theme parks and attractions including Disney World and Universal, it’s no wonder Florida has long been one of the most popular family holiday destinations.
However the cost of tickets, accommodation and flights, not to mention spending money, means it can also become one of the most expensive. While there is no avoiding some of the costs associated with a long-haul holiday, there are a few simple things you can do to cut costs. Read on for our Florida holiday saving hacks…
Booking your flights and hotels separately rather than as part of a package may help you to cut costs, especially if you can be flexible with travel times.
Norwegian Airlines has flights from London Gatwick to Orlando for as little as £159 each way, while Thomson Airways also has return flights from the UK to Orlando Sanford in May for as little as £369pp.
Entry to the different attractions can prove incredibly expensive, but there are deals on offer, particularly if you’re planning a longer trip. For example, a seven day ultimate ticket to the Disney Parks typically costs £399 for adults (10+) and £379 for children (3-9), but for an extra £20 per head you can get 14 days park access, or for £40 extra each, you will get a 21-day ultimate ticket.
Meanwhile if you’re planning a visit to the SeaWorld parks, including SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Discovery Cove, your best value option is the Discovery Cove Ultimate Package. As well as including a one-day reservation at Discovery Cove, with a 30-minute dolphin swim experience plus all-inclusive food and drinks, your ticket will offer 14 day unlimited entry to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Aquatica – with prices starting from just £171pp.
If you’re predominantly planning on visiting the Disney World parks, you may find it is better value to stay in one of the Disney resorts or hotels. As well as getting early access to the parks and free shuttle transportation, you may also get benefits including meal vouchers and a free Memory Maker photo package that could significantly reduce your overall expenditure.
Alternatively, look to sites such as Airbnb or HomeAway to find holiday villas or apartments that often have the added perks such as private swimming pools, plus the convenience of being able to prepare your own food and not dine at restaurants all of the time.
You don’t need an expensive car hire to travel around Orlando. A number of hotels offer free shuttle buses to and from the parks, while Uber is another great way to get around cheaply and conveniently.
Sign up for a new account before you go and chances are you will get up to $20 credit for your first trip – perfect to mitigate the cost of travelling to and from the airport, along with other longer journeys.
In the parks
Don’t get ripped off by the park prices for things like water, snacks and even meals. Take an empty water bottle that you can refill at drinking taps around the parks, and carry your own packed lunch if you want to save money at the park restaurants – along with avoiding time queuing.
If you are going to dine in the parks, consider sharing meals or even getting a children’s meal. The portion sizes are typically big enough to share for lunch, and it could save you at least $10+ a day.
Also you may consider packing your bag with essentials such as a first aid kit, sun cream and plastic ponchos – ideal for Orlando’s famous thunderstorms, along with some of the water rides!
What are your top money saving tips for a Florida holiday?