Recently, I had a chance to put some cost saving tips into effect on a trip to Florida. In our case, we were a family of five going to see the mouse. Disney World, as you probably know is expensive. Expensive to get there, stay there and pretty much just expensive all around. Here are some tips that I came up with to save money on my recent Florida vacation. Enjoy.
1. Save Money On Airport Parking
It all starts with the airport. People spend a lot of time worrying about the flight but they forget about airport parking. You have to get to the airport somehow and once there, your vehicle will be staying the duration of your trip. This means a daily parking fee.
One way to avoid this fee is to use a service like Uber to get to the airport. If you live relatively close to the airport, this is a viable solution and you can save a fortune. Plus, you do not have to worry about your vehicle, it will be safely parked at home.
If you live further away or do not want to have to wait for a ride on your return trip, you have another great way to save with discount airport parking. Discount airport parking websites can save you a lot of money on parking rates, plus they allow you to arrange your parking ahead of time. One less thing to worry about.
2. Travel During The Off Season
This is a way to save huge on your Florida trip. Travel during the off season and save big time. This can save you money on everything from hotels to airfare. It means that you will not be able to travel during the in demand Summer dates but that could be a huge thing. If you are not a huge fan of the sun, missing out on 100 degree days filled with humidity and mosquitoes can be a huge bonus from you.
If Disney is your destination, the slowest times tend to be during the winter from January to February and September to October when the kiddos get back to school.
3. Take Advantage Of Destination Deals
Websites like Living Social can get you some incredible deals on destinations. Save as much as 80 percent on entertainment from Florida venues. You can find deals on all sorts of things like restaurants, shows, movies, golf and more.
In addition to saving you money, these deals can give you great ideas. Discover entertainment and dining ideas that you might have never thought about.
4. Drive Instead Of Flying
If you live in California, this might not be a very enjoyable option, but if you live less than 10 to 12 hours away, why not just drive. You can do the trip in less than a day and you will save a ton on airfare. A family of four can easily spend $1200 or more on round trip tickets. Drive your own car and spend $200 or less in gasoline, round trip. Calculate your cost of driving with Gas Buddy and see for yourself.
Another benefit to driving is that you save money on a rental car. Rentals can easily go for $50 or more a day so this can save you an additional$200 or more on a 4 day trip.
5. Buy Souvenirs and Necessities At Home
Everything is more expensive when you reach your destination. A simple T-Shirt can go for $30 to $40 at places like Disney. Instead of picking them up there, buy them early at places like Amazon and pack them in. Keep them secret from your kiddos and surprise them during their stay. They get the sudden thrill of some Disney gear and you get so save 70 percent of the price you would have paid on site.
Be sure to also think about all of the little things that you will need as well, because they will all cost double or triple on site. Pack in your sunblock, hats, sunglasses, aspirin, allergy pills, etc. If you are driving, it might even be worth it to pack in snacks and drinks.
6. Rent Out A Home
Hotels can get crazy expensive. It is often cheaper to simply rent a house or condo for a few days. You will get more space and access to things like a full size kitchen, a yard and maybe even a private swimming pool. If you are traveling with a large group, a home makes even more sense because you can split the cost up among more visitors.
7. Take Advantage Of The Free Attractions
You do not have to spend money to enjoy yourself if you take advantage of all of the free stuff.
If Disney is your thing, for example, you do not have to spend every day at the park. Your favorite characters are often hanging out at the hotels and most of the resorts have incredible pools to enjoy. There is also Disney Springs, formerly Downtown Disney, which is absolutely free. They usually have musical entertainment and you can kill a lot of time window shopping or just people watching.
Elsewhere in Florida, you can save by visiting free parks and, of course, the beach. Before you travel, just do a search for free things to do and make a list. A nice list of free attractions can allow you to be spontaneous and choose activities that strike your fancy on any particular day.
Tina’s Final Word
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to save money on a trip to Florida. You simply need to use some creativity and resist falling for all of the tourist traps. Just remember that not all memories come at the expense of money.