You might think that Florida and budget don’t really go together. Now don’t get me wrong, you’ll have to spend a certain amount to go there. But there are many ways that you can save and make it more affordable for you to go. It is such a fun place so it makes a great destination for a family holiday. So here are my tips for saving money when planning a trip.
Don’t Fly To Orlando
If you’re planning a trip to Florida, then you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll want to head to Orlando for some of the time. And you know what? The airlines know that too. So to save money, it can make sense to fly to a different airport. We flew into Miami airport and then got a second flight into Orlando (the second flight was 38 minutes long haha). It saved a chunk of money doing that. You could also drive up from Miami as it is three hours in a car. That isn’t the end of the world as petrol is cheaper in the US than here – a whole tank in our rental car cost $30! So although it takes longer, it is a lot cheaper. Tampa airport is just over an hour’s drive away from Orlando, so that could be a good option for you too.
Pay Cash at Tolls
There are quite a few toll roads in the Orlando area. But depending on where you want to go to, you don’t have to spend that much on tolls. We drove on more normal roads than toll roads. When you pick up a hire car, they’ll offer you a Sun-Pass, which is a pre-paid toll card that you keep in the car. But they can charge around $5 a day for the privilege. I calculated how much we spent on toll roads, and it was $15.75, including a round trip to Cocoa Beach, which is a toll-only road. So if we’d got a Sun-Pass it would have been around $65. So don’t go with it, unless you’re going to be driving up and down the state. Just make sure you always have some coins as some don’t accept dollar bills.
This might sound kind of obvious, but drinks can be so expensive, especially in the parks. It is hot pretty much all year round, so you’re going to get thirsty when you’re out at a theme park all day. In restaurants, just get tap water. All the other drinks are pretty expensive and it really does add up when you’re getting a family of four $3 drinks a couple of times a day. There are also plenty of water fountains to top up your bottles with. And contrary to popular belief, you can take bottled water into the parks – I was there a week ago and took several bottles in with us to each park we visited (they do check your bags). I froze a couple of water bottles too to keep them cooler for longer.
When you are planning your holiday, in order to save, you need to be realistic. What kind of holiday are you after? If you want it to be a chill holiday where you lounge in the pool or go to the beach, then a hotel with different pool options is going to be better for you. So you might allow more sound for that kind of hotel. If you just want to be in the parks nearly everyday, then do you need a hotel with a pool? You could just choose a cheaper motel style of hotel and just go to water parks if that is what you’d rather instead. Then it can end up being quite cheap for your accommodation.
The same goes for how you want to spend your time. If you plan to get week long hopper passed for the parks, then your hotel will literally just be a place for you to sleep. So save money on you accommodation if realistically you don’t think that you’ll use it.
Collect Air Miles
One of the ways that we travel is by collection air miles. We have a BA credit card that we use for our normal spend, like groceries and the car. You may as well get air miles for things that you normally buy anyway, right? After time they will add up and you can use them against your flights.
What are some other things that you do to save money when you travel? Would love to hear!