Upon return from any vacation it’s common to discuss how you would do certain things different to save time and money. Traveling to Orlando, Florida is no different. With so much to see and do at this magical destination it’s easy to miss opportunities that could save you money or earn you points with the kids. This magical destination has so much to offer which includes Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, the multitude of shopping malls and tourist attractions. It’s no wonder there’s over 10,000 books written about this great American destination. Try not to fall for the tourist traps and have these seven planning strategies covered:
#1. How are you going to arrive? Will it be utilizing the airlines, train, car, or a bus? 28% of visitors arrive into Orlando international airport, 49% by car and the remainder by other means of transportation. Orlando has a world class highway system that accomodates automobiles and compliments it with toll roads. If you plan on to skip the highways, shop for the lowest prices on airline tickets at TravelSpot. They typically are 5-15% lower than Orbitz or Expedia or the national airline websites. Our research showed TravelSpot reflected the lowest airlines flights 69% of the time from key hubs like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and Atlanta.
#2 Are you bringing kids? Is the trip more for business? Are you getting married or attending a wedding or maybe you’re taking your company to Orlando. Whatever the reason, be sure to check the attractions appropriate for each age group. The kids probably will not enjoy endless days shopping, so try and stay at a location that offers babysitting service or alternate a park day with a shopping day.
For more of a romantic trip, Orlando has plenty to do. You’ll have a great selection of nice restaurants to very romantic hotels like the Portofino at Universal Citywalk.
#3. Are you staying at a hotel, condo, vacation rental home, trailer park, RV park? A national study ranked the value of each accomodation and found surprising results. Although hotels ranked #1 in convenience to the amusement parks at Disney World and Universal, it ranked dead last in value. Vacation rental condos and pool homes in Orlando ranked #1. As a matter of fact, a 7 bedroom home just 5 minutes outside the Disney gates with a private pool was found to have a lower price ($278/nt) than a typical hotel room at Disney World ($327). The vacation rentals at various resort locations in Orlando were found to have a private pool, video games, pool table, full gourmet kitchen, 7 bedrooms and 2 car garage. The resort locations that were part of the study in the area included Reunion, Emerald Island, Calabay Parc, Weston Hills, and Indian Creek.
#4. What time of the year do you intend to arrive in Orlando? Don’t forget that this area gets hot during the summer months, and that is also the time in which the parks have the most people. Is standing in line a health issue for you? If that’s the case, you should contemplate visiting in March or April.
#5. Don’t forget sun block cream. Orlando boasts hundreds of outdoor activities and you don’t want to ruin your trip with a sun burn. Watch the kids and dab on the sun block at least 4x per day.
#6. Many parks offer discounted rates to various groups including senior citizens, children, charitable organizations and schools. Information can be found at http://gondolaresorts.com.
#7. Don’t count on the public transportation system in Orlando. Why? Orlando was ranked the cheapest U.S. city to for car rentals. It’s typical to rent a mid-size car for $13.00 per day. Either rent a car or go by cab. The buses are unreliable and there are not many of them. If you do not know the city it is especially easy getting lost if you take a bus.