Ultimate Guide To Doing An Orlando Holiday On A Budget

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If you’ve been a follower of my blog for a while you will know that we are avid fans of the Sunshine State and have been lucky enough to visit more times than I can count! Obviously, Walt Disney World has played large part as to the reasons we keep heading back due to now having the children in tow but this year is different. This year we are doing our Orlando holiday on a budget… and I mean a budget!

Orlando On The Cheap!

February will see us head back for just over a week only this time we are doing everything we say we want to do but never seem to have the time to do so because we are too busy ensuring we are getting the most from our ridiculously expensive Disney tickets and we are doing it on the cheap!

READ NOW: How to Avoid Overpaying on your next trip to Florida

We did Florida on a budget 7 years ago when my eldest was just 11 months old which to be fair was very easy! We only had to pay for my and hubby at dinner, he got in everywhere FREE and to be fair the dollar was better rate than it is now but trips since then have nine times out of ten revolved around the theme parks.

This year my two are 5 and 8. They are still very much interested in the theme parks, rollercoasters, princesses & characters but we want them to see more of what Florida has to offer.

There is no getting away from the fact if you choose to NOT do the theme parks you will save thousands but there are tons of other ways to save too.

READ NOW: Cheap things to do in Orlando

Indirect Flights To Florida

We are also going indirect for the first time too this trip! We are flying from Manchester to Atlanta and then onto Orlando International Airport. It’s going to be the latest we’ve ever arrived in Florida but it’s also going to be the latest we’ve left the UK too so it’s not really going to be any longer day and I see it as an adventure to be fair!

I wouldn’t personally. rush to do an indirect flight with children younger than mine are now but I wouldn’t hesitate now if it would save us £500!

Taking Hand Baggage Only

The indirect element of the flight has saved us as we are travelling during half term but also the fact we’ve chosen to take hand baggage only!

Call us crazy but we are only going for 9 nights, we aren’t doing the theme parks, car seats can be taken for free regardless of class or fare so why not!?

If we decide nearer the time to book a bag then we can and it will only cost us £45 per bag each way … a lot less than the £500+ we’ve saved by not checking into the hold a big bag each!

Book multiple hotels & Move Around

We’ve saved £100+ by booking 4 different hotels! Yes 4 different hotels but as I’ve already touched on we only have hand baggage only and a car so we don’t have to lug 4x20kg bags each time we move around we will all live out of our own cases and just stick them in the boot when we are moving hotels.

Staying in one place for the whole 9 nights was coming in around £550. By choosing to move around and use points accrued from a rewards credit card we are able to add a stay at a beach hotel on too!

Use Cashback sites

We’ve used Quidco for our flights and hotels and although had to layout the full amount we will end up getting back about £20.00 back which will go straight back on the credit card and cover the resort fee on our last night.

Use my refer a friend link to sign up to Topcashback and at the time of writing you’ll get £5 when you make your first cash back claim.

Quidco gare currently offering £10 atoo.. click to sign up again using my refer a friend link here! It’s certainly worth signing up for both of them because one might offer a higher cashback rate than the other.

Redeem Points Accrued from a reward cards

We are spending one night on Cocoa Beach courtesy of our Hilton Honors credit card points. We put EVERYTHING on our credit card but we also pay it off EVERY SINGLE MONTH without fail. Yes there are probably better cashback rewards from credit cards but this is the one that works for us as our reward is a stay in a lovely nine times out of ten luxury (to us!) hotel!

You can also use Nectar Points or redeem bonuses via a Tesco Clubcard too!

READ NOW: Doubletree by Hilton Manchester Piccadilly Review

Book Off Peak

We are going in February which is the most ‘off peak time’ we have ever visited Orlando however although it’s very much off peak to us that doesn’t mean it’s off peak for the USA we arrive the day before Presidents Day. Although we may not encounter much crowds due to our itinerary, it’s likely the parks will be busy and the hotels we’ve booked are for sure a little more expensive than they’ve been during other times of the year we’ve been.

Summer is not only crazily priced, particularly when it comes to flights, but it’s also not the cheapest for hotels either just like Easter, Spring Break and Christmas.

Book breakfast

It’s certainly worth looking at the difference in price between booking room only and bed and breakfast. The hotel we are staying in offered us breakfast for an extra £20 for two day for 4 people. Even if it’s just a continental breakfast it will still give us the opportunity to stock up on toast, pastries and cereal for a lot less than it would cost to eat out as a family of 4 every morning!

My Hilton Honors Gold status (because I put everything on the credit card as I say!) also gives us a free breakfast too at the Doubletree (the last hotel we are staying in) so again although technically it’s not cost us any money that specific hotel we have saved by not having to go out to find somewhere to eat.

Do all the stuff we never have time to do!

As I’ve already touched on the main way to save is to NOT do the main theme parks but that doesn’t mean you have to also miss out on the tons of other Orlando attractions because believe me in comparison to Disney EVERYTHING is cheap! 😉

Whatever you want to do or whatever you want to see you can do it in Florida. It’s like the fun capital of the world for the whole family and it doesn’t have to cost the world!

Besides the theme parks there are shopping malls and outlets, spa’s and beaches, sporting events, mini golf, go karting, sky diving, balloon rides and dinner shows… there really is something for everyone and this trip we want to see as much as that as we can!

So many people will be able to relate particularly Brits or those who are travelling thousands of miles to get there… you’ve already spent so much money on the trip and Disney tickets alone that you feel you HAVE to stay on property. You HAVE to spend 10 hours a day in a park because you HAVE to ride every ride and you HAVE to pay for overpriced food too because there is just no point in leaving! Doing this means we actually miss out on so much and don’t actually get to experience or see ‘real’ Florida.

READ NOW: Everything we know about about Disney Free Dining 2020

On our list this trip is an Orlando Magic basketball game, Nascar GoKarting, Kissimmee car show and Run Disney (although we aren’t doing Disney per se we are getting our fix by participating in a kids Run Disney event!).

We are also heading to the beach and whilst over there intend to see the Disney Dream leave and visit Kennedy Space Center too (which again are both things we always say we want to do but rarely end up leaving the Orlando area!)

Look for dining deals & coupons

Next on the to do list before we go is to sign up for all the restaurants mailing lists and make a note of all the dining deals and offers.

We already know of one or two places where kids eat free on certain days which we will FULLY take advantage of but I would also like to find a few places which offer happy hours or similar too given we don’t have to drive to and from everywhere or be up super early every morning to get to a theme park.

Dinner shows are good value for money too and something I would love to add to our list. Although I have no experience of the quality of food the appeal of having the kids entertained whilst we eat our food (and be entertained too, obviously!) is something I would welcome with open arms!

Use Public Transport

Although this trip, and every trip since having children to be fair, we are hiring a car one way to save is to use public transport to get around. Obviously if you too are wanting to head to the beach or a little further afield then costs may add up and navigating some attractions using solely public transport may well be a little difficult but the I-Trolley that runs from one end of International Drive to the other costs ¢18 per person for a 14 day pass unlimited pass.

This trip is going to be so different to our usual Orlando holidays and we cannot wait! It’s going to be more of a break for sure and although still jam packed with fun, it’s going to be a lot more relaxed and a hell of lot cheaper too!

We will of course be vlogging our whole Orlando trip on a budget so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. I’ll also be sharing everything we get up to over on Instagram too so again if you want to follow along then feel free!

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About The Money Saving Mum

About The Money Saving Mum

I've always been financially savvy but when the kids came along I needed to up my game! Our finances and priorities changed overnight and it felt like I was spending money as if it was going out of fashion! I needed to start earning extra money just to make ends meet and continuously make sure we got the most out of every single penny we had! Sound familiar? Keep reading... I'm sharing my story to help people like you!

Kirsty

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