Looking to vacation but don’t want to/can’t afford to spend a ton? It’s SUPER easy to take a cheap Florida vacation! I’ve done it several times with kids, so if you follow my tips, you can do it too! Disney World included! Keep reading to see how we do it!
Cheap Florida Vacation
I used to think that people who took vacations each year had to be rich. I mean, the average family can’t afford $2000-$3000 every year just for a week away, right? Even if I could afford it, I’m pretty cheap as a rule. So when we decided we wanted to take a family vacation, and I knew it needed to be the beach, I started figuring out how to take a cheap Florida vacation! Disney World included!
One of the biggest tips I have on how to take a cheap Florida vacation is how to save on hotels and lodging. Hotels can get expensive fast. Especially hotels that are worth staying in, and don’t have bed bugs. You never want to get a cheap hotel, just to get a cheap hotel. This really never turns out well. I am overly careful when staying at a hotel for a good price, because I’m leery of bed bugs, sketchy neighborhoods, and junky rooms. If I’m on vacation I just want to stay somewhere nice and affordable.
Florida is especially easy to find nice hotels for a cheap price! This is even more true in high traffic areas like Orlando, and Daytona Beach. Never, ever pay full price for a hotel in either of these areas. Easy ways to save here is by naming your own price on Priceline, selecting the area you want to be, and selecting no less than 3 stars. This will ensure you get a nice hotel, for the cheapest price. Don’t be afraid to lowball here, as you may be surprised at what prices are accepted. You can also use sites like Groupon and Living Social which are highly reputable and will have great deals on hotels and places to stay.
Westgate Resorts has a package (usually) on their website for really cheap too. It will require you to sit through a time share presentation, but WORTH IT. If you want to know all my best tips for getting out of a time share presentation, CLICK HERE.
Most of the ways you find to save on Disney World involve crazy expensive packages that make the tickets a little cheaper, or are scams. I did a lot of research on how to save for Disney, and that was really all I could come up with. But no one, and I mean no one talks about time shares! I mean I know they’re annoying presentations to sit through and incredibly high pressure, but I’m a mom. I can say no a thousand times no matter how often you beg, plead, cry or yell. I’ve had lots of practice. Try me. So there are a THOUSAND places in Florida that will give you a cheap hotel stay at a super nice resort, and FREE tickets to Disney or Universal Studios just for sitting through their stupid time share presentation. I know lots of people use time shares, and love them, but you have to be prepared. IF you don’t have a strong will, or have trouble telling people no, don’t choose this option. We got to stay in an awesome resort for three nights and have two free tickets to Disney this year for only $300 thanks to an hour long time share presentation. And I’m totally okay with that!
Activities & Food
As far as other activities, one-day cruises, restaurants, etc, your best bet is going to be Groupon. Look in advance, and make sure to check how long your Groupon is good for so it doesn’t expire before you go on vacation. Find two or three activities you want to do as a family, and check Groupon before you do anything else. If you decide to eat somewhere, or want to go out to eat, you can even check Groupon on the fly. We’ve done that multiple times and have saved a lot of money that way!
We always research where we want to eat before going down. 75% of the time we will dollar menu it to save money. We also buy our own snacks ahead of time and bring a small cooler for drinks so we aren’t wasting money every time we stop for gas. We have a few nights or afternoons where we will go out somewhere special and we budget for those. We usually try to stay in a hotel with free breakfast, and that cuts down on the cost considerably as well. Just because it’s vacation doesn’t mean you need to go all out and eat at a five star restaurant every night. If you want to know how to take a cheap Florida vacation, planning your food is one of the biggest and most important tips. It can add up fast and blow your budget in a hurry.
When to Vacation
When you go also matters. If you go during prime season from the very end of May or beginning of June through August, you’re gonna pay about 35% more for everything at minimum. Disney tickets go up, hotel prices get higher, and it will be harder to find deals on everything, not to mention there will be a TON more people everywhere making vacation a bit less enjoyable. We’ve found that any time before May 20th, and anytime after September 11th, is generally a safe time to go. This is when kids are in school, so most families don’t go on vacation then. It’s also not the hottest months of summer, so it’s actually better to go these times too. We homeschool, so whether school is in session or not doesn’t matter to us, because we can make it up at a different time. It will be cheaper for you to go during these off-season times when it comes to hotels and park tickets especially, so keep that in mind when you’re planing your dates. SKIP HOLIDAYS. Seriously, you will save so much money if you don’t go during holidays like Memorial Day, Spring Break, Labor Day etc.
So now that you know some tips on how to take a cheap Florida vacation, you can finally vacation without breaking the bank. We love Florida because we feel like we can do so much more for about half the price of what we would do anywhere else.