How to Enjoy Orlando on a Budget

Orlando, Florida has long been one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States, especially with families and honeymooners. If the price of travel is discouraging you from vacationing there, the tips offered in this article may help.


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    Create an organized budget. Figure out what finances are available to spend on your trip, and what splurges you can live without to save money. Check out a few Orlando travel guides from your local library or browse the web for current prices. Use the information to write out a spending plan in a binder or folder, and keep the information with you.
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    Make a list of activities you want to do while there. Discuss with your family what attractions you'd like to visit while in the area, such as the Disney theme parks, SeaWorld, Universal Orlando, water parks, etc. If you have time, consider making a day trip to the beach or the Kennedy Space Center, both about an hour's drive away.
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    Spend a lot of time on the internet researching rooms, vacation houses and condos or townhouses. You can save a lot of money by renting a vacation home. If you search early and vigilantly, you can find some great bargains as there are so many homes available. Most houses include the luxury of a private swimming pool, full kitchen, dining room, etc.
    • If you buy groceries at the beginning of the vacation, you can enjoy most meals at the home for a fraction of the cost you'll pay at many area restaurants. Most of the vacation home neighborhoods are private resorts offering various amenities, such as basketball courts, small theaters, game rooms, public pools, and more. Oftentimes, especially if there are young children in the party, they would rather just spend time at the vacation home and in the neighborhood enjoying all the amenities or the private pool (as opposed to spending each day at the parks).
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    Only eat lunch out. Lunch is usually less expensive than dinner at restaurants. So, eat breakfast and dinner at your vacation house. Make a detailed grocery list before going to the store. You want to get exactly what you need for you stay so you will not have to throw food away or go overboard on your spending. Pack a few non-perishable snacks in your bag before heading out to enjoy the attractions, and take along some frozen bottles of water. They'll thaw quickly in the Florida heat and allow you to enjoy an ice cold drink.
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    Plan your entire vacation on paper before leaving. Make a tentative schedule and spending list. Keep the money for each expense in separate envelopes. For example, keep a gas envelope, a souvenir envelope, a theme park envelope, etc. Then you will not run out of money or spend more than expected.
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    Many theme parks in the area offer discount tickets and promotions for visitors online. If you buy your tickets ahead of time on the Internet you can save money or get "more days to play" at some parks.
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    Try to find lodging closer to the attractions you will be visiting. That way you save time and gas.
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    Souvenirs are more affordable at local shops than at the theme parks. Most theme parks sell the fans that mist water to keep you cool. You can also find these at a much more reasonable price at a local drugstore or Wal-Mart.
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    Make sure to look for local coupon books or discount cards that will save you money on attractions, restaurants, car rentals and more.


  • Be sure to visit Downtown Disney if you have children. The kids can have lots of fun and most of the attractions there are free to visit. They have fountains the kids can run through to cool off, and there is a Lego store with free Lego stations to play and build toys. The magic store has continual shows and your child can even help the magician. The kids can walk through the stores filled with merchandise featuring all their favorite characters. There are hundreds of hats to try on. This is also a great photo opportunity. Have everyone try on a funny hat and take lots of pictures.
  • Keep a cooler in your vehicle filled with bottled water, snack bars, fruit etc. This way, when someone is hungry or thirsty, you have something available and you won't have to spend excessive amounts at convenience store prices. Use freezer blocks to keep things cold in the freezer instead of ice.
  • Give your children souvenir money in an envelope. Most children love to have their own money to shop. Tell them this is the only money they will have to spend on souvenirs. This saves you money, and teaches them responsibility.


  • Be aware that some leaflets that are put under your hotel room door are fake. You may be ordering a Pizza from a fake outlet who is only interested in your credit card details. Other food leaflets are designed to look similar to the original outlet, but what you get is a lower quality product made in someone's garage. If you like takeouts delivered to your hotel, collect the menus from the store while you are out for use later during your holiday.

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Categories: Florida | Reduce Travel Cost