Orlando is a year-round tourist stop, full of sunshine, magic and “The Happiest Place on Earth.” However, with big tourist appeal comes big tourist prices. Fortunately, there are a few tricks for visiting Orlando without breaking the bank.
When to go
As with most tourist-type towns, it’s best to visit Orlando during its off-season. The weather is still beautiful, and you’ll run into fewer crowds and lower prices. According to Trip Savvy, summer is Orlando’s peak season, so you’ll want to wait until the weather cools off to visit. Post-August through the early spring months, excluding the holidays, you’ll find discounted rates for many of the parks, hotels and flights.
Where to stay
Finding the lowest prices for hotels is a challenge in any city, especially a popular tourist destination like Orlando. However, for the lowest prices, Urban Taste Bud recommends choosing a hotel closer to Disney World than Universal Studios. Disney even offers discounted rooms during the off-season.
Vacation rentals are also available in Orlando. With vacation rentals, you can use a website like HomeAway or VRBO to find a privately-owned home or apartment to rent during your stay. Since you’re renting an actual home or apartment, the space usually includes a full kitchen and significantly more privacy.
Where to eat
If you’re staying in a hotel, cooking at “home” isn’t a feasible option, which means you’ll have to find restaurants. However, restaurants in tourist-centric cities can cost an arm and a leg if you’re not careful. If you’re traveling to Orlando with the whole family, take advantage of “Kids-Eat-Free” programs. According to Family Travel Network, a handful of restaurants all over Orlando offer free meals for children under a certain age, which can save you a nice chunk of change.
If you’re visiting Disney, Universal Studios or other theme parks, avoid eating inside the park. Prices at restaurants inside the parks are astronomically higher. Trip Savvy recommends scheduling your larger meals ahead of time; this way, you won’t end up stuck inside the park for every large meal.
What to do
Theme parks in Orlando are extremely expensive, so try limiting your visit to one park if you’re on a budget. Visiting Universal Studios and Disney during your trip may sound like a blast, but you may find yourself overworked and your wallet aching. Once you’ve chosen your park, add some more inexpensive or free options to your itinerary.
Family Travel Network and Trip Savvy both recommend purchasing a Go Orlando Card. The Go Orlando Card is designed to provide you with discounts to local attractions based on which places you’d like to visit. There are more than 50 attractions, including local tours, listed as part of the Go Orlando Card’s program.
Experiencing happiness and sunshine in Orlando doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Plan your visit ahead of time to help save money on your next trip.
This article is presented by Colonial Buick GMC in Watertown, Massachusetts.