When you are traveling and vacationing with your family, you can quickly see how costs can spiral out of control. Making sure that your family has a great vacation is important.

However, keeping costs low and sticking to a budget is also important. After all, you don’t want to spend the next few years paying off your vacation.

So what top tips can you follow to vacation with your family on a budget?


9 Salient Tips For Vacationing With Your Family in Orlando

Tip 1. Visit the Parks Out of Season

Mickey and Minnie Mouse outside the Magic Kingdom.

If you are heading to the official Disney or Universal parks, then you will soon see how quickly costs add up. Usually, only those under 3 get in a park for free. Park fees and entrance prices stay relatively consistent throughout the year.

Orlando parks

However, there are often special offers that can be found out of season. In the (quieter months) you may find that discounts can be applied to parties (group bookings).

You may also find that booking in advance guarantees you a better price or even saves you money. Even though park prices may not vary much, you may find that other areas relating to park visits will be substantially cheaper – such as vehicle hire or accommodation.

Tip 2. Pre-book Park Tickets and Admissions

Yes, there is more to Orlando than the theme parks. However, if you are visiting parks, it is important to pre-book. Being organized and having a plan of action will save you money when you are visiting the parks.

Pre-book Park Tickets

Yes, there is more to Orlando than the theme parks. However, if you are visiting parks, it is important to pre-book. Being organized and having a plan of action will save you money when you are visiting the parks.

Pre-booking your tickets and admissions will save you time and help you snag the best deals and prices. When you pre-book, you can guarantee prices, and you can see how much you need to budget. If you simply turn up on the day, you will find that costs can be nearly 50% higher.

The Disney reservation system for park entry may seem a little confusing at first, but once you get to grips with it, you will see how much time, money, and stress it can save you.

Tip 3. Leave the Parks 

There is, of course, more to Orlando than the Disney parks, so take a leap of faith, and start exploring how great Orlando is and just what it has to offer. When you leave the parks, you get to meet Orlando locals, and you get to see what else is great about Orlando.

Westgate Resorts
Instagram, posted on January 30th, 2022, Westgate Resorts Official Profile

For example, a trip to Gatorland will help you see what gators live locally in the lakes, swamps, and rivers in Orlando. Or, if you fancy brushing up your knowledge and education, you may fancy a trip to the Orlando Museum of Art. Or, if you are looking for some retail therapy, you could head to the Florida Mall or the Orlando Premium outlets, where you can shop until your drop!

Tip 4. Look For Resorts and Hotels That Offer Good Value For Money

On-site Disney hotels may look appealing at first glance. However, when you look at the room rates on offer, you may be left thinking about how to take out another mortgage!

Orlando restaurants

Moving away from Disney-themed hotels is important, and you can often find that other resorts and hotels have on offer more amenities and facilities than official themed hotels.

There are plenty of awesome places to stay, like the Westgate Resorts Orlando hotels that offer some good rates in and around the parks, and quite often, you will find that these are centrally located and well-placed for exploration of Orlando.

When you are looking for resorts, look t those that offer something for everyone in your party or family. For example, look at resorts that have on-site water parks or shopping centers.

Tip 5. Plan Food and Mealtimes

Tasty treats on offer in the Parks

Orlando food

You have got to eat and drink throughout your vacation! However, how you choose to do it will affect your budget. There are lots of great offers around on buffest and on pre-pay plans, and taking advantage of these can save you a fair few dollars.

When you plan your mealtimes and food, you can be sure that you are not paying over the odds for those last-minute meals or snacks. Planning food and mealtimes can sound boring, but it could save you hundreds of dollars.

Also, keep an eye out for any discount coupons or flyers (online and offline), as these can often bring your final bill down too. You may also want to look at the meal and food options your resort offers, as they may make great financial sense.

Related: How Traveling Can be the Best Source of Inspiration

Tip 6. Keep a Lookout For Coupons and Discounts

Disney and Orlando can be easy places to spend money if you are not careful. However, to keep on top of costs, you need to keep your eyes and ears open for coupons and discounts.

Coupons and Discounts

Using social media and even looking on Disney family blogs will help point you in the direction of where the best discounts and coupons can be found. These coupons and discounts are not to be avoided, as quite often they can get you freebies or they can get you a percentage off your final bill. Not all coupons will be suitable or applicable to you, but they should not be ignored.

For example, you may find that you can save money on pre-booking three-day or four-day tickets. Or, you may find that you get a free child’s meal or dessert during your visit or stay at a resort or hotel. Adding popular apps and websites to your phone, such as dontpayfull will save you time, too as you will not be having to look around constantly for codes and coupons.

Tip 7. Make Use of Free Transport

Whether you are staying in Orlando for 7 days, or you are staying longer, you will at some point have to make use of transport. How you use transport will affect your costs bud budget. You may not want to hire a car, or you may only wish to hire a car for a few days (to get out and about).

Free Transport

Or for example, if you are on or near International drive, you can go ahead and use the free I-ride trolley. Using free transport, including shuttles, will help you move around and get around the parks and other areas of Orlando. Free transport (even if only used a few times during your stay) can save you more than a few dollars.

These saved dollars can then be used elsewhere on your vacation.

Tip 8. Look at Packages to Save Money

It has been said that packages and multi deals are sometimes more expensive than purchasing separately – however, this is not always the case.

Quite often, you will find that there are deals to be had on packages for parks or popular sites and attractions in and around Orlando. When you take advantage of a package with a good price tag, you ensure that you do what you want to – at a price that you are happy with.

When you are looking at packages, you need to look at what you are getting as part of the package. Always make sure that you read the small print. If you do not read the small print, you may find that you expect more than you get.

Tip 9. Only Take So Much Cash Out – Set Spending Limits

Whether you are hitting the shops in the Florida Mall or you are going to Epcot for the day, you will find on vacation, that it is easy to spend (and often not even think about it). To ensure that this does not happen, you need to create limits for yourself and for those that you are traveling with.

Spending Limits

Have a daily spend allocated, or only leave your room with a certain amount of cash to ensure that you do not overspend. If you do not set daily spending limits, you may find that you blow all of your spending money at the start of the trip, and this may then affect how the rest of your vacation feels.

When you are setting a spending limit, you need to think about where you are going and what you need to get with your money. Being realistic is important. You will want to buy souvenirs, you will need emergency cash, and you may need an extra snack or drink when you are out and about.

Your vacation can be as awesome and amazing as you want it to be – even when you are on a restricted budget. Speaking to others that have traveled to Orlando and Disney (recently) is always something that will prove beneficial. Prices and costs may have risen since your last visit (or since you started your planning). Getting realistic and up-to-date figures and information will help you create a vacation on a budget that is memorable for all of the right reasons.


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