Thursday, April 30, 2009

Orlando Vacation Package Money Saving Tips

With all of the economic doom and gloom that's around, it may be more and more difficult for cash-constrained families to justify a trip to Florida - but maybe this is just the time that they need the morale boost that an Orlando vacation package can generate.

Unless the current wave of bail-out and stimulus mania is extended to include money for vacations, families will be forced to find their own ways ways to cut costs so that a vacation is affordable. So here's a few ideas:
  • Compare the costs of a complete vacation package with the total expenses you would pay if you booked the flight, accommodation and car hire separately. Research may show you that booking the items separately will be less expensive - but make sure you take into account all of the inducements in the package including discounted tickets, free breakfasts or other meals in hotels and other vouchers. Remember that packages can also have severe restrictions (for example, party size or dates available) so time spent in careful reading can be a great investment!
  • Are the "Fly Drive" packages that are popular with UK tourists really worthwhile? Some companies apparently offer cost savings by combining the air fare and car hire costs into one price that looks like it's a bargain. But check out the compulsory car hire insurance costs that come with the deal. Sometimes these are overpriced to claw back the low sticker price. We've seen some big company offerings where any apparent initial saving is more than eaten up by what looks like excessive insurance charges - so separate booking of flights and car hire would have been less expensive.
  • And on the topic of car hire - if you're planning at least some of your vacation in a Disney hotel, with travel between theme parks already included, do you need a car for the entire vacation? You may be aware that surcharges apply for cars collected at Orlando International Airport, so you could make an additional saving by picking up your car in Kissimmee instead. Fewer days of car hire and no surcharge may add up to to a substantial saving.
  • Shop around for your flights, using sites such as, and They can help with accommodation and car hire too. If you can book well ahead you can often secure the lowest prices, especially if you're prepared to be flexible about your departure times. Obviously, avoid peak times such as Easter and Christmas. Try early December or late April / May if your schedule permits it. Even if you are looking for a last minute deal, don’t despair because bargains may still be available - some companies buy seats in advance and then sell them on as last minute deals at prices well below the airline’s regular rates.
  • Accommodation: if you've read any of the other posts on this site you will be aware that the growth of short-term rental homes close to Disney has transformed the market. You can still spend your well-earned rest with your friends or family in one or more hotel rooms if you prefer and there is an enormous choice. But you could also rent a single family home with private screened pool or condo (see Orlando holiday villas for more details). Due to intense competition, the price of a four or five bedroom home can often be little more expensive that that of a single hotel room, so give it some thought and especially if your family or party is large.
  • Theme park tickets could actually be the most expensive part of your Orlando vacation package, especially for large parties. For example, the standard Disney World price is currently $75 per day plus sales tax - so a party of eight would pay $600 plus tax. By comparison, one night in a vacation home for that same party could be booked for around $100 plus tax. That should convince you that time spent in planning your theme park days in advance could give you some big savings - so think about how many days you plan to spend at the Disney theme parks and how much flexibility in "hopping" from one park to another you want and then invest some time on the Internet checking out the options.
So if you really want that Orlando vacation and you'd love to explore the Magic Kingdom but your budget is straining to keep up, shop around and look at the options available because you really can save a lot of money, and enjoy a great holiday.

1 comment:

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