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Disney on A Budget – Top 20 Money Saving Tips
A Disney Vacation is not cheap at all (read this blog post for a typical vacation budget). For many, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, for others it’s an annual ritual that is the ultimate priority.
No matter what, nobody likes to spend cash they don’t need to and our quick guide to saving money on an Orlando vacation will point you in the right direction.
We’ve pulled together as much information as we can from our team of advisors to bring you this quick but very complete guide to saving as much money as possible on your next Disney Vacation in Orlando! Much of the advice is relevant to any vacation, so feel free to adapt our money saving article even if you aren’t travelling to Florida next trip.
- Book a vacation home!
Seriously, why stay in a moderate hotel paying high prices, when you can stay in a luxury home like this from $50 per person per night!
- Exchange Rates (blog post) can make a huge difference, almost overnight! Don’t try to predict the economy, but consider buying half of your spending money now, and half at a later date to spread the risk of buying all of your cash at a less than favourable rate!
Even when you’ve decided that the time is right to buy, research carefully to ensure that you’ve got the best deal. Remember, that you are interested in how many dollars you get for your budgeted amount. Sneaky dealers show great rates, then give you less in return through hidden charges and fees.
- Dining & Accommodation Bundle deals are often offered in low season by the theme park operators when their accommodation is booked directly. Always look around before committing to a travel agent as it is often the case that their amazing deal could be even more amazing if you choose someone else! Take your time to get the best deals!
- Never forget to take out travel insurance!
- Cheap Restaurants (blog post) are plentiful in Orlando, and cheap does not always mean nasty! Check out our Cheapest Places to Eat Guide, but also look at Tripadvisor and other review sites for real feedback too.
- Finding the best Theme Park Ticket Deals, it’s not easy, and the savings aren’t huge, but if you stick to approved ticket vendors, you will get invaluable advice as well as a few % discount. Good theme park ticket advice will save you hundreds of dollars in most cases!
The rule is simple: If you’ve found a better than 5% saving on a Disney ticket, you are being taken by crooks or timeshare sellers! It is as simple as that. Cheap tickets do not exist!
- Finding the best flight deals is easier than ever now that comparison sites have appeared all over the internet. Sadly most display the same prices, or offer rates that don’t exist when you finally enquire, so be patient and take your time with this huge ticket item!
The best way to a cheap flight is by booking out of season if you can!
- Negotiate great accommodation deals out of season to dramatically reduce your vacation cost. Not only are the rates a lot cheaper, but further discounts are also most likely during low season if you push for them.
- Use a credit card to gain maximum credit protection in case something goes wrong.
- Pay off your vacation credit cards straight away!
- Don’t book cars last minute, they know you need a car for your dates and put up rates! Check out the hotel/flight/car bundles for the best deals.
- Don’t book cars directly without checking airline deals and other partners first! Most car rental firms offer better deals to their partners than they offer on their own websites. Some rental car companies do however offer seasonal bargains that are unbeatable, particularly in popular areas like Orlando. Check throughly before you click!
- Walkie talkies are much cheaper than cell phones in the parks, especially if you don’t have a US Cell Phone contract.
- Data roaming must be turned off if you are on a non US cell phone contract. it can cost hundreds for a week’s worth of light email and internet usage! read more…..
- Get annual passes if you travel to Orlando more than once a year!
- Avoid Toll Plaza fines by passing through the ‘Cash Lanes’ and paying each toll.
If you don’t have the cash, take an envelope from the pay area and send the toll money by post to avoid a hefty fine!!
- Search online for ‘Orlando Coupons’ and print off some great discount coupons for attractions and restaurants.
- Take strollers with you, or buy them locally in Walmart or Target. Avoid the costly theme park rental strollers.
- Put your daily ‘cash allowance’ in one section of your wallet. Pay for meals, snacks and souvenirs from it instead of using a card. It’s much easier to track your spend that way!
- If you have a large group or family, it pays to rent a locker and fill it full of frozen bottles of water, that you’ve bought at a local supermarket if your accommodation has a freezer. Much cheaper than buying Dasani in the parks for $2.50 a bottle!
- Dine at Counter Service Restaurants and share meals.
This may seem obvious, but most families order meals that end up in the garbage half eaten. A family of four can share 3 meals and still eat well for a lot less cash!
This only works at counter service locations as Table Service spots tend to restrict sharing.
- Resist purchasing ‘must have’ souvenirs that seem so great in ‘vacation mode’ but not so great when you are back home. Read this great article by Erin Foster on Touringplans.com