If you are planning a vacation to Florida you will mostly likely want to get the most value for your money, especially if you visit for any length of time and plan to partake in many of the activities this tropical destination has to offer. Preparing for your trip in advance can be beneficial in a number of ways. Prior to making your reservations for accommodations, deciding on transportation, and planning recreational activities it would behoove anyone to do a little homework first. Read our guide for information and tips about some of the best travel deals available, how to save money, and choosing a vacation to suit your needs.
It is no wonder Florida is a magnet for tourists from all over the world. Its picture perfect weather, cool tropical breezes, warm inviting beaches, and abundance of activities all add to the allure of this tropical destination. Each geographical location of Florida offers its own distinctive allure. Both coasts offer miles of warm inviting beach, as well as the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Central Florida offers an variety of fun and exciting attractions such as SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Legoland, and of course, Disney World. The northern part of the state on the eastern side offers a glimpse into Florida’s history at St Augustine- Florida’s oldest city and then there is the Panhandle, where the fishing, sugary white beaches, and emerald waters are awe-inspiring. After you chose your destination, you will want to consider the following:
Best time to visit:
If you are trying to save money, as well as avoid crowds and long waits in line for attractions and a table for dinner, the best time to visit is during Florida’s off season. Basically there are two tourist seasons in Florida. The winter season which typically runs from mid-December until May is understandably the busiest with ‘snow birds’ arriving in search of the tropical warmth which Florida offers. Thanksgiving week and Christmas week are always the busiest times of year to visit. After December however, the crowds seem to thin out a bit and you can find great deals on hotel rates, vacation packages, and admission prices to attractions. The summer season, which runs from June through September, is a busy time as well with more families travelling when their children are out of school. Although typically not as crowded as the winter season, the climate is less desirable because of the tropical heat and hurricane season.
Whether you decide to fly, drive, or take a train to Florida you should plan in advance for you trip. Airlines offer many deals on airfares depending on what time of year you travel. Resorts like Disney World offer discount packages which include airline tickets, lodging, and park tickets. It would be beneficial for anyone who is planning to travel by airplane to check with different airlines to see what deals they offer and how far in adavance you need to book your flight to receive these discounts. Travelling by car can be a money saver because it lets you avoid the cost of renting a car especially if you plan to travel any distance from your accommodations. For those travelers who use plane transportation to arrive in Florida and want to forgo the expense of renting a car, many hotel accommodations offer free shuttle service for its guests to and from area attractions, shopping, and dining. Amtrak auto train is also another money saving way to travel to Florida, it may take a bit longer to arrive but the price of a train ticket will typically cost you less than gas for your car or an airplane ticket.
There is an overabundance of lodging options in Florida and it can become overwhelming when you are trying to decide on where to stay. Florida offers camping sites to luxury resorts and everything in between. There are all-inclusive resorts, villas, hotels, motels, beach bungalows, houseboats, beach house rentals, Inns, and more. Where you stay will undoubtedly be decided on your preferences. If you are a golf or tennis enthusiast there are plenty of resorts that offer discount packages which can include the use of these facilities, as well as dining and lodging. Some attractions like Disney World offer great money saving packages which also include admission to the park, dining, and lodging. Best advice, do your homework and check out the area you plan to visit, decide on your preference of accommodations, and then inquire about the specials or packages they offer.
Money saving tips- vacations, it seems, are becoming more and more expensive. If you want to save some money on your next vacation to Florida considering some of these tips:
*Eat at restaurants that offer early bird specials or the kids can eat free. Typically the hours for early bird specials, which are meals at reduced rates, are from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Eating lunch in your room can also save money. Stop by the local market and buy what you need, making a sandwich with chips can save you a lot of money in the long run.
*Take advantage of any coupons you can find. Hotels, newspapers, magazines, and online sites are all good places to find value saving coupons to restaurants, hotels, and attractions.
*If you are visiting attractions like Disney World, Busch Gardens, or water parks you will get the most value for your money if you take advantage of their multi-day passes, especially if you are spending any length of time at that one place.
*Plan your own trip and book your reservations yourself. With travel agencies becoming obsolete many people who are making their own reservations for air travel and lodging can find discount savings on just about anything when they book online.
*If you have decided on a vacation at the beach and plan on spending most of your time there, bring your own towels and beach chairs. Many resorts offer both of these but at a costly per day price. If you can’t manage to bring your own, stop by the local discount store and purchase a few, it will save you money in the long run. Buying things like bottled water and snacks at the local market or bringing them with you will also add up to big savings.
*Take advantage of anything FREE! Many places offer free admission or discounted tickets during certain times of the day. When you arrive at your vacation destination check out the local newspaper, newsletters, or brochures in the lobby Many Chamber of Commerce also offer free admission to their museums, fairs, and exhibits in town.