There’s so much to learn about visiting Orlando that it can be tough to know where to start. We’ve compiled five of the most basic – yet important – questions for you to ensure you’re prepared for your vacation.

Orlandovacation_orlando-vacation-home1.         Do I need to rent a car?

As a relatively large city with a huge number of tourists coming through every year, many people assume that Orlando has an easy, affordable, comprehensive public transportation system. The reality is that while you can get virtually anywhere you want to get, it can be costly for a family and the times aren’t as flexible as you may like. One option is to stay in a resort or Orlando vacation home that provides shuttle service, but if you don’t you’ll likely want to rent a car.

2.         Where do I get discounts on theme park tickets?

Too often visitors simply show up at the gates, ready to pay full price for their tickets. Or, even worse, they buy tickets from street vendors, only to find out they’re not valid! The best way to get discount tickets is to buy from a reputable seller who can give you a great price.

3.         What food and drink can I take into the parks?

The rules vary from park to park, but generally speaking you can bring food and drink into the main ones, including the Disney and Universal theme parks. Note that you’re not allowed to bring in class containers, hard coolers, or alcoholic beverages.

4.         Can we buy sunblock, ponchos, and other must-haves in the parks?

You’ll find almost anything you need for sale in various shops around all the parks, including flip flops, t-shirts, swimming suits, sunblock, fans, ponchos, etc. However, note that these are going to be much more expensive than if you buy them before you leave home. Of course you may choose to buy a few items in the parks for souvenirs but your best bet is to make sure that you have everything you need when you step out the door.

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5.         How much spending money do we need?

This will vary based on a wide number of factors, including how you plan to eat, where you’re staying, and how many people you’re traveling with. Some people get by on just $50 a person per day – including meals! – while others like to splurge. Take a look at menus around the parks, figure out how your family is likely to eat, and set a budget. If you buy your theme park tickets ahead of time, pay for your resort in advance, and have a rental car paid for, your actual expenses in the parks will likely be limited to not much more than food, parking, and souvenirs.