In many ways, Orlando is the perfect place to vacation for a church group. That said, there are so many things to do and so many attractions to consider that it can easily become overwhelming to plan. The good news is that we’ve created this handy guide to help you successfully plan your Orlando vacation.
Step one: Figure out transportation
First, figure out how you’re going to get to Orlando. Will you charter a bus or will you fly? Obviously, cost will help dictate this as well as how far away you live from Orlando. Remember that chartering a bus comes with its own expenses, like food costs for the length of the trip. In many instances, spending more on airfare can essentially pay for itself when you consider how much more time you’ll have in Orlando.
Tips for booking group flights
You could simply go to the website of your favorite travel site and book your tickets. However, if your church group has at least ten people then you can likely get a discount for a group flight. Each airlines is difference, but most will offer around 5% off total airfare for groups of at least ten. In some cases, the airline may require 20 people for the group fair.
The easiest way to get the cost of group airline tickets is to call the major airlines and ask them for their group discount rates. They are likely to have an entire department dedicated to issuing group tickets. That’s where you’re likely to get the best rates but you can also get a number of other benefits:
- Most group ticketing departments don’t make you pay the entire fare upfront.
- On average, you’ll pay a down payment of $50 per seat and the balance will be due a month before the date of the flight.
- For larger groups, group ticketing is likely the only way you’d be able to get tickets together on the same plane.
One note as you’re booking your tickets – make sure that you read the fine print. For example, one top airline charges $100 fee to change a single name of a person that’s traveling.
Step two: Decide where you’ll stay
There are many options for accommodations in the Orlando area. The two main choices are Orlando hotels and vacation homes rentals. Vacation homes are typically a better choice for large groups. They have a lot of amenities that can be useful, such as private pools, full kitchens, and numerous bathrooms. That said, they’re not always the right choice. Here are some tips to help you get the best deals on Orlando hotels or vacation homes.
You may be able to get a group discount at Orlando hotels
If you’re planning to book several Orlando hotels then you may be eligible for group discounts. Keep in mind that these are often not offered during peak travel times, such as summer or winter break. It’s best to book your hotel through a travel company that specializes in Orlando hotels. They can help you decide what the best options are.
Once the rooms have been booked, make sure you choose the rooming arrangements before you leave on the trip. Hand out room assignments to everyone in the group so that they’ll know who they’re staying with. If changes need to be made, you want to do that well ahead of time – not in the middle of the chaos of everyone trying to move into their rooms.
Renting an Orlando vacation home may be your better option
As discussed above, it may be that your best option is to stay in an Orlando vacation home. When you book through Orlandovacation.com, you can count on the home you find being no more than 15 minutes from Walt Disney World. You’ll have access to smaller homes with three bedrooms, larger homes with as many as eight bedrooms, and every option in between.
Step three: Decide what you’ll do while you’re in Orlando
Your church group could stay in Orlando for a month and still not do everything there is to do in Orlando. Before you take off, look at all your options and decide what’s going to work for your group. You may want to stick just to the Walt Disney World parks, or you may want to add Universal Orlando. You may want to spend time in the pool at your resort or vacation home, or shopping in the nearby outlet mall.
Make sure to buy your discount theme park tickets in advance
If you’re planning to visit any theme parks then we highly recommend you buy your tickets in advance. This allows you to skip the lines once you’re in the parks – plus you’ll get a not-insignificant discount. We recommend starting with just base tickets. If you find that you need extras, like park hoppers, they can be added after you’re in the parks.
Make dining reservations if necessary
If you’re staying in an Orlando vacation home then you’re likely going to prepare some or all of your meals there. However, if you’re going to plan on going out for dinner with a large group then you’ll need reservations. This is of course due to the fact that it can be hard to seat large groups without notice, but it’s also because many restaurants book up months in advance.