Taking your church, youth group, or other religious group to Orlando is a great choice! You’ll have tons of things to do, lots of new people to meet, and many hotel and restaurant choices. Of course, planning a group trip is not without its challenges. Let’s take a look at a few top tips that can help make the process go smoothly.
How will you get there?
Depending on how far you’ll be traveling, chartering a bus may be the most cost effective, or it may make more sense to fly. Remember that even if the cost of the bus is less than the cost of the flights, your travelers will also have to spend money on food if they’re stuck on a bus for two days. In many cases the convenience of flying can pay off pretty quickly.
How to book group flights
If you have a group of 10 or more, then you’re likely to be eligible for some group flight discounts. It will vary based on the airline. For example, American Airlines offers 5% off airfares for groups of 10 or more, while others work on a case-by-case basis. Some companies require at least 20 for group fares. The best option is to price out several companies and see who comes out on top.
To price out your options, you’ll need to call the airline and ask for their group discount agents. Not only is the group ticketing department your best bet for reduced rates, but you’ll get several other benefits, too:
- You will typically not have to pay the full price of all the tickets upfront
- You can block off a section of the plane and ensure everyone’s on the same flight
- Typically you’ll pay $50 to hold each seat, with the full balance due 30 days before the flight
- Be careful of extra fees, like $100 charges to change the names of those traveling
Where will you stay?
In the Orlando area you have two main options: hotels and vacation homes. You’ll likely find that vacation homes are a more affordable alternative and offer you tons of amenities like full kitchens, several bathrooms, separate living and sleeping areas, and private pools. Let’s take a look at the best way to book either option.
Booking group discounts at hotels
Some hotels do offer group discounts, but if you’re traveling at peak travel times, namely summer break, spring break, and winter break, you may not find that these discounts are very significant. After your book your rooms, decide on a rooming arrangements well before the trip. Let everyone know who they’ll be bunking with so you have plenty of time to change the arrangements before the night you check in.
Booking vacation homes
You’ll find many vacation homes for rent through Orlandovacation.com. Each one will be 15 minutes or less from Walt Disney world. You can choose homes with anywhere from 3 – 6 bedrooms. These are great choices if you’re traveling with youth groups and need chaperones to be close by. With one or two chaperones in each home, they’ll be able to easily keep an eye on the groups while still allowing everyone plenty of privacy.
View Available Orlando Vacation Homes
Choose from a 3, 4, 5, or even 6 bedroom Orlando vacation home for your church group to stay in.
What will you do in Orlando?
There are a ton of attractions to take in during your trip to Orlando. You may want to visit the Disney parks exclusively, or perhaps you’ll want to take a trip to Universal. There are other attractions too, like SeaWorld and Wet ‘N Wild.
Each spot will have a number to call for group sales, but you may find that the better discount comes from buying discounted park tickets from Orlandovacation.com. Either way, make sure you buy your tickets in advance. You’ll likely have to pay the entire balance when you order your tickets, but you’ll have them in hand before you visit the parks and can skip the line at Guest Services.
What will you eat?
Food can take up a huge amount of your budget. The best option is to rent a vacation home and prepare breakfast in your full kitchen. You can make snacks and lunches to take into the parks. Many church groups decide to plan one meal out per day. Make sure you make reservations well ahead of time, as the most sought after restaurants can fill up fast – and even those that are less popular can get quite busy during the summer months.
If you’re having trouble finding a restaurant to accommodate you, try booking a meal at an off-peak time. For lunch you’ll find more availability between 11 am and noon, and during dinner you’ll likely find plenty of availability between 4 and 5 pm, and after 8 pm.
No matter how you choose to get here, where you choose to stay, and what attractions you’d like to see in Orlando, your church, youth group, or other religious group is in for the trip of a lifetime!