Many people assume that Orlando vacation packages are always very expensive. The truth is that even those on a budget can get more affordable packages then they may think. If you’re traveling with a group, you may even be eligible for group discounts. Read on to learn about nine of the ways you can save money on your Orlando vacation package.
1. Get group rates on your hotel rooms
One of the main costs of your trip will be accommodations. If you can save even a little bit by getting group rates then you’ll be ahead of the game. Booking a block of rooms not only helps you save money but it assures that everyone in your party can stay together.
2. Consider Orlando vacation homes
Most people think of Orlando hotels as their best option. The reality is that renting an Orlando vacation home is often more affordable. There are many advantages too, such as private pools, full kitchens that allow you to cook all or most of your meals, and up to eight bedrooms each.
3. Don’t assume that flying is your cheapest option
In some cases, flying to Orlando may be both your cheapest and your best option. However, there are many options in which it isn’t. For example, if you live just a few hours from Orlando and rent charter buses, you will not only get to Orlando more cheaply, but you’ll have buses to get you to and from the parks each day.
Of course, if you’re traveling from far away, any cost savings you find as a result of taking a bus rather than flying may not be worth the additional travel time. The right way to travel varies by group but it’s always wise to carefully consider all options.
4. Cook many of your own meals
The cost of meals in Orlando can be astronomical. The good news is that both the Disney World theme parks and the Universal theme parks allow you to bring food and beverages inside the parks. Each has its own restrictions so be sure to read them carefully before preparing food.
Some groups may choose to cook every meal in their vacation home. Others may cook breakfast, pack a lunch for everyone, and then eat dinner at a restaurant. No matter how you do it, just make sure that if you’re planning to eat at a restaurant you make reservations as far in advance as possible.
5. Choose the right discount theme park tickets
Between the many discount theme park tickets you’re going to buy, the savings can really add up. That said, there are a number of different tickets available. Choosing the right ones can really maximize your savings. We recommend getting only the base tickets at both Universal and Disney World. Both parks have optional additions that cost money.
For example, for around $65 per ticket, you can add park hopper to Disney tickets. This allows you to travel to more than one Disney theme park per day. Universal has express pass, which starts at $99 but can get considerably more expensive depending on when you visit. This option lets you skip the lines. Both or either may be worth it to you group but there’s no advantage to buying them ahead of time. If you get to the parks and find that you need them, it’s very simple to upgrade them on the spot.
6. Create a master packing list
No matter how well you plan, someone is going to forget something – it’s simply a reality of traveling with a group. However, you can maximize how many toiletries need to be bought in Orlando, and how many people need to find flip flops right away, by creating and distributing a master packing list. At a minimum, this will help everyone stay organized.
7. Book Orlando vacation packages that include everything you need
If you buy theme park tickets to Disney World, tickets to Universal Orlando, tickets to SeaWorld, your hotel or vacation home all separately, you’re going to pay more than if you choose one of the available Orlando vacation packages. The good news is that you can create your own package that includes exactly what you need.
8. Work with a travel specialist
Unless you book Orlando vacation packages on a regular basis, you’re simply not going to know the best way to get the biggest discounts. Following the tips on this list is a great start but the real savings start when you trust a travel specialist to get you exactly what you need – for the lowest price possible.
9. Travel during non-peak times
Traveling during non-peak times is not only a great way to save money but it’s a great way to avoid crowds too. Many school groups can only visit during the traditionally busy times, such as summer break or spring break, but if you’re on a non-traditional schedule then we highly recommend you consider other times to visit.