by Danielle Antosz
Planning a trip to the Sunshine state may seem like the trip of a lifetime…until you start adding up the costs. Plane tickets, hotels, amusement park passes, and food for an entire family. It adds up quickly! As it turns out, you don’t need to break the bank to have an awesome Florida vacation. Here are 7 easy tips that can add up to huge savings on your next Florida vacation.
1. Consider booking a vacation home for a week instead of renting a hotel room. Besides saving money on board, a house will give you access to a kitchen so you can cook instead of eating out every meal. Or spend the day enjoying family by grilling out and soaking in the beautiful weather. Vacations shouldn’t be about cramming in as many attractions as possible. Take some time to relax and enjoy yourself without all the pressure.
2. Buy amusement park package deals. If you are heading to any of the many amusement parks in Florida, look for hotel/park ticket deals. Some parks also offer meal plans that can save you a bunch. Just make sure you consider how much you will actually use the “extras”. If you aren’t careful you could end up spending more for features you will never use.
3. Look for free attractions. There is more to Florida than our awesome malls and amusement parks. Spend a day at the beach, or find parks are in the area. There is a lot of free natural resources to enjoy in the Sunshine State.
4. Pay attention to when you book your vacation. You may think you want to visit in the summer, but you are more likely to enjoy yourself in the spring or fall seasons. Hotels and park passes cost far less during off season. Plus, you get to skip the huge crowds, the heat, and the humidity. Florida in the summer might sound fun, but it’s not. It’s hot, humid, and
there are bugs. Save money and your sanity by visiting before June or after the end of August.
5. Get off the beaten path. Everyone goes to Panama City, Tampa, Orlando, and Miami. Check out some smaller beach towns to save a bundle on hotels and have more of the beach to yourself. Try St. Augustine, San Destin, Jacksonville, and Pensacola. These cities have beautiful beaches and plenty of tourist attractions but aren’t quite as expensive.
6. Look for local restaurants and food trucks. You can eat at Olive Garden anywhere. Branch out and eat where the locals eat. Ask around to find the best local seafood shack or hole in the wall BBQ joint. The food is generally less expensive and tastier than at a chain restaurant.
7. Ask about discounts. Many hotels, museums, and other attractions offer discounts. Before you book or buy a ticket, ask if they offer discounts for groups, students, seniors, or AAA members. Most places will not advertise these discounts, so be sure to ask.