Save Money on Your Florida Vacation
You’ve had enough of winter! You’re dreaming of a Florida vacation and you can just picture your family at the beach. A vacation to Florida doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips on saving money on your Florida vacation without skimping on the fun.
Florida beach ( image : travelingtousa.net )
Explore lower-cost lodging. If you’re doing your Florida vacation right, you’re not going to spend much time in your hotel room. Look for a hotel across the street from the beach and save some cash for family fun. Use travel-search options to find the best deal and don’t forget to read the travel reviews. Another lower-cost alternative is camping, but some campgrounds fill up fast so make reservations well in advance. Florida camping is at its finest in the spring and the fall, but your options are good all year around.
Go during the off season. High summer is theme-park hell! The crowds are insane, the prices are higher, and it rains almost every day. If you can, avoid traveling to Florida during the busiest times of the year and aim for spring and fall visits. At the beach, high season is winter. Except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, autumn through December are good options for theme parks. If you have younger children or if it’s a couples-only vacation, avoid those times of the year when schools across the country are on vacation. You can let your children to Six Flags in Florida .
Get some big bang for your bucks. Plan for, and budget accordingly, one or two “once in a lifetime” experiences. You’ve always wanted to eat dinner in Cinderella’s castle? It may be worth it to eat sandwiches for lunch each day to make it happen. You dream of snorkeling in the Keys? Plan on staying at a budget motel on the mainland and make it a day trip. Spend your money wisely to get the most fun for your money.
Look for off-beat alternatives. Playalinda Beach, in the Canaveral National Seashore, has a nude sunbathing section. Cassadega, a short drive from Orlando, boasts that it is “The Psychic Capital of the World.” Drive on the beach in Daytona. Explore a Spanish fort in St. Augustine. There’s plenty to do without laying out serious cash every time you open your wallet.
Eat cheaper. If you can, stay in a room with a kitchenette. Eating cereal or eggs for breakfast in your room and then making a picnic lunch can cut your food costs radically. If it’s in your budget, consider staying at a hotel with free breakfast. Fast food is a cheaper alternative than a sit-down restaurant. Consider visiting a high-end restaurant for lunch rather than dinner or eating in your hotel and going out for a memorable dessert.
Embrace nature. Visit parks throughout Florida for a low-cost vacation that’s rich in terms of natural beauty. See the Everglades. Enjoy the Ocala National Forest. Check out John Pennekamp State Park for gorgeous underwater scenery. Watch the sun rise on the east coast of Florida or enjoy a sunset on the west coast.
Going to Florida doesn’t mean you have to blow the budget. Choose your time, spend on the experiences you want to remember, and take advantage of the natural diversity of Florida’s parks to enjoy your trip without skimping on fun.