Beat the Credit Crunch with Money Saving Tips

With all the talk of the "credit crunch", it is even more important than ever when planning a holiday to Florida to look at ways of saving money.

Below you will find some of our top money saving tips:

  • Look at staying in cheaper accommodation such as youth hostels, bed and breakfasts, camping, motels, or renting a villa or condominium if you are in a larger group
  • Have your main meals at some of the many "all you can eat" buffet restaurants and look out for "children eat free" offers and "early bird" specials
  • When visiting the theme parks, make sure you arrive early and stay late to get the maximum from your tickets. If you are staying close to the parks, go home for lunch and a break from the crowds and the heat
  • Consider very carefully the time of year you visit Florida as prices vary dramatically by season, especially in Central and Southern Florida. If you are visiting Walt Disney World on your birthday, you can get in for free as part of their "What Will You Celebrate?" promotion
  • Do you really needs a rental car? Weigh up the costs and convenience of a rental car versus using public transport, taxis or hotel shuttles. If you decide on a rental car, look at how big a car you really need and book it in advance so you can easily budget for the necessary insurance
  • Buy multi-day or multi-park tickets like Disney's Magic Your Way or the OrlandoFlex ticket which includes Universal, SeaWorld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens and Wet 'n' Wild. Also pay special attention to the various options/add-on packs so you only buy what you really need and shop online as there are often discounts and special offers only available on the Internet
  • If you are strong willed, consider attending timeshare presentations to get special deals on accommodation or theme park tickets
  • Keep a look out for money saving coupons in the free local tourist guide magazines and on some products like soft drinks and save money on tickets, accommodation, meals and gifts. You can also buy gift coupon books in places like Orlando, Miami and the Keys but make sure you will recoup the initial outlay
  • Visit many of the smaller (and cheaper) attractions, museums, beaches and State Parks rather than the main theme parks and take advantage of the Florida GoCards for Orlando and Miami which give you admission to dozens of attractions for a fixed price
  • Set a budget for gifts and souvenirs, particularly if you have children
  • Take refillable bottled water with you to the parks instead of buying soft drinks
  • Take your own stroller (push chair) to save the rental costs at the parks. If you are planning any sports bring your own gear such as golf clubs, tennis rackets, scuba equipment
  • Plan in advance and keep your arrangements flexible. Travelling mid week can often make a big difference
  • Look out for discounts for being a student, member of the armed forces, senior citizen or auto club member
  • If you are flying to Florida, think very carefully about how much you pack. Check with the airline about baggage surcharges as many airlines, particularly on domestic flights are charging for bags placed in the hold

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