Monday, September 12, 2011

How to do florida CHEAP

We had so much fun in Florida. Here is a breakdown of some of the best ways to save $$ while going. 
  1. Before we even left both Dustin and I applied for Chase Credit cards THROUGH disney. If you apply while they run certain promotions you get a $200 giftcard to use at disney. I think they assume you will use it to eat or buy souvenirs while at the park but we used it on tickets. 
  2. We drove...even though gas does cost a lot these days, you have a car to then drive you around while staying at the hotel. You save money then by not having to rely on using the hotel to feed you 100%. 
  3. We booked our vacation through . At first I didn't think we had gotten a really good deal, but after hearing what our package included-we did. We had a "upgraded" room which had two double beds and a pull out sofa, valet was included, internet, and breakfast buffet every morning while we stayed. 
  4. We ate at the hotel for breakfast, then for lunch we brown sacked it. Meaning, at the breakfast they offer fruits and breads. Well, I took enough bread and fruit to make sandwiches (made pb&j) and then had chips etc that we had picked up at our local store before we left. We didn't buy a single item for lunch and always had enough snacks on hand. 
  5. We did NOT buy souvenirs inside the park. There is a super walmart RIGHT down the road that has a huge disney section. We went in there and let the kids each pick a shirt and a stuffed don't even want to know the price difference between what disney charges in park and what walmart charges. Each shirt was $7 at walmart and the stuffed animal was $5-$10. I am sure we would have paid triple that if not more in the park. 
  6. In Destin we stayed in a Residence Inn (Marriott) they offer continental breakfast AND a managers reception for dinner on M, T, & Wed nights...which is like spaghetti, meatloaf..etc. Not the best tasting but free. 
  7. At Gatorland we got a 20% discount because I am a member of AAA. 
  8. We did NOT fill up with gas anywhere near the park. The gas station right by the park was $4.60 a gallon. 10 miles down the road we found a gas station for $3.40. 
  9. The way there we drove through the day (big mistake) we had to stop easily every 2-3 hours to let someone go to the bathroom. (Bennett had a hard time with public restrooms at first...but got over it real quick when he had no other option!) On the way back we drove through the night and that was NICE. Everyone slept pretty much the whole way. 



Loni said...

I totally agree that it's best to go to theme parks in the 'off' season.

I grew up with the King of Cheap for a dad and since he was a pilot, we would fly down to California once a year or so and go to the different amusement parks. Our favorite week we found, was the first week of December because everyone's already just been there over Thanksgiving (which is one of their busiest times), it's cooled off (but being from Seattle it still felt very warm to us), and it's all decorated for Christmas, but no one's there! I think one year we went to Knottsberry Farm and walked off a ride and back on like forty times because there was literally no line.

I'm glad you had affordable fun!! That credit card trick was a good one!

Hibbard Family said...

I am so impressed with you , Samye. Its stressful planning a family vacation and then add money to the list sometimes it doesn't seem worth it! lol. I do like the credit card trick, too. I'm so happy you guys got such a great vacation!