When it comes to budgeting for a holiday, luxurious extravagances are usually out of the question for most. But it is possible to spend a night in the finest hotel Orlando has to offer, or dine in gourmet restaurants all holiday, just as long as you can get creative in your sacrifices in other areas.
Whether you’re visiting the Sunshine State with family, friends or your partner, living the American Dream – even if it’s only for a day – is totally possible once you strip back some parts of your holiday in order to improve another.
Want to discover how to do it? Keep on reading to find out how you can afford the best hotels, flights or food in Florida.
Book the deluxe suite in a five-star hotel
Have you always dreamt about splashing out on accommodation and booking a beautiful suite in a five-star hotel? A massive bed, unbeatable location and little luxuries that will help you feel extra special are easier to enjoy than you think.
How can you do it? To book the room of your dreams, cut back when it comes to the flight. Say no to any extras like leg room, don’t buy food at the airport or on the plane and avoid buying in-flight entertainment.
Your flights don’t have to be miserable though. While you might have to put up with less space, you can make sure everyone is well fed by packing plenty of food with you in hand luggage. Take an empty bottle so you can fill it up with water once you’re through security. Just make sure not to check airport restrictions in advance so security don’t take your meals from you.
As for entertainment, planning in advance in vital. Spend some time downloading films, podcasts, eBooks and all of your favourite songs onto a tablet or phone, and don’t forget to bring a book, game or toys for little ones – just in case you run out of charge!
Pamper yourself with hotel spa treatments
Holidays are all about relaxation, so book the premium spa package you’ve always wanted to try, and save cash by saying no to expensive taxis and private transfers. The cost of transport can quickly add up, and the money is much better spent on a full body massage or premium facial.
Instead, try walking everywhere or, when that’s not possible, opt for the cheapest form of public transport. If you want to travel far, to a new city or state for example, choose the Greyhound bus service. Just make sure to pack comfy shoes and clothes, and remember to give yourself a few days of rest to avoid tired feet!
Enjoy fine dining, every night
Want to indulge in the finest food Florida has to offer? Pack your best dress or smartest suit, and enjoy fine dining every single night by cutting back on accommodation.
Depending on your circumstances, you might choose to opt for a hostel or simply select a hotel that is clean and comfortable with no frills attached. Keep things basic to ensure prices stay low.
It’s easy to spruce up your hotel room yourself, however. Pack home comforts, like a candle, dressing gown and even a blanket to add your own personal touch. If your hotel doesn’t offer breakfast or hasn’t got a pool, for example, use the opportunity to explore the alternatives and go to a local cafe or head to the beach instead and cool down for free!
Splash out on room service
If you’d prefer to indulge in the accommodation, it’s a well-known fact that room service can be expensive, but it’s something that can make a holiday feel really special. Order steak for two, have dessert and even treat yourself to breakfast in bed the day after – it’ll be like you have your own personal chef for a night or two!
How can you afford it? When getting drinks, try only ordering water. The cost of cocktails, fine wine and fresh smoothies can quickly add up, and it can be much better spent on delicious food and first-class service.
Go VIP at Disney
Make your dreams come true and visit Walt Disney World Resort as a VIP. Whether your kids fancy exploring Animal Kingdom at night, or wish to be escorted around Magic Kingdom on a private tour unlike any other, the park in Orlando offers a range of exclusive packages that guarantee to make your time at Disney as perfect as possible.
You’ll need a couple of hundred dollars for the VIP experience, but it’s possible to save by very carefully planning your flights. If you opt to fly overnight, both to and from Orlando, you can save money by reducing the number of nights required at a hotel. You’ll get to enjoy the maximum amount of time possible in Florida too, all for a cheaper price.
Evening flights can be tough, especially if you have young children or find it difficult to sleep. Make the experience manageable and try to get up early on the day of the flight, bring cosy clothing, some pyjamas for the kids, a travel pillow and a small blanket. You can read more flight hacks for flying with kids here.
Take a lavish family day out to another city
Make one day of your holiday as incredible as possible, and take a day trip to another city. When in Florida, you could visit Kissimmee from Orlando, or rent a car and head to Tampa for a day packed with great entertainment, amazing sights and plenty of tasty treats!
To make room in your budget for a day out, be savvy when it comes to eating out for the rest of your time away, and choose restaurants that offer ‘Kids Eat Free’ deals only. You might have to sacrifice sampling some of Florida’s finest food and choice may be limited, but there’s a decent amount of choice available. For example, in Miami kids can eat free on Monday at the Original Pancake House, at Quarterdeck Seafood Bar on Tuesday and Cafe Tex Mex on Wednesday!
Party with Miami’s finest
Hitting Miami with friends to experience the wild nightlife? Party like an A-lister and gain entry into some of the best nightclubs in the city by restricting your spending during the daytime. Instead of paying for museum tickets or attractions, enjoy free activities instead.
This isn’t to say you can’t do anything but sunbathe on the beach during the day (although that’s a brilliant way to relax and catch some rays in Miami) – there are loads of less well-known but fantastic things to see, like the Art Deco District and Little Havana.
Fly first class
Long-haul flights can be tedious, but travelling in first class ensures maximum comfort. The added extras, priority boarding and delicious refreshments guarantee the start and end of your holiday will be nothing less than fantastic.
In order to afford the upgrade, why not downsize when it comes to accommodation? Larger groups could choose a cheaper family room or small apartment, opting for sofa beds where possible.
It might mean alternating every night so everyone gets to sleep on the main bed, or sharing a smaller space than is perhaps preferred, but you’ll all nevertheless get a good night’s sleep. Make things bearable by staying neat and tidy during the holiday, and spending as much time as you can outdoors – remember, you’re in sunny Florida!
Travel to and from the airport in luxury
Land in Florida and be escorted to your hotel like a celebrity, by booking an exclusive airport transfer in a premium car or limousine. How can you pay for it? Make use of that extra-large suitcase, and bring plenty of food for your holiday – preferably nothing that can leak, or perish quickly.
The best part is once you’ve eaten it all, there’ll be plenty of room to bring home souvenirs too.
Buy a designer handbag in Duty Free
Have your eye on a Chanel or Chloe handbag, or even an expensive designer watch, but can’t justify the price even when its discounted in Duty Free? Make some extra cash while abroad, and rent out your home while you’re on holiday! It’ll require some arranging prior to trip, but websites such Airbnb are great for finding guests.
Everyone can enjoy a taste of luxury on holiday, it’s all about finding the right balance. Simply choose what’s most important to you, be it accommodation, food or travel, splash out, and save on the rest!