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Florida on a budget
Planning a trip to Florida but on a budget?
The best and most affordable places to visit in Florida
This list details the 5 most affordable places to visit in Florida, so you can have the holiday of a lifetime without breaking the bank.
- Take in the sunset at Clearwater Beach
Renowned for its white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and fantastic waterfront area, Clearwater Beach is one of Florida’s most popular beaches.
Florida is famed for its beautiful sunsets, and they’re even more special at Clearwater Beach. Visitors flock to Pier 60 for Clearwater’s exciting sunset celebrations, complete with live bands, performers and artisans. The waterfront area is full of restaurants and bars too, so you can make a whole day of your visit to this beautiful beach.
- Explore Sarasota
Sarasota is one of Florida’s primary Gulf Coast cities with a unique circus heritage. Famed circus performer John Ringling heavily invested in Sarasota real estate during the early 20th century – so much so that he once owned more than 25% of Sarasota’s total area. With this in mind, you can tour his grand Venetian Gothic home, Cà d’Zan, or visit the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art or the nearby Circus Museum for an in-depth look into this circus legend’s life.
There’s plenty more in Sarasota to explore. The beautiful Siesta Key Beach is just off the coast of Sarasota or you could take a trip to The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens instead. In downtown Sarasota, don’t miss a trip to Towles Court or Palm Avenue to view incredible historical artworks.
- Get away from the crowds at St Petersburg
Much quieter than other large cities in Florida, St. Petersburg is based on Florida’s stunning gulf coast, part of the Tampa Bay area.
Thinking of visiting St Petersburg? Don’t miss the world-famous Salvador Dali Museum, or take a trip to the Locale Market to pick up a fresh and tasty treat.
- Take in the wildlife at The Everglades
No trip to Florida is complete without a visit to the Everglades. A swampland just outside of Miami, Everglades National Park is a habitat for numerous rare and endangered native species like the manatee, American crocodile, alligator and the Florida panther.
Although a little pricier a trip, a visit to the Everglades is still affordable, and proceeds go towards the upkeep of the National Park and its habitants. Entry is $25 dollars for a private car or $8.00 per pedestrian or cyclist.
- Drive along Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach is one of Florida’s most famous cities, and a great place to visit while in Florida. Head to the Museum of Arts and Science or take a trip to Volusia County’s Sun Splash park for a great family day out.
And of course, no trip is complete without a drive along the famous Daytona Beach itself! It costs $20 to drive your car along the white sands and will be a truly unforgettable experience.
Family travel Blogger Karen Dawkins explored Florida on a budget and believes it’s possible to travel with any amount of money.
Getting to Florida on a budget really depends on where you live and how much time you’re willing to take to get there
Air travel is generally more expensive than driving, but you can cut air travel costs by comparing flights to Orlando from all the airports near your home. If a nearby airport offers multiple daily flights to and from Orlando, it will probably be less expensive than other airports.
Money saving tips while in Florida
It’s already expensive to fly to Florida, so why spend any more than you need to when you’re there? You can still have an amazing holiday on a budget – follow this guide to find out how.
- Pack a lunch
Eating and drinking out is one of the most expensive things you can do while on holiday.
Visit a supermarket when you arrive and stock up on bread, sandwich fillings, snacks, fruit and water, so you can make a packed lunch at your hotel and take it with you. This will prevent you having to pay high prices whilst out and about, especially at the tourist hotspots.
- Set yourself a budget
It may seem pretty obvious, but setting a daily budget will help you stop overspending and having to withdraw more money during your trip. Set yourself a daily amount to cover food, excursions, shopping and tips. If you do go over one day, then dock the amount from the next day instead. This will really help you save the pennies.
- Pre-book tickets before you travel
If you’re planning on visiting one of Florida’s theme parks, then you should always pre-book your tickets to help save money. Prices at the gate cost far more than when you buy them online before you travel, and you’ll miss the long queues too!
Plus, when you pre-book tickets you can get access to 2 parks in one day without being charged twice – so it’s definitely worth doing.
- Travel wisely
When on holiday, you can spend a small fortune on getting from one place to the next, but you can travel on a budget. Where possible, walk around – not only is this completely free but you get to really take in the beautiful sights of Florida.
If it’s too far to walk, take advantage of public transport instead of relying on taxis. You can buy transport passes for buses and trains that will save you a lot of money, and if you’re staying at a resort near one of Florida’s theme parks, most will offer a free shuttle service to and from the parks too.
- Split your meals
Many first-time visitors to Florida underestimate just how huge portion sizes in the US are. You can easily save a heap of money by ordering one main for two or choose dishes from the starter menu instead. Doing this will prevent you from paying for two meals and not being able to eat them both!
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