I have recently returned from a weeks au pair vacation spent in Orlando. There were two options for my vacation week, Orlando and Washington DC. I decided to go to Orlando because I wanted to experience the magical fun of the theme parks and atmosphere as an adult. As soon as I knew my vacation dates, I began planning my trip and saving my money.
I found accommodation on www.booking.com. Orlando is a very popular family destination, therefore there were a variety of options listed on the website. Before I chose any accommodation, I entered the name and address of the hotel into Google Maps to view the location and distance from popular attractions including the Airport and theme parks. This would help minimize travel expenses. After deciding on my accommodation, I made my reservation for free and with the ability to pay after arriving at the hotel.
I had two options for transport, either drive the 9-hour journey or fly. Flying was the best option as I was meeting a friend from a different state at the airport. I flew into Orlando International Airport with www.delta.com. The plane tickets were very reasonable. I found the tickets on google and booked through Delta.com. I found that some dates were cheaper than others so being flexible can give you the chance to save a few dollars. My luggage consisted of one handbag and a carry on suitcase which were both free.
AIRPORT TO HOTEL
In some cases, hotels will provide a free shuttle, or a light charge, to take you from the airport to the hotel. In my case, my hotel did not offer this option. We decided to take a taxi stationed outside the airport. In future, I would recommend either take an Uber or Lyft as the taxis run on a meter and our fare was almost 50 dollars. When I made the journey from the hotel to the airport when I was leaving, I paid $17 for an Uber. Both Uber and Lyft are free apps that can be downloaded to your mobile phone.
AFFORDABLE TRANSPORT WITHIN ORLANDO
Whilst in Orlando, my main form of transport was either the www. iridetrolley.com or an Uber. I paid $2 for the trolley into International drive from my hotel. You can view the trolley schedule at various bus stop locations around the area. The trolley runs every 20 minutes and the last service is at 10.30pm.
THE PLACES I VISITED
One of the main reasons for going to Orlando was getting the chance to visit a theme park. I went to Islands of Adventures (click here) at Universal Studios and spent the entire day, from 10 am until 10 pm, exploring and enjoying the atmosphere and rides. Plus eating eating plenty of sugar and feeling like an 8 year old again! Before going, we were prepared to wait in line for the rides but when we arrived, the longest wait time was a reasonable 50 minutes. If you want to go on every ride more than once, then I would recommend joining the ‘single-rider line’ as wait times are only around 10 minutes. We bought our tickets before arriving on a discounted ticket site called Undercover tourist. (click here)
On our first night on vacation, we visited the ‘Ripleys Believe it or not’ Museum (click here) on International Drive. I found tickets on the museum’s website which were a few dollars cheaper than buying them at the museum. It was a self-guided tour and last approx 1 hour. I really enjoyed the museum as it was interesting, fun and had some good information.
We visited Aquatica waterpark (click here) near Seaworld. On the day we visited, there were thunderstorms with lightening and as a result, all the rides were closed. The park issued each visitor a ‘rain-check’ to return within 90 days of issue. We decided to return the next day. I really enjoyed the waterpark with the slides, wave pool, dolphin pool and built on the beach. I found our tickets on Undercover tourist for $53, which was $7 cheaper than paying at the gate. However, if you know which day you want to visit, then you can save $10 if you purchase one day before on the ‘Aquatica’ website.
I had such a great time on my trip and I am so happy to have the opportunity to travel around the states. Now I have the travel bug and look forward to my next adventure!