- Rent a car. What sounds expensive can actually often
save you money. Consider renting a car instead of using
the airport shuttle. Many times the cost of the shuttle
is more than that of a modest car rental – and you
have the flexibility of having available transportation.
Also, if you are driving to your destination, renting a
car instead of using your own vehicle is often cheaper than
the extra wear and tear on your own car. Take advantage
of coupons to upgrade to a larger, and more comfortable,
- Eat breakfast where kids eat free and split meals. This
can mean an enormous saving for a family of four or larger.
Children are many times too excited or tired to eat much
at a time. Restaurants that are kid friendly are more than
happy to accommodate special requests for extra plates.
- Eat lunch in your room. You'll be surprised how good a
peanut butter sandwich, chips, and fresh fruit tastes away
from home, and everyone gets a needed break from the heat
and crowds of tourist destinations.
- Take advantage of coupons. Whether it is for lodging,
food, or attractions – coupons SAVE money! Find them
everywhere... online, in local newspapers, at convenience
stores, motels, etc. Always read the fine print carefully
for terms of the coupon.
- Bring your own stroller. This can save $7 to $10 a day
at some of the attractions.
- Bring along individual refillable water bottles. These
can be refilled at the hotel and at attraction water fountains.
A family of four could easily spend $20 or more a day buying
- Take advantage of multi-day passes at the attractions.
This is especially a good deal when they can be used anytime.
- Make your own reservations. Many hotels and airlines offer
additional discounts and specials for booking online.
- Give each child a set amount to spend. You can tame the
"gimmes", and your pocketbook at the same time,
by giving children a pre-set spending limit for souvenirs.
Also, invest in an autograph book (about $6 at most attractions)
and watch the fun as the children collect the "autographs"
of their favorite characters. My girls still cherish their
"Barbie" autograph obtained at Epcot several years
- Spend the day away from the attractions. You're paying
for that hotel swimming pool... use it!
- Spend the day at the beach or a nearby museum. The shopping
areas near the major attractions (like Downtown Disney)
have children's play areas, providing an inexpensive day
of fun for the little ones.
Dawn Henthorn, http://goflorida.about.com