That’s right. Only the happiest place on Earth: Walt Disney World!
I went to Orlando on business (first time to say that)
to attend a psychology convention.
I knew I would be attending this convention about a year in advance.
This allowed me to save $100 each month to pay cash for everything.
I was there for 5 days and my entire vacation cost me only $750.
Here’s how I did it:
I bought my airline tickets 7 months in advance to get the lowest cost.
I traveled non-stop on Spirit Airlines,
an absolutely no-frills airline
(read: pay for your carry on).
To save money, I did not pick my seats (an extra $10 each way)
and purchased my luggage fees in advance.
My options for each way were to purchase the advanced purchase carry-on: $30,
or the advanced purchase checked bag: $28.
Trying to save $4 (round-trip) I checked my bag.
Total airline cost: $229.58
From these sites I purchased a car service to pick me up from the airport for $39
and a shuttle van to take me back for $17.
During my time in Orlando, I purchased
an unlimited ride 5 day trolley pass from the I-Ride Trolley for $8.
I took a cab twice totaling $24.
Total ground transportation: $88 + tip
The whole reason of traveling was to attend a convention.
$70 for students
As a firm practitioner of the always-searching-for-better-deals science,
upon my web browsing I found that
if you go to any of the Disney theme parks after 4pm,
admission price is reduced from $89 to only $52.
However, you must purchase this ticket in advance.
A great deal since it is open until 11pm,
giving you 7 hours of child-like romping.
I split a hotel with three other women from my grad program.
They stayed one day longer than I did.
To keep my bags in the room longer for my evening flight,
I paid for an additional night.
My portion: $101.50.
This comes out to $20.30 a night!
I had a food budget of $200 for my trip,
divided out to $40 per day.
The hotel had free breakfast
which allotted me $20 for each lunch and dinner.
I stuck with my budget and even came home with $80 left!
If you are wanting to plan a vacation
but are afraid of the cost,
do what I did.
1. budget airline. Why pay $100 extra for free pretzels?
2. split hotel with friends/budget hotel. I usually go for inside doors for safety.
3. use daily deals sites for savings. The sites are great for hotels, ground transfers, and restaurants.