Save Money and Time with our Florida Travel Tips
Florida Travel Tips – With or Without a Budget!
Everyone can always use a few extra bucks. Rich or poor, saving money just makes sense. Here are a few travel tips for the sunshine state gleaned from over 40 years traveling Florida. Enjoy your trip and have a margarita on the Florida Travel Log from the Florida travel savings here in these tips.
Coupons Can Save
Certainly, you have heard of Groupon or similar coupons mailed to your home. Coupons are used in Florida for many things. Here is a list of sites to get seasonal coupons.
https://www.floridatravelforless.co.uk/florida-coupons (travel savings)
https://sflsg.com/ (south Florida discounts)
www.entertainment.com (books of coupons)
https://scottscheapflights.com (flight deals)
https://www.bestoforlando.com (theme park discounts)
https://www.destinationcoupons.com/ (coupons by area)
For other coupon ideas visit the Chamber of Commerce of your destination city and don’t forget the lobby of your hotel. Some bargains can be found by asking desk clerks when checking into your hotel.
Member Discounts Rock! (AARP, AAA, Florida Residents, Military and first responders)
Hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues and many parks have discounts for members of various groups. Check with any groups you belong to before leaving. You can even join Triple AAA and get more than the cost of joining in discounts off a hotel room!
Time of Year Travel
If you can avoid peak seasons in Florida, you can save a ton of cash. For instance, during spring break on Clearwater Beach rooms that sell for $250 per night in off-season start to cost $600 per night from the middle of February to the middle of May.
Peak season (and holiday) rates also apply to rental cars, major theme parks, airlines and family attractions. A trip for a family of four in March for a week may cost $7-8000, while the same trip could cost half that in September or October.
Things to Buy Before….
Before you go the beach buy sunscreen at home. That bottle of Hawaiian Tropic at home may be $6, but at the beach it will be $9. Buy your water before you go. A case of water with 36 bottles may cost you $4 at Walmart, but at the beach it may cost $4 per bottle! To rent an umbrella at some beaches can be $20 to $30 per day. You can buy one for $30 at Costco! That $4 dollar hamburger at McDonalds may be $9 at the beach.
Buying things at hotels isn’t cheap! They have a captive audience at hotels and the prices show it. Buy snacks for the room before you get there. Need toiletries? Find a Walmart or CVS pharmacy. Most hotel rooms have a refrigerator – stocking it up is less expensive than the hotel menu.
Plan Your Trip Well
Florida is big state. If you are going from Jacksonville to Key West, that’s over 500 miles that will take you about 9 hours by car. To put it in perspective, that is like going from New York City to Winston-Salem, North Carolina!
The point is to make the most of your time. Save gas and money by visiting places within a comfortable range of your destination. No one wants to spend valuable vacation time in a car. According to the IRS the cost per mile traveled in a car is more than 58¢. That gets expensive if you are in Orlando and think going to Panama City, Florida is a good idea. That’s 350 miles away and a round trip cost of over $400 by car!
Knowing your distances and staying within an hour or two of your destination will save you money.
Florida State Parks Are Cheap
Check around the area where you plan to stay for a state park. Admission varies from a couple dollars to a carload of people for 5 bucks! The Florida Parks system has 175 places that have springs, rides, water sports, exhibits, tours and much more. All are inexpensive family fun. Find the Florida State Park near you here.
Tolls, Bill by Plate
You can’t travel very far by car in Florida without encountering a toll road or bridge. While the state will bill you by your license plate number, there is an extra fee. Prior to arriving in Florida, you can sign up for the Sunpass system that will send you’re a transponder that will record your tolls in a prepaid system. Sunpass is good in many private parking facilities, airports and good for toll roads all through the eastern United States. Save billing fees and the potential for fines!
Happy Hours and Early Bird Specials
Look around you. Florida has a lot of seniors who eat early and they know where the best happy hour deals are. Our older population loves a bargain and they don’t mind sharing their best ideas to save a few bucks with some younger travelers. Just ask them or your desk clerk in the hotel. Two for one drinks, BOGO’s and similar deals are available for off-prime hours. Trust us, a $4 tequila sunrise at 5 PM tastes just as good as the $8 one at 8 PM.
Beaches Are Free
Almost all the beaches in Florida are FREE! The most popular are Clearwater Beach, Panama City Beach, Cocoa Beach, Miami Beach, Sanibel-Captiva Beaches and Santa Rosa Beach. Of course, you can find all the best beaches at Florida Travel Log. Remember, while the beaches are free, the parking, food, umbrellas and sunscreen is not! A day at the beach for a family can be an inexpensive fun experience – just be prepared.
Florida History is Your Friend – And a Cheap Date!
Florida may have more fun and accessible historical sites than any state in the union. From the early settlements in the 1500’s, to the battles between the French, Spanish, British and American forces for the next 350 years, to the wars with native Americans and civil war division in the 1800’s. There are thousands of historical sites, forts, preserved homes and inexpensive museums throughout Florida. Most document man’s foraging and surviving in the wild and savagely hostile territory once called La Florida by Spanish explorers.
Many historical sites are free and others are open at a very low cost to visitors. There is an app you can download called History Here that gives you a list of historical sites near your location.
Travel Tips in Florida are brought to you by Florida Travel Log. Where in Florida can we take you today!