Travelling to Florida is not cheap and if, like me, you are stuck having to travel there in the school summer holidays then it can be ridiculously expensive. Here are six ways to make it cost less.
1: choose your dates carefully
As a general rule flights to Orlando are more expensive in the middle of the school holidays. I have saved a lot of money flying at the very beginning or very end. Consider taking the children out of school for a day or two at the beginning or end of the year as sometimes this can save hundreds and schools are often more accommodating with one or two days.
2: Use comparison sites and apps
You will need to spend some time on websites or apps such as Sky scanner and Kayak to work out the cheapest times to fly. Keep an eye on flight prices over a few weeks or months as they vary greatly. As a general rule I have found that booking flights for August in December or January normally gives me the lowest prices.
3: Book indirect
You may just stumble on a direct deal that fits your budget but if you are really trying to keep your cost down then consider flying indirect with either one or two stops on the way. You will need to weigh up the journey length compared to the length of your holiday and make sure it is worth it. There are flights out there that can take over 36 hours to get to your destination and sometimes it isn’t worth the savings! I have flown indirect many times and some have been easier than others. Look at the changeover times. If you have too short a changeover between planes e.g. less than two hours, it can become stressful trying to make the next plane, especially if you are delayed for any reason. If you have a longer changeover such as 8 hours, it can be very tiring. Saying that, if you have an even longer changeover time e.g. 14 hours upwards then it can be possible to book a hotel and get some rest mid journey.
4: Check different airports
Sometimes flights from another UK airport may be cheaper and sometimes flights to another Florida airport may be cheaper and you can save money by booking one way tickets and coming back to a different airport. You do need to be careful when doing this as flying from London and landing two weeks later in Glasgow could cause different problems!
Airports you could try flying to in Florida other than Orlando International are Orlando Sanford, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Miami. Take into account the driving time before and after your journey and the fact that hiring a car may be necessary.
5: Be flexible with your dates
If you can be flexible it can really help with getting cheaper flights. Sometimes a day either end makes a lot of difference. Try not to limit yourself to exactly 2 weeks and consider flying back on a different day of the week as this can often save money.
6: Take into account other costs
Sometimes, although not often with long haul, you may have to pay extra for hold baggage or inflight meals, seat bookings, in-flight entertainment etc. It is worth checking for any extra costs involved before booking.
You might also be interested in my article on how to survive travelling by plane with an autistic child which you can find here: https://autismkidsontour.com/2017/01/09/how-to-survive-travelling-by-plane-with-an-autistic-child/