It was december of 2007, and I really wanted a break from my university studies. My husband was busy and couldn't accompany us. So, I asked my mom if she wanted to go somewhere. The only restriction was that she could only spare 4 to 5 days. I wanted to go out of the country on a flight with my child. We wanted a place that wasn't too far away and wasn't too expensive either, so, we picked Disney in Florida, the famous destination for children and families. Since, as a child me and my mom both have heard about disney so much, that we wanted to see...how it looked like in reality.
I looked around and found the air tickets deal from sunwing where one ticket was half price if you bought another one. So, we paid two tickets full price and one half price. Then I booked the pick and drop service from the airport to the hotel and lastly I looked around for budget hotels in orlando. I used priceline.com for the hotel booking. I got the service you price the deal and don't know the name of the hotel until you make the booking. For 3 nights/4 days our price for the room was less than $100 altogether including taxes, which was a really good deal. We stayed at travel lodge.
So, we boarded the flight and got down at orlando in less than 3 hours. The flight was good with big comfy leather seats. While we had snow in toronto, orlando was warm...and my son was wearing half sleeves shirt. The room at the hotel was good with air-conditioning, microwave and free morning continental breakfast. The same room would be around $80-$100 in toronto and it was less than $30 per night in orlando due to competition between hotels.
I have read about the lower fare disney tickets that are sold at different shops, so, I went to few of those shops...but, for most you have attend the timeshare presentations...there are few shops that sell cheaper price tickets but its only valid on 2 to 7 day ticket purchases.
The hotel we stayed at was providing free shuttle to disney attractions but the timings wasn't suiting us...so, we bought daily unlimited ride public transit tickets for $7 each.
We only wanted to visit the magic kingdom as my son was only 2 years old plus we were not interested in other places. The ticket was $75 each for the day with taxes extra. We went on trains, cruises and some play areas and saw the parades....we ate expensive but yummilious food at disney including soup, fish and chips etc. We decided to stay until dark so we could see the fireworks and the last performance and I would say...that it was one of the best shows that I ever saw.
The next day we travelled on the bus and saw disney downtown..and many other places...we also walked from time to time on foot to explore the surroundings near our hotel and also ordered pizza from pizza hut.
Since me and my mom are ladies...we couldn't just go back home without gifts for the family...so, we went to the prime outlets the next day..we bought some gifts and also some clothing for ourselves.
When you visit orlando you'll see many flea markets and oranges being sold everywhere. It is a city that is very lively and food places, attractions, and hotels are every where and are open until late night.
Our short but fun filled trip ended when we boarded the plane to toronto in four days.
If I think about the budget...the whole trip including accommodation, lavish food, transportation, gifts, shopping and visiting the attractions costed me $1500 for 3 people...meaning for one person the total was $500...so, yes, it is possible to have a family vacation on a budget...and we could have reduced the cost more if we really wanted to.