As part of our motto here in A Journey We Love, we aim to travel more for well, less cost. We prioritize travel above most of our other expenses, and we also use creative ways to achieve that. Enter our travel hacking skills and our ability to find great deals! So, for this post, we are going to discuss and drill down the details of our…
Orlando New Years Weekend Getaway
The back story: I was looking at the calendar and panicked a bit when I (Ruby) realized January 1st is a Friday, so it’s a long weekend – and we didn’t get to make any plans! It was a bit too late to make any last minute flight plans, and Peter doesn’t want to go anywhere cold so we decided to go local and default back to Orlando, which is 2 1/2 hours away from Jacksonville, Florida, where we live.
How we did it: The hotels in Orlando were ridiculously expensive during New Years weekend, so we decided to use our points & miles to offset some costs. Here’s the breakdown of our trip (for two people):
Orlando January 1-3, 2016
|Activity||Points Used||Cash Used|
|Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Hotel||3,000 SPG Points (AMEX SPG)||$35.23 - Resort Fees + Parking|
|Four Points by Sheraton Studio City||3,000 SPG Points (AMEX SPG)||$15 - Resort Fees + Parking|
|Gas for Car||$44|
|iFly||$40 - Costco with free video|
|iFly High Flight||$10.60|
|Sealife Aquarium/Madame Tussauds/Orlando Eye Florida Resident package||$74.56|
|Pao Gostoso Lunch||$18|
|Dinner At 7-11||$6.50|
|Orlando Eye Souvenir||$7|
|Three Musketeers Dinner + Show||$30.00 Groupon Gift Card (Discover Card)||$45 - Additional cash out, tips + parking fee.|
|Pinball Game at Four Points By Sheraton||$2|
|Total:||6,000 SPG points|
$30 Groupon Gift Card
Total Amount Spent per person: $166.95
- We could have saved more if we had more cash back credit cards to offset some of the costs – we only have Discover which we used to get Groupon gift cards.
- We saved at least $400 on the hotels – during that New Year’s weekend, the hotels were charging at least $200 a night!
- I’m the only one who did iFly (Peter opted out of it). If you have a Costco membership and want to try this iFly experience, buy your tickets from them. They’re much cheaper than booking direct. You can occasionally get deals from Groupon as well.
- Sealife Aquarium/Madame Tussauds & the Orlando Eye can get crowded. Go in the early afternoon if you can to avoid the queues. If it’s 4pm onwards, you’ll end up having to queue up. We’re lucky we had the Florida resident discount otherwise it’ll be more expensive!
- The Pinball game was out of nostalgia: I loved playing pinball when I was younger (on the computer), and it was Simpsons. It was fun & worth it though!
- This breakdown does not include any shopping I did at the outlets.
- We enjoyed the pool in the Lake Buena Vista hotel for our first day, so we didn’t have much spend on Jan 1. What’s annoying is the resort & parking fees!
- The Four Points by Sheraton was one of our favorite hotels – mainly because of its location & it’s a high rise!
All this is part of our 2016 Travels & Experiences on a budget. Check out the post here to see more of our trips & cost breakdown for 2016!