We have had the privilege of being able to experience the wonders of Orlando twice now. Our first trip was a short five-day adventure and our most recent trip last year saw us spend sixteen glorious nights in the sunshine state.
During those two trips, we have picked up some tips and have so many ideas for planning our next one. We know the things we’d love to do again and the things that we best avoid. I wanted to share with you some tips so that when the time comes, you can go ahead and plan your own dream Orlando holiday!
- Travel day. This will be a personal situation on how your own body copes with travelling and time zone changes. Most flights from the UK arrive into Orlando in the late afternoon around 5 pm Orlando time. This, of course, would be about 2 am in the UK. Seeing as we had three small children who didn’t sleep too much on the way out there, I didn’t get any sleep. By the time we arrived in Orlando, navigated the airport and finding our transfer to the hotel, I was practically a walking zombie. I was so exhausted I couldn’t eat my dinner. On our recent trip, we decided to go to Walmart for supplies. This was a huge mistake. My biggest tip for travel day is to go straight from the airport to your accommodation, get into your jammies, order an Uber Eats for your dinner and get an early night. You’ll hopefully be so exhausted you sleep the entire night ready to start your adventures.
- Don’t plan too many things to do. It’s easy to get carried away with the number of amazing things there are on your doorstep in Orlando. It’s a hub of fabulous waiting to be explored. I made the biggest mistake by making sure every single day was jam-packed with something. We visited a new attraction every day. By the second week, we were all burnt out from exhaustion. I wish I’d planned to take one day on, one day off. So maybe a Disney day, followed by a hotel pool day or a more relaxed trip to the malls. I understand this is easier to do on a longer duration holiday but I will definitely be planning to do less next time and prioritising the things we really enjoy.
- Don’t overpack your luggage. I definitely overpacked for our last trip. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to wash clothes or we’d not have enough options. Orlando is hot. Even in the evenings and with air-con. I packed a few “just in case it gets cold” outfits but these were never worn. I will say take at least one jumper or cardigan to throw over, but even on the cooler days or when the rain pours (my gosh it pours out there), you won’t need your entire house in your suitcase. There are shops nearly everywhere to buy any essentials you’ve forgotten.
- Buy water in bulk. You can get little bottles of water for a reasonable price in the supermarkets out there. The attractions do offer water fountains etc but it is the worst tasting water I have ever drunk. Even Disney, which has better water, is horrid. A great tip would be to freeze several bottles to take with you. It’ll keep your water cooler for longer.
- Think about the month you want to travel. We’ve travelled in May and in October. Out of the two, we prefered the October weather. It was really hot in May but in October is a more bearable heat. If you time it right, you can see the different seasonal activities like Halloween and Christmas.
- Stay in one hotel or villa. Our last trip was a big press trip and we stayed in a number of different hotels. Next time we travel I would love to stay in one hotel or accommodation for the duration of the stay. This way you can unpack and feel a bit more settled.
- Meal plan. To save costs we made sure we had a big breakfast, either at the hotel or cooked ourselves. Then during the day, we took with us non-perishable snack foods like croissants and cereal bars. This helped us cut out the cost of theme park food and we could make the most out of our day. We then enjoyed a meal in restaurants or fast food outlets in the evenings.
- Take a flannel with you on your days out. Popping a flannel under some water and using it as a face cooler, is amazing when the humidity is high. It gives an instant cooling relief. My mum randomly did this on one of our days out, and initially, I thought she was bonkers, but it was incredible.
Of course, there are loads of money-saving ideas and other travel tips but these are just a small selection of personal ideas that we’ve picked up along the way. I hope these tips can help you to plan the perfect Orlando holiday.