Most people arrive in Florida with one thing on mind, Disney and all the other attractions and only when they are hungry do they realise the cost of eating in the theme parks.
OK I know it is a holiday of a lifetime and eating in the theme parks can be a novelty, but none of them are cheap. Why should discount food be available when the theme parks have a captive audience? There is no need.
Take a few tips on how to cut food costs and still enjoy your holiday.
First place to visit is Wal-Mart superstore and look for the little coupon books that offer discounts (found at the entrance) for restaurants and take aways, these are used by everyone so don't feel embarrassed to use them. Check through each booklet for any of the many places you may want to eat before you take a visit. Some restaurants offer free meals for kids, 10-20% discount, free drinks etc, they all do vary. You can arrange to call at the restaurant of your choice, show the voucher and enjoy a meal on the way back from the park.
Need to eat during the day? Buy a cooler box, they are only $20 or less and this will give you the opportunity to pack a fresh picnic and keep it cool all day. There are ice making machines in most freezers in villas so no need to buy any. Pack the box with ice, add your drinks and food and leave it in the boot/trunk of your car. You will not be allowed to take this in the park but you can get a pass-out during the day, sit in the car and enjoy your freshly prepared food and drink at your leisure and save a fortune.
Now this isn't about having a picnic every time you go out but having a picnic once in a while will save you 100's of dollars over a two week trip. Also trips to the beach area's ST. Petersburg, Clearwater etc why not take fresh steaks, corn-on-the-cob, salad etc and have a BBQ? There are purpose built BBQ/picnic areas at most beach resorts but to be safe take a portable BBQ with you. Most villa owners have them for your personal use so check with the villa owner first and if not, again they are pretty inexpensive to buy from Walmart.
Finally, choose a villa near to the theme parks (within 10 miles) so if you are spending all day there you can arrive early morning, spend 4-5 hours having fun, get a pass-out and nip back to the villa for some lunch, a well needed dip in the pool and head back for a second visit.
I trust you will enjoy your visit to Florida and not have a massive credit card bill to pay on your return.
About the author:
Phil Howard has been renting his beautiful holiday villa in Florida for over 12 years and he wants you to have the holiday of a lifetime.
Image: Darren Hester