Florida Vacation Packages — 5 Tips

Florida VacationFlorida vacation packages are a great idea…if you know what to look for.  There are lots of great deals, but also “gotchas”.  Here are some tips on what to think about before you sign up for a vacation package to Florida.

Tip 1:  Where Do You Want to Go (and Do)?

Do you want to hang out in a particular city, beach or attraction?  Would you like to go touring around the state?  Ar you looking for a fishing trip?

There are an awful lot of vacation packages out there — having an idea of what you want to do helps you to better able to compare packages.

Tip 2:  How Long is Your Vacation?

Packages are available from 1 day on up.  Week-long Florida vacation packages are probably the most common, but you’ll find plenty of 3 and 5 day options.  And of course, 2 week packages abound as well!

Need longer?  Think about renting a house, or combining packages.

 Tip 3:  Vacation Package Prices

You want to get the best price possible, right?  Everyone has a different budget, but here are some thoughts at getting the best price you can.

  • Is your vacation date set in stone?  If you are flexible with your dates, you can get better prices than if you have to visit during the “high” season.  For the most part, “high” (i.e., most expensive) rates are from Thanksgiving to Easter, plus around holidays.  At Disney, however, Summer has high prices, but January has low rates (go figure).
  • Do you need airfare?  If you’re flying into the Sunshine State, will you arrange for your own airfare, or do you want want with it included?  Many times you can get a better deal on your own, so do some checking.
  • Getting around.  Once you’re at your destination, will you need a car to get around?  Word of warning — Florida cities generally do not have good public transportation options.  If you plan to spend most of your time at a beach house, or you’re on a tour a car might not be necessary.  But if you’re planning on going out about about at your destination, consider what ground transportation is offered in the package.
  • Is Food included?  Food, or at least a dinner or two, is sometimes included in a package.  If you notice two similar packages that are very different in rate, check to see if one includes food.  For example, Disney World has an option for dining that is very well-worth checking out if you’re planning on staying at a Disney resort.

Tip 4:  Read Before Signing!

This is really critical.  Now, no one wants to think about their vacation being cancelled or postponed — but things do come up.  It pays (literally and figuratively) to know what kind of cancellation clause you have in your package.

Some packages only let you cancel in the first few days after signing.  Some let you cancel up until the last minute.  And there are some that are not refundable at all.  Most are somewhere in between.

Be sure you read — and understand — the cancellation clause(s) in your Florida vacation package!

Tip 5:  Plan for Weather

This actually isn’t specific to a package, except during the most active tropical weather periods in Florida (typically August and September).  If you plan to spend your vacation at a Florida beach, ask about any “act of nature” clauses.

Also, there’s a joke about Florida weather, “If you don’t like it, wait 5 minutes and it will change.”  While this isn’t always true — sometimes we have day after day of rain — you might want to plan for what else you could do if it rains for a few days.

And Finally…

Have a great time on your Florida vacation!

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