Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scouting Orlando - Budget °o° *•._.•* ‘ *•._.•* °o°

In planning for our relocation to Central Florida, Mark and I felt that we needed to budget in a trip to the area for scouting and research to make sure this was the right thing for us to do.  We visited the Orlando area March 23rd to the 31st of 2012... 

Mark and I have known for a while that it might not be a smart move to just up and move our lives to Florida without ever having visited the area. So, when we first made the decision to move, I set up a budget so that we would know how much this was going to cost.  Part of that budget included a “Scouting Orlando” section. 

Among the costs we budgeted for the Scouting Orlando trip looked like this:

4 days/3 nights
Rental call
Standard Car-$116-$154

DW tix (1 Day)
$87.30 x 2


$1,279 bucks.  Economical, right?   Well, the reality ended up being something different:


8 days/7 nights
rental car


DW tix
for 6 days (each)


So allowed us to bundle the flight, hotel stay and rental car.  Since we decided to extend the visit from just 3 days/4 nights, to twice that at 8 days/7 nights, I think we stayed within budget. I’m not sure how each cost broke out for the bundled flight/hotel/car, but having upgraded the hotel a bit so that we would be comfortable for such a long stay it works out to $120 a night for hotel, $200 each for flight, and $89 a day for the car.  The rental car was the most surprising cost.  Even taking the most basic insurance coverage they offered, we were shocked at the additional fees and charges that weren’t explained on the Priceline itinerary.  That and the extra hundred bucks that U.S. Airways charges to check your suitcase provided some wallet shock!

You’ll notice that we bought 6-day park hopper tickets for the Disney Parks.  I had originally decided that we would only go ONE day out of the 4 that we were going to be in Florida.  We were waiting for a price deal to crop up before buying the ticket, knowing that if we didn’t find one, we would just buy tickets at the gate.  It wasn’t until just days before the trip that Priceline send an email with a discount offer, in which the best deal was 2 days free if you buy 6 days.  We decided that if we went with that deal, at roughly $50 a day, we could still tour the city, and then just drop in on the park for a few hours here and there for a parade, fireworks and a few rides, then head back to the hotel.

I think we ended up spending about $3500 in full. It took some sacrifice to save it up, but by now, we have resigned ourselves to the need to reduce our spending for the next year and half so that we can have as much money as possible in our hands before it’s time to make the big move.

This Scouting Orlando trip was a necessary evil in terms of spending our hard earned savings.  It opened our eyes to some of the challenges that we will be facing when we arrive in Orlando, and begin the second, most-important half of our journey.

This posting marks the first in a series on the subject of “Scouting Orlando”. 

Comments are welcome. Positive feedback encouraged!

Mouseketeer Ken

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