Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Orlando Vacation: Air, Condo & Car

What do we do when the weather dips into the 30's & 40's for months at at time?  Get the heck out of here! 

We were invited to join friends on vacation, which would be an incredible time. Unfortunately our work schedules can be challenging during the busy season and we just weren't able to get the same time off as our friends who were travelling last fall. All the vacation talk planted a "little bug" in my mind. I began scouring the internet for ideas & checking our family calendar to select the best days for our next adventure.

Late winter is usually a safe bet with work slowing down & cold, frigid weather surrounding us. So we took the leap and started researching warm, sunny destinations.  Our last big family vacation was in Maui.

Makena, Maui...a few years ago

It was definitely a wonderful and memorable time. We considered going again but we weren't able to find a great deal so we opted to explore a state that we haven't been to before; Florida!  But what is the weather like in January and February? Will it be warm enough? We visited the weather channel to find out and happily discovered that average temperatures are in the mid 70's! Here's a link: http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/vacationplanner/vacationclimatology/monthly/USFL0372

The next challenge was finding the right vacation that fit our budget.  We've had great success with Hotwire and Priceline but we weren't willing to be "surprised" about the hotel & flight details this time.  After a lot of research on Kayak, we landed at Travelocity with a vacation package that was amazing! We were able to secure flights for 4 with one layover, a compact car & a condo at a 4.5 star resort for just over $1300 total.  We were thrilled!

Now how do we break the news to our kids?  We were inspired by friends to keep the vacation a surprise and that lasted what seemed like a lifetime (about 2 weeks). I couldn't take it any more, not another minute. I spilled the beans!  Kids were so thrilled to hear about our next adventure but they had many questions about the state, travel times, what is there to see and do and so on.  We headed to the library and borrowed 8 Florida travel books.  We discovered that there really is so much to see and do in Florida. We read, laughed and wondered...what will it really be like?  What do we really want to do?  One thing was certain, we need to decide in advance where we want to go while in Florida and budget accordingly.

For months we saved our coins in the former coffee can. Our kids spent about 30 minutes scouring the house and vehicles for loose change. Those pennies we normally wouldn't bend over to pick up were now on our radar.  We were on a mission to save!

Please join me for the next week or so as I share our holiday experiences & photos of the last 10 days in Florida.  I'll be sure to share the good and bad, hoping that it makes your next holiday just a little better.

Thanks for reading along.

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