Traveling to Orlando, Florida on a shoestring budget? There are many ways the to enjoy the great things “The City Beautiful” has to offer without spending too much cash. In fact, just a little planning and research is all it takes to make sure you don’t fall prey to some of the city’s more costly dining, lodging and entertainment options. From cheap hotels and affordable eateries to free entertainment and discount days at local attractions, here we present a budget traveler’s guide to Orlando, Florida.
When to visit
Stay away from Orlando during the city’s peak seasons of winter and summer, as everything is more affordable during the spring and autumn months. Hotels and airlines lower their rates as an incentive for travelers to visit Orlando during these off-season times. Also, the weather is neither too hot nor too cold, and the crowds are smaller too.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Where to stay
If you’re visiting Orlando’s major theme parks, staying at an on-site resort may be alluring, but it will also be pricey. Generally, you’ll find budget-friendly rates at national chains such as Radisson, Courtyard, Marriott and Country Inn & Suites close to Disney, SeaWorld and Universal Studios. Hotel prices go up the closer you get to the city’s downtown area and historic districts.
What to do
There are many great attractions throughout Orlando, and a little planning on your part can mean big savings for your wallet. Many places offer free or discounted days on a weekly or monthly basis, including the Harry P. Leu Gardens and Mennello Museum of American Art, and The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is always free. Check with Orlando on the Cheap before your visit, or consider getting a GO City Card so you can see dozens of the city’s most popular attractions – such as WonderWorks and the Orlando Eye – at a discounted price for up to seven days. If the major theme parks are a must-do, opt for multi-day tickets and pass on the park-hopper option; you’ll save valuable time sticking with a single park each day.
Where to eat
Orlando offers a wide range of dining options for the budget traveler. Affordable national restaurant chains including Applebee’s, Moe’s, and P.F. Chang’s can be found in multiple locations all over the city, while local favorites such as Tin & Taco and Café Madrid offer budget-friendly menus that are well-loved by locals. Also, check the calendar for The Food Truck Bazaar for an opportunity to try some of Orlando’s most affordable gourmet street foods. To save money at the major theme parks and attractions, avoid eating big meals while you’re there; eat breakfast, lunch and especially dinner off-site and splurge on smaller, less-pricey snacks while you’re in the parks instead.
Where to drink
There are several dive bars and cheap clubs that offer affordable drinks and nightly specials across Orlando, such as the Downtown PourHouse, Casey’s on Central, Whiskey Lou’s Lounge and Chillers on Church Street, if you’re on a tight budget. Also, check out the Thornton Park Wine & Art Walk on the second Thursday of every month, where for $15 you get to enjoy complimentary wine at several establishments, or the Lake Mary WineArt Wednesday on the first Wednesday of the month, which features an affordable beer and wine garden.
Districts to visit
While it’s free to walk around Disney Springs and and Universal CityWalk, it can be hard to stick to your budget spending money in the shops of these districts. Church Street Station is a better option as you can generally find more affordable entertainment options day or night. Winter Park and College Park are the priciest neighborhoods in Orlando, so avoid spending money in these areas – pack a lunch and stick stick to sightseeing to save money.
Orlando is a big, sprawling city, so getting around can be costly. Take advantage of any free shuttle service offered by your hotel, and don’t be afraid to use Orlando’s LYNX bus system; it’s clean, reliable and more affordable than taking an Uber or a cab. Avoid renting a car at all costs; you’ll save on parking and toll fees that add up pretty quickly.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.