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Orlando is one of the most exciting cities to visit in the United States. It is a surprisingly large city with around 2.5 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area and is nicknamed "the City Beautiful." Orlando is one of the world's most visited cities in the world thanks mostly to its status as a center of tourism in the world. In 2018, it attracted over 75 million visitors from around the United States and around the world.

Two of its biggest attractions are Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. The city is famous for its top-tier nightlife, bars, and clubs and as a conference center. But unfortunately, it is also quite an expensive city to visit (especially with a family). So how can one visit Orlando on a budget? Fortunately, there are a number of tips to plan an affordable vacation in Orlando.


Booking Cheap Flights And Hotels In Orlando

For flights, it is important to plan ahead (unless one is spontaneous to wait and watch for last-minute deals). One of the best ways to check for cheap flights is Google Flights - but there are also many others that search for the cheapest flights.

Sites To Check For Cheap Flights:

  • Google Flights
  • Expedia
  • GotoGate
  • Kiwi.com
  • Kayak.com
  • Skyscanner.net

There are plenty of great deals in Orlando for those willing to shop around and book ahead. Great accommodation deals can be found on the resorts (and other hotel chains' websites). Visit Universal Orlando's special deals page and find packages that fit one's budget. It may be cheaper to book one's trip as a package - accommodation + tickets.

Universal Orlando has deals that offer three parks and five nights of accommodation from only $99 per night based on a family of four. Come in the off-season and one can save $400 or more on a special package deal.

  • Tip: Search Universal and Disney's Special Deals Pages
  • Package: Package Deals Are Often Cheaper Than Booking Individually
  • Multiday Passes: Typically A Cheaper Option

Compare deals between Universal and Disney. But they are not the only hotels in town, also compare hotels from listing websites like Expedia for great accommodation deals.

Related: Adventure, Action, & Eco Parks: Visit Orlando But Skip Disney

Take Advantage Of Orlando's Free Attractions

There are a number of free attractions to enjoy while in Orlando. Some free attractions in Orlando include:

  • Disney Springs
  • Disney's Boardwalk
  • Universal Citywalk
  • Celebration Town Center

See more free attractions in Orlando on visitorlando.com. Many of the free attractions also feature free live entertainment for families to enjoy.

Disney Springs:

Disney Springs features free admissions and free parking. Here at the open-air Disney Springs, one can enjoy dining, shopping, and entertainment at Walt Disney World Resort. There are free live performances and remarkable architecture that holidaymakers can enjoy with their families. The kids can enjoy building Lego figures and the whole family can ride on the free ferries between the Disney resort properties.

Disney's Boardwalk:

Disney's Boardwalk also has free admission where one can stroll along a Coney Island-style boardwalk. Free entertainment in the evening includes comedians, fire-eaters, jugglers, and more.

Universal Citywalk:

There's also Disney's rival, Universal. At Universal Citywalk, parking is free at 6.00 pm and admission is always free. Here visitors can check out nightclubs, shopping, restaurants, and more. Free entertainment includes dance parties with live DJ sets, water taxis, and places where the kids can splash and cool off.

Old Town:

Step back in time and feel how Orlando was like in times of yesteryear. Free events include classic car shows and live entertainment.

Related: Orlando Is More Than Disney: Here's What Else To Experience

Go In The Off-Season

If possible, try to go to Orlando in the off-season (there's plenty to do in Orlando in the winter). If one goes in the peak season, then prices are likely to be much higher for everyone across the board.

Generally, the cheapest times to visit Orlando are January and parts of February (it's Florida, so it should still be warm enough in the winter). At the other end of the season, it can be cheaper to visit in September.

  • Cheapest Months: January and February

Other tips for doing Orlando on the cheap include packing one's meals (dining out really adds up), picking a resort that offers a complimentary shuttle service, and even buying souvenirs at the end of one's vacation (or at least not just the first souvenirs one sees).