Amy's Birthday! Christmas at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida
How about a little Christmas in May? Join us as we jet from the frigid cold in Missouri to the beautiful weather in Orlando, Florida!
We recorded this on a FUN trip to IAAPA at the Orange County Convention Center in November, 2018.
#disneysprings #disneyworld #orlando #travel #family #adventure #vlog #trips #vacation
John and Amy share some tips on how to travel efficiently and more often!
Love to travel but short on time and money? We've got some tips for YOU
Hi guys, this is Amy. this is John and we're with TPF! Trips, Places and FUN! Where we share some practical travel tips and visit some exciting destinations.
Today we'd like to discuss some ways to save time and money when you're traveling. So how to be more cost effective and more efficient when you're taking trips. One of the first things that we always go over when we're deciding to take a trip is who is going to go with us. So we are a big family of seven and it costs a lot of money for our whole family to travel somewhere, so we do something that a lot of people might think is a little crazy. Often, actually most of the time, we will only take certain members of the family on our vacations. Sometimes it's just Amy and me sometimes these are business trips and, for example, recently we took a trip to Florida and it was just us and our youngest daughter Eva. Most places are geared towards families of four, maybe five. If you end up traveling with more than five members as a family you end up paying a lot more money. You then have to rent a suite instead of a hotel room or you have to rent two hotel rooms. It's very difficult to get a rental vehicle for seven people, things like that. So sometimes we'll just divide it up. We'll take our youngest kids or we'll take our oldest kids or we'll take just the girls or just the boys or just the two of us. So that may sound terrible to some of you but you know, of course, there's times when we'll all pile in the van and go, all seven of us, but in order to travel a lot and you travel more cost-effectively sometimes we will take trips with just some of the members of the family. And for us it's more fun, it's more exciting, to go ahead and take several trips like that then it would be just to take one giant trip every three or four years. Yes exactly, so that's something to consider if you have a big family.
So one of the places that I usually start is an online travel site. Orbitz is kind of my web site of choice. I found they have great customer service. There was a time when we were on our way to Disney World in our minivan, and it broke down and we weren't able to make our hotel room that night and they actually refunded us to get a new hotel in the place where we were broken down. So there have been other travel sites that we had similar issues and they would not refund, but Orbitz was great that way so I love to give them our business. So I'll start there. I'll even look at places like eBay, VRBO, which stands for vacation rental by owner, Airbnb, all those places. So start there. You can usually get some awesome deals. So I usually use Orbitz for rental cars, I'll use it for hotel rooms, sometimes flights, but lately we've found that you can get great deals on the actual airline site like a Allegiant or Frontier. Some of those budget airlines you won't be able to find on Travelocity or Orbitz or those, but if you go directly for those sites you can get some amazing deals.
So probably my favorite travel strategy by far is TSA PreCheck. So I fly a lot, we fly often together, it is worth every ounce of money and every ounce of time that it takes. You actually register, it's worth it, it's absolutely worth it so you don't have to wait in the long lines, you don't have to take off your coat, don't have to take off your shoes, don't have to take out your laptop, don't have to take out your toiletries, you just cruise right through security. Then it'll save you some of that crazy that we all experience at the airport. Yes, as you go through security it saves you a lot of time and a lot of hassle and I think the whole process costs us around $80 or something for you to get. It’ll last five years and for us we had to go to Springfield, Missouri and there was one specific place, and you go in and it took me maybe an hour and I was done. So definitely worth the time and money to do that if you travel a lot.
Now, I want to encourage you, you know, oftentimes when we think of going on vacation, it's a big gigantic ordeal or planning a long time in advance and, that's great for certain trips. Of course, we love to do that. In fact, that's a lot of fun as you're planning your trip, you're planning your fast passes at Disney and you're doing it way in advance and you're making your dinner reservations, but another way to go about this so you can add some travel in between the big trips is to take short trips, just quick trips. Get everybody in the van or in the car and cruise a couple hours away. There's some place close to you and do it on the cheap. Go camping if you want to do that or just hang out at the lake if there's a lake there, go hiking or just what can you do there just to get away from the crazy hustle bustle of life and just enjoy an overnight stay with the family, just to get away. So you can do that, there's a lot of free things, a lot of cheap things, that you can do pretty much anywhere that you travel. In fact, I'd encourage you to check out our, I'll put a card right up here, “Disney World free and cheap strategies.” There's a way that you can enjoy Disney magic for free or cheap. When we took our trip to Orlando recently we actually got to experience a lot of the Disney magic for not much money at all, so definitely check out that video.
So one thing that we do to cut down on our costs is we share a suitcase. So with some of the budget airlines now, Allegiant and Frontier and a lot of those, you are paying for your carry-ons. That used to not be that way but that's how it is nowadays. So in order to cut back on the cost we share a suitcase, and we don't like to check our bags, that's another tip that we didn't consider. Don't check your bags. Carry on. Yes we like to carry on, that does save time and it can also save the hassle if you ever, you know, lose a bag. You know, what a pain that is, but anyway we like to carry on one bag and we share our bag. So anyway, we wanted to share some tips on how to do that. Often, if we know we're gonna be gone a week or two or three weeks we will make sure that the hotel that we get or the resort that we stay at does have a place for us to wash our clothes. So we'll check into that sometimes. Also we have a few kind of bag tips to share with you. John is going to talk to you about how to use packing cubes. I love packing cubes. These are containers that you can buy at Amazon. They're very inexpensive and they're zippered, the ones that I have you open this bag and you roll your clothes very, very tightly. So you're gonna roll your shirts you're gonna roll your pants very tightly you're gonna stuff them into the bag you're gonna zip it up and so all your shirts go into one bag all of your pants go another bag. You know, everything has its own bag, and then you put these bags into your suitcase and boy does it save a lot of space. In addition to your carry-on most airlines are going to allow you to bring a free personal item. A lot of times that'll be a laptop bag. That's usually what John carries on. I usually bring a backpack. So this is my backpack. Inside of my backpack I usually put a small, my small purse. So this is my Vera Bradley hipster. But this is what I put inside my backpack. That doesn't take up very much space, so that I leave the rest of my backpack for souvenirs or my toiletries or whatever I need to stick in there, but this hipster is great for, I can carry this on a lot of the slower Disney rides or things like that just because it stays nice and secure. Or I have a fanny pack which John always makes fun of me for that. I don't ever make fun, sometimes or all the time. The fanny pack I have, it's actually a really cute one and I get compliments on this thing everywhere I go. This will also fit nicely in that backpack and this is something I can actually take on a lot of rides. Now people want to know where you got that. I just got this on Amazon. I will tell you the name. Lackhays. Spell it. LACKHAYS. So and Lackies? I don't know how to pronounce it but this one is super cute. Seriously every time I wear it out I, just so many people ask me about it, after you, where I got it and then she looks at me and then I just roll my eyes. And I'm like, see there are cool fanny packs.
So, something that we tried fairly recently for the first time was using Uber and Lyft when we went to Orlando. Now that only works if you don't plan on traveling long distances. So for example, the Sanford Airport in Orlando, we’ll fly into there sometimes. That's quite a distance and it gets expensive if you're going to take an Uber from there all the way into Orlando or all the way to Disney World, but the main Orlando Airport, use Uber, use Lyft and boy it's actually a lot of fun. I thought, you just punch it into the app, within a matter a minute or five minutes there, they are, they're there to pick you up and take you where you want to go. And you meet a lot of cool people and very, very cost-effective. You're going to save the parking at the Disney resorts, I don't know if y'all know, but the Disney resorts are charging you to park now, so you'll save that parking or if you are not staying in a resort but you're driving into the theme park it will save you the parking at the theme park. So actually Uber can actually save you a lot more money over a rental car if you consider some of those things, but again you have to figure out how close you're going to be staying, you know, to the airport, to the theme parks and see whether it'll make sense for you, but it's also extremely convenient because when you're done with a theme park for the day all you do is you get your Uber and they pick you up right there at the gate. No, no taking a tram out to the parking lot and all that, so that can be extremely convenient – as well as cost-effective. Definitely and be sure to tip your driver very well. Yes.
One other little tip that we have, especially for at the theme parks at Disney or whatever, we will only eat two meals a day. Really you don't need more. They feed you so much food. Usually, you know, we'll keep snacks and stuff on us, but will usually eat a late breakfast or an early lunch and then, you know, a later dinner. So that's really all you need is those two meals a day and some snacks. That'll save you versus doing all three meals a day. Now I remember there was a time when I was a little, little kid and my mom, we all were flying to Orlando to go to Disney, and my mom packed an entire suitcase full of canned goods, a huge heavy suitcase which would not save you money. These days, since you're paying to check your bags and stuff like that there's a better way, and by the way, just a little bit of a side note, don't worry too much about forgetting things when you travel. You can buy almost anything that you might forget when you're there. Those times I've had to buy socks or I ruined a shirt and I needed a shirt and I would buy a shirt or toiletries or whatever. And so don't stress out about packing too much. You can always get something.
And one last tip is always check if it's cheaper to buy your tickets online. Usually, you know, the theme parks or different attractions you might want to go to are going to have a discounted online price. Also always do a quick Google search to see if there's a discount available. You'd be surprised. A lot of times I'm about to check out and I'm like, oh let me just see if there's a discount available and I'll save an easy twenty percent or, you know, buy an adult's I can get a child's free or something like that that I never would have known about had I not searched. Or you can give the place a call and just ask them if they have a discount, a valid discount at that time, and a lot of times they'll just give it to you. And definitely make sure that wherever you're going and whatever attraction you want to visit, make sure that is going to be open when you get there. Don't presume it will be. It may not be, for example we're going to Orlando soon and I was all about going back to the swimming with the dolphins, Discovery Cove, and I, we wanted to go. We've been before and it's closed. It's closed when we're going so that's something we had to, of course, take into consideration. Yes, it's a good thing we didn't pre-buy our tickets for that because we wouldn't have been able to go. So right.
So we hope that we've given you some things to think about and some ways to save time and money while you travel. And it would mean a lot to us if you would give us a thumbs up and subscribe and that really does help the development of this channel. So it does mean a lot to Amy and me, and then ring the bell and that will ensure that you are notified every time that we upload a new video which is happening several times a week. Yep. safe travels everyone!
Legoland is better than Walt Disney World, say what?
Hi everyone I'm Amy, and I'm John, and we're with TPF! Trips, Places and Fun, and today we just want to talk a little bit about five reasons why Legoland might be a better choice than Walt Disney World.
Yeah, now before you immediately give me a thumbs down or hate me for saying that, let me just preface by telling you that we are huge Disney fans.
We love it! So we try to make it to Disney World at least a couple of times a year. We love the magic ,we love the wonder, all of that is unsurpassed. But we just want to talk about some reasons why a trip to Legoland might be better than a trip to Disney World in certain situations.
And Amy actually had the recommendation of going to Legoland on a recent trip and I was not a big fan, but I got to tell you, it was a great idea.
So the first reason why you would maybe want to consider visiting Legoland instead of Disney World is the price. I'm sure a lot of you were already thinking that, but we were able to visit Legoland, as John said, recently. One thing you can do is check online for discounts. Now it's very hard to find discounts to Walt Disney World online or anywhere for that matter, but Legoland it's much easier, and so we were able to get a deal that was get an adult ticket you get a ticket free. So that means that a family of four could visit Legoland for under $200.
And I just went online and I saw a current special: buy one, get one half price. So that is definitely a bonus there. Now family of four going to the Magic Kingdom, for instance, for one day is going to be close to $500. So that is a huge price gap there. If you decide to go to Legoland for the day instead, you could save almost three hundred bucks.
So anybody who's been to Disney World, any of the parks, you know that the crowds are crazy. Nobody likes crowds. Yeah that's true. So the second reason that you might want to visit Legoland instead of Disney World is smaller crowds. So now I can't speak for every time that you might visit Legoland, but on the day we went, we were walking right on everything. I don't think that you would really ever be able to do that at Disney World. There was a time maybe 10 or 15 years ago when you could pick certain days and hit Disney on a day where you could do that but nowadays any time that you go to Disney it's going to be a lot of people. So Legoland the day that we were there, there was hardly anybody on park. We could walk right on anything, and so that was kind of a nice break from all the crowds in Orlando and at all the Orlando parks. So that's another reason you might want to consider Legoland.
By the way, it was raining a little bit on the day that we went. If you've seen our previous video on how to have fun in the rain in Silver Dollar City, you'll understand that rainy days can be great days. In fact, I encourage you to go check that video out and learn how to have fun in the rain really at any park.
The third reason to visit Legoland is that it is something different. Now, especially for us, we have been to all Disney World a lot and while we loved it, we were kind of wondering, is there something else out there? I had never been to Legoland and so for us it was just a really unique park, so much fun, so much color. I mean you know what Legos are right? So think of a theme park just full of brightly colored Lego bricks and there you have it. But really, really, really a great park. I mean, they have Miniland USA there where you can see New York City and Hollywood and even a galaxy far, far away. It's great for Star Wars fans. All made out of Lego bricks. So there are 32 million Lego bricks in Legoland USA. And we and we visited Miniland USA, we probably went through there two or three times, and still didn’t even come close to seeing everything that there was, but that's super fun, super unique, you know so something you wouldn't see at Disney World. Also there are lots of coasters, there are some dark rides, and we love dark rides. It's my favorite. That's our favorite. And there's a ride there called, is it Ninjago? It sounds about right. Our daughter was a master. She was phenomenal. The way that you played this thing is you, it's like, it's like you have to do like this, and you're shooting a gun use here she was great at it, and she beat us every single time. She loved it so much. Like I said, we were able to walk right on everything, so we could just keep going on it and she just crushed us every time. But that was a great dark ride. They have so many different things there to see and do and so if you're wanting something unique, if you've been to the Disney parks a lot of times like we have, and you're just wanting to try something different, Legoland is a great choice. So much fun and something you're not going to find anywhere else.
All right, so the fourth reason why you might want to check out Legoland instead of Walt Disney World is the Botanical Garden, Cypress Gardens. And many of you might remember Cypress Gardens from a long time ago. Legoland was built on the site of Cypress Gardens and thankfully they retained Cypress Gardens and so it's a different section of the park. It's beautiful. I've never seen anything like it in my life. Yeah we loved walking through there, and I've never been to Legoland but I was at Cypress Gardens when I was a little girl, so it brought back so many memories. I'm walking through this beautiful botanical garden. So some of you might remember being, doing this as a child and it's great. I'm so glad that they maintain this area. So another thing that's there is a water park. It may be included in your ticket if you, I think you have to pay a little bit extra in your ticket, you can go to the water park. If you have an annual pass that's gonna include Legoland and the water park but they have this great water park that has some of the traditional stuff like your wave pool and water slides and stuff. They also have a very cool lazy river where they have giant Lego blocks in the river, so as you're floating down the lazy river you can be building a raft and you can be playing with these giant Lego bricks as you see scenery go by that's also made out of Lego.s So how much fun is that that? Lots of fun! Exactly.
And also those of you that remember Cypress Gardens they're famous for these the water skiers and and the jumpers and they still have that. Yes, except now it's Lego people. Yes they have Lego water skiers so now that is something that you have to see at least once.
And the final reason, the 5th reason why you would maybe want to choose Legoland over Walt Disney World at least once is that it is very kid focused. So you, if you have a child ages 3 to 12, this is going to be perfect for them. And for the little ones they have a Ducloland which is kind of those big Lego bricks that they have for toddlers. So they have a land that is all very toddler oriented and of course all the Lego lovers in your family. There's a little bit for older kids up through maybe age 12 this is aimed right at them, so of course the Disney parks are more for all age groups, there are certainly some more kid oriented things there but at Legoland it is all about them. So if you have a child in this age range, definitely consider taking them there. When we took our daughter, she was four almost five and it really was the perfect thing for her.
And you better be full of energy. Eva did not wear down the entire day, but I still remember, in fact I have a video, I'll try to find it, where Amy, she fell asleep on one of the rides that she was riding with Eva at the end of the day.
This is true. We were there open to close and we never ran out of things to do and see. So just to let you know, it is something that can take all day, super, super fun.
Have you been to Legoland? And if so, comment in the section below and let us know what your favorite thing to do there was. We hope we've at least given you some things to think about even if you might not agree with us.
They wouldn't agree with us? Wow. Give us a thumbs up if you do or even if you don't just because you like us, because we like you, and then subscribe and ring that bell and you'll be notified the next time a video comes out.
Safe travels everyone!
Bloopers: Hi everybody this is Amy. You said to be more exuberant. I mean more more more natural. And don't forget to thumbs up, that really helps if you like it. If you don't like it we'll do better. We got to work, we got to work on this, we got to do that, please don't give us the thumbs down okay but just thumbs up and then subscribe and then ring the bell. Awesome. Happy travels everyone. Yes you got screw that up. We just broke a tradition. So the second reason why you might want to visit Legoland instead of Disney World is fewer crowds and now I can't… small, smaller crowds, say they each have one crowd. That's true, a smaller crowd, so a smaller crowd. You should usually respond, okay, we’re moving on, Mm-hmm.