Best Vacation on a Budget

South Florida Parenting

The judges are savvy when it comes to spending your money!

GOLD

Walt Disney World

Here's a vacation kingdom where a family of four can have a Disney hotel room with two double beds, transportation to anywhere in the World, entertainment, a meal plan and tickets to the world's best theme parks for under $1,500 a week. Exit polls continue to find that guests feel they're getting full bang for their bucks. Walt Disney World has recently introduced new pricing for Florida residents that makes the trip even more economical for those of us lucky enough to live nearby.

SILVER

The Florida Keys and Key West

A bazillion scenic islands are strewn across shining waters just made for family fishing, diving, snorkeling, wading, kayaking, sunset gazing, seashell gathering and porpoise-watching. Thanks to an abundance of affordable condos and cottages in the Keys, families can save by cooking some of their own meals in the kitchen and on the barbie. The Keys are as natural and real as Walt Disney World is fantasy, so why not take a week of each?

BRONZE

Orlando (Not Walt Disney World)

Smart families have discovered the other Orlando, where budget accommodations are found in chain motels, time shares and campgrounds and where admissions to fun-filled attractions are a fraction of theme park prices. Watch sunsets over Lake Eola, see the (free) March of the Peabody Ducks then have dinner in Peabody Orlando's B-Line Diner, take art lessons at the Maitland Art Center and spend all day at Orlando Science Center. And if you simply must go to a theme park, there's Sea World, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. To cool you off after all that fun, the waterpark Wet & Wild lives up to its name.

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