View Full Version : Katiebug's Orlando Vacation On A Budget (Part I)

09-27-2002, 10:50 PM
Hello All,

I can't say that I'm glad to be back, but I am glad I get to tell you all about our trip.

Our family consists of me (Jennifer), DH (Dennis) and dd (Katie - almost 3) and dd (Julie - 15 months.

We decided to drive from Wisconsin, mainly b/c DH thought it would be easier to deal with the kids. I personally didn't agree with this theory. I would much rather deal with the inconvenience of airplane travel and get there sooner. However, it would be cheaper to drive & driving added 4 more days to our vacation so I went with it. DH likes to drive and I think he is still a little nervous to fly since last year. And then we have our SUV with us in Florida and don't have to pay for a rental car.

We left at 9pm (the girl's bedtime) on Saturday 9/14. DH took a long nap during the day so we were able to drive staight thru the night w/ limited stopping. The girls woke up at the Tennessee/Georgia border. We stopped to eat breakfast at Cracker Barrel and were on our way again at 9am. We drove 3 hrs and stopped at the McDonald's Playland for lunch. The girls napped in the car and we made it to the Georgia/ Florida border by 6pm & by that time the kids were completely uncontrollable & they wanted out of the car! So we stayed at the Fairfield Inn in Valdosta, Georgia for $59 w/ free continental breakfast. We had given ourselves 2 days to get there so we were in no hurry.

We checked in early enough to use the pool before it closed and ate Dinner at Denny's. DH made sure to go catch at least a dozen creatures (frogs and lizards) and bring them to the doorstep of our room for the girls to see. Katie (3) wouldn't touch any of them but our daredevil Julie (15 mo) chased after the toads and tried to pet them, while her sister desperately tried to get her to stop & repeated (Icky, Icky. No Baby!) This was amusing and tired the kids out.

We arrived in Melbourne, Florida the next day approximately 3pm. We had reservations at the Baymont Inn & Suites (also booked thru Priceline for $35 for one night). Melbourne is ten minutes away from Cocoa Beach & 5 minutes from our Aunt & Uncle's house where we visited and ate dinner that evening. The Baymont was comfortable, had a pool and they also offer free breakfast! We checked out late and drove to Cocoa beach.

Both the girls were in awe when they first saw the ocean. Katie (3) was terrified of the waves but Julie (15mo) ran right for the water. The waves were very high b/c of the recent storms. There were even some surfers out there. We tried to coax Katie to come in the water with us but she preferred to stay on the sand & dig and collect seashells. We had a picnic lunch packed in our cooler. At the end of the afternoon we were all covered in sand. We tried to shower but it didn't help much. So we got in our car all sandy & salty and gross & drove 45 minutes to our hotel in Orlando, finally! Luckily, the girls were both hot & tired so they napped the whole way. (Tip: You can take 192 directly off of I95. It is a two lane highway but there are no stoplights until you get into St. Cloud and no tolls). I would highly recommend at least spending one or two days at the beach. It was beautiful.

Part II - Orlando - Sea World

Marla Hellwig
09-28-2002, 06:21 AM
A day at the beach sounds like a perfect way to start any vacation - thanks for posting!

09-28-2002, 11:13 AM
I loved your start of your vacation......and I agree with your daughter.....icky icky icky...hahaha....thanks

09-28-2002, 02:56 PM
Sounds like you are off to a great start. Can't wait to hear where you stayed? Did you use priceline for a Orlando hotel too?

09-28-2002, 08:02 PM
You were just 45 mins from me when you stopped in Valdosta. Its a shame I never get to meet anybody when they stop.

09-29-2002, 08:25 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for all of your replies!

We also used priceline for our stay in Orlando. We got the Ramada Fountainpark Eastgate in Kissimee for 5 nights. We paid $20 a night. We were nevous but the hotel was very nice.


09-29-2002, 08:46 AM
Thanks for your report so far. You're a brave woman driving all the way from Wisconsin! Especially with two little ones!