We love vacationing to Florida for next to nothing!
If you know the One Sharp Mama family, you know we try enjoy going to Florida a couple times throughout the year.
We are blessed enough that we can afford to do so multiple times throughout the year, even though our family is growing.
With the increasing price in flights and expenses in general, people often ask how we can get to Florida for close to free.
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There’s many tips I have for traveling as a family. Traveling with an infant on a flight can be a daunting task and that alone can prevent families from taking vacations, when they otherwise could.
Don’t let this fear hold you back from starting to make family memories as early as possible.
We have even made a couple day trips with our first daughter and last minute trips as well. We learned some tricks along the way to make last minute trips easier.
If you want to make a road trip to Florida, we understand, but, this post will help you learn how we save money flying to Florida and how we can afford to take multiple family trips a year!
Good luck on your adventures.
Who do we fly to Florida with?
We love flying with Southwest Airlines. They are very family friendly.
They allow children up to two years old to travel on your lap and essentially, fly free! That’s a savings in itself.
They also let you buy a seat and bring your car seat to strap in to the airplane seat if that is something you would prefer to do for your little one.
For the majority of our flights, our daughter has been asleep by take off or slept most of the way through.
We have only had one flight recently where she was good most of the trip, then needed to fall asleep and was having a mini meltdown.
It took us about ten minutes, but, we had her passed out asleep in no time.
The flight attendants could see that we were doing everything we could to get her to settle down.
They even came through and asked if they could get her any milk, water, juice or anything that could help get her to snooze town (this was before drink and snacks on the flight).
We graciously asked for a cup of ice since we knew she was breaking a couple new teeth over the last couple days. She was asleep before they were back with the ice, but, we were very thankful for the ice just in case.
On many flights, flight attendants and even the captain have given out the adorable little flight wings.
They were cute and kept Caroline busy a little while longer while she played with them.
Where do we stay in Florida?
Growing up, I vaguely remember staying at a few hotels in Florida for many vacations. But, that wasn’t the popular places that we stayed.
For a few years, my parents even had a timeshare at a local country club.
But, the more often we went as I got older, my parents found that it was cheaper to rent a house to use for our vacation.
It was more comfortable. 99 percent of the time we had our own private pool.
We had more space than a tiny hotel room and it was great savings if you’re traveling with a group of people.
Plus, you have the kitchen to cook any meals in.
This can be a huge money saver in itself. If you plan on eating out every meal during your vacation, that bill can rack up quickly.
But, now a days, we stay at my parents house in Florida.
We are lucky enough that a few years ago, they decided to buy a second house down there.
It’s essentially free lodging. BIG money saver for us.
I highly recommend reaching out to family and friends too see if they know of anyone who may have a house down there.
Quite a few people even have second homes that they use as vacation rentals, like I listed above, but, since you know them, they may be able to give you even more of a discount!
When do we go to Florida?
A huge money saving tactic is to go during NON peak traveling times.
Obviously, the summer is peak time.
Kids are out of school and that’s when a ton of people vacation everywhere, not just Florida. So, that’s when all of the businesses jack up all their prices.
Avoid holiday times, again, another time to travel as a family. We like to go in March or April.
They’re generally slower months.
They aren’t as miserably hot, it doesn’t usually rain all day and the parks, stores, etc. aren’t jam packed from open to close.
How do we pay for our Florida vacations?
We use our Southwest credit card. With this amazing card, you can get points for booking your own flights.
You can use this card to pay for everything and anything.
Plus, there’s no BLACKOUT dates on when you can use your points!!!
Plus, you get Anniversary points every year that you keep and use the cards. Hello, FREE TRIPS!!!
If you sign up using my link, you’ll get 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
This is an easy thing to do. These points that you get, whether they’re bonus points or regular points, you can redeem them for the cost of flights.
All you have to do is a pay a small fee that I believe is part of the 9/11 fees.
It’s usually like $11 round trip per person. This is a HECK of a lot cheaper $11 a person round trip than hundreds of dollars per person – each way!
We even used our points that we had accrued to pay for our honeymoon flights from BWI to Jamaica!!!
This was a big savings for us.
It is very rare that we have to pay for a full flight for the three of us, because we almost always have enough points to cover our fares round trip.
This is a HUGE money savings for us.
We use our Southwest credit card to pay for everyday things and that racks up our points so we can fly for next to nothing throughout the year!!!
Sometimes, you can even find special pricing on Southwest gift cards that can get you extra free points to use.
You can use your Southwest credit card to pay for your Southwest gift card and get even more points!
What now? I wanna fly to Florida NOW?
Now that you know some of our Florida vacation money saving hacks, we’d love to hear yours!
Keep an eye out for our Disney Savings post coming out soon.
We go to Disney a couple times a year too, and it’s not as expensive as you think! You just need to know your money saving tips.
How do you and your family like to save money while traveling to Florida? Feel free to share your tips in the comments below.