A Winter Getaway to Orlando

As I mentioned in my last post, we went to Orlando over winter break! It was a short trip, with too much time spent in the car, but it was still refreshing to get away for a bit. We kept the trip cost to a bare minimum by driving (save on airfare) and staying at my uncle’s vacation condo (save on hotel).

First, a summary of our week:
12/25 – stayed one night just outside of Savannah
12/26 – arrived in Orlando/fancy steak dinner with my cousin & his family
12/27 – SeaWorld
12/28 – LEGOLAND
12/29 – Disney Springs
12/30 – drove 13.5 hours to home sweet home

This was our third time driving to Orlando and, now that we are seasoned veterans, it’s totally doable for us to do it all in one day. With nearly unlimited screen time, the kids didn’t complain once about being stuck in the car. Thinking back, I can’t remember anything really unpleasant that happened, so, in the future, we will definitely make the drive again if airfare gets too expensive.
^^On the way to Orlando -- hatching hatchimals!^^
^^On the 12th hour of our 13.5-hour drive back home!^^

We stayed at my uncle’s spacious 3 bed/2 bath condo, which is just 10 minutes away from Universal Studios. Having never been to Orlando before, he spontaneously bought it during his first trip there about two years ago…and graciously extended an open invitation for us to stay there whenever we want! Well, we finally took up on his offer. In fact…the main reason why we decided on Orlando was because of free lodging :) Overall, the condo was great -- full kitchen, washer/dryer, room to spread out. We had a good stay!
^^Fact: It's really not that warm to swim in Orlando in December.^^

The single, most expensive part of the trip was the theme park tickets. Luckily I am an expert at finding deals and was able to save 50% off regular price. For SeaWorld, I took advantage of their “Blue Friday” after-Thanksgiving sale, BOGO free. Similarly with LEGOLAND, there was a deal out there for BOGO free with a simple Google search. The only risky part was that I had to purchase the tickets in advance and, up until the day we left, we were iffy about going. Talk about being indecisive! We ended up going, so nothing went to waste :)

I wouldn't be totally honest if I didn't mention the lowest point of this entire trip: traffic. As Luke put it, the hours driving to Orlando and going home were expected, so no frustrations there. However, did you know that Orlando traffic rivals DC traffic? Maybe even –gasp!- LA traffic?! I didn’t. I mean, every time we went to Orlando, we stayed inside the Disney World bubble and didn't have the slightest clue about I-4, apparently named the deadliest highway in the nation...and I concur. It's forever on our bad list.

I will end this post here and dig into our visit to the theme parks next!
Spoiler alert -- the kids and I loved them!


  1. 8 hours is the longest we've driven with the boys..
    awesome that you were able to find such great deals!


  2. Hands-down, one of the stupidest things I've ever done in my life is trying to swim in an outdoor pool when air-temps were around 60~70F. Common sense told me, no, but the father in me said, yes. Damn kids...the things they talk us into...

    Overall, a good trip despite the long drive. I'll just chalk up the I4 traffic as a lesson learned when visiting Orlando.

    1. At least no one got sick from that cold swim...


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