Planning a successful vacation or any road trip, almost always takes good planning. So, as we are gearing up and planning for our summer adventures, I couldn’t help but think about our 2014 adventure to Legoland, Florida.
When I recall our vacation to Florida, I remember it being an easy and memorable experience; but only because I put a lot of planning into the adventure – which is what I want to briefly share with you!
So, if you are planning on a Florida vacation and including Legoland, let me share with you what I did to ensure a successful and happy, one-week long trip.
First, I planned accordingly. Given the information that I had, I planned for us to spend one entire day at Legoland. But, now that I think back. I wish we would have spent two days there because although we spent the entire day there, we still were not able to make our way through everything that we wanted to experience throughout the theme park.
Also, since we were staying for one week in Florida, I had to plan for other activities for the other days that we were there. For the other days, I planned out at least two activities for each additional day in Florida. I choose both an indoor and outdoor activity using various Florida online calendar of events.
Choosing two activities per day (indoor and outdoors) will ensure that you are making the most of your trip and if the weather changes, you still have something to do and aren’t frustrated at the last minute.
Aside from our major Legoland attraction, I planned other activities such as touring the Angel & Phelps Chocolate Factory, playing at Daytona Beach, and having yummy, hot, Krispy Kreme donuts for lunch! I mean, hey, it was vacation!
Next, I packed early; at least one week in advance. Packing early gave me a chance to observe what I was packing and make changes as needed without being in a hurry. Not only did I lay out clothes, shoes, and accessories, I laid out the extras that we often forget such as rain ponchos, sunglasses, and a towel for Legoland! There is a water park and water rides, so be prepared. Being prepared will keep you from spending unnecessary money in the park.
In addition to the extras I laid out, I also had to think about activity extras, such as bringing along mini Lego action figures to trade within the park. Throughout the Legoland theme park, children can trade mini Lego action figures with others. You can either bring your own or purchase them at the park. For me, I knew I could grab them a Wal-Mart for next to nothing, so that’s what I did.
I also picked up things at Dollar Tree that would be helpful for other activities throughout the week. For example, I purchased, glow in the dark wands for a Lights and Laser Beam museum show, sunglasses, visors, etc.
Aside from planning for extras, get creative in your planning for meals and lodging. At the time, my dad lived in Florida, so we didn’t have to worry with lodging, but on our most recent trip to Florida, we stayed in a cabin. Cabin camping is much more affordable for us, as opposed to luxury hotels.
If you are driving, don’t forget to pack a cooler with tons of food and drinks. You’ll save a ton of money. I promise. However, if you are flying in and have to have your meals out, consider searching for deals and coupons ahead of time and know where children eat free. I actually purchased a BOGO (Buy One Get One) on the boys’ admission into Legoland that I found on LivingSocial. But, don’t forget to check out Groupon, as well. We also used various coupons like $5 off $15 at Denny’s and of course, ate where children eat free.
Don’t forget that as you are planning, plan for activities to keep your children busy in transit. Since we flew into Florida, I made the boys travel journals in manila folders and labeled them with their names to keep them busy during idle times such as in the airport, on the plane, and driving to Legoland. Along with the travel journals, I brought crayons and UNO cards. I always carry a deck of UNO cards. To this day, they still keep the boys entertained. We even used them recently for our overnight stay in Missouri.
Keep in mind how you will carry your belongings during your time at Legoland. I would suggest investing in a good backpack. I know this may sound crazy if you haven’t carried a backpack in a while, but having a sturdy backpack makes traveling with the little ones so much easier. When we went to Legoland, it was perfect to carry our snacks, sunglasses, the camera, water, ponchos, a towel, keys, etc.
Finally, I would suggest using pre-budgeted envelopes. As we travel more and more, it is important for me to stick to a budget. So, I create a budget and use envelopes to sort out activities, parking fees, gas, tolls, tips, etc.
As I use the money from the envelope, I just replace the money with a receipt. At the end of the trip, it is easy to see exactly what was spent.
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind.
- Know how much parking will be at the gate.
- Use something to mark your car so that it is easy to find, such as a ribbon on the antenna or balloon.
- Bring extra cash if you are planning for attraction photos like the roller coaster rides, games that cost money to play, souvenirs, and food if you are planning on eating in the park.
- Bring a stroller. Don’t be like me. My little one said, he was a big boy and didn’t need a stroller. 10 minutes into the park, he said his legs were tired and he couldn’t walk that far anymore.
- Bring water to avoid dehydration.
- Have fun and make memories.
Well, there you have it! Tips and products that helped me survive and enjoy our one week vacation in Florida! What tips did I miss? Drop a comment below or tweet me and let me know!
Disclosure: This post originally appeared on this blog in 2016, however, updates have been made as of 5/25/17. Also, this post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase, I will be slightly compensated. This does not change the price that you pay.