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Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

Aberdeen, United...
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9,014 posts
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Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

Before I visited this site (and even for a long while after) I had always booked my holiday as a package. This year, with the credit crunch looming, I decided to go out on a limb, and follow the advice I had read over the past several years.

This (change) is always a scary thing to contemplate. We have always had a good time but always wondered if we were missing out.

Of course, I won't know for sure until our holiday has been completed, but here are my thoughts for now:

Have booked flights direct with Virgin Atlantic, and managed to negotiate a pretty good deal with a hire car through them as well. TIP - I recommend calling as you can make a comparison. If you have already researched the prices, you have a very strong position to negotiate.

The upshot is that we have a decent car, with platinum cover etc, plus a Premium Economy return seat (economy outbound) for about £700 each. This also includes an internal flight from Aberdeen to Manchester and return, including full baggage allowance (2 times 32 kg per person because of the PE return ticket) TIP - the major carriers have a sale in January but I found that many tickets sold quickly, so don't hang around. TIP - we would not have got the additional baggage allowance if we had not called in person.

We have stayed at DTD (Hotel Plaza Blvd) 3 times, and twice at Disney POR, and once (originally) even on I Drive. All have been hotels and each time we moved up a tier (I Drive > LBV > On Site) the experience improved.

However, we are now what I would call 'experienced' in the ways of Disney, Orlando, and even the wider Florida. So we don't necessarily need to stay on site, or spend a great proportion of our time in the parks.

So we have booked a Villa, with pool and spa, direct from an owner. £900 for 2 weeks. This is great for relaxation, a quiet location but within easy reach of the attractions and Interstate and airport.

I did price up what we would have paid if we'd stuck to our previous experiences and gone through a package. It would have been around £1500 more in total for a September stay (yes, it is off-season then but the same principle applies year round).

So, in summary, I guess my point is this:

Read the advice and experiences on this forum. Do the research. Spend a bit of time browsing. Shop at the right time of the year. Don't be afraid.

If it is your first visit, a package can be right for you. But it can also be enjoyable doing this groundwork. More experienced visitors should really try this 'book direct' system because you already know what to expect.

So, thank you to all the contributors, over the years, who have made this possible. You know who you are!

Manchester, United...
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2,481 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

Thank you chinners!

ireland
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290 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

hi chinners

glad to see all your research paid off

Reading, United...
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7,932 posts
34 reviews
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3. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

The $1500 will be usefull with the exchange rate as it is. Shame you will be returning on the day I arrive.

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11,355 posts
19 reviews
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4. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

You done good, mate.

pa
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54,088 posts
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5. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

This is what this Forum is all about

Thanks Chin for sharing what you have learned. Being Helpful and Honest about your experience is of benefit to everyone. I think you have made some wise choices and saved a bit of $ by doing your Homework.

Well Done :)

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
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46,965 posts
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6. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

Chinners,

great going! And have fun with that £1500 spending money. Just think of how many elasticated pants you could buy!

A

Nottinghamshire, UK
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40 posts
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7. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

Did they negotiate much on the car? I need to cancel and re-book as have already noticed that through flying club section of the Virgin WWW site I can get them cheaper than my current direct booking with Dollar...

Getting together all the info before I rebook.

Cheers,

Lee.

Connecticut
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9,940 posts
86 reviews
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8. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

This is great news.

Use the extra money for Disney 2010.

linlithgow scotland
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1,008 posts
106 reviews
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9. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

Tip- Always follow an Aberdonians advice on money!!!!

Enjoy your holiday!

YORKSHIRE UJK
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335 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: Trip Advisor has saved me £1500

Hi Chinners, I'm doing exactly the same as you for our trip this year. I'm just gutted that we could have saved lots of dollars over the last 8 years by not booking a package. You live and learn! Have a great time!