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Holiday to Florida which Waterford Travel Agent or book yourself

  • 19-09-2018 7:28am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    Hi Guy's

    As the title says we are looking at a holiday to Florida in 2020. I know its a good bit away but the price of the Holiday and Park Tickets mean we need to start now so we can do it without any panic on Money. If anybody here has done it either through a travel agent in Waterford or booked it themselves can you please pass on some info.


    Thanks


    I know there is a travel section on boards but thought posting here would get more reaction about waterford travel agents.


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,012 ✭✭✭ Gardner
    Registered User


    you will save if you book independently. with modern day apps and sites there shouldn't be any need for travel agents. I've traveled all over the world and never once had to use an agent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    Thanks Gardner I was planning at looking at both but somebody told me that for an extra let's say 200 if you go with a travel agent it might be a chartered plane and direct . I believe some flights you might have to stop somewhere in the states and hop on another plane not that I mind really once the crossover time ain't too bad


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,772 ✭✭✭ s8n
    Registered User


    Depending on the time of year you can fly direct Dub to Orlando with Aer Lingus. Very easy


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,642 ✭✭✭ gscully
    Registered User


    For peace of mind, I would go with a travel agent - especially if it's a family holiday. Should anything go wrong, you have an agent in Florida to assist with any issues.

    I'm normally an advocate of doing it yourself through Expedia or Ebookers, but for my family holiday to Orlando in 2017, I went with a travel agent. They do get discounts from certain hotels and packages, so it can actually work out cheaper. It's only if you have particular demands (such as hotels they don't deal with) where you might meet with a greater expense.

    I used Harvey Travel and they have a great knowledge of Orlando.

    If it is a family holiday, I recommend the Sheraton Vistana Resort. We had a two bedroom apartment which was like a small house. Very spacious and a lovely balcony with a mesh lining to keep out bugs and keep the little ones in. The kitchen was fully equipped and Walmart wasn't too far away for groceries.


  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    Depending on the time of year you can fly direct Dub to Orlando with Aer Lingus. Very easy


    that is the preferred option to be honest. I might get lucky with Aer Lingus and get them cheap enough € 500 p/p but we might be stuck with what time we can go we will have to consider taking the 2 kids out of school for a week also.


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  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 3,656 Mod ✭✭✭✭ eeloe
    Moderator


    I've done this trip 5 times.

    Book with ebookers for flights and hotel, and car hire(only if you NEED a car, parking at the parks is 22bucks a day, so quickly adds up)

    Book your park tickets with attractionticketsdirect.ie email them, and do a bit of haggling, you'll likely get a bit of a discount and some extras thrown in.

    Which parks are you planning on? that will really help with where you want to stay.


  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    eeloe wrote: »
    I've done this trip 5 times.

    Book with ebookers for flights and hotel, and car hire(only if you NEED a car, parking at the parks is 22bucks a day, so quickly adds up)

    Book your park tickets with attractionticketsdirect.ie email them, and do a bit of haggling, you'll likely get a bit of a discount and some extras thrown in.

    Which parks are you planning on? that will really help with where you want to stay.


    Disney and universal to start with.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 3,656 Mod ✭✭✭✭ eeloe
    Moderator


    If you're doing Disney only, i'd suggest getting a hotel/apartment in Kissimmee as it's closer to Disney overall.

    If it was just Universal, i would say stay on iDrive, as it's closest to universal.

    But if you're doing both parks it doesn't really matter where you stay as it's going to mean driving either way anyway.

    Is there many of you going? are you thinking a Villa or just staying in a hotel?

    I've stayed in some of the "nicer" places and some of the budget spots, and it's much of a muchness, you're not going to be in the room, only to sleep and freshen up, so it doesn't really matter.


  • Registered Users Posts: 701 ✭✭✭ kilkenny31
    Registered User


    Done this trip before. I would say book with american holidays. Got flights and accomodation with them for 10 nights for two people for 1300 euro. Orlando isnt expensive. The park tickets can be. The best about tour america is they allowed us payed off bit by bit. So one week we could ring up and pay off 150 the next week we pay off 70 etc. Also we had an issue where we booked with the name not matching as it was in the passport and they had to rebook the flights. They didnt charge us anything extra..
    Also agree with attractionticketsdirect for the park tickets.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,528 ✭✭✭ Motivator
    Registered User


    I did this trip in June 2017 with my wife. The travel agent we spoke with offered us a seemingly good deal for 14 nights but we decided to look ourselves online. We ended up booking it ourselves and found it to be much easier. We booked cheap enough flights to Boston, had 2 nights there. Then we booked a package deal from Boston to Orlando which included internal return flights to Orlando International, 12 nights B&B in Kissimmee (loads of hotels and apartments in Lake Buena Vista). The park tickets were expensive - for 2 of us it was around $600 for 6 parks not including Disneyland but the hotel provided a free shuttle to each of the parks each day so we didn’t need a car. It worked out about €800 cheaper than the travel agent option but their deal included direct flights to Orlando so the actual saving when factoring in two nights in Boston and hassle of a transfer on the way home the saving was probably only a couple of hundred euro but it was some trip and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

    My advice would be to shop around, my wife’s sister is going in a couple of weeks time but it’s not peak season so they got a very good deal.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    Our 1st preference right now is to book direct with Aer Lingus if the price is good or United if Aer Lingus doesn't work. We want to stay on International Drive and we have picked out a few hotels there that would suit and all cheap enough so no worries there. We will be going to Universal and Disney and a few others but that ain't a worry yet as we can keep our eye on that for discounts and special offers.


    We will try and get the flights the second they come out. If we don't get a good offer we will then price the United flights then we will compare what a travel agent can offer us and go from there Travel Agents sometimes have direct flights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,332 ✭✭✭ deisemum
    Registered User


    I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to the US next year - West Coast, I popped into Strand Travel last week and their quote worked out cheaper compared to me pricing the same thing.

    We went to Orlando about 10 - 12 years ago and stayed on International Drive and we were able to get a bus outside out hotel to both Universal and Disney. I'll have a look and see if I can find the name of the hotel.

    Tour America are having their Red Cow Sale Day in the Red Cow Hotel next Sunday.


  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    deisemum wrote: »
    I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to the US next year - West Coast, I popped into Strand Travel last week and their quote worked out cheaper compared to me pricing the same thing.

    We went to Orlando about 10 - 12 years ago and stayed on International Drive and we were able to get a bus outside out hotel to both Universal and Disney. I'll have a look and see if I can find the name of the hotel.

    Tour America are having their Red Cow Sale Day in the Red Cow Hotel next Sunday.

    It's the summer after I am going I doubt there is any point in going up to the Tour America sale I would go up the year later no problem they have 1 every year


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,385 ✭✭✭ SweetCaliber
    Registered User


    Saving now and booking direct is what I would do, cheapest option and puts you fully in control.

    Haven't went near a bricks and mortar travel agent in years after seeing how much you get ripped off with them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,362 ✭✭✭ dartboardio
    Registered User


    Mixed opinions here but if you look properly , booking yourself is way better. You’ll find a great deal. Travel agents are yes reliable but so often way over priced.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,758 ✭✭✭ jive
    Registered User


    Book yourself, look at Belfast as well as Dublin for flights. Belfast <£220 direct and flight times are good.

    https://www.skyscanner.net/transport/flights/belf/mco/190526/190609/?adultsv2=1&childrenv2=&cabinclass=economy&rtn=1&preferdirects=true&outboundaltsenabled=false&inboundaltsenabled=false#results

    Airbnb for apartments, tripadvisor, hotels.com, booking.com etc. for hotels.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,642 ✭✭✭ gscully
    Registered User


    https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/

    OP, I found this website very useful when planning my trip. The theme park tools were a great guide as to what days were busiest at the parks and the forum has great advice also.


  • Registered Users Posts: 49 marob1969
    Registered User


    OP, For me booking separately is the best way. I've been going every year since 2014 and have already booked flights for next year with Sky scanner for €1430 for 4 for us in early June for 16 nights 2 Adults and 2 teens. This was a steal compare to previous years where the cheapest we got it for was €1750. Hotels on booking.com [font=Times New Roman, serif]are as cheap or as expensive as your budget dictates but you could get one for €50/night including breakfast. If you are spending all the days in the parks then you will be wrecked and then it becomes only a bed for the night. Beats Costa del whatever if you ask me and it's just as cheap except for park tickets can be the Achilles heel though. Car not essential as shuttle buses are aplenty, but for me it's a must at just over €300 for 2 weeks and give great flexibility. Google is your friend and as gscully noted the [/font]https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/ is a good reference area. Don't forget the ESTA's.!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,623 ✭✭✭ wmpdd3
    Registered User


    Make sure you have relevant insurance as your holiday would not come under ABTA protection.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    Does anybody know how long in advance Aer Lingus flights come out that is our No 1 choice so just wanna get them the second they are out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,248 ✭✭✭ twowheelsonly
    Registered User


    I've done a fair bit of DIY travelling but in 2012 we booked with Tour America as we were doing multi stops and my head was fried trying to sort it out myself. Went Toronto / Vegas / NY and then a 9 day cruise out of NY to the Caribbean, 3 weeks all told. When I priced the exact same itinerary that she gave us online they were working out just under €1100 EACH on what I could have done it for myself.

    As it happened the 9 day cruise turned into 14 days as we got caught up in Hurricane Sandy and got stuck at sea outside NY. When we landed on the Friday morning it took one phone call (at 8am Eastern time so about 3 in the morning here) and they rang us back with a choice of two return travel arrangements. We jumped at the first available one and they had it sorted in minutes which was a major achievement given that the place was in chaos with all airports closed all week.

    Been to America a couple of times since and have always used them since. You can't pay enough for peace of mind.

    Just my tuppence worth...


  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    I've done a fair bit of DIY travelling but in 2012 we booked with Tour America as we were doing multi stops and my head was fried trying to sort it out myself. Went Toronto / Vegas / NY and then a 9 day cruise out of NY to the Caribbean, 3 weeks all told. When I priced the exact same itinerary that she gave us online they were working out just under €1100 EACH on what I could have done it for myself.

    As it happened the 9 day cruise turned into 14 days as we got caught up in Hurricane Sandy and got stuck at sea outside NY. When we landed on the Friday morning it took one phone call (at 8am Eastern time so about 3 in the morning here) and they rang us back with a choice of two return travel arrangements. We jumped at the first available one and they had it sorted in minutes which was a major achievement given that the place was in chaos with all airports closed all week.

    Been to America a couple of times since and have always used them since. You can't pay enough for peace of mind.

    Just my tuppence worth...

    thanks for that I am trying to get flights for the lowest price possible especially the Aer Lingus flights which are direct if I can't get these I will be looking at booking with 1 of the airlines from America or a travel company like tour america or american holidays but 1st preference is the Aer Lingus flights


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,140 ✭✭✭ naughtysmurf
    Registered User


    Been to Orlando several times now, all except the first trip in 2000 were DIY, much prefer it, had a quick look at Tour America & American Holidays a while back, flight times & transfer times were poor enough IMO

    Aer Lingus flights become available 11 months / 330 days in advance, direct is great but United via Newark is also good, we don't mind a short layover to stretch the legs

    If you decide to DIY it, just break it down into bite size pieces, get yourself a folder,

    Esta

    Travel insurance, $10,000,000 medical cover advised for US

    Flights

    Car hire, can recommend https://www.uscarhire.com, all insurance included, may just use Uber next trip though
    Accommodation, for best overall park experience I'd advise staying onsite at both Disney & Universal if not maybe consider a villa / pool home in Kissimmee only a short drive to WDW, can recommend https://www.orlandovillas.com, never stayed on idrive so can't advise there

    Park tickets, have used attractionticketsdirect, undercovertourist & Disney directly with no issues


  • Registered Users Posts: 735 ✭✭✭ aaaaaaaahhhhhh
    Registered User


    We've been going to the USA annually since 2004 (5 of us).
    We always book with the lads in Strand Travel.

    They will do flights, accommodation, Visas and Travel insurance for you.
    Plus if you travel frequently, they will have a copy of your passport/visa etc on file for re-use.

    We've used them for every US trip(17 at least)


  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    We've been going to the USA annually since 2004 (5 of us).
    We always book with the lads in Strand Travel.

    They will do flights, accommodation, Visas and Travel insurance for you.
    Plus if you travel frequently, they will have a copy of your passport/visa etc on file for re-use.

    We've used them for every US trip(17 at least)


    I did check 1 of the Travel Agents in Waterford and the price was crazy for hotel and flights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,140 ✭✭✭ naughtysmurf
    Registered User


    What time of year are you thinking of traveling?
    The heat & humidity June to September can be tough going, October & May weather is generally great, less humidity, Easter, Summertime, Thanksgiving & Christmas, the parks will be heaving, we've been, October, May & March still busy but manageable

    How many are traveling & how old are the kids? Are they more into Disney or Universal? If they are younger maybe just do Disney, ten nights would be loads, 6 parks + two water parks, yoh could do a week onsite & a week in a villa? If older & into coasters then Universal / SeaWorld / Busch will be a bigger draw

    You are going to have to factor in some non park days, you just won't have the energy to visit a park every day, you will need to recharge the batteries every third or fourth day
    Assuming a two week stay you are probably looking at ten park days maximum

    Staying onsite at both of either Disney & Universal have their perks, for Disney being able to book fastpasses 60 days in advance of visiting is a big one compared to 30 days in advance for off-site guests, if you choose a Universal deluxe hotel, all guests will have unlimited express pass , this is a great perk, expensive but you can book one night, check in at 7am & have unlimited express pass for two days, check in & check out days, you could do two one night bookings giving you four full days with unlimited express pass

    Villa's are great for space & privacy, with your own pool outside the back door for your non park days & evenings but you loose the onsite perks

    Disney Springs hotels on Hotel Plaza Boulevard, these hotels also have some of the Disney perks, some are reasonably priced, REGULAR FREE shuttles to Disney parks every 30 minutes & are within walking distance to Disney Springs. If you decide on an idrive hotel make sure you look at their park shuttle service if they offer one closely, is it regular, free or do you pay per person
    http://disneyspringshotels.com
    Some hotels have resort fees & parking charges on top of the room rate so be aware

    Maybe consider a split stay, some time onsite & a sometime in a villa, tbh idrive doesn't appeal to us but that's just us

    There are loads of ways to slice & dice an Orlando holiday but you've loads of time to research & decide what's most important to you as a family, your available budget will determine a lot, you pay extra for convenience of onsite stays & perks


  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ tbarry31
    Registered User


    There is 2 adults and 2 kids 8yr old girl and 12 yr old boy. We would want to do Universal & disney at the moment we are planning 16 days with 2 days visiting friends in Florida. Hotels haven't really looked a whole lot yet.



    What time of year are you thinking of traveling?
    The heat & humidity June to September can be tough going, October & May weather is generally great, less humidity, Easter, Summertime, Thanksgiving & Christmas, the parks will be heaving, we've been, October, May & March still busy but manageable

    How many are traveling & how old are the kids? Are they more into Disney or Universal? If they are younger maybe just do Disney, ten nights would be loads, 6 parks + two water parks, yoh could do a week onsite & a week in a villa? If older & into coasters then Universal / SeaWorld / Busch will be a bigger draw

    You are going to have to factor in some non park days, you just won't have the energy to visit a park every day, you will need to recharge the batteries every third or fourth day
    Assuming a two week stay you are probably looking at ten park days maximum

    Staying onsite at both of either Disney & Universal have their perks, for Disney being able to book fastpasses 60 days in advance of visiting is a big one compared to 30 days in advance for off-site guests, if you choose a Universal deluxe hotel, all guests will have unlimited express pass , this is a great perk, expensive but you can book one night, check in at 7am & have unlimited express pass for two days, check in & check out days, you could do two one night bookings giving you four full days with unlimited express pass

    Villa's are great for space & privacy, with your own pool outside the back door for your non park days & evenings but you loose the onsite perks

    Disney Springs hotels on Hotel Plaza Boulevard, these hotels also have some of the Disney perks, some are reasonably priced, REGULAR FREE shuttles to Disney parks every 30 minutes & are within walking distance to Disney Springs. If you decide on an idrive hotel make sure you look at their park shuttle service if they offer one closely, is it regular, free or do you pay per person
    http://disneyspringshotels.com
    Some hotels have resort fees & parking charges on top of the room rate so be aware

    Maybe consider a split stay, some time onsite & a sometime in a villa, tbh idrive doesn't appeal to us but that's just us

    There are loads of ways to slice & dice an Orlando holiday but you've loads of time to research & decide what's most important to you as a family, your available budget will determine a lot, you pay extra for convenience of onsite stays & perks


  • Registered Users Posts: 318 ✭✭ phishcakes
    Registered User


    Looking at a family trip ourselves in 2020, have done it a few times but this will be the first time with kids...

    Looking to fly direct as well with Aer Lingus, I'd rather pay that little extra for the extra comfort of an Aer lingus plane and no stop over.

    Looking to do a villa this time for accommodation, should save a bit if shared between the 2 families, we stayed on I-drive on our previous trips, has anyone any advice on villas or which villas to use??


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,702 ✭✭✭ Doylers
    Registered User


    Aer lingus rebrand coming shortly too(guessing during Jan) keep an eye for sales too!

    As for your question, book direct yourself use a combination of hopper and google flights to find the best deals. Also use a credit card for booking to have that added protection!


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