Get guest blogger Katie Ellison's tips for saving money in Orlando, including affordable vacation activities like the swan boats at Lake Eola (pictured).

Orlando is the holiday destination of a lifetime for so many families, yet with the multitude of exciting attractions, shopping and restaurants, it's easy to run over your budget. However, there are so many value-for-money attractions and things you can do to make sure that you keep within the amount you have budgeted for yourselves.

I recently visited Orlando with my husband and three young children, and here are our five top value-for-money tips for getting the most from your holiday.

Plan Before You Go

Orlando is a destination where you will want to at least have a vague plan of action before you arrive so you can really get the most from your holiday. By doing this, you can start budgeting early.

If there is a must have restaurant you want to go to, it is important to book in advance, as they fill up early. That way, you can have a vague idea of what you are planning to do and can budget accordingly. Booking things like car hires in advance will also save you money, so try and do as much as you can in advance.

Do Some of the Free Activities

Orlando has some fun and amazing activities that don't cost anything or very little to do. For example, you could head to Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando and hire a swan boat. Or, you could head to Winter Park, a beautiful suburb on the outskirts, where you can do some window shopping, admire the big grand homes, or walk in one of the many parks.

Buy Tickets in Advance

Buying tickets for attractions really will save you time and money if you do it in advance, and buying multi-day tickets helps as well. Visit Orlando powered by is a great, trusted source for them.

Pace Yourself

There can be a massive temptation to cram everything in and do every single thing that Orlando has to offer. However, there is nothing wrong with having a day of downtime between each fun-packed day, especially if you have young children who will inevitably get tired.

Instead of doing theme parks and attractions every single day, why not have a day by your hotel pool instead? It will save you money and means that you won't end up getting too worn out.

Eat in a Mixture of Restaurants

You will definitely want to eat in some of the theme park restaurants, as the character dining and themed restaurants are not to be missed. However, you don't need to do that every single day. Eating outside of the parks will really save you money.

We often had a big breakfast, eating at one of the many chain breakfast eateries or in our hotel, a small lunch in the theme parks (you could even pack a picnic if you are organized — there are lots of supermarkets dotted about where you could buy food), and then a bigger dinner outside of the parks. This way definitely helped us save money, as we got the best of both worlds. Also take advantage of things like free refills on drinks.

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