In college, my friends and I would take road trips during spring break and over the summer. Being poor college students, we were always looking for the cheapest hotel possible, and we stayed in some pretty scary places. One of the cities we traveled to over and over again was Orlando, simply because of all the bargains available there. In Orlando, it’s still possible to get a decent night’s accomodations for under $50, making it a great choice for those traveling on a budget.
Many people hesitate to stay in budget hotels because they are worried about safety. While there are some sketchy parts of Orlando, the entire Disney and Universal resort areas and all surrounding hotels are perfectly safe, and sit well outside of the city limits of Orlando.
My absolute favorite way to get a great hotel deal is to use Priceline. They have a Name-Your-Own-Price feature that will save you big bucks. Here’s how it works:
- You select the area you’d like your hotel to be in. The Orlando area is broken down very specificially into the Magic Kingdom area, the Universal Studios area, Orlando itself, and outlying areas. If you’re visiting Universal, you’d select the Universal Studios area.
- Choose the star level for your hotel. Depending on what you’re looking for, and what level of service, you can choose from quality levels ranging from one to four stars.
- Name your price. To get an idea of what hotel rooms are going for on Priceline, check out winning bids on Priceline’s website. A search for the Orlando area, for instance, shows hotels that have been won using bids as low as $28 per night!
- You will get an answer right away as to whether your bid has been accepted. If it hasn’t, you can try again, or go for one of the low cost options below.
I’ve used Priceline’s website for my last half dozen trips to Universal and Disney. It’s helped me get some great deals and let me enjoy my trip a lot more because I wasn’t so worried about money.
Try using Hotels.com. I prefer them to the other online travel sites because the fees and add-ons are much lower and I’ve gotten much better deals.
If all else fails, check out one of these low-priced Orlando hotel options:
- Super 8 Universal Hotel at 5900 American Way – This hotel is literally within walking distance of Universal Studios, but they also offer free shuttles to Universal, Disney, and SeaWorld. The average rate of $59 also includes free continental breakfast. Add to that clean rooms and a great staff and this deal is hard to beat!
- Best Western Plaza at 8738 International Drive – Just 5 minutes from Universal, this hotel offers rooms ranging from $50 to $80 per night, plus free theme park shuttles and a Ponderosa steakhouse right next door. The hotel features multiple pools, a game room, and a great location convenient to all the major attrations.
- Quality Inn ar 7600 International Drive – Just five minutes or a free shuttle ride from Universal Studios, this hotel offers big perks for a small price. With rooms between $50 and $80, you get two pools and restaurants, a mini fridge in every room, and pets are welcome!
Save your money for the theme parks and stay at one of these Universal Studios discount hotels, convenient to the action and easy on your wallet.