Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Snorkeling in Florida - Our Next Family Adventure

Snorkeling in Florida - Our Next Family Adventure

Exciting news to report: This July our family is trying a new adventure: snorkeling in Florida-Our Next Family Adventure

Of course, an Orlando visit wouldn't be complete without a trip to the parks - we'll probably cool off at Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach.
But snorkeling will be a fun way for us to unwind from the parks, especially with kids ages 13 and 20.

Snorkeling in Florida is a Breathtaking Underwater Experience

In Central Florida, you can snorkel in freshwater or saltwater (freshwater is a little clearer than saltwater).
Orlando is so close to beautiful lakes and two coasts, that it's only a 20-60 minute drive depending on your destination.

One of the most popular snorkeling attractions are the manatees, which you can swim with in the winter.
The water stays 72 degrees and the manatees are so gentle you can float right next to them.
Other common freshwater wildlife are blue crabs, eels, snappers and catfish.
In the ocean, you can see any number of fish, coral, dolphins and more!

Where Can We Go Snorkeling in Florida?

Crystal River for the manatees.
Cape Canaveral State Park for saltwater snorkeling. Cape Canaveral is a must-see destination with 24 miles of undeveloped beaches!
Wekiwa Springs State Park for freshwater snorkeling (only 20 minutes north of Orlando!).

Snorkeling Wrap-up

We'll probably buy our snorkeling equipment at home so we can practice in a pool first.
From what I've heard, it takes less than 2 hours to learn the right snorkeling technique.
And the equipment (snorkel, mask and fins) is much more affordable than scuba diving.
We'll plan on packing picnic lunch, beach supplies, and sunscreen for a very fun and different way to relax in Florida!

Have you gone snorkeling in Florida? Share your stories in the comments below
. (We'd love any tips for our upcoming trip!)

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Monday, January 19, 2015

How to Save Over 2K on Your WDW Holiday Vacation

How to Save Over 2K on Your

WDW Holiday Vacation

The average cost of a family of four on vacation at WDW in the summer months is currently $6813.00.  

Let us show you how  to save over 2K on your  WDW holiday vacation expenses.  

To begin your cost cutting expenses…start with a vacation villa- a private vacation rental villa  near Disneyworld.   

There are several fabulous Vacation Villa communities available to choose from such as Windsor Hills Resort – A 5 Star luxury Resort, 1.5 miles from the Parks.  You can visit Mickey Mouse and Minnie, quicker at a rental home.

VRBO (vacation rental by owner ) offers the lion share of online/advertising for the vacation rental  market of privately owned homes but there are draw backs as well.   There are several other sites which offer  specific niche vacation packages and home rentals such as ROVH.   The savings are more than tremendous as compared to staying at a Hotel and you are in a much more spacious home with more amenities right off the bat.

  • VRBO/HomeAway Pro- Many villas  to choose from
  • VRBO/HomeAway Con- Cannot guarantee that the villa your renting is the actual villa you viewed online.  VRBO does not vouch for the care and maintenance of the villa.
  • ROVH can offer homes directly owned and managed by homeowners. The homes you see are the homes that are for rent.  All homes are maintained to 5 star standards.

Vacation Holiday Villas near Walt Disney World, owned by individual homeowners do not offer a standard corporate look per home.  They are individually decorated per owners taste, most have a Disney Themed room for children.  The homeowners tend to put more care and themed decorating into the vacation homes.   Electronics, decorations and furniture as many are second homes for families who frequent the central Florida area. 

On average, you will save over 58% in lodging costs  (remember our goal of over 2K) which has a ripple effect on your budget as food purchases are less costly eating in and healthier when you stay at a vacation home.  This is a wonderful way to save over 2K for your WDW vacation holiday.  The use of your own transportation offers the option of visiting more attractions outside of WDW and you will enjoy exploring more of Florida.

Here are the breakdowns for the average costs of a family of four- 6 NIGHT STAY on a moderate vacation budget. We are comparing a vacation at WDW moderate one room lake view hotel ( Coronado Springs Resort- 312 sq ft ) with king bed at $6813.00 (total cost of vacation – lodging/tickets/food)  vs. a luxury 3 master suite vacation home with private pool – 1605 sq ft which is 1.5 miles from WDW  at $3945.00
Vacation homes are a five minute ride in your vehicle from Windsor Hills Resort vs. the FREE WDW Buses which run every 20 minutes and your arrival time at the parks can be an additional 15-40 min ride.  The fastest way to get to the theme parks  while staying at a WDW Resort Hotel is by a cab ride. (15 mins) 
Compare the graph to see the difference in the expenses.  In addition, Next2Disney Vacation Home offers a fabulous personal chef for celebrations or any night occasions.  The cost is extremely affordable.  The resort at Windsor Hills is a 5 star gated community with a Lagoon pool/fitness facility plus so much more.  Can you afford to not stay at a Orlando Vacation Rental Home?

Savings are astounding when renting a vacation villa

WDW Coronado Springs Resort – 1 room with Lake View –
June sleeps 4  312 sq ft
Lodging- 6 nights
$2892.00   @$482/nt
Tickets - 5 days
Vacation Rental Villa- 3 bed 3 bath private pool- sleeps 6 - 1605 sq ft
Lodging – 6 nights
$840.00  @ $140/nt
Tickets – 5 days
Can you afford to not stay at a Vacation Rental Home?   Leave a comment  to share.

You will be able to plant your own "tree of life" with all your savings!

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The ROVH Team

Adults Visiting Walt Disney World without Children

Adults Visiting Walt Disney World without Children

This is not a rumor…this is a fact.  Adults visiting Walt Disney World without children, have a blast at Walt Disney World…possibly even more than kids.  

Celebrations at our favorite Vacation Home Villa next to Disney World


Did I clarify that this article is about visiting Walt Disney World without little ones?…Surely, you will need to add this trip to your Bucket List!  This will be a trip of a lifetime for Adults and still save Money. 

Remember when the last time you visited WDW with your little ones, and made a mental note of all the places and attractions you and your loved one wanted to explore in depth but you were rushed to make the 3:30 Parade, for the little ones? 
One would think that the majority of things to do at WDW are centered around kids, and really, if you explore the advertising and marketing that Walt Disney produces, they do a phenomenal amount of “Mommy” advertising as this is a target rich market saturated with eager Disney vacationers. 

The majority of Disney World planners are the mothers of this world, accompanied by  their best travel planner assistant- their computer. 
Here is an idea that may just be more than attractive:
Explore WDW at a _R_E_L_A_X_E_D_  Pace.   Can this be done?

My husband and I are heading to WDW soon, to our favorite vacation rental Villa  in Windsor Hills Resort  and we will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary.  We visit several times a year for business mostly...This time however, we will be joining the tourist population!

Relaxing on our Anniversary
Celebrating an Anniversary is a relaxing and exciting way to visit Walt Disney World

Cost savings #1- Staying at a vacation rental home– 58% savings on Lodging

Cost Savings #2- Take advantage of the Military Discount Tickets for amazing savings…$169.00+ tax / per adult ticket for 4 days.

Cost Savings #3- Flying to Orlando + Renting an Economy Car
As a family, we usually travel with 4-6 family members with each members luggage. This visit, we will  pack less as a couple, vacation homes villas are equipped with washer & dryers.  Plan on packing a couple changes of clothing, swim suits, your laptops and identification.  Light and easy..possibly all in a carry-on suitcase. 

Anything you need or have forgotten is available at the Walmarts and Publix’s of the Orlando area.  Set your email to airline alerts so you can book your airline tickets early and save additional vacation dollars.
Car Rentals can be on Airport or Off-Site…both are great options and Orlando has numerous cars available.  Reserve when you purchase tickets.

Cost Savings #4- Purchasing your nutritious and organic food at the local groceries
This will leave enough extra cash for a few nice dinners out.  I’m thinking of Dinner at Bruno’s Italian Restaurant.  Off the Disney Complex.

So what is there to do for a couple of Old Koots at Walt Disney World?
Actually, there is a lot to do for Adults visiting WDW without children…and if you’re not willing to spend an additional $79.00 Keys to the Kingdom Tour 5 hour back lot /stage tour..then consider the fabulous restaurants and activities that are included in your ticket price.
The Rides and the shows for starters…WE cannot wait to see “Fantasmic” with a glass of wine and a tasty pretzel!  Ride “Soarin'” again..tour at The Safari at AK…we especially love the Boardwalk's slow pace and the Friendship ferry rides…”Pirates of the Caribbean” ride is especially fun..Yes..ride the “Tower of Terror” several times..and sit and listen to the beautiful voices of “Beauty and the Beast”.

When we visit with our children, we use the heck out of the Fast Pass+ system and plan our days out carefully ahead of time. No doubt, we will employ the same planning process for our 30thanniversary..

Savvy Tips:
Start by Choosing your favorite park and work backwards from the furthest attraction in the park to the front of the park near the exit..REMEMBER your feet please!   Pack some moleskin and close toed shoes that breath…This is not a fashion contest, this is a comfort test..and you are the winner with pre - planning.
Outside of Disney are some fabulous places to visit…we especially like the Airboats rides and the Cypress Canopy Cycling above the Rainforest and conservation wetlands, this is an hour long ride, 25 feet above the ground on cables.  The Titanic exhibit on International Drive…There are some really great places to see and visit in a day..Kennedy Space Center and Cocoa Beach are a good destination (45 minutes from Windsor Hills Resort) with lovely seafood restaurants and clean beaches to relax on. If you do not have your beach supplies packed, no fear..you can rent chairs and umbrellas for a very inexpensive fee..
There are so many choices to choose from at WDW and nearby Orlando, our best advice is to always Pre-Plan and write down in advance your itinerary and menus..Activities and call ahead prior to arrival for your reservations. 


We wish all of your Dreams to come true in Orlando- Have a Fabulous vacation or anniversary for you and your loved one!

We love to hear from our readers!  Take a moment to Like us on Facebook
When renting a Holiday Vacation Villa- Let us help you reserve your Luxury Home!
Thanks for sharing
The ROVH Team