It’s been a while since my family took a vacation. This past year has been a whirlwind with the move from Arizona to Minnesota. The last thing we had time to do was plan a trip – but let’s just say we’re ready. It seems everyone I know here in the Midwest is planning some sort of winter escape – most are heading to Orlando, Florida. Apparently, that’s the trend when the temperatures dip and stay below freezing for weeks, or months, on end.
Last Minute Travel approached me and asked if I would be interesting in reviewing their site in exchange for some credit toward a family vacation. I said yes and immediately began to scour the LastMinuteTravel.com site trying to decided where the perfect place would be to take the family during the winter. There are so many terrific deals and packages it was a difficult decision. I’ve always wanted to take the kids to my childhood state of Louisiana for the family-friendly side of Mardi Gras. Washington DC is a classic, and San Diego is always fantastic, but then I looked at the collection of cheap Orlando vacation deals and knew we had found our destination! And maybe we’ll run into some of our Minnesota friends.
Last Minute Travel has quite the collection of competitive lodging options: over 15,000 hotels in over 1,500 destinations worldwide. But the prices are what piqued my interest. Now, unless you are opting for a package (and there are some fantastic deals there, too), Last Minute Travel is like box of chocolates: you’re not going to know what hotel you landed until you purchase. This helps keep your prices low, but if you play detective you can narrow your options down by comparing hotel locations and amenities. I kept seeing three- and four-star hotels with very low prices so we investigated a little to see what possibilities the hotel could be and narrowed it down to a few – and they were all very nice. We finally opted for one that had an outstanding price and terrific amenities – it ended up being the Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate. We scored one delicious chocolate!
This Omni has five on-site restaurants, five acres of pools, a 850-foot lazy river, a zero entry family pool with 125 ft. corkscrew water slide and water tower. The hotel also provides a complimentary scheduled shuttle transportation to all four Walt Disney World theme parks.
As far as getting there, we were also impressed with the airfare we scored on Northwest Airlines. The one problem we have encountered is both flights are full and none of us has seats together. I’ve been stalking the seating chart on Northwest Airlines and it looks like there are plenty of upgraded seats not sold yet. We’ll see how Northwest handles our “split family” situation.
Stay posted for the review of our entire vacation experience. Fingers crossed all goes well – and we don’t have a problem with our airplane seating arrangement. If you haven’t checked out Last Minute Travel yet, you should. Just this morning I saw numerous three-star Orlando hotels for $30-50. Now that’s a cheap Orlando vacation.