Orlando, FloridaNot really... well maybe.

We weren’t entirely sure what a radical honeymoon might look like. We considered a lot of different places and get-aways, and let me tell ya... in ain’t cheap to go on vacation these days. After much thought, we had pretty much decided that we should go on a cruise. We figured that was a fairly cheap way to see the Caribbean, do cool things, and eat good food. As we began seriously researching different cruise options, we started hearing crazy things on the news. It seemed like every day there was a new story about a cruise ship losing power out at sea or a cruise ship tipping over in the middle of the ocean. I mean, what are the odds? It seemed really strange to us both that cruise lines were getting all of this negative press just as we decided that we wanted to go on a romantic cruise for our honeymoon. We both agreed that we didn’t want to appear on the show "When Vacations Attack", so we went back to brainstorming.

Jackson Hole, WyomingWe considered going somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, but we didn’t think we could really ski in April. We discussed going to California, but we didn’t know if we could really afford to do much when we got out there. Then one night, out of the blue, I decided that going to Orlando would be fun. I honestly thought Phillip would veto the idea; he knows I’ve been wanting to go to Disney for a while now, and I didn’t think he was too keen on the idea. But, as we started talking and researching the various things to do, we figured that it might be neat to head to Florida. We pulled up Google maps, and in doing so, we realized that Cocoa Beach was only about an hour outside of Orlando. Best of both worlds: Mickey Mouse AND the beach!


Once we determined that we wanted to go to Orlando and Cocoa Beach, we had to figure out if we could truly afford to spend a week there. It just so happened, that Southwest had a fare sale on flights to Orlando; they were half the price of their regular fares. Fifty percent discount? Yes please! After researching various travel sites and airlines to ensure we were getting a good deal, we booked our Southwest flights at $228 a piece.


Next, we needed to find hotels. Thanks to my traveling days at Dixon Hughes, I’d stockpiled a decent amount of Hilton points. After checking out Hilton’s website, we found a nice oceanfront Hilton in Melbourne (Cocoa Beach location was booked) and an Embassy Suites minutes from Disney in Orlando... both were booked using my Hilton points. That’s right; we’re staying 2 nights on the beach in Melbourne and 4 nights in Orlando for F-R-E-E. If we had booked these same hotels and paid out-of-pocket, it would’ve cost us $1,112.50. I knew I spent all of that time at the Hilton Garden Inn in Anniston for good reason!

Rental Car

We knew we’d need a way to get around once we got to Florida, so we started hunting for deals on a rental car. The more we searched, the more frustrated we got. We couldn’t believe that it costs nearly $1,000 to rent a car for a week. Knowing that we just weren’t going to pay that much money for a car, I Googled my heart out trying to find coupons and discounts. Thanks to Rental Car Momma (yes, that’s a real thing), we were able to book us a snazzy economy car for the week for the low, low price of $276. Had we rented that same car at the same rental company without our discount code, it would’ve cost us $767. All I can say is “Thanks Rental Car Momma!”