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Thread: We are going back this August....in need of advice please

  1. #1
    Florida Chatterbox
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    Cool We are going back this August....in need of advice please

    Hi all!!

    Its been a while, we haven't been to Florida for a few years we were booked to go last August but had to cancel the day before flying due to family bereavement, we have had most of our money back from the travel insurance & just booked flights for this August.
    We are looking for a 4 bed villa & are surprised how expensive they all are, but we had a really bad experience 4 years ago (we didn't book through here though) & are very nervous
    who to trust this time but I think its worth the extra in money for a good villa.

    Can I ask if the further away the villa is from Disney main gate are the homes generally cheaper?
    We have stayed in Oak Island cove & for location this area was perfect for us, we've also stayed at Indian Ridge by Sand hill Road this was too far out (bad experience).
    we wont be doing Disney just Universal, IOA & Sea World so was looking at areas nearer to these parks but within our budget.


    ANY suggestions would be a help...
    Many thanks


  2. #2
    Moderator christhear's Avatar
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    Hi

    when you say the villas are really expensive what are you comparing them to. I see you are UK based a caravan will cost you as much in August in the UK as a villa in Florida will, and look at all the space you have. Look at places like center parcs - you would pay at least double for the equivalent space there as you would for a villa.

    Last year we stayed near the beach for 2 nights and paid more per night for a single room with 2 double beds and a microwave than you would per night at my four bedroom villa with full facilities.

    When you break it down to a nightly price, villas are great value - and yes you generally get what you pay for so watch out for too good to be true prices
    Christine



  3. #3
    Florida Expert brownm's Avatar
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    I agree with Christine watch out for villas that are quoted with to good to believe prices, Orlando is still great value for money even if the current exchange rate is not as good as it was a year or 2 ago.
    I would put your dates in as a general enquiry and narrow your search down with a short list and then take it from there.

    Best of luck,

    Mark.
    Last edited by brownm; 07-01-2015 at 21:56.


  4. #4
    Gold 5 Star Member E. Cosgrove's Avatar
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    if you are concentrating on Seaworld and Universal you need somewhere with good links to I4 which is not necessarily the same as being close to Disney Parks. When it comes to choosing your villa that is one of the questions you need to ask.
    why not put out an enquiry to the sites above, specify good links to I4, number of bedrooms and your budget and then take it from there?


    Liz


  5. #5
    Gold 5 Star Member Andrena's Avatar
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    I agree that if it seems too good to be true it most certainly is. The owner of a very cheap home may not gave the funds to maintain it to a good standard. You fontbwaste your precious holiday spoiled. The villa may not even be licenced so be very careful.

    Andrena


  6. #6
    Florida Junior
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    How much are you spending on Park tickets ?

    Then think on why you are willing to give so little to put a roof over your head for say 14 days .

    Villas , like pictured in Brownm's post can be rented for under $150 per night per villa , including electricity .


  7. #7
    Super Moderator
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    One point you raise is are villas cheaper the further they are from the parks and the answer is no. We are further out at Southern Dunes but do not charge less as we also cater for not just the theme parks but the golfing and fishing market. We also spend a lot of money keeping our home up to date eg we have just replaced the cooker which was still fully functioning but looking tired and outdated and replaced it with a new modern model if we charged low rates based purely on distance from Disney then I dread to think what the condition of our house would be like. The areas close to Universal and Seaworld are not licenced for short term rentals so Liz's suggestion of looking for somewhere with links to the I4 which will be a quicker alternative to getting to the parks you are interested in visiting.


  8. #8
    Gold 5 Star Member
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    Hi Ali,

    There's a lot of misinformation in the press, online, travel guides about villas. They talk about the bargain of the century. Massive discounts. Yada yada yada. Sadly, very few of them know what they are talking about and as often as not they end up leading you down a path that doesn't have a particularly nice ending.

    However the good thing is that this forum is a bit different, as it's attached to a website that advertises villas with owners who generally do care about giving you a great holiday.

    Villas are actually no different to everything else in life. You get what you pay for. This is going to sound tough, but there are no massive bargains to be had. For sure you can get cheap villas. But they are just that. Cheap.

    Think of cars. A Mercedes is going to cost you way more than a Fiat. They're both cars. They both have four wheels. But one is massively better than the other.

    Think of phones. The iPhone is probably the most expensive phone on the market. You could pay less than half the cost of an iPhone for a Nokia or a Samsung. They're all phones. But people love the iPhone. The reason. It's better.

    Think of shoes. Now I'll come clean here and admit that I don't wear a lot of high heels But I know that Jimmy Choos cost massively more than a pair of trainers from Primark. And from what I hear the Jimmy Choos aren't even that comfortable to wear. But everyone loves them. The reason? They're better.

    But here's the twist. And this is what heaps of people don't get with villas. And this is why some people end up disappointed. And this is why some people end up having the holiday of a lifetime and talk about it the same way that they talk about their iPhone or their Jimmy Choos or their diamond earrings.

    The Mercedes isn't just a better car than the Fiat because it has a better engine. Or a better gearbox. Or more comfortable seats. It's because of how Mercedes has put all these things together and refined them into something that simply 'feels' better to drive. Throw a Mercedes SL around a twisty road and it makes you smile. You can't help it. It just feels brilliant.

    The iPhone isn't a better phone because it makes clearer calls. Or because it has better apps. Or because it's easier to use. It's because of how Apple has put all these things together and refined it and styled it into something that simply 'feels' better to use. It becomes something fun rather than simply a tool to do a job. It makes you smile. You can't help it.

    And those Jimmy Choos aren't better because they are more comfortable. You can see what's coming now can't you? They are better because when you put them on they make you feel ten feet tall. They make you smile. You can't help it.

    And as it is with cars, and with phones, and with shoes, and with everything else in life, so it is with villas.

    When you hit the top end villas you will find that they are heaps more expensive. It's not just because they are bigger. Or because they have better beds. Or better interior design. Or better air conditioning. It's because of how their owners have put all these things together and then backed them up with a world class personal service. When you walk in to these villas they make you feel amazing. They make you smile. And you just can't help it.

    And for those of us who aim for this top end, that's the business we are in. We're not in the business of providing places to sleep. We're in the business of putting smiles onto our guests' faces. Of making them feel amazing. And having the type of holiday that they remember and talk about for years to come.
    Last edited by Snapper; 08-01-2015 at 11:21.
    Steve



  9. #9
    Gold 5 Star Member
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    Ali
    Welcome back. It's nice to see familiar names reappearing. I'm glad your last experience hasn't put you off and sorry to hear your last trip had to be cancelled. There dont tend to be a huge amoun to villas closer to Universal and Seaworld as they are near International Drive and , as I'm sure you'll remember that is more a hotel/motel based environment. We find many people do actually appreciate being away from that on the days when they don't plan to visit the parks as they aren't driving the busy roads when they want to go shopping for example. What I would say though is villas may seem more expensive than when you were last looking but as with everywhere, running costs etc. have gone up cosniderably(especially energy costs). As you know when you compare it to an hotel stay though for what you get they are still much cheaper per person ad with so many more facilities. Knowing that flight prices per adult are running not far off 1k during peak times for 1 adult for a 9 hour flight, when you compare the cost of the villa per week, most of them will be less than that for 8/10 people for 7 days so hopefully does put it in perspective. It was not so long ago that you could get a villa (allocated on arrival) for 200/300 a week, unfortuantely those days have gone if you want any sort of quality as costs and repairs rise year on year. We all want a bargain but we also want to ensure that our hard earned holiday money is not wasted and that we can enjoy the holiday.
    By booking through this site you can be confident that the villas have been verified as belonging to the person advertising them every 6 months and if something inforseen happens (such as the villa you have booked becoming unavailable there are many owners here, who tend to work as a mini co-operative and we all try and support each other to make sure the Guest experience is as good as it can be.
    The best advice I can give is to try and speak to the owners directly of the villas which you may be interested in and do your research to see what suits your family best, depending on childrens ages etc.
    It can be a bit disconcerting trying to find a home for the holidays but try to make it part of the fun of the holiday and I'm sure you will find somewhere that ticks all your boxes. What I would say though, is that if it comes down to having such a tight budget that a realistically priced option is put aside in favour of the cheapest option that may or may not give you a good holiday, then sometimes it is better to save for another year and make sure you can enjoy it properly.
    Babblin Boo


  10. #10
    Florida Chatterbox Tony G's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear of your bereavement but I'm pleased to hear you're ready for another trip to the Sunshine State.

    I'd have to echo others' comment on here.

    To put it as simply as I can, as yourself what kind of maintenance can be done on a villa that charges so little? Running your own home is expensive, and that cost only goes up when the home gets bigger and it's being used by guests all the time. It's just impossible to maintain the standard of a home unless you charge enough to do it.
    Tony G



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