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Troy Nunes is an Absolute Travel Guide: Navigating an Orlando trip for cheap

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We’re cheap, but want to get to Orlando. Here’s our cheat book.

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Florida State v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The SYRACUSE ORANGE ARE BOWLING! WAHOO! We also got the warm weather game y’all wanted, in the form of the Camping World Bowl. So now comes the tougher part: actually getting down there and painting Orlando orange. Lucky for you, we at TNIAAM are a cost-conscious bunch, with living in Keeley’s basement and all.

Want to get down to Orlando and save some dough? Here’s what we’ve found.

Flights

This is probably the trickiest part of this whole experience. This is a busy time for Orlando tourism, and thus flights aren’t cheap. If you’re trying to just pop down for the game and get out before New Year’s, this will be the most expensive part of the trip.

If you’re flying out of the Central New York area, Allegiant Air is adding more flights down to Orlando on the 27. That’s probably the cheapest option for anyone at this point. I had luck booking a $222 flight down out of NYC using Kayak, and highly suggest them to aggregate prices and combine airlines. Have time to kill/able to work remote? Try to fly back on New Year’s Eve to save some money.

Really stretching to save some time and money? Fly into Tampa and get a rental car. May end up being cheaper by $50-$100 bucks.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Lodging

One of the easier elements of travel in 2018 is lodging, pending you’re willing to be a bit adventurous. Uber and Lyft are available in Orlando, so you don’t need to be downtown for this one, though it will save you some money. Problem is downtown hotels are expensive.

*Update* Thanks to my co-worker Scott, who mentioned that last year SunRail had bowl passes that stopped right at the Stadium. This opens a lot more area to stay at, just need to be by a station. Check out their website for updates.

Earlier this summer, I used Airbnb for the first time in Orlando and was not disappointed. A location like Orlando, ripe with tourism all year round, lends well to Airbnb; Plenty of units are basically hotels only used by tourists like yourself. If you can, travel in a group and grab a condo for cheap but there are plenty of options for cheap. Use this link to book and get up to $40 off your first booking.

If you’re looking for hotels, there are the usual sites, but I’ve found tons of luck on Hotel Tonight. It’s mobile only and basically banks on last minute travelers. The closer to your booking date, the higher likelihood of deals if hotels have openings. I use this when I travel to D.C. for ‘Cuse games and have stayed in 5-star hotels for under $100 a night (before fees). Again, use this link for $25 off your first rental.

Tickets

Finally, tickets. SU put their entire allotment on sale, with the cheapest get-in price of $79/per. This isn’t terrible, as none of the tickets SU have are in the upper levels. However, you’re here to save a few bucks. I was able to snag tickets in the first row of corner middle decks using Ticketmaster Verified Resale for $55/per. Not too bad. Stubhub/SeatGeek have inventory in the ‘Cuse side of the stadium, but furthest corner from the main block. The cheapest tickets are in the end zones, but those sections are not team-specific. You’ll be matched with locals or whichever fan base buys tickets quicker. StubHub’s also offering 10 percent off bowl tickets right now if that’s the route you want to go.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Tailgating

Tailgaters/pre-gamers have two options: downtown or a traditional tailgate. The main downtown area is about a half mile/mile away from Camping World Stadium and an easy walk (after Orlando City games, fans do this walk to bars to celebrate). If you want to pre-game more traditionally, Syracuse is hosting an all inclusive tailgate for $75. Want something cheaper? Grab a Tailgate in a Box if you won’t have a rental car with your choice of food and alcohol.

Any locals with food and drink suggestions? Also, enough of you headed down that we should do a TNIAAM Tailgate/Meetup? Let us know.