Know before you go:
- State Capital: Tallahassee
- Language is English
- Time difference is 5 hours behind GMT
- Flight Time is approx 9 hours flying time from the UK
- Currency: US dollars
- May to September can be fiendishly hot and humid, with temperatures rising above 95F/35C.
- The ideal cooler-but-pleasant weather runs from March to early May and mid-October to late November.
Some handy travel tips:
So much to do and so little time! As the typical Florida holiday is between 10 & 14 days, it’s important to plan out your trip, so here are my top tips.
- Rent a car – Sounds obvious but Florida is HUGE and the public transport is not exactly feasible for a family holiday.
- Get some maps – Try & familiarise yourself with the basic highway maps, so that you don’t waste time getting lost on the 192.
- Know your compass – Directions and signposts in Florida assume you have a good understanding of East and West. It is very easy to get lost if you are unsure which direction you should be heading.
- Schedule your trip – Nobody wants a precise, military style detailed plan – after all it’s meant to be a holiday! But a rough idea of what you want to see and do in Florida is useful so you can get the most from your time.
- Pace yourselves – Walking around the parks can be intense so make sure you give yourselves a day off, a day in an air-conditioned shopping mall can seem like heaven after 3 days of walking around exhausting theme parks.
- Remember where you parked – Disney parks and others have a seemingly endless array of car parks and forgetting where you parked your rental car isn’t going to give you magical memories of Magic Kingdom! – Write down the name of the parking area (e.g. ‘Film Goofy’ at MGM Studios)
- Tip the Waiter – In the UK we don’t tip waiters or taxi drivers, in Florida – its expected! A lot of staff will be expected to earn much of their wage via tips or ‘gratuity’ – Tip between 15 & 20% of the total cost.
- Wear Suntan Cream – It’s hot in Florida, walking around the parks all day will leave you very exposed to the sun, so ensure you have good protection and keep some with you to apply as the day goes on.
Our tips for the Theme Parks
- Arrive Early – If you are driving you will want to get there early so you can get a good parking space! Also, you will be able to get on the more popular rides with lower queue times.
- Take Drinks – Orlando can get very hot! If you don’t want to spend all your money on drinks when inside the theme parks, make sure you have plenty of liquids with you.
- Take a plastic rain mac– If you like riding the water rides you will need something to keep you dry, purchasing the rain overalls at the park can be expensive.
- Ride Early – The more popular rides are easier to get onto earlier in the day.