words Alexa Wang
Out of all of the states to visit, the one that is probably most popular for family holidays is none other than the Sunshine States. With parks galore, miles upon miles of gorgeous beaches, and tropical weather that is truly unique in the US, it’s not difficult to see why it’s just so popular.
However, it’s easy to make some mistakes that can make your trips more expensive, more frustrating, and less engaging than they should be. Here, we’re going to look at some of the mistakes you should avoid making when planning a trip to Florida.
Sticking to just Orlando
Make no mistake, Orlando is a fantastic city and, if you haven’t been before, it is definitely with visiting at least once. However, it’s not the only city in Florida, nor is it even the only city with theme parks. Tampa has waterparks and beaches galore, Miami is a fantastic location for those who are looking to enjoy a little class and some phenomenal nightlife, and St. Petersburg is one of the most relaxed cities in the whole state for a nice seaside holiday. Make sure that you check out at least one other city if you’re in the state for more than four days.
Know how to get around
One of the main surprises to those who are visiting the states for the first time is finding out that it’s a driver’s country. This counts for Florida, as well. Public transport is not great and walking paths throughout cities leave a lot to be desired. Unless you want to be spending a fortune on taxis, you should make sure that you hire a car. However, if you’re making big trips, you should ensure that you have room in your budget for tolls, as they are very common. There are tram tours that you can take, but these are usually for hitting up specific hot spots and exploring state parks.
Get a place near the parks
If you’re planning to make one of the many theme parks of the state, whether it’s Disney World Orlando or the Universal Parks, the centre of your holiday, then you should make sure that you’re staying at a good location. Many of the closest villas and hotels have exclusive deals with specific travel providers. As such, make sure you know where to look when booking villas near Disney World. Plan ahead of time to make sure that you get a space nice and close to the parks of your choice, as they tend to be some of the most popular spots to stay in the city. You can stay in the parks, themselves, but this can often be a lot more expensive, not just in terms of the rooms, but the meals and shops surrounding them, too.
Not being prepared for all weather
If you don’t want to end up going back to the hotel early due to heatstroke or because you’re soaked to the bone, you should make sure that you’re prepared for both extremes. Florida can come down with torrential rain, even in summer (in fact, it happens more often in the summer.) Make sure that you bring sunscreen with you, as well as clothes to keep you shaded, and always stay in supply with water. You might even want to wait until autumn to visit if you’re not used to very hot weather. But you should also pick up an umbrella and a poncho at the same time. If you get caught in the rain while visiting a park, it’s a lot more expensive to pick up rainproof gear than to buy it in advance.
Not planning your days in the cities
You might well think that you can “wing it” through your stay but, if you do, not only will you be surprised by how much time you might have to spend waiting, such as in theme park ride lines, but you can miss some of the fantastic events that might be on due to not knowing what time they start at. In the cities, especially Orlando and Miami, there are parades and events so often that it’s well worth looking up an event calendar ahead of time. You might want to make sure that you have at least one rest day to relax, too.
Avoid the mistakes above and you should mostly do just fine enjoying your trip to Florida. It’s a gorgeous state with more to do than you can ever accomplish in one trip, so don’t be surprised if you start planning your return before you even leave.