Florida Vacation Tips and Planning ideas
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your Florida vacation is when to go. How far in advance you need to plan, how much you’ll pay for airfare and accommodations, how crowded it is, and what kind of weather you’ll experience are all dependent on the dates you choose for your vacation.
If you can only travel during winter school vacation, you’ll want to book as early as possible and understand you’ll be charged premium prices. If you absolutely must plan a winter trip but don’t want to plan in advance or pay high prices, the first few weeks of January often see a slump in tourism after the holiday crowds go home.The hurricane season runs between June and November.
Florida is called the “Sunshine State” because of its nice weather all year long. There really isn’t a bad month to visit this state. Florida also offers many different types of beaches and activities so there is something that is sure to attract you to vacation there. In order to get the most out of your trip you will need to do some planning ahead of time.
You will need:
Specific Florida location
List of activities
Follow these steps:
Decide which area of Florida you want to visit. Central Florida is home to the Disney theme parks, as well as to Kissimmee’s theme park. If you are looking for nice beaches, you will want to go further south, to Miami or Key West. If you stick to north Florida, you can visit Florida’s oldest town, St. Augustine.
Choose a date for your vacation to Florida. Most likely this will be dependent upon your work schedule or your child’s school schedule. Once you have the date you can begin planning the details of your trip.
Set up a budget. Your budget will help you decide if you have enough money to fly or take a train or bus. Otherwise, you may need to drive. A budget will also help you save the amount of money you think you need. Take the amount you need and divide that by the number of weeks you have until your vacation date. For example, if you need $1200 for your trip and it is 12 weeks away, you will need to save $100 each week.
Book a hotel room. You can find a hotel several ways: You can look hotels up online at places such as Expedia or Hotels.com. If you are an AAA member, you can use a AAA book or speak to a AAA representative. You can also call your favorite hotel chain and find out if they have a hotel near the area you plan on visiting. For example, if you love Best Westerns, you would call the company’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-780-7234 and have a representative find you a hotel near your destination. Make your reservation as early as you can because some hotels are booked solid and you want to make sure you will have a place to stay.
Make a list of the sites you want to see and all the activities you plan on taking part in. You may want to list them in order of importance because you may not have enough time to get everything in. You can learn what is available the same way you found a hotel. In fact, the hotel you book may be more than happy to tell you what is available if you call and ask them.
Pack. Make sure you include swimsuits and snorkeling equipment if you plan to hit the beaches. Pack a nice outfit for dinner on the town. Bring a pair of comfortable sneakers for sightseeing and some flip-flops for lounging. You may want a hat to keep the sun out of your face, sunglasses to shield your eyes, and sunscreen to protect your skin. Have your children bring their favorite toy, portable DVD player, or MP3 player to keep busy during the trip. Finally, make sure all suitcases have tags with your information on them in case they get lost.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on attractions, visit Florida’s beaches, which are free.
Use a travel agent to put together a vacation package. This may save you money in the long run.
You may want to bring travelers checks instead of cash, which could easily be stolen.
Guidebooks are another helpful resource. Many guidebooks will give you candid opinions about their trips, favorite operators, and worst experiences.
The key is determining your priorities. If you must stick to a budget, you can still have a wonderful vacation.
Vacation Package Deals
Here is a list of some of the best places to look for vacation deals to the Sunshine State.
Online travel websites
Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, Cheaptickets, Hotwire and Expedia offer vacation packages with substantial savings when you book two or more parts of your trip (car,hotel, flight) at the same time and most of these sites will tell you exactly how much you’re saving with their package. Please be sure to visit our travel deals page to see the hottest travel deals.
Airlines offer their own package deals to Florida. Southwest offers Florida vacation packages to many different destinations in the Sunshine State. Other airlines that also feature package deals to Florida include Delta, US Airways, United Airlines, and many other major carriers.
If you have a trusted travel agent you prefer to use for booking, don’t hesitate to ask about package discounts, especially for popular Florida destinations like Disney World, Miami, or Tampa.
Getting around Florida
A car is the best way to get around Florida. Although some cities have public transportation, you need to check that it goes where you want to go and at convenient times. Driving is generally the best way to go from town to town and across the state. Depending on the distance, flying from one city to another may be a better option. Florida is great for bicycling. Although biking in the cities isn’t recommended, there are bike paths along the coasts and long-distance trails in central Florida. Plus, Florida is flat: its highest point is 345 feet above sea level.