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Going to Florida for the first time

Girl in Florida
Girl in Florida

Florida is an amazing place with wonderful beaches, huge theme parks and an array of things to do. It’s a great place for families, couples and even groups of friends.  This article is going to focus on you taking your family to Orlando so if that sounds like it would be helpful, please read on.

Going to Florida for the first time. If your thinking of going to Florida for the first time, then you are on your way to making a great decision.

If you’re thinking of going to Florida for the first time with your family, there is lots to consider. Don’t feel too overwhelmed though, its not that difficult to plan and organise.

So, my first tip would be not to get yourself overwhelmed with it all.

As soon as you mention going to Florida to your friends and family, you’re going to get advice. You might not have asked for this advice but you’re going to get it anyway. First thing to remember is, it’s just someone else’s opinion and to be honest what they say might not be right for you and your family, even if the person giving the advice is close to you.

Saying that, here is my advice! Hopefully its balanced and it is based on 15 trips to Florida over the last 10 years.

So, where to start?

My first piece of advice is to think about when you want to go. This might be school holidays, or you might choose to go when the weather is cooler. Get tight on your dates first. If you can be flexible, then I would happily spend a full evening checking various dates and accommodation on Virgin and BA just to start comparing the prices on various dates. 

Top Tip – the dates you search can massively change the price so make sure you really delve into that. We have changed the date by 1 day and saved over £3,000! So, play around with dates and see that for yourself, it can have a huge impact on your choice of accommodation and the amount of time you go for.

What next if you are going to Florida for the first time?

Next is where you want to stay. Hopefully as you’ve been checking various dates you have also been looking at where you can stay.

There are so many options so don’t get overwhelmed. Let’s start with some easy questions…

  1. Is this once in a lifetime or the start of a new expensive hobby?
  2. Do you fancy stopping in a hotel or a Villa?
  3. Are you planning on ‘doing’ the theme parks?
  4. Who is going and what will they enjoy the most?

Let’s take some of those questions and plan something out that would work well for a first timer.

If I was going to Florida and it was a once in a lifetime holiday then I would want to cram lots in, but knowing what I know now, I would not recommend that.

The first thing I would decide is do I want to do Disney or Universal. I personally don’t think you need to do both. Maybe if this is a once in a lifetime holiday or if you have a young child and a teenage then maybe doing both Disney and Universal is the right decision. My personal opinion is that there is more than enough to do at Disney for two weeks or Universal.

Once you know if you are doing Disney, Universal or both you can focus your attention on where you might want to stay.

Hopefully now you have some dates that you would like to go and now we can get tight on where.

Orlando is a big place but in truth most of it is close to the theme parks.

Villas Vs Hotels when going to Florida for the first time

I would next start looking at Villas vs Hotels.

A lot of Brits like to look at Animal Kingdom Lodge as a chosen Disney Hotel. It is a good hotel and to open your curtains on a morning and be looking at all the animals is brilliant. However, I have known a family of 4 spend in excess of £12,000 just on their flights and accommodation and that doesn’t include food!

To me that is too much money. I’d rather half that amount by choosing either a Villa, a budget hotel or a Disney partner hotel. Again another question to ask yourself is how long are you going to by in your accommodation?

So when we first went to Orlando our daughter was 2 years old. So we went for a Villa so we could put her to bed at a reasonable time and then we could chill. This gave us a home from home situation which we loved. It felt like we lived there.

Now she is 9 years old and we can all get back to the hotel room at 11pm and get straight to bed.

So it depends on how you are as a family.

Are you early birds or like a lay in. Do you like a drink? Maybe you need space away from the kids? Or do the kids need space away from you?!

The good thing about Orlando is it is geared up for you to have a great time so don’t worry too much about these decisions. You will have a great time in a Villa but also in a hotel.

So hopefully now your considering going to Florida for the first time you have some things to think about. Some decisions to make. My advice would be to make them as a family. Make it part of your holiday, make it part of the fun.

I hope this has been a good first step about going to Florida for the first time.

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