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Florida holidays

Year-round sunshine, 825 miles of beaches and world-class family attractions make Florida holidays top of the list for families and couples alike. In fact, it’s one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet! At the heart of the Sunshine State, you’ll find Orlando; the theme park capital of the world, and the home of some of the region’s best shopping centres. Journey south to experience the famous palm tree-lined boulevards and swanky celebrity hotspots of Miami. Just off Florida’s south coast lies the tropical island of Key West, where you can spot dolphins in their natural habitat. To experience the great outdoors, head for The Everglades national park; it’s perfect for hiking, kayaking and wildlife watching. 

What should I pack?

For anyone taking a holiday to Florida, sunscreen is one of the warm weather essentials. However, when it comes to clothing, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Outdoors, it can be very warm and quite humid, so it’s worth packing shorts, t-shirts, and light and airy clothing. However, practically every indoor space, from hotels and shopping malls to restaurants and theatres, is air-conditioned to the max. With this in mind, it’s worth bringing something warmish, just to keep the chill off. Adaptor plugs are a good idea for those who can’t bear to leave their gadgets behind. Sunglasses and swimwear are always useful, and flip-flops can save you getting your feet burnt or filling your new shoes with sand.

16-33 ℃

It’s called the Sunshine State for a good reason; temperatures range from mid-teens to the low-30s all year round. 

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8-9 hours

If you’re heading to Orlando, you’ll land at either Orlando International Airport (MCO), which is 19km south-east of Orlando, or Sanford Airport (SFB), which is 43km north-east of Orlando.

Weather and climate in Florida

Temperature: 16-28 (°C)

Yes, the Sunshine State really does remain sun-soaked all year round. Long, hot summers and mild winters make Florida holidays perfect for all seasons, with temperatures climbing to 33°C. Bear in mind that sudden rain and storms are common between June and September, so remember to pack a brolly. To avoid the big crowds (especially in the theme parks), book your visit in spring or autumn. 

Weather In Florida

Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, July, AugSept, Oct, Nov, Dec

Florida is best for...

Little ones: Florida holidays really can make dreams come true. 15 theme parks await, including Disney’s Magic Kingdom®, where you can meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse, ride the teacups, and get your picture taken outside Cinderella’s Castle.

Shoppers: Grab a bargain at Orlando Premium Outlets®, or pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir at Downtown Disney.

Teenagers: Experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando Resort™. Ride the Hogwarts™ Express between King's Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida™ and Hogsmeade™ Station in Universal's Islands of Adventure™. It’s just magical.

Kids: With all our Orlando package holidays of seven nights or more, kids aged 11 and under receive their own Kids Eat Free card, valid in over 100 restaurants throughout Orlando. Find instructions on how to redeem the voucher within your travel documents.

Fast facts for Florida

Language: The language spoken is English.

Currency: The currency used is the US Dollar ($).

Local time: Florida is 5 hours behind GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Orlando International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport. Transfers to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale are between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours. 

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Florida is 9 hours.

Tourist Information: Further Florida tourist information can be found at www.visitflorida.com

 

Holiday destinations related to Florida:

 

 

Getting around Florida

By hire car: Hiring a car will help you get the most of out your holiday. Don’t forget that Florida has more toll roads (often called turnpikes) than any other US state, costing anything from 25 cents to a few dollars.

By trolley bus: The I-Drive trolley bus is a convenient way to get around the 23km stretch known as International Drive, with its shops, restaurants and attractions.

By resort bus: If you’re staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you’ll have access to free buses that will take you to all Disney parks. It couldn’t be simpler. 

Events in Florida

For yachters: The Miami International Boat Show is one of the biggest annual events in the state, with 3,000 boats docking at the marinas every February. It’s your chance to mingle with Miami’s most glamorous citizens as you admire extravagant powerboats and luxurious yachts.

High speed: The historic Daytona 500 takes place early in the year; it’s the most popular motor race in America, and it’s guaranteed to thrill.

Halloween: In October, Walt Disney World Resort holds kid-friendly Halloween parties, complete with spooky parades and spectacular fireworks.

Santa visits Florida: Disney’s Magic Kingdom® feels even more enchanted at Christmas. There’s a snow-sprinkled Main Street USA, festive music to get you in the spirit, and a very special visitor; the kids are sure to remember Mickey Mouse dressed as Santa forever.

Florida safety and security

Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Florida.

Do I need a passport?

The USA has very particular requirements when it comes to entry permits, so it’s worth checking before you fly to avoid being turned away at the airport. For further information on Florida passport requirements, before you book your Florida holiday, visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa/entry-requirements Do I need a visa? Most British passport holders can apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation through the Visa Waiver Programme. Replacing the standard USA Florida visa, this allows the bearer to stay in the States for up to 90 days. However, to apply for this, you will need an e-Passport that has an official e-Passport symbol. To find out more about visas and the Waiver Programme, look at: usa entry requirements

Should I get travel health insurance?

The United States doesn’t operate a state-funded health service. To protect yourself against the substantial cost of a medical incident (even a small one), travel health insurance is essential. It offers you protection against the costs of medical services, covering everything from medical bills and medicines to repatriation back to the UK if required. However, not all insurance policies cover everything you need, so it’s worth double-checking to see what protection you get before you travel.

Any other tips?

Trips to theme parks are almost mandatory for anyone visiting the Sunshine State. However, if you’re thinking of going, preparing in advance can help you make the most of your day out. Plan the attractions you want to see and book tickets in advance to avoid the queues (which can be eye-wateringly long: not good if you’ve got young kids with you). Multi-day tickets offer much better value for money than single day tickets and give you the time to see as much as you want. The USA is the land of road trips, so hire a car. Florida is vast and the public transport systems can be confusing for first-timers. With slower speed restrictions than the UK and well-maintained roads and highways, a hire car is the most convenient way of getting around. Tips are a way of life in the USA, so factor in an extra 15% to the price of your bill in restaurants. Don’t pass up a chance to visit the Everglades. In stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of the theme parks, these primaeval swamps are the perfect place to see Mother Nature at her best.

 

Best hotels in Florida

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Types of holidays in Florida