How to trip Florida - a tropical destination, best possible way!


Florida - a tropical vacation destination!
           
          Holistic health means both physical and mental aspects of life factor in person's overall health and wellness and are closely connected. Thus mental fitness is as well important as physical health. Yes, any trip or amazing vacation gives a change, a most needed break from your hectic schedule. It gives a boost to your mental fitness. 

          As any trip requires descent walking - you get good exercise, your pedometer may read over 15 miles! If that trip is well planned you sure will have lifetime memories to cherish on top of health benefits. 

          Due to long winters in northern America, kids are ready to grab any chance to get out in nature and explore. What is your favorite winter destination in USA? - I am sure it is Florida! Tropical weather, long beaches, wonderful shopping outlets and wild life to amusement parks - Florida has something for every one in your family!
  
          I know you want to get more out of your money, when it comes to trip and tour - you have to set your budget. Otherwise your expenses can ruin main fun of the trip and leave you with uncontrollable debt to deal with. If you are coming from northern states or far west, may be it is once in a long time trip and so you may want to see everything FL has to offer. How to plan a trip perfectly? 

💠 Florida Attractions:
          Before you consider other aspects of the trip, I will give you a brief idea of the attractions there.

Disney world: You may have heard a lot about Disney attractions and that might be one of your reasons to visit Florida. Disney has all sort of kiddie rides, thrilling rides, shows and nature encounters for little ones, older kids and grown ups. There is so much to write about Disney parks,  I will add a special Disney vacation post later on.

Universal Orlando: Another example of great theme based rides and shows. It has from giant roller coasters to kiddie rides, theme shows to character meet and little kid's park - every thing to entertain each and every person in trip. Specially Diagon alley and Hogwarts Express amazes not harry potter fans, but all other people who never read the series. Don't forget to taste butter bear!

Sea world: One more place with amazing rides in Orlando, specially for older kids. If you have little kids may not ride them all, still they have nice shows to keep younger kids entertained. You may visit Aquatica and Discovery Cove as well.

Gator land: Gator land has lot more activities and shows besides gators. With close up to nature and wildlife they have a nice water splash pad, too. It is a perfect cooling station for those hot-summer days!

Kennedy Space Center: It is a must see for curious scientist in family to see and explore the space technology. You may have an astronaut on site to meet and greet. You can cover this including shuttle ride to launch station, within 6-8 hours. Some of younger kids may get little bored as they don't get that space and science talks.

Shopping Outlets: I must admit this is the second favorite part of my Florida trip after Pandora in Disney - Animal Kingdom! Florida has variety of outlets in around Orlando and on east coast. Orlando outlets are somewhat crowded because of Disney around and not easy to get in due to heavy traffic in area. 
          So one of my favorite, Vero beach outlet is the best place to get brand names apparel at good price. Its just off route 95 and they have little trams to get around in outlet - another fun way to keep kids entertained in shopping. I liked Palm beach outlet and key west open air outlets , too.

Wildlife: In Florida you will see variety of zoos around, some of my favorite ones are: Brevard zoo, west palm beach zoo and lion country safari in Loxahatchee. Animal kingdom park in Disney has nice animal safari if you get chance to jump on early morning rides - will see wide range of wildlife there.

Beach: If you travel on route 1 , a nice range of beaches are there. From Daytona beach to Miami - you will see them all. I prefer Miami beach for a nice biking range and blue deep water-white sand combo.



Miami bus tour & everglades safari: Sit back and take most of Miami sight seeing in one of those bus tour. It is hop on hop off like NY downtown, you may choose the route you prefer. I like downtown with little havana, you can see downtown life with tropical culture there. 
Everglades safari is an another day trip option.

Key west - day cruise: You may use this cruise for your one day trip to Key west. Your local hotel in Miami will have more information on, You may need to book in advance. So you may book a day before while you are visiting Miami downtown and/or everglades.


💠 Best time of the year to visit:
          If Disney world is your main interest, never go around spring break, winter break or holidays. It is always crowded while schools are out. You may pick last two weeks of the August, as local schools will be open already -  you may have little less crowd there. 


          
          First two weeks of November are good, too - specially for those who have school age kids in family (most of Disney traveler are with kids). There are two holidays in first week of November, so your kids will miss only three school days, and all first quarter assessments are submitted in class - so will not miss much (I do not advise to miss school days -it is just an idea).  For more information keep an eye on Disney crowd calendar online.

💠 Vacation span:
          Even though most of those attractions are around Orlando, many more amazing places are all around Florida. If you want to cover them all, you will need at least 5-7 days for central Florida around Disneyworld, two days for east coast, two days for south and two days for west Florida.

          An ideal Florida trip will need about 14 days, however it can be done between 8-14 days - all depends on what you want to cover and what you can skip.

           I will cover most of these attractions with two simple sketches to show how to see them all in best possible way.

9 days: 

Day 1: Reach to the Florida hotel
Day 2:Universal
Day 3: Sea world / Universal 2nd day
Day 4: Animal Kingdom + shopping
Day 5: Magic Kingdom + Epcot
Day 6: Kennedy space / shopping on your way / zoo + travel to south
Day 7: Miami downtown bus + beach
Day 8: Key-west day cruise 
Day 9: Travel back 

14 days:

Day 1: Reach to the Florida hotel
Day 2:Universal 1
Day 3:Universal 2nd day
Day 4: Animal Kingdom 
Day 5: Magic Kingdom
Day 6: Epcot + shopping
Day 7: gator land / sea world
Day 8: gator land / sea world  
Day 9:  Kennedy space + Zoo Melbourne / shopping
Day 10: shopping on your way  +  travel to south
Day 11: Zoo around Tempa / Miami + Everglades safari
Day 12: Miami downtown bus + beach
Day 13: Key-west day cruise 
Day 14: Travel back

💠 Arrange the fund: 
          First thing you need to do is set your own budget, decide how much you want to spend on this trip?
          Out of those money, you may need to arrange some fund in advance. Disney parks, Universal Orlando tickets and stay can be purchased online, in advance. So most of those money you will need while you book - before actual trip date. This way you can split your expenses in two months if you are using credit card.
          Only food and shopping part of fund can be arranged later or can be charged on credit card, so it goes on next month's billing. 

💠 Before you book: Check all of the options available like if you are flying , check nearby airports - you may have better deal. 
          While you book your hotel or resort around Miami, check out if they have Miami bus tour and everglades safari pick up there? Some of the nearby hotels have those bus stops, you may not need you car there.
          For Disney and universal most of the local hotels provide transportation however they have fix times of their shuttles. You may want to rent a car instead to get time independent. All of those attractions have nice parking with shuttles to the gate.

💠 Buy tickets:  Here is what you need to buy or book.
          Tickets: Air tickets to and from Florida or car rental if required.
          Amusement park tickets: Disney, Universal, Sea-world.
          Stay: Hotel around Orlando & in south around Miami.

And that's it, you are ready to explore. 
Have any suggestion, feel free to comment.

Have a wonderful trip!



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