first trip to Florida
Replies: 23 - Last Post: Aug 25, 2012 1:52 PM Last Post By: NinaLangstrumpf
Aug 8, 2012 1:25 PM
first trip to FloridaHi everyone!
Me and my friend are going to Florida for the first time in September.
We fly in to Miami and leave three weeks later from Orlando. I don't have much of a plan so far besides going to Orlando for at least 7 days to visit a friend.
Well, this is why I got a couple of questions:
First of all, can anyone recommend a cheap and clean accommondation in Orlando? Maybe somewhere with several "younger" tourists our age (19 and 22) :)
And in Miami as well?
Should we stay for longer in Orlando or is 7 days fairly enough? I planned to do some of the Disney Parks, but is there anything else to see in or around Orlando to do?
What else does Florida have to offer? Can anyone tell me some less touristic places/sights or anything else?
I am happy for every post on my topic! Cheers :)
Aug 8, 2012 1:54 PM
1Well Florida is touristy no matter how you slice it.
But, will you have a car? If not, you are very limited in everything and everywhere you can go.
Miami is no brainer, as Southbeach is the epicenter for the nightlife and action.
Orlando is a hell whole, the only part I like is Winter Park area. Where is your friend at? You going to amusement parks?
Otherwise, you have a lot to see and do with a car, from Florida Keys, Everglades, Tampa/St Pete etc etc.
September will be in the midst of the Hurricane season, so be prepared for major rains, flooding and evacuations of coastal areas..
You also dont mention any interest? Art? Diving? Surfing? Nature? Racing? ....
Aug 8, 2012 2:52 PM
2Welcome to Thorn Tree.
In addition to your likes and dislikes, what is your budget? A car is essential. You are going to have trouble renting one at ages 19 and 22. You should sort that out first. If you don't have one, where you can go and what you can do will be severely limited. There are plenty of cheap motels but they cater to people with cars and tend not to be located in downtown areas. Your other choice is a hostel. I can’t help you there.
Orlando is Theme Park Heaven (or hell). I can imagine you will be sick of them in seven days. You may want to Google Disney and the others that are there. Be aware that they are all pricey. You will only be an hour's drive from Cape Canaveral. You can spend an interesting day there at the visitor center.
Here is a list of places for you to Google:
Everglades National Park
Biscayne National Park,
Dry Tortugas National Park
The Florida Keys
The Tamiami Trail
The Miami Seaquarium (I like it better than Sea World.)
Learn the differences between Miami and Miami Beach
Bahia Honda Park
The Overseas Highway
The above are all in South Florida within a few hours’ drive of Miami. There is more than enough there to fill up your first two weeks.
Have a great time.
Aug 8, 2012 4:29 PM
Aug 8, 2012 4:50 PM
Aug 8, 2012 7:38 PM
5using public transport see....GOLYNX.COM / study the routes and timetable
Hotels see......MOTEL6.COM /
INTERNATIONAL Drive is the best place for you to stay
as there frequent buses to the theme parks.
Sept, is indeed hot and humid expect a daytime high of 30c
somewhere to eat
Breakfast and lunch : FIRSTWATCH.COM /
Lunch : FIREHOUSESUBS.COM /
Lunch and Dinner : TOOJAYS.COM /
enjoy your trip.
Aug 9, 2012 3:12 AM
6Thanks everyone so far :)
Well my friend's working at Disney so we get a huge discount or maybe even free entry to the parks.
I wasn't too sure what to do in Orlando apart the amusement parks, but as my friends living there atm we wanna stay a bit longer.
As I can see we definitely need a car, but does anyone know a good rental? Has anyone ever rented a car somewhere and can recommend it?
Well, I'd say we wan't to have a cheap accommondation as we are students but one that is clean and has nice staff. If another one is cleaner or closer to the centre, we'd pay more for the night.
But I have to admit I didn't know 3 weeks would be too much for Florida as it is a whole state :P So would you recommend to book a cheap inland flight to somewhere else for one week? Or what about going to beaches and just hang out there if it's gonna be that hot? I just don't want to rush through everything and be able to relax :)
Aug 9, 2012 3:33 AM
7Sorry, With regard to Car Rental ....because of your age, you might be turned away
due to lack of experience
try contacting by email rental companies like ENTERPRISE.COM /
and ask what their policy is
Flights : try SOUTHWEST.COM /
less expensive days to fly would be tuesday or wednesday
you should sign-up for emails now and follow via twitter and f,book.
and keep one eye on the weather
Hurricane season peaks between August and October.
Aug 9, 2012 4:42 AM
Are you from the US or visiting from abroad? Why didnt you say you had a friend working at Disney?
Most rental agencies will not rent to people under age 25. All the agencies are listed at Expedia or Kayak.
How did you think you would get around florida for 3 weeks?
Aug 9, 2012 6:32 AM
Aug 9, 2012 7:04 AM
10If you are not from the US or Canada, try someplace like carhire3000 which will include all the insurance and often can waive oneway dropoff fees. You will pay extra for being under 25.
Aug 9, 2012 9:06 AM
11Well, first of all I am from Germany.
When I booked to flight I just talked to my friend and she said one or two weeks wouldn't be enough and I really wanted to see more than just one or two places in FLorida, but by now I have to admit it may have been a bit naive. Public transport is the main type of transportation in Germany to get around and neither did I experience any difficulties in NZ, so I was asuming it should be the same in the US. Besides my friends never said a word about the necessity of a car :D
Oh and talking of hurricanes, I have a quick look at the weather now and then but not actually tracking it by now. Would you discourage flying to Florida if the weather's bad? Does anyone know when the last hurricane hit some region in Florda badly?
Thanks for the rental agencies. Already mailed or checked some of them...unsuccessfully so far.
Aug 9, 2012 9:45 AM
12Overall, the USA is best explored via a car, besides the major cities like NYC, Boston, Wash DC, Philly, Chicago, and San Fran. Mass transit and trains, even busses, are not ideal outside of the NY/Boston/Wash area.
That said, Florida is big vacation spot for the US, but you really need a car besides Miami and South Beach.
I would considering going to Miami 2-3 nights, maybe get a car and go to Key West, then drive and drop it in Orlando. From Orlando, consider a side trip to New Orleans or NYC or Wash DC for 3-4 nights via a flight. Check Jet Blue, Southwest as well Expedia.
Florida gets hurricanes every year, as most the gulf states, like New Orleans too, but they vary in seriousness from high winds to major evacuations and flooding. They can be 1 a month or 3 a month, you never know. The good thing is September is a slow month, school is back in session and everyone has back to work, so prices/rates are low. This would apply for most the US as well.
Aug 9, 2012 9:03 PM
13To echo what other posters said, you will definitely need a car to get around Florida. There are other locations in the states where you could get by without one, but not Florida unfortunately. The drive from Miami to Orlando is very boring.
I would definitely check out the Everglades and head down to the Keys. Both are beautiful. I think you may find that you've scheduled too much time in Orlando. Maybe your friend would be up for a trip to the coast or something to break up your time there but still be with her?
I love Solohobo's rec about a side trip. New Orleans if it is a short trip and NYC for a longer one.
Aug 9, 2012 10:25 PM
14Standard joke: We're running a sweepstakes. First prize is a week in Orlando. Second prize, two weeks.
Most here would not suggest a week in Orlando, particularly if you're young and not accompanied by small children who insist on going there because all their friends have been and their lives will be ruined if they don't go RIGHT NOW.
Most here would probably regard two weeks as a long, long time to spend in Florida. However, if you happen to really like the club scene or the Art Deco in Miami Beach, or you collect shells obsessively on Sanibel, or you particularly enjoy hanging with old folks, or.....you tell me: what did your friend specifically suggest you DO for such an extended period, thereby making it sound so appealing?
And yes, anyone who leads you to expect German-quality mass transit in the USA is not to be relied upon. Ever. The American dream includes lots of road trips, cheap gasoline (purchased at substantial cost in lives and military expansionism, but certainly cheap at the pump), and Bruce Springsteen. If you listen to American pop music, you'll notice that only deeply depressing songs feature public transport. There's a reason for this.
On the other hand, lots of people chose to live out their days in Florida, and at least a smattering are not old, retired folks. Maybe you'll love it there, and we cynics can learn from your experience. Post back here when you're through.
Hope that's helpful.
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