Going to Florida? Here’s what you need to see

If you’re heading out to Florida, alone or with family, for business or pleasure, you will want to make sure that you know about the big attractions that are worth visiting in Florida. Some of these are obvious to all: the beaches, the amusement parks, the various sporting events – these are all attractions that you’ll get to see without necessarily having an itinerary beforehand. However if you’re looking for something more unconventional, off the beaten path or if you’re looking for something that is more educational instead of the usual get-drunk-visit-the-casino routine, here are a couple of ideas to help you plan the ideal Florida vacation. As always, take a look at http://aguidetoflorida.com/ for more in-depth guides on places to visit and sights to see in this beautiful state.

For those who love the outdoors

If you enjoy the outdoors and are an active person, you will be thrilled to hear that Florida offers a myriad of activities for you to partake in. If you love to fish and relax in the sun, you will love the Florida Keys and the Panhandle. If you arrive at the right time of the year, you might even catch the tournament. If you always wanted to go diving, Palm Beach offers you the opportunity to do dive in a coral reef and take in the amazing beauty of all sorts of exotic wildlife that inhabit it. If plain ole surfing, swimming or just suntanning is your thing, you will have no shortage of beaches to do it all. Even if you’re not an outdoors person, we believe that once you visit Florida – you will become one.

Sport fanatics welcome

In Florida, you will find sporting events for every sport imaginable. How about a game of college football? The University of Florida hosts on its grounds some of the most intense football games you will ever get the chance to attend. If you come from Atlanta and are a supporter of the ACYO (http://acya.org/), you will find that the Gators are just as good, if not better, than them!

Perhaps you’re a fan of baseball more? In Spring, baseball training takes place all over the state. You will see many famous baseball teams train at Vero Beach or at Port St. Lucie. If you’re a real die-hard fan, check out your favorite team’s website and see where their next training is going to be – you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see your favorite team training for success… right before your eyes!

Theme parks and assorted Aquariums

Of course, no visit of Florida would be complete without visiting at least one of the famed theme parks and aquariums. Whether you’re with your family or not, you will have plenty of fun here. You won’t want to miss Sea World and Disney has an exclusive tour where they show what really goes behind the scenes at the most popular attraction in the world.

If you prefer less touristy options, we recommend the Kissimmee and the Old Town Park. You’ll get to see a lot of retro things here, like a classic car exhibition, an enchanted Ferris wheel and a full-blown track for lovers of go-kart. If you’re outside Orlando, we recommend you see the Gulfarium on Fort Walton Beach.

As you can see, there is no shortage of options to see, do and partake in Florida. This article has touched only the tip of the iceberg. We recommend you go and explore the place on your own. Surely such an experience will be a thousand more valuable than what some commercial guide will tell you. Have fun!

Prepare for a Road Trip

car2Taking a road trip in your car can be one of the most fun and memorable ways to travel. Instead of simply flying over the country, why not take the time to really experience it? In some cases, travel by auto can be cheaper than airline travel too.

Traveling by car can be a lot of fun, but you are bound to enjoy your trip more if you plan ahead and prepare wisely.

 

These are some things to consider for your trip:

  • Plan ahead for motels or hotels on the route.
  • Consider joining an auto club or adding that feature to your car insurance.
  • Get your vehicle checked out before you leave.
  • Try to remain flexible.
  • Include necessary items in your packing to keep everybody comfortable on the road.

When you get exhausted after a full day of driving, it is no fun to have to look around for a motel or hotel. If you travel during a peak season of the year, it might be hard to find a place to stay. That is why it might be prudent to book motels or hotels or even camp sites along the route. This makes travel a bit less flexible, but it also can make it more secure.

Do you belong to an auto club. Good ones also offer discounts on motels, restaurants, and even attractions, so they may pay for themselves. Besides, if you do get a flat tire or have other problems, it can be nice to know who to call.

Take the precaution of taking your car in for a quick checkup before you leave. Often, some minor problem can get fixed before you start racking up miles, and that can save your trip.

You may want to make good time on your trip, but you know you have to schedule in more bathroom breaks and other stops if you are traveling with kids or elderly people. Also, you will have more fun if you can take the time to explore interesting attractions along the way.

Think about who you will travel with and plan ahead. If you have children, bring along some things to amuse them in the car. If you have an elderly or ill person, make sure they have medication and other essential supplies.

Is it Cheaper to Fly or Take Your Car?

Are Trips Cheaper by Air or by Car?

Should you travel by plane or car?

Should you travel by plane or car?

If you have to travel a short distance, it is probably obvious that travel by car makes sense. When you account for time you spend at the airport, the price of tickets, and everything else, having a vehicle makes sense.

But if you need to travel for several hours, or even several days, does it ever make sense to take your car instead of fly? You have to consider the cost of plane tickets, but you also need to factor in the loss of time, extra meals, and possible hotel or motel stays. The right answer probably depends upon the number of people that you are traveling with and the time you have for your trip.

The right answer depends upon several factors, and these include:

  • Would you need to rent a car at your destination if you do not have your own vehicle?
  • How many people are traveling with you?
  • Compare the cost of plane tickets vs. gasoline, extra hotel or motel stays, and wear on your car.
  • How valuable is your time, and can you make the road trip part of your trip?

If you are traveling alone, it might make more sense to fly because you only have to pay for one plane ticket. This is particularly true if you don’t need to rent a car when you get where you are going. However, if you are traveling with an entire family, the equation changes.

In this case, balancing four air line tickets vs. a night in a hotel will be very different. It costs a lot more to buy 4 air line tickets than one, but it does not always cost much more to put 4 people in an affordable motel than 1 person. If meals are a consideration, you could always pack some snacks and lunches in the car, so you won’t have to buy a lot of expensive meals on the road.

However, if you need to have a car in your destination city, rental car costs could be a big factor. Renting a car for a week might cost as much or more as an extra airline ticket, and it will certainly cost more than a night in an affordable motel or hotel.

Plane vs. Car Trips

The right answer depends upon your particular situation. Go ahead and estimate the cost of traveling by car or by plane. Also consider the fact that it might take an extra day to arrive at your destination by car. Of course, you might make the road trip part of the fun by stopping at interesting places along the way.

Best Online Travel Booking Sites

Which Online Trip Booking Site is Best for You?

Where to book cheap flights and hotels?

Where to book cheap flights and hotels?

Even a recent article in the New York Times says that there is not one best online airline and travel booking website. In fact, there are so many choices that it can be a little overwhelming to try to figure out which one best meets your needs.  The only good solution is to find the one that best meets your needs, and this is particularly true if you need to watch your budget.

The New York Times article reported on a test of a handful of different sites. This test included big websites like Travelocity and Expedia, but it also included some niche travel sites that are not household names. Six test itineraries were included in the text, and they included travel in the United States and overseas.  Some large U.S. travel sites, like Bing Travel, had to be excluded from the test because they only book domestic U.S. flights.

Which Travel Site is Cheapest?

The big travel sites included Travelocity, Expedia, Kayak,  and Orbitz. They were all very good at finding cheap fairs, and most of the time they reported fairs within a few dollars of each other. In some instances, a smaller travel site did beat the big guys. For example, RouteHappy and Monomondo found cheaper flights from Miami to Chicago.

The advice from this study is to pick your favorite large travel site and also try an upstart to see if they pull out a better price. In other words, using all of the big travel sites or all of the niche sites may not be a good use of your time. Pick one from column A and one from column B.

What if Travel Price isn’t Everything

The survey found that many travel sites only display the cheapest routes, and they don’t care if these flights include 6 hour layovers. Most people would consider paying an extra $25 to $50 – or more – is a small price to pay to spend less time in airports and more time on vacation. This might particularly matter on long international or cross country trips.

The survey found that a site called HipMunk has an agony index that drops routes with really long layovers or other inconveniences to the bottom of the search. After all, if you have to lose time at work, it might really work out cheaper to spend more on a better flight.

What About Hotels?

If you don’t mind a mystery, Priceline may actually find you the best price on a “mystery” hotel. Sometimes, you can put in ridiculously low bids and actually come up with reasonable matches, but make sure you understand the system because it is a little risky.  Priceline also has a regular service where you can see the hotels before you allow the site to charge your credit card.

Which Online Travel Sites Are Easiest to Use?

They survey liked these three user interfaces the best: Momondo, Kayak, and Hipmunk. That said, those might be your choices for a big travel site (Kayak) and some niche ones if you care about simple user interfaces and easy-to-understand information.