While most might think of Disney World when it comes to Florida holidays , there's a lot more to the Sunshine State than amusement parks. In fact, Florida is brimming with beautiful beaches, museums and impressive historical sites that are guaranteed to keep visitors of all ages happy. Fort Lauderdale and its expansive canal system, Miami and its miles of white sand beaches and Florida Keys, which is made up of over 400 islands, are all top destinations. And for those who are seeking life-size cartoon characters and thrill seeking rides, Orlando - the theme park capital of the worldwon't disappoint!
Airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Thomson Flights and British Airways offer direct flights to Florida from the UK arriving in either Orlando or Miami. You can fly direct to Orlando from Manchester and London Gatwick, with limited flights available from other major UK airports, and to Miami from London Heathrow. The journey takes around 10 hours. You can also fly indirectly to Fort Lauderdale and to Tampa Bay.
The cheapest way to get around from one city to another during your holiday to Florida is by bus using operators Greyhound or RedCoach. It is also pretty inexpensive to hire a car in Florida with rates in Orlando among the lowest in the country. If you plan to use a hire car to travel all over the state then be sure to get a deal which includes unlimited miles. The ferry is a great way to explore Florida Keys and its islands
There is a huge variety of accommodation available in Florida from budget guesthouses to five star luxury resorts. To find cheap hotels in Florida it's a great idea to shop around online and compare deals. You should also book as far in advance as possible in order to secure the best deals.
Florida can be expensive, especially if you're heading to any of Orlando's theme parks. The best way to save money is to look out for deals online and to book theme park tickets in advance. Food and drink prices can be extremely high throughout the state (and especially so in theme parks). Where possible eat a big breakfast before heading out or think about packing a picnic and heading down to the beach for lunch.
If you decide to hit the shops or plan on purchasing any goods during your holiday to Florida, watch out for tax. The listed price of most items rarely includes tax which is usually around seven per cent - it is added on when you get to the till. You can still pick up some good deals though, especially if you head to any of the outlet malls which offer brand-name goods at discounted prices.
Updated 15th May 2013
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