So it’s almost October can you believe it?
I’ve been a little quiet on her lately as a lot has been happening! From starting a new job, working on the house to planning our latest holiday! (I’m currently writing this post from a sun bed in Florida)
Me and my husband have ventured across the Atlantic to super sunny (and extremely hot) Florida. We have just celebrated our first wedding anniversary and wanted to return to the place of our honeymoon. The state stole our hearts last year and we knew we wanted to return as soon as possible!
This time round we have felt much more comfortable knowing the ropes and how things work in the U. S of A.
I couldn’t possibly keep all of this insider information to myself which is why you lovely people get the know how on some of our hints and tips from our American travels.
- Prepare for the weather
So I’ve been to hot countries before, but this is definitely a different kind of heat. Both times we have travelled here in September and it is truly a beautiful time of year. The days vary from the high twenties to mid thirties which makes sunbathing a must. (Don’t forget the suncream!) However, the afternoons can frequently bring heavy rain and thunderstorms due to the high temperatures and winds. We have seen some fantastic lightening shows! My number one tip for helping with this is to pack a waterproof poncho! We bought ours from EBay for real cheap. They are easy to keep in your bag for sudden downpours – trust me, you’ll be thanking me.
2. Love bugs
Ok, so I’m not scared of insects really but you will find Florida has an abundance of these cutely named creatures. They are black flying insects that are mostly romantically attached to their partners. They fly around and often land on you which is very annoying but they are harmless. You can use a bug spray or wristband to help but no doubt you will come across these loved up bugs at some point!
From Disney to Univeral, there are a lot of pricey excursions here. Don’t get me wrong we have been doing most of them but if you are able to save a dollar of two then I’m all over it! We’re staying at a Universal hotel this time (hotel post to follow over the next few days) and there have, believe it or not, been some amazing money saving deals by staying here. One thing I will say is that dining in resort or at the parks is much more expensive than say dining on international drive where you can find equally as delicious dinners at a fraction of the price. For instance a cocktail at our hotel poolside is $13 where a margarita at Chilis on i-drive is $5. I rest my case.
Plus don’t be afraid to pop to the nearest grocery store to pick up a few staple pieces for cheap. We picked up some granola bars and crisps to keep in the room and take out and about when we wanted a snack! Much cheaper than paying for a snack in the parks!
4. Hair and skincare
This is one that always catches me out! In the Florida heat my hair gets as dry as the Sahara and for some reason I alway forget to pack conditioner. Luckily our hotel provided some but it is a staple if you want to prevent dry frizzy hair like mine! Moisturiser has been another good friend of mine. After a day in the sun my skin not only feels dry but looks worse so don’t forget a hydrating moisturiser!!
5. Watch out when crossing roads
If driving on the other side of the road isn’t confusing enough , try crossing a road. It’s a bad idea to just step out especially when there is four lanes of cars! But even when you do hit that button to cross it doesn’t mean that cars will stop for you, it’s just gives them a warning! So keep an eye on the traffic!!!
Tipping is considered a norm for everything and I can completely understand why. A lot of the peoples wages here are made up mostly of tips and we have always had the best service wherever we went. It’s usually custom to add 15-20% tip on to the bill and you can do this with card or cash. (we mainly did cash tips)
If your at a park hotel or a hotel partner usually transfers to and from the main park attractions are included. However if your a little further a field Uber is a great choice and has reasonable prices! We also used the I-trolley on international drive (it’s a trolley bus that travels the entire length of I-drive) which is ridiculously affordable! It’s $2 a trip (a single ride) per person! Plus if your a Virgin holidays customer we were provided a 14 day free I trolley pass which meant we could travel throughout the i- drive area for free!
I’m sure I will think of more as time goes on but these are the most useful insights we found out from our own personal experience!
Do you guys have any tips of your own that would be useful?! Let me know in the comments!
I will shortly be uploading a post all about the hotel we stayed in and our experience at Universal Aventura!
3 thoughts on “What to expect from a trip to Florida | Tips and tricks”
I live in Florida and wanted to make a few observations…
Our rainy season is from about mid-June through September. Sometimes it starts earlier and sometimes it ends earlier. The almost daily storms have multiple causes. Some start on the east coast of the state and make their way west. Others are isolated storms that randomly pop up. The latter usually last 30 minutes tops but can go longer.
Also… hurricane season! It begins June 1 and ends November 30. September 10 is the peak of hurricane season. June-September it’s usually storms in the Atlantic. October is when the Gulf of Mexico starts getting more active. I HIGHLY recommend following Tampa meteorologist Denis Phillips on social media. He gives the facts without creating hype/drama/fear. He knows his stuff and he’s the only one a lot of us here trust (he’s a super nice guy too). Orlando doesn’t really get a direct hit from hurricanes but depending on the storm, impacts can be felt. The theme parks all have plans in place if a storm does come though. They all adjusted their hours when we kept an eye on Hurricane Dorian last month. And 2 years ago when Irma came through the parks all closed and guests had to stay at their hotels, but they had activities to keep everyone occupied.
Love bugs are only around here in May & September. It’s their mating seasons. Luckily they’re only around a few weeks. They’re nasty little things though.
Great advice!! Thank you for sharing! Love C x
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