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Florida Guide > Travelling

Arriving at the airport in Orlando

If this is your first trip to Florida then the arrival into either of Orlandos airports can be a little daunting and we have done this trip many times and have a few tips to help with a smooth and stress free transition into you arrive at your holiday home

There are 2 airport in orlando the International and Sandford, if you fly with Virgin then you will be landing at the International which in my view is the best airport in Orlando simply because its is closer to the resort area and so reduces your travelling time by some 30-40 minutes

If you fly with Thomas Cook, and many of the other UK airlines you will land in Sanford, I think this is simply because the fees for the company you fly with are a little cheaper at Sanford although I am just guessing

As I said earlier both airports are great its just International is closer to the rental areas as so you can be in the pool quicker after that long flight

Tip one is get a head start on the lines by splitting up with your group, send someone off to the luggage carousel whilst you go off to organise your hire car, depending on how many planes lands closely together there can be quite a queue for the car rental

When you book the car rental make sure that the vehicle you are renting is big enough for the number of people you are carrying and more importantly make sure it can hold the number of cases you are taking and bringing home, some of the smaller cars can hold 4 people but can only hold 3 large suitcases

You will get the inevitable rental sales spiel where they try to upgrade your vehicles if you don’t want to go through this process then make sure you have booked an adequate size vehicle to start with

If you like to haggle and wouldn’t mind a cheap upgrade then hang on till the last minute before you agree they tend to change the price at least 3 times finally saying I will go and ask my supervisor, coming back with a better deal this is normally the best offer

Next make sure that you have got some dollar bills and some quarters about $10 dollars should do it as you will need this change to pay the tolls on the way as unlike the UK the USA has a number of tolls on the roads which you will take to get to your accommodation

Make sure that the property rental owner or company they you have booked through has sent you clear and concise directions, any villa owner worth his salt will know the best way to his villa and will often be able to help you out with the best route to his villa and even the best way to get into the parks etc

If the car rental company doesn’t give you a map with your rental papers, ask them for one, there may be one in your car but ask as you will need a map for your travels around Orlando

Takes your time to Familiarise your self with your rental car don’t worry about setting off quickly make sure you know where everything is located especially the lights, as one minute it can be bright and sunny and the next very grey and a tropical downpour!

One problem that we had when we first rented a car was we simply could not find the handbrake because the Americans do not tend to use them, some don’t have the hand brake in the normal place they have a pedal in the foot well on the left hand side well out of view

We discovered this pedal and pressed it down locking the brake on the car we tried for ages to find some mechanism to unlock it but could not find it eventually we asked one of the rental guys and he showed us you simply pulled the pedal up and said we don’t bother with this ………….. we use the park on the auto box

When you come out of the air port car park don’t rush as it can be a bit bewildering at first try to keep calm and look at the signs over head on the road for the correct directions to your destination

Very importantly you must obey the speed limits as the Sheriffs are very big on speeding and they will stop anyone all the guides will tell you that you are just as likely as a tourist to be stopped and fined for speeding as a local

All that said remember you’re on holiday, there is no rush and take it slow and easy.

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 19 October 2006
Viewed 5113 times since 1 September 2008.

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