Best time to go to Florida
The Easter holiday in April is one of the best times to go to Florida. It is guaranteed to be a sunny holiday destination, so yes, certainly do. We have been 2 times with the children in the Easter holidays to Florida and always had beautiful weather. It is not too hot then. The biggest advantage is that little or no mosquitoes can be detected.
Florida is 5,5 times larger than Belgium and 4 times the size of the Netherlands. The Sunshine State is on the same latitude as Egypt and has a coastline of 3000 km long. The peninsula has a total area of 151.670 km² and borders Georgia and Alabama in the north.
Beach AND adventure
You can choose to make it a beach vacation, but Florida is much more than just sun, sea and beach. The Everglades in South Florida are located on a bow boat from Miami, are easily accessible and worth a visit. One of the nicest trips we made was sail with a canoe between nesting alligators. We also made one road trip to Key West, where you will find the southernmost point of America. Along the way you can hand-feed at Robbies Tarpons or stop at Bahia Honda State Park for a swim or picnic. During our stay at the Key's, we made a Coral Reef State Park from John Pennekamp snorkel trip to the coral reefs of Key Largo.
In Belgium, the Easter holiday is usually fixed at the beginning of April and is therefore perfect to go then. The May holiday in the Netherlands is a bit later and you can sometimes suffer from mosquitoes. But mosquitoes are only a plague from June onwards. In most stores you can buy good mosquito repellent, with or without deet. On the advice of a friend who lives in Florida, we bought products from the OFF brand. You can also buy the “child-friendly” version with less DEET.
It does not matter where you stay, in Florida it is blissfully sultry and warm everywhere. Florida has a subtropical climate, so the annual average temperature is at 24 ° C. In the South (Miami) it is usually a degree or 2 warmer. There are actually two climate zones, a tropical zone below Cocoa Beach and the subtropical zone above it. The average temperature during the day is between the 25 ° C and 29 ° C during the Easter and May holidays. In June the most rain falls and August is the hottest month of the year and I feel a little too warm.
The first time we landed on Orlando and we stayed on Cocoa Beach, a long sandy beach on the east coast. Perfectly located to visit Walt Disney World. For the smallest one's Magic Kingdom is recommended.
The second time we landed on Miami and stayed 2 weeks on a permanent residence in Key Largo. Key Largo is a good base for visiting the Everglades, but also to explore the islands on the way to Key West.
Rent a car in Florida
I usually use the best price of a rental car Cheaptickets. This search engine analyzes the prices of all rental companies at the airport and in the surrounding area. In Florida you have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car. I always take out an excess insurance or, in other words, an omnium insurance policy when booking. You can also buy an additional insurance at the desk of the rental car company. I have found that it is cheaper to take out an additional insurance in advance (at home). The only downside is that if an accident occurs, the rental company will not refund your deposit. You must reclaim that amount through the insurance.
Extra car insurance
If you take out an excess insurance policy on location, it usually costs a little more, but you usually do not have to pay anything in case of an accident and the rental company usually does not take a deposit with your credit card. Always read the conditions at home when booking and also take your time at the airport. In the United States, you should not take the risk of going on the job without extra insurance. The costs in an accident can be very high.
It is quite possible that the requested type of car is “not in”. In America you usually get an upgrade at no extra cost. The price of the excess insurance also remains the same. In our case we got a Ford Explorer instead of the chosen lower middle class car. We landed in Orlando around 18:00 pm (In Belgium it was already midnight by then) and were at the rental desk around 24:00 pm. The type of car was not available, and we then waited half an hour. The children were then 19 years and 30 years old and became tired and impatient.
After asking 2 times, where our car stayed, I was introduced to another type of car. They showed me a picture of a Ford Explorer and asked me if it was good. At first I thought they wanted to rent us a more expensive car, but they assured me that the Ford Exlporer was indeed charged at the same price as the originally chosen car. I then (of course) but quietly Okey said on his question if the Explorer was good for us. So we with our Jeep to Cocoa Beach. A good start to our Florida vacation. Extra tip: Do not rent expensive child seats at the car rental company, just bring them from home. They can usually be taken on the plane for free along with hand luggage.