Vacation to Florida
The United States attract many people year after year. The giant cities and vast nature are a perfect combination, and for many travel loving Europeans America soon feels very familiar.
In the southernmost state of the US, you get acquainted with all facets of America: metropolitan areas, culture, history and nature.
With fourteen days in Florida, you have more than enough time to see everything without having to rush. Rent a car or motorhome to cross the entire state, or use the excellent public transport. Whatever way you are arranging your vacation to Florida, you’ll love it!
Cheap flight to Florida
The paradise beaches, cities and nature of Florida is about eight to ten hours flying from most European cities. You would therefore expect airline tickets to be very expensive. But nothing is less true!
Flight tickets from the US to Florida can be quite expensive too. But with the tips below you can get huge reductions!
If you’re traveling from Europe, check out the deals from TuiFly. A single ticket to Orlando or Miami costs around €150 to €250 per person with this travel company. For a direct flight this is really quite cheap. Tui has multiple flights a week, depending on where you’re flying from.
Hotels in Florida
The Sunshine State is loved by many tourists and that’s good news, because there are also a lot of accommodations available. From backpackers to luxury tourists; Everybody can find a great place to stay.
Check out these websites for availability, features and prices:
Excursions in Florida
Of course you can’t spend all day on the beach! You also need to discover some of Florida’s sights and attractions. One of the best-known things to do in Florida is of course the Everglades, but many theme parks in Orlando are also well worth a visit.
For an overview of excursions in Florida + prices, look at these sites:
Renting a car in Florida or using public transport?
During your visit to Florida you can choose to rent a car or travel by public transport.
America is, of course, the country where car is king! In Florida, that’s no different.
Wide lanes, great distances and beautiful routes. It all contributes to an unforgettable experience. In addition, a car also makes it possible for you to drive everywhere and not waste time.
You’re not 25 years old yet? Then you have to pay a (high!) surcharge when renting a car. Perhaps using public transport might be more advantageous in this case. The same goes for solo travelers. Car hire in Florida can get pricey!
Rent a car in Florida
Once you arrive at one of the many airports in Florida, you can rent a car on site. However, it’s wiser to do this in advance. Then you get to see all the prices right away, you can compare different providers and often get a discount if you book in advance.
A roadtrip through Florida isn’t cheap. If you travel with more than one person, you can share the price of the rented car, and that might save you quite some money.
Here are some average prices for a car driver of 25 years or more:
- One week with a budget car costs between €130 and €200 ($145 to $220).
- A week with an SUV costs at least €400 ($450).
- Renting a convertible for one week costs €500 ($560).
- One week with an RV won’t be cheap either. €600 ($660) or more.
I always check RentCars to find cheap rates. RentCars usually give the widest range in possibilities and price.
For mobile homes, check out Cruise America and Go4motorhome rental.
Rvshare is also very convenient. This is a website where locals rent out their camper or RV when they’re not using it themselves. In general, prices here are a lot lower than traditional rental companies.
Crossing Florida is also quite easy when you only use public transport and excursions from the bigger cities.
Short distances can be bridged by local busses, taxis or through the cheap Uber app.
A bus ticket costs about $2 per ride, which will take you almost anywhere in the big cities. The smartphone application ‘Uber‘ is more expensive, but still not super expensive. Are you going out in the evening? Then this is the perfect solution in a big city.
If you arrange a trip through Florida, you’ll notice that not everything is located so close to each other. The Keys, Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, … All cities and attractions that you shouldn’t skip, but still they are located quite far from each other. By public transport you have several connections a day between these (and more) cities in Florida.
Long distance buses can be found via:
Some sample prices and how long the ride take:
- Miami to Key West: $9 (€8) – 4h to 5h drive.
- Miami to Orlando: $19 (€17) – 4h to 5am drive.
- Miami to Kissimmee (Orlando, where the theme parks are): $19 (€17) – 4h to 5h drive.
- Miami to Tampa: $19.50 – (€17,5) 6h to 8h drive.
- Miami to Fort Myers: $49 (€44) – 3h15 drive.
Do you want to see attractions and sights like the Everglades National Park, the Kennedy Space Center, … Take advantage of day trips and excursions. Tours with transportation already start at $20 (€18) per person. Look for a wide range on Getyourguide and Viator.
Florida itinerary: 2 weeks
You now know how to find cheap flights, book hotels, how to book excursions, and some extra tips for a vacation to Florida by car or by public transport.
Then it’s now time for the itinerary for Florida. I was there for two weeks, and this was my travel schedule:
Day 1: Off to Miami
Miami is centrally located in the Sunshine State and is therefore perfect as a base to explore the rest of Florida. From Europe to Miami it’s about ten hours flying. Try to arrange a direct flight to increase your comfort. Read this article on how to find cheap flights.
Day 2, 3, 4, 5: Miami and a few excursions
Miami is quite big, but all you have to see is bundled quite close together. Personally, I found SoBe (South Beach) the nicest place to stay. Close to the beach and not far from the nicest attractions of Miami.
A Florida vacation is mostly relaxing. So be sure to enjoy the gorgeous beaches and the beautiful people walking around.
Besides enjoying the beach, you should definitely consider a boat trip, a visit to Little Havana and so some relaxing in the Venetian Pool.
Be sure to arrange some trips or excursions from Miami. Go on a day trip to the Everglades and spending a (half) day in Fort Lauderdale are both good ideas.
Day 5, 6, 7, 8: Off to the Keys!
If you are planning a roadtrip in Florida, I recommend that you only start renting a car from now on. In Miami, you really don’t need a vehicle. Public transport and Uber are more than enough to just explore Miami. By not renting a car for the first 5 days, you also save quite some cash which you can spend elsewhere in this itinerary for Florida.
Whether you’re traveling by car or public transport, I forbid you to skip the Keys.
The Keys is an archipelago of over 1,000 islets. The largest of these islands are connected by a giant road: the Overseas Highway.
The most famous cities in the Keys are Key Biscayne, Key Largo and Key West. The latter is also the southernmost part of the United States.
I found Key West to be extremely relaxing after the busy Miami. A cute town with beautiful beaches, friendly people and a Caribbean atmosphere. Go to the former Ernest Hemingway home, make a selfie at the southernmost point of the continental USA or rent a bike and relax!
Day 8, 9, 10: Tampa Bay
From the Keys, it’s a long drive to reach Tampa Bay. Tampa is -according to US standars- in fact a rather small city, but the entire agglomeration has nearly three million inhabitants on its territory! So you can be sure that there’s a lot to experience!
You could describe Tampa as a second Miami, but then even bigger. There’s great nightlife, beaches to fall in love with and a downtown filled with skyscrapers.
Relax after a long drive from Key West and enjoy the last turquoise waters and white beaches you’ll see with this itinerary for Florida.
Day 10, 11, 12, 13, 14: Orlando
Orlando is only an hour and a half to two hours driving from Tampa. This city is the most visited place of the United States, and all these visitors come for just one thing… The theme parks!
Every year millions of Americans and foreign tourists come to this place to visit theme park after theme park.
For the rest, there isn’t really much to do or see here. The city center has no major sights, and you don’t have any beaches here. If you don’t like amusement parks, I recommend to skip Orlando or stay less long.
However, if you love amusement parks, you have just arrived in heaven!
With three full days you can choose between dozens (hundreds, even!) of theme parks, water parks, zoos, attractions and more.
During my trip to Florida, I visited Disneyworld, Universal Studios and Aquatica.
Disneyworld is fun for young and old, mainly because of the beautiful rides, decors and pleasant rides. Universal Studios appeals to an older audience, and I have to admit that I fell head over heels in love with the Harry Potter part of this park.
Aquatica is a water park for young and old alike. Calm rides but also attractions that will make you scream louder than ever. All of them in water, of course.
Do some research beforehand to find out which parks you would really love to see. There is an amusement park or attraction for everyone in Orlando!
Day 14 – Head back home
Saddest day of this itinerary! Your two week itinerary through Florida has been completed. And now it’s time to return home. I hope you enjoyed your trip!
Florida roadtrip: map
Florida itinerary for 10 days
Do you only have 10 or 12 days to explore Florida? Spend one day less in Tampa and don’t (or only one, two days) go to Orlando (the last 5 days of the itinerary above).
Orlando has hundreds of amusement parks, but other than this there isn’t anything to do here. Not everyone is crazy about wild rides, and after a few days you might have had it with the theme parks.
Find out which theme parks you would consider visiting and afterwards you can still take your flight home from Orlando.
Not keen on theme parks? Then there is actually one other thing you can do while visiting Orlando… Shopping! You’ll find hundreds of shopping centers and outlet stores in this city.
Package deals to the United States
Are you looking forward to an exciting trip in the United States, but are you not so keen on planning all if yourself? Then take a look at these interesting offers:
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.