As a villa rental owner, for 15 years renting close to Disney Orlando, there are many handy hints and tips that I will make available to you to ensure your trip to Florida is not just a memorable one but one that maximises the time you have available. Seasoned travelers will tell you that 2 weeks is never enough to do all the things you want to do. Also not everyone has the same taste in attractions, restaurants, shopping experiences etc. So I am going to walk you through some handy hints and tips to ensure you are at least aware of what to expect and how you can best plan to guarantee you get the most from your trip to The Sunshine State of Florida.
Before you choose a rental villa you need to select an area that accommodates all you want to do during your trip. There's no point choosing a villa that means you spend every day traveling to and from the theme parks for more than 15-20 minutes wasting precious fun time. There are plenty of villas that are well within reach of all the major attractions and with the ongoing development of the I4 and highway 27 the Davenport and Kissimmee areas, for example, are perfectly located.
Most communities within these areas offer easy reach to the attractions combined with peace and quiet away from the parks once the day is over. Most villa owners show a location map on their web sites so your first task is to check out the area in which your villa should be located.
Once you choose the area you want to stay in, looking for a villa is now easy; most web sites advertising private villas for rent offer a search facility that includes certain areas by city, Davenport, Kissimmee, Gulf Coast etc. So just search villas in the particular area of your choice, and I guarantee you will find plenty to choose from.
Arguably the most popular villa size for rent is a 3 or 4 bedroom home, depending on the size of your party, and these make up the majority of villas for rent in Florida. Most have their own private heated pool so you don't have to share a pool with anyone else. So as you search for the villa of your choice keep a list of all the things you want in your holiday vacation home.
A few things to consider are;
1. A villa that allows you to view a 360 ‘Virtual Tour’ (Photo's can be deceiving)
2. Private heated south facing pool (For maximum sunshine)
3. One with a Guest Book (Read what others have said about the home)
4. Free phone calls, local and international (Saving a fortune phoning home and within the US)
5. Free Internet access (A must for local searching)
6. Free use of a Bar-B-Que (Great for watching the sun go down)
7. Close to a food store (Within 5 minutes drive)
8. Within 15-20 minutes of Disney attractions (More time to enjoy your stay)
These are just 8 important things to add to your list, as opposed to getting to your holiday home only to find you are miles away from it all, and that you could have rented a home with everything on your check list, if you only had taken the time.
OK now we have a place to stay let's look at what we are going to do in Florida and set an agenda.
1. Theme Parks (List all those you want to visit in preference order)
2. Shopping (What are you looking to buy?)
3. Dining out (What is your favourite food?)
4. Other attractions (Kennedy Space Centre, ST. Petersburg, Etc. )
It's so easy to act like a bull in a china shop in Florida running around from park to park, shopping, dining out, visiting major attractions and spending two weeks feeling exhausted from it all. A handy tip is to sit and plan your days in advance so you see all you want within the time spent there.
It is good advice to do a theme park every other day and not try to fit a different one every single day in your first week. Not that you will get board but in can be very draining especially at peak times of the year when you can spend a bit of time queuing for rides and shows.
Another reason for picking a villa within 15-20 minutes drive from the theme parks is you are favourable going early, as soon as the park opens, and pop back home for lunch, a swim or just to chill out for an hour. You can get a pass-out from all the parks so you won't have to pay to re-enter. Also theme park food can be expensive in comparison to that purchased outside the parks and it is even cheaper to throw something on the BBQ at lunch time back at the villa. You will find if you break your day up in this way, you and the family will get to stay right until the end when the park closes and enjoy their closing spectacular displays, without feeling pooped out.
Finally look around the area you are traveling to and from, can you slot some shopping in on the way there or your favourite restaurant on the way back? The areas in and around the attractions are easily accessible for shops and eating outlets so familiarise yourself with the local area to minimize travel time. Another good reason to choose a villa with free internet access, let the kids search the net for places you wish to go, maps and directions on how to get there, as it is great fun for them, helps with your plans and keeps them occupied during times spent in the villa.
I trust the above is of good use and that you thoroughly enjoy planning your trip and living all Florida has to offer, and that you leave wanting more. Happy Holidays.
Phil Howard has been renting his beautiful holiday villa in Florida for over 15 years and he wants you to have the holiday of a lifetime. See why his florida holiday villa is occupied for over 40 weeks every year