Visiting Florida: Tips, Travel, Contacts

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Five quick tips to make your holiday go even better…

1/5  Fly to Tampa: The Gulf coast’s biggest city has an international airport that is served by a direct British Airways flight from Gatwick and also Norwegian from October 2018 – but is smaller and less busy than the hubs at Miami and Orlando, making for a faster path through immigration.

2/5  Fly to Orlando or Miami via Dublin: Aer Lingus fly to Orlando or Miami from Dublin, but you can connect via Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London or Manchester. The great thing with choosing Aer Lingus is that you can use their pre-clearance facilities at Dublin airport and beat the immigration queues when you arrive in the USA and beat the crowds.

3/5  Take the ferry: For families who want a two-centre break without driving far, the Key West Express is a gift – a daily (passenger-only) catamaran service which sails from Fort Myers to the southernmost Key in 3.5 hours. Adult singles from $86 (£50), returns from $119 (£70); child singles from $20 (£12), returns from $40 (£23).

4/5  Take a delivery: Parents staying on the Gulf coast isles of Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key or Siesta Key will wonder what they did without Fun And More Rentals, a local firm which delivers everything from kayaks to toddler toys and cribs.

5/5  Play your cards right: Save money in Orlando with the Kids Eat Free Card. Kids under the age of 11 can eat free in more than 130 top family restaurants. 

How to get to Florida

The Sunshine State is connected to the UK by a wealth of direct flights.

  • Virgin Atlantic heads to Orlando from Manchester, Gatwick, Glasgow and Belfast and Miami from Heathrow 
  • British Airways serves Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa from Gatwick, and Miami from Heathrow.
  • Norwegian fly from Gatwick to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale and will be introducing a new route to Tampa from October 2018.
  • American Airlines flies to Miami from Heathrow.
  • Charter specialists are a further option. Thomas Cook Airlines flies to Orlando from Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast and Manchester to Miami.
  • TUI Airways uses Sanford (a less-known airport 25 miles north-east of Orlando), flying in from Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, East Midlands, Bristol, Doncaster Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. All flights are seasonal.

Package holiday operators

  • America As You Like It: 020 8742 8299
  • Barrhead Travel: 0808 159 9354
  • British Airways Holidays: 0844 493 0787
  • Funway Holidays: 0844 557 0770
  • Ocean Florida: 020 7939 7775
  • Thomas Cook: 0844 879 8442
  • Travelplanners: 020 3542 8888
  • TUI: 0844 871 0878
  • Virgin Holidays: 0844 557 4321

Find out more about visiting Florida 

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