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Planning On Going To Florida For The First Time

Aug 17, 2007
As a first time visitor to Florida and the Disney land area there are many concerns that put families off planning their own trip meaning they opt for a 'package trip' with flights, hotel and theme park transport all included.

Not that there is anything wrong with a 'package' other than planning your own trip and staying in a villa has more flexibility and in most cases works out cheaper.

Having researched the top 3 concerns first time visitors have I have put this very simple guide together to ensure these concerns are eradicated before they begin.

1. Where do I pick my car up from?
Most car hire companies offer an airport pick up for your vehicle so ensure you select your car from one of these companies before you book it. If you are flying direct to Florida you can expect to be picking your car up approximately 2 hours after you land. This is due to having to go through immigration, customs and baggage collection at the airport you first land at, so order your car in accordance with this time frame.
If on the other hand your flight stops en-route in the US it will take you less time from landing at your final destination to car pick up due to the fact that you and your luggage will have been security checked and cleared at the first airport you land at. Therefore allow about 1 hour from landing at your final destination as a selected time to pick your car up.

2. Direction to your holiday villa.
It is a culture shock when driving in the US for the first time, but if you are an experienced driver you can make life so simple, and driving very enjoyable.
When you leave the airport there is always someone who checks your car out who will give you directions in quite a rushed manner, pass you an area map and believe you now know where you are going. So before you leave the UK ask the villa owner to send you a simple 'idiots guide' on leaving the airport to arriving at your destination.

Ask them to supply you with directions that include junction exit numbers to make it easier for you to follow.

Study it with your 'co-pilot' so you are both aware of where to go once you arrive and get a comparative direct guide from Google maps also. As you are probably aware all roads in the US travel north to south and east to west, and visa-versa. So if you do find yourself traveling in the wrong direction a 180 degree turn will put you back on track.

3. Will there be a villa there when we arrive?
I haven't recently heard of any guests arriving at a villa that was rented out under false pretences, however I know this has happened to travelers in the past, where the villa doesn't even exist or worse it is someone else's villa.

There are a few simple rules you need to follow that would ensure the villa and owner are genuine. Firstly check that a villa owners web site has testimonials on it that can be verified (email address and phone numbers supplied). Choose a villa that has testimonials submitted from guests from different parts of the country and indeed other parts of the world. This will ensure the testimonials are genuine and give you a varied view on the villa amenities and location.

Contact these previous guests and ask them why they chose the villa and what advice they would give you to make your stay an enjoyable one.
Secondly choose a villa that will allow you to use PayPal as this is a secure method of payment as PayPal will verify all users for you. Pay the deposit by PayPal which will ensure that the owner is genuine. Some owners may not accept the final balance by using PayPal as there is a 4% charge for monies collected, alternatively some villa owners add this charge on to the final balance.

Don't be too concerned if PayPal cannot be used for the final payment as long as the deposit is paid this way it will be a secure booking.

Planning your own trip will be fun for all the family and if you do your research as guided above you need not worry about was is nothing more than enjoying your time in Florida.
About the Author
Phil Howard has been renting his beautiful holiday villa in Florida for over 14 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
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