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Holidays

Orlando and where? Summer 2022

13 replies

CoisFarraige · 08/03/2021 14:14

We have two teenage boys. To date, we have holidayed in Europe due to cost/school hols. Summer 2022 might be our last family holiday with uni. around the corner. I have family who are living in Orlando for 20 years but we've never visited. So would like to build a holiday around a visit to them/Orlando but want to travel around a bit too. Hoping to get some advice/suggestions re: costs/places to go. Unfortunately we would be restricted to summer months - maybe end of June into July.
Wish list:
(1) up to 3 weeks - Maybe a week in Orlando - visit family, go on trips with them. Can stay with them so no accom. costs for this week.
(2) hire car and travel somewhere else. Are RVs/camping very expensive? Explore Florida or travel further?
(3) happy to be off beaten track; not interested in staying in Miami; like a bit of hiking; nature; animals; historical sites; art; science etc
(4) prefer Air bnb type accommodation to hotels/motels. Not looking for luxury accommodation.
Budget ? flights will be expensive - flying from Ireland/summer so any tips welcome.

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DavidsSchitt · 08/03/2021 14:28

RVs are expensive and a PITA.

You haven't said what your interests are, what you'd like to see, what distance you'd like to drive.

You'll also bump up the cost using air b&b or lodges due to cleaning and service charges. If you're on a budget go for motels all the way.

I'd fly in and out of Atlanta, have a couple of nights in Atlanta on arrival and to acclimatise and then hire a car and head to the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway for 5 nights.

Then head South to Savannah and Charleston with a couple of nights in each before travelling on to Orlando.

Depending on the one way drop off fee and flight prices I'd either add in a couple more nights in or near Atlanta at the end to save the money.

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DavidsSchitt · 08/03/2021 14:30

Sorry. You absolutely have said what your interests are!

Hiking, nature and animals....add some more time on for the smokies.

Bears, elk, deer, lots of wild turkeys! Lots of hiking, Gatlinburg is a lot of fun too.

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Whatwhyhowwherewho · 08/03/2021 14:39

St Augustine was lovely & lots of history. I would love to go back.
www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine/facts
www.visitstaugustine.com/

Clearwater beach was stunning last time I went, it was several years ago now but nicer than st Pete’s
www.livebeaches.com/city/clearwater-beach-fl/
www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/clearwater-beach.html

www.tripadvisor.co.uk/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g34379-d273844-i451017981-Pinellas_County_Heritage_Village-Largo_Florida.html

Naples
www.naplesgov.com/

I imagine it would be hot and humid in June/July though.

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DavidsSchitt · 08/03/2021 15:18

Also driving is very easy. You can easily do a 6 hour trip with teens just stopping off for breakfast somewhere on the way.

When we road trip we tend to get up early and drive a few hours before breakfast time

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Figmentofimagination · 08/03/2021 15:38

I agree about St Augustine and Clearwater Beach.

Also Key west. It has history with museums like Hemingway's House, lovely beach, boat trips, snorkelling, jet skis, and every evening there is a big party atmosphere at Mallory Square to watch the sun go down. Street performers, musicians, food trucks. Just make sure you find a place to sleep more on the north side of the island as it's noisier on the south.

My parents took me a lot to Florida from age 3-18. I loved the usual stuff of Disney and Universal and shopping, but also loved the travelling and seeing new things. We went to Key West twice when I was in my teens, I would love to go back again.

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Figmentofimagination · 08/03/2021 15:40

Also, look into flights to and from Sandford instead of Orlando. Smaller airport and can sometimes be cheaper.

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DavidsSchitt · 08/03/2021 15:44

That would be Sanford - not Sandford

I think the first thing to establish is whether you're looking for a road trip or just to stay relatively local to Orlando. For 3 weeks I'd definitely go further afield but we do quite like an adventure as opposed to relaxing at the beach

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CoisFarraige · 08/03/2021 16:05

#DavidsSchitt thanks for the info and tips. I think we'd stay in Orlando mainly to see family (& go places with them while there) and rest of time would be on the road/exploring. No interest in beach hol - want to explore a bit.
#Whatwhyhowwherewho thanks for those recommendations.I know summer will be very hot/humid but we can't take three weeks any other time. As we are visiting family, we'd would still like about two weeks to explore by ourselves. But yeah, not ideal weather wise.

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wonderstuff · 08/03/2021 16:07

Naples is lovely and not far from the Everglades.

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CoisFarraige · 08/03/2021 16:19

@DavidsSchitt and
@Whatwhyhowwherewho
Apologies, didn't tag you properly in previous.

@Figmentofimagination Great suggestions - and I'll check out Sanford.
@wonderstuff thanks, the Everglades would be cool.

I'll have to check out all the suggestions. If we flew in Orlando, we probably could get away with no car hire until leaving Orlando. What we save on the weeks car hire might cover the drop off fees if we picked up in Orlando/dropped in Atlanta. Lots to figure out. Thanks everyone.

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wonderstuff · 08/03/2021 16:20

For flights, start looking 11 months out, decide if you're happy to go indirect or not. We came home via Detroit last time we went to Orlando and it was actually an easier flight.

If you're flying from Dublin you can clear US security there which makes for a quicker journey through the airport when you land.
Consider Tampa and Miami as well as the Orlando airports. //Www.dibb.co.uk is a Disney based forum, they often have threads watching flight prices and I've found some good deals from tips on there.
We have been a few times in UK summer holidays and I'm happy if we can get return flights for less that £500 pp, usually with one leg indirect. Prices for next year might be a bit different, who knows how many airlines will be in business then and whether demand will allow them to increase prices?

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DavidsSchitt · 08/03/2021 16:56

"I think we'd stay in Orlando mainly to see family (& go places with them while there) and rest of time would be on the road/exploring. No interest in beach hol - want to explore a bit."

I that case I'd get out of Florida after visiting relatives. Then I would:

Fly into Orlando and out of Atlanta

Orlando - 1 week with family

Savannah - (4 hour drive) 2 nights history

Charleston - (1 hour drive) 2 nights history

Asheville - (4 hour drive) 1 night Arts town

Blue Ridge Parkway via Cherokee to Gatlinburg - with stopping for hikes etc this could take the whole day. I would then stay in the smokies for 6 nights using Gatlinburg as a base/lots of nature, wildlife, hiking and a fun town that is walkable at night.

Atlanta - (4 hour drive) drop car and stay 2/3 nights, city, science, culture, sport.

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CoisFarraige · 09/03/2021 09:51

@wonderstuff - thanks for that info, I will keep an eye on flights - happy to fly indirect if need be. But yes, who knows what flights & prices will be like after this... demand will probably be huge.
@DavidsSchitt that's a wonderful itinerary, I'd go in the morning if I could! I am going to explore that over the next few days, be like a virtual holiday. Thanks everyone for your replies.

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