Arriving in Orlando

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Florida Guide > Travelling

Arriving in Orlando

We usually travel by Virgin Atlantic from Manchester and arrive at Orlando International Airport between 2. 00pm and 3. 00pm. It always amazes me that when the seatbelt sign is turned off everyone jumps to their feet and stands there for the next 10 to 15 minutes!

You then have to go to immigration where in the past at busy periods it seemed to take an age to get through. However with the introduction of Esta a form you will have already filled in on the computer before you go the waits these days is not so long.

Trolleys are available by the luggage carousel and you collect you luggage and approach the US Customs area with a form you will have filled in on the plane. The queue is relatively short although some visitors may be asked to put their baggage through a scanner.

When you leave the Customs area you have two options. If your baggage has wheels and you are happy to pull it up and down the escalators and on and off the monorail you are allowed to do so. Some visitors like to do this so that they can either meet their coach party or go to the car hire area without having to reclaim their baggage again.

However you also have the option of getting it loaded onto a conveyor belt and bussed over to the main terminal. We tend to choose this option as the next Virgin baggage reclaim area is in the car hire hall so the drivers in the family usually go to arrange the car hire whilst the others wait for the luggage.

You can get luggage trolleys that you can push yourself. These used to be a non refundable $3 each but I am not sure how much they are now. However we usually get a porter with a large trolley as they load your luggage wait for you to get the car hire details and then load your car for you. We usually tip $2 per case but feel it is money well spent and we are on holiday after all.

In recent years we have hired our cars through Alamo as they allow you to choose your car in the model section that you have paid for. We try to get one with low mileage and you need to check for the smell of smoke. Before leaving the airport we always check for any bumps or scratches and notify the car hire company.

Drive slowly when you leave the airport you are on holiday so have plenty of time. You will have instructions of the road to take but do not worry if you miss your turn as you will just go around in a big circle and come back to that road again.

Enjoy Florida.

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