Florida Guide > Travelling
Having decided on your holiday in Florida, browsed the villas and picked your dates, before you settle down to dream of your 2 weeks in the sun you need to book your flights.
Flights can get booked up very early, particularly for peak times so it is worth looking at your options in good time.
For the first time visitor, the choice or airports may seem bewildering. For the Orlando area basically you have a choice of three.
1. Orlando International. This is the main international airport for the Orlando area and is located on Boggy Creek Road. Most of the villas in the holiday areas are within 30 minutes drive.
The main scheduled airlines from the UK, BA and Virgin, both fly in to Orlando International. The American carriers also use this airport but from the UK you are unable to get a direct flight but will have to change at another US city. We have done this several times as very often the prices for an indirect flight are cheaper.
The hire car companies are based in the terminal building with the collection and return points adjacent to the arrivals and departures hall.
For the return journey there are a few shops and duty free for your last minute purchases.
2. Sanford. Sanford airport is to the north of Orlando and although slightly further away is still within easy driving distance of the main villa areas. Sanford welcomes the charter flights to Orlando and there are several UK based charter companies that fly into this airport.
The car hire companies are by the terminal and there is a duty free shop.
Being a much smaller airport than Orlando International, Sanford is favoured by many Brits because of its small size.
3. Tampa. This is not the immediate choice when looking for your flights to the Orlando area. Tampa is located to the west of Orlando and is very close to the Gulf Coast. One of the main highways through Florida is the Interstate 4 (I 4) and this links Tampa with the Orlando area, making it easy driving. It is particularly handy for those staying on the Highway 27, west of Disney.
Tampa too is a much smaller airport than Orlando International and so the time spent getting through immigration etc is usually much less. There are car hire companies on the terminal although at least one is sited off site. There are several shops and of course a duty free.
The airport is served by BA direct from Gatwick and also the American carriers via other US cities.
The journey to Orlando is about an hour, depending on which area you are heading for.
Last year we carried out a test! Our Florida neighbours were flying out on the same day as us – they were flying BA to Orlando International and we were BA to Tampa. Our fight left Gatwick half an hour after theirs – but they beat us to the villa by only 20 minutes! Proved to us that Tampa is an excellent option!
Whichever airport you choose, enjoy your stay!
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