I’ve been chatting to some of the UK’s biggest tour operators to get the lowdown on the hottest holiday trends for Florida for 2012.
Regional flights from the UK
Both THG Holidays and Cosmos are launching new direct flights from Cardiff to Orlando (Sanford) airport. In addition, Cosmos are operating flights out of Newcastle to Orlando (Sanford).
Hiring a car is great way to see more of what Florida has to offer. Kuoni and Cosmos have introduced new self-drive itineraries.
New resorts and properties
Virgin Holidays are launching the new NV Hotelthis May in Orlando - it provides free transport to Orlando’s theme park areas. Funway Holidays are featuring SeaWorld® Partner hotels in their brochure for the first time. North American Travel Services have added Gansevoort Miami, Sagamore South Beach and Naples Bay Resort to their property portfolio. Virgin Holidays + HIP Hotels have new hotels in Southern Florida and Florida Keys including the luxurious Costa d’Este in Vero Beach, owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
Apartment and villa stays
Flats make a good alternative to a hotel stay, especially for families. North American Vacation Homes are now offering apartment stays in Miami in addition to Orlando and the Gulf Coast. Likewise THG Holidays’ villa holidays are proving a popular choice with holidaymakers for 2012. See a different side to Florida with a stay in Fort Meyers and Sanibel - America As You Like It and Florida Vacations have also added to their resorts and villas there.
The launch of Legoland is another great reason to head to Orlando this year. Thomson have seen a rise in Gulf Coast twin centre stays with Orlando – allowing you to unwind beachside after the thrills of the Orlando’s theme parks. My top tip to save you money is to pre-book your attraction tickets from home - Cosmos offer tickets available only in the UK. Virgin Holidays also offer early park access to Orlando Resort and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a great way to avoid the queues.