We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

Which Orlando hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
cornwall
Level Contributor
2,039 posts
49 reviews
Save Topic
Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

19th of February, 2013 - Leave St. Ives [Cornwall] - travel to Heathrow.

february 19th - arrive Miami.

20th February - day at Miami (exploring).

21st February- leave Miami at 5am, drive down to Key West. Leave the keys at 4pm. Drive to Naples.

22nd February - have 7-8 hours in Naples, then leave late afternoon to drive to kissimee. Arrive at villa, get kids and adults in bed for 10pm, ready for 2 weeks of madness at the parks.

23rd February-8th March - 2 weeks of parks.

Saturday, 9th March - Orlando to Gatwick to Cornwall (St. Ives)

Monday, 11th March - 3 boys back to school, mum back to housework, dad back to work.

This is all subject to those two weeks at the parks not being too busy, so please help.

Thank you, regards - Gunboat.

Florida
Destination Expert
for Palm Harbor
Level Contributor
1,099 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

Is there a reason why you're driving to Key West and leaving the same day to go to Naples? It takes at least 4 hours to drive from Miami to Key West. Then it's going to take you another 5 hours from KW to Naples. Then you're in NapleS overnight and there for 7-8 hours the next day and you've got another 3.5-4 hour drive to Kissimmee. I'd suggest you rethink making some of those stops and/or spending more time in the cities. Florida is a large state and you're trying to cover a lot quickly.

Kelso, United...
Level Contributor
17,087 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

I assume you will be sharing the driving?

cornwall
Level Contributor
2,039 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

I realise its a lot of driving but we want to visit the keys and its down to time with our kids being off school . Also saving a nights cost not staying at the keys.

UK
Level Contributor
1,669 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

How are you getting from St Ives to Heathrow?

If you are driving you will be up very early in the morning and you haven't left alot of recovery time.

Have you also taken into account the jet lag and tiredness you will feel at the beginning of your holiday?

Honestly I think you have too much driving at the beginning of your holiday and you will visit Miami, Key West and Naples without doing justice to any.

Stay overnight in Miami the night you arrive and then leave early next morning for either Key West or Naples and stay there for 2 nights. Decide what you want to see and do in both and then discard one,

How will your 3 boys take to all the driving as well?

I speak as someone who has done what you are proposing!

Edited: 09 April 2012, 01:21
Blackwood, United...
Level Contributor
4,901 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

Wow - a lot of driving at the beginning of your holiday. Why don't you spend time at either Key West or Naples, you aren't really going to see much of either of them. Not sure what age your boys are, but wouldn't they rather just be heading for the theme parks rather than sitting in a car for hours, after having sat on a plane for hours :-)

Kelso, United...
Level Contributor
17,087 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

You might not think you will be tired after the flight but the first few days are when you should be getting aclimatised not driving hundreds of miles without really having much fun which is what it's all about.

That's four people who think you should think again about driving so far, but you have plenty of time to think about it

Berkshire, England
Level Contributor
13,688 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

Personally I would travel to Heathrow the night before if possible and stay at an airport hotel. You don't want to get stuck on the motorway and risk missing your flight and you will have to be up really early.

We holiday in the Keys every year and believe me, it is a long way to go down to Key West and back in one day...at least a 4 hour drive each way without stops and you can add on at least another hour or so to get up to Naples.

You won't be able to get a real feel of the Keys in such a short time and it hardly seems worth the effort. The Keys are spectacular and you won't get to really "see" them as all you will be doing is driving.

Another thing to seriously consider is the time it gets dark, as there is no way you will want to do the long drive up from Key West then. A lot of the journey is in complete darkness with no "street lighting", the road is narrow and one lane only, with ocean on either side for a lot of the drive. Even after having done that drive for 10 years there and back (so we know the road quite well), there is no way we would even consider doing it in the dark. Then, after all that, you are only having 7 or 8 hours in Naples before hitting the road again. You may well be too shattered to enjoy the parks after all that driving!!!

If you really want to go down to Key West, why not stay the first night an an hotel near Miami airport, collect your car the next morning, drive down and stay the night. That way, you will at least have a reasonable amount of time there.

Hope this helps as you did ask for honesty!!!

Edited: 09 April 2012, 02:25
brighton, england
Level Contributor
488 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

Make that five people!

Would you consider cutting down the time in orlando, so as to increase the amount of time in Naples and Key West? This would offset some of the cost as well. You are not going to see much of the Keys if you are only spending a couple of hours there, is it really worth it? What can you experience in that time? An alternative would be to perhaps do a day trip from Orlando to Naples or perhaps Clearwater during you last two weeks and giving you a bit more time down south.

Others have mentioned it already, but coming from the UK, the jet lag will be horrible. The first few days Im in America I am usually close to passing out with exhaustion by about 7pm (the kids will have passed out at about 5pm). I am barely capable of driving to the hotel, let alone 5-6 hour drives. The kids will not thank you for keeping them cooped up in a car all that time.

gloucestershire
Level Contributor
117 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

I agree with the other posters, I wouldn't want to do all that driving, especially when you have jetlag, and with three childen in the back. I don't know how old your kids are, but I know my three children (aged 11, 10 and 7) would go stir crazy being cooped up in a car for over 8 hours in one day, expecially after being on the plane for 9 hours a couple of days before.

The first few days are always very tiring anyway, jet lag should not be underestimated!

If you haven't booked your flights yet, could you do the whole thing in reverse?

We are going in October, flying in to Orlando, spending 10 days at the parks, then driving to Tampa for one night to do Busch Gardens, driving down to Fort Myers for 4 nights for a beach break/explore the area, then spending our last day drving across the Everglades to Miami airport, with a stop for an airboat ride. Might even fit in a trip to South Beach as we have an evening flight.

It's still quite a bit of drving, but broken down into more managable journeys, and should be completely over the jetlag by then.

I'd still skip Key West though, unless you decide to stay overnight there.

Edited: 09 April 2012, 04:24
UK
Level Contributor
1,120 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Our holiday plan, what do you think [honestly].

I'm sorry but I also think it's far too much driving and not enough enjoying yourself especially for the first few days of your holidays. Your boys will be raring to go and they're going to be stuck in a car.

I would leave the Keys on this trip as you're really not going to see much of them or get a good feel of them at all. For Miami I would maybe go to South Beach and do a Duck Tour ... the kids will enjoy this and it gives you a good view of the area and lovely houses!!!

http://www.ducktourssouthbeach.com/

I would do this in the morning and then in the afternoon go to:

http://www.baysidemarketplace.com/ and the boys will enjoy dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.

The following day I would go here in the morning:

http://www.sharkvalleytramtours.com/

The bike ride is fantastic and it's all flat so not difficult even on young legs (I don't know how old your kids are). There's also a tram if you don't want to bike it. Just down the road from Shark Valley are companies which offer Airboat Rides in the Everglades ... I would recommend you do one of these too. All great fun and a lovely way to see the Everglades and some of the wonderful wildlife and both adults and children will enjoy. I would then drive to Naples late afternoon from here.

I realise you want to see the Keys but I think this plan offers more fun experiences for the beginning of your hols and doesn't involve so much driving when you might be tired/suffering from jet lag.

The Keys can be done next time :)

Gx

Edited: 09 April 2012, 04:59