Essential information for Florida
When to go
Florida is known for its tropical climate. It never really gets very cold, though some months are definitely better for tourists than others. For example, you can expect hurricane warnings across the state in October.
The best time to visit Florida is from November to May as this is the dry season, but you’ll still find the place busy in the peak summer months when temperatures reach as high as 32°C. Despite this being the rainy season for Florida, the rain will quickly come and go usually in the afternoons and thunderstorms don’t tend to last for long.
If you’re planning to visit south-western Fort Myers, then between September and May is the best time for a visit, with temperatures peaking at a pleasant 27°C. The summer months can become very hot with temperatures reaching a maximum of 32°C, and you can expect rainfall in the months of June and August.
Alternatively, book a cheap holiday to Florida in the winter and take advantage of the driest and sunniest months of the year, with temperatures still averaging 16°C in December. Also, the sea temperature remains at 25°C this time of year – perfect for swimming.
Health and safety
Thanks to its high mineral content, the tap water in Florida can taste unusual, but it’s perfectly safe to drink, and bottled water is readily available. You should be well armed with mosquito repellent thanks to Florida’s humid weather.
With any holiday, you should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover yourself and family on your trip. If you become ill in the USA you will have to pay for your healthcare unless you have taken out travel insurance.
Some hospitals may ask non-US residents to pay a deposit on admittance. You should direct any requests for funds to your travel insurance provider in the first instance and only pay the hospital if you’re advised to do so by your travel insurance company.
If you’re visiting Florida specifically to take part in sports or watersports, you should make sure your insurance covers this. See our holiday extras page for more information and for the latest health and safety information visit Florida www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/USA/health.
Passports and visas
Prior authorisation is needed to enter America, either by acquiring a visa or through the Visa Waiver Programme. The VWP allows most British citizens to enter the USA for tourism purposes for a period of up to 90 days.
You will also need to receive authorisation from the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation – ESTA – at least 72 hours before you travel. This process provides the airline with information about you such as details of your passport, country of residence and address of your first night’s stay in the USA. To find out more and to apply visit the ESTA website.
If a child is travelling with only one parent or someone who isn’t their parent or legal guardian, you may be required to provide certain documents at the border.
Carry your passport with you, as may need to show it when paying by credit card. For the most up-to-date passport and visa info, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa/entry-requirements.
The majority of flights land at Orlando Sanford International Airport. Most tour operators include transfers as part of a holiday package so getting to your resort is easy. If you want to hire a car or even share a car as part of an Uber scheme, you will be able to access these facilities at the airport or your hotel concierge will be able organise this for you.
Public transport is limited throughout the state, but if you want to visit the amusement parks close to Clearwater and ChampionsGate there are special bus services that will take you to and from the parks.
Advice for travellers with children
Florida is a fantastic part of America for families to visit. With its multiple Disney parks in the west of the state, gorgeous long sandy beaches on every shore of the peninsula and child friendly resorts, your kids should never be bored.
Most beaches offer a plethora of watersports activities, picnic opportunities as well as access to some wonderful nature trails. Swimming with dolphins is very popular here too, and if you’re looking to take the stress out of planning there are plenty of package holidays to Florida available that include great options for eating and drinking with kids.
Connector type: Flat two- and three-pin plugs, type A or B.
Voltage Info: 120 volts
911 is the telephone number for all emergency services.
If you’re a victim of crime or affected by a crisis overseas, or if something happens to a relative or partner contact the British Consulate in Miami.
Address: 1001 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami FL 33131 Phone: +1 (305) 400-6400
Medical treatment is costly within the United States, and there are no special arrangements for British nationals. You’ll need to make sure you have adequate funds in case of an emergency, and ensure that your healthcare insurance is up to date.
If you’re staying in the Kissimmee area then the nearest hospital is Florida Hospital in Orlando.
Florida Hospital Address: 601 East Rollins Street, Orlando, Florida 32803 Phone: +1 (303) 5600
For those who are staying on the west coast, Clearwater has many healthcare facilities, including Morton Plant Hospital.
Morton Plant Hospital Address: 300 Pinellas St, Clearwater, FL 33756 Phone: +1 727-462-7000
For the St Petersburg area, you can use St Petersburg General Hospital
St Petersburg General Hospital Address: 6500 38th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710 Phone: +1 727-384-1414