Florida is the perfect USA family holiday destination with all the theme-parks, state parks, restaurants, shopping and beaches. The preponderance of self catering villas makes it really economical, simple and fun to take the whole family. We arrange lots of car hire for multi-generational families and more times than not, it is Grand-parents doing the arranging.
The perfect car for your USA family holiday
For a family of Grand-parents, parents and two or three children, the classic 7 seat people carrier is hard to beat. The layout of the seats suits the adults in the party. The boot space is usually big enough for the whole family. Driving one car reduces parking charges in the theme parks. It makes life easier for going out to dinner or shopping. Of course only one car is using fuel too! This set up is ideal for families happy to go everywhere together, or stay at home if having a day off.
For bigger family groups the same is true of the 8 and 12 seat people carriers. However, the 8 seat minivan is only available from Alamo, and often costs more than a 12 seater from another company. Reserve these bigger vehicles well in advance as they sell out during peak periods. By contrast, the 7 seat carrier rarely sells out.
Combination of small car and people carrier
Many of the Grandparents that I speak to have been to Florida several times – or even own a villa there. They may treat their family to a whole family holiday but have no desire to traipse around theme parks themselves. In this instance we usually arrange the people carrier so the family can go out all together for dining or shopping or visiting attractions. We also arrange a small car, economy or compact, so the grandparents can do their own thing whilst the younger family hit the parks. This option is more expensive but the versatility offered more than justifies the additional expense.
Combination of two cars
This is a less workable option for the multi-generational family as neither vehicle will take the full party. Every outing will require both cars. This in turn means double fuel costs and parking fees. It can work as an option for two family groups if they will be doing slightly different things. But if the group is following the same itinerary then the 12 people carrier mentioned above might be better because of parking fees and fuel.
Getting the luggage from A to B
When travelling as a large group or with very young children, luggage needs careful thought. If a person takes up every seat there is no additional room for luggage over spill from the boot. 12 seat minivans also have very little luggage room. The solution here could be to hire a smaller car for one day to take a few people or a few bags from the airport to the accommodation. The next day you return the car to either the airport or a local downtown depot. In the Orlando/Kissimmee area there are numerous smaller hotel locations that you can drop a car at. At the end of the holiday, after more shopping (!) the same thing happens in reverse. With a one day hire usually less than £50 this is cheaper than a taxi or private airport transfer.
Travel Insurance gets a mention here because as we get older, the policies available to us shrink. Travellers over 65, 70 and 75 will gradually see options disappear, and prices go up. This is especially true when you add in medical conditions. One solution can be to travel on separate policies, but this will mean that if part of the party cannot travel for any reason, the cancellation insurance will only cover the insured, not the rest of the party. The Money Saving Expert website has a good section on travel insurance for the over 65’s and those with pre-existing conditions. We recommend checking the relevant web page for the latest information.