Category Archives: Travel

Wekiwa Springs Florida

Naturally Delightful Wekiwa Springs State Park


The Sunshine State that is Florida has so much more to offer than just the giant Mouse. The wonderful temperatures mean that it is possible to swim outside year around and I don’t just mean in a heated pool.  Florida has many natural springs with pure, clear water gushing up from the Florida Aquifer which runs underneath much of the state.  This spring water is a steady 72 degrees Fahrenheit year around making it deliciously cool on a hot humid day, or relatively warm on a cooler one!  The manatees that swim up river to enjoy the springs during the winter months certainly know that.  You shouldn’t have to share your swimming hole with too many natural inhabitants though – not the large ones anyway.  Safe  swimming areas are normally provided around the actual spring point in Florida State Parks, and the fellow swimmers are usually restricted to fish, a few turtles and the odd heron.  You may see the occasional alligator, but they are not particularly keen on human company and tend to steer well clear of the splashing and shrieking that accompanies swimming areas. Continue reading

Disney Car Hire

Hiring a car from Disney, Florida, can open up access to the rest of the beautiful state of Florida allowing you to really get a better, more balanced view of Florida. Disney World is a wonderful place, beautifully landscaped and every need is catered for  – at a cost. But, if you would like to escape for a while to visit natural Florida, or some different restaurants, or even the normally priced shops, then you will need to hire a car.  Alternatively, you may have chosen to have a few days in Disney World and then want to collect a hire car to continue your holiday at one of the stunning Gulf or Atlantic beaches, visit the Keys or head to a luxury villa. Continue reading

Driving in the USA in a Rental Car

Driving in the USA in a Rental car

Driving a rental car in the USA for the first time can be pretty daunting and even downright scary as you leave the airport on the wrong side of the road with each and every road looking like the M25 on a busy day. Here I can give you a few pointers from aspects that we struggled with the first time we arrived over 20 years ago. Continue reading

Miami to Orlando on the Florida Turnpike

Driving a rental car from Miami to Orlando or vice versa, can be an essential part of your vacation if flights dictate it.  If you are not in a rush, then you may want to seek an alternative, and more pleasurable break point to one of the various service plazas along the Turnpike.  We landed at Miami International Airport, and collected our hire car from the airport the following morning, spending another day in Miami before heading up to Orlando for the rest of our vacation. Continue reading

West Orange Bike Trail in Central Florida

West Orange Bike Trail

Just twenty minutes from the Kissimmee area in Central Florida lies the West Orange Bike Trail, ideal for a half-day excursion into beautiful Florida, away from the theme parks and tourist bustle.

The West Orange Trail is currently over 20 miles long, but a much shorter ride can be had with the reward of lunch in the picturesque, historic town of Winter Garden. Continue reading

Florida Manatees

The manatee, or sea cow, was chosen as the state marine mammal of Florida by the 1975 legislature.  Although the Flamingo, and its tacky plastic impersonators may be more commonly associated with the state, it is the large, slow, gentle manatee that steals most hearts and fascinates both residents and tourists alike. Continue reading

International Drivers Permit Requirement For Florida Car Hire Suspended

Update: *02/04/2013. This law has now been repealed in full and signed by Governor Scott. There is no longer any requirement to have an international driving permit when driving in Florida *

Further to the announcement yesterday on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website regarding Florida’s requirement for an International Driving Permit, we just wanted to draw together the updates into one post for easy reading. The FDHSMV post is below:

During the 2012 legislative session, the Florida Legislature amended section 322.04, Florida Statutes, to require visitors from outside the United States to have an International Driving Permit in order to drive lawfully in Florida. This change took effect Jan. 1, 2013. Continue reading

TripWheels Scoops the International Drivers Permit rules

We knew it was important news, but it is fair to say that we at TripWheels did not know quite how big this news was going to be when we first published the February issue of Florida Homes and Travel (our newsletter for owners of vacation homes in Florida) When we received and published our clarification from the Florida Department of Highways and Motor Vehicle Safety last Monday that all international tourists would be required to carry an International Driving Permit issued in their own country with them at all times when driving, we unleashed a fire-storm. Continue reading

International Driving Permit Required For Florida Car Hire

Update: *02/04/2013. The requirement for an International Driving Permit in Florida has been withdrawn, with the repeal signed into law by Governor Rick Scott in April 2013*

Well, we opened a can of worms with our exclusive story in Florida Homes and Travel about the new Florida Statute 322.04 and non-residents now needing an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Florida. Until January 1st 2013 (when this statute became law), holders of driving licences written in English (and in some cases just a Roman Alphabet was sufficient) were not required to carry or present an IDP to hire a car in the USA. Continue reading