Monthly Archives: December 2014

15 Things you MUST check out in Florida: expanding beyond your holiday home

Whether you’re staying in vacation home, a rental home, or a holiday villa there are plenty of things to do outside your residence in sunny Florida.

1. Kennedy Space Center
This NASA hub launched the Apollo missions and every NASA human space flight since 1972. At the Center, there are a variety of exhibits, displays, educational material and activities for visitors. The center attracts well over a million visitors each year.

2. Legoland Florida
The largest Legoland Park in the world has more than 50 rides, restaurants, shows, and attractions on 150 acres. Perfect for families with young children, the park’s close proximity to Orlando make it an easy commute for vacationers and holiday home renters. Look our for a park expansion in 2015.

3. The Florida Mall
This is the largest mall in Florida, receiving over 20 million visitors from around the world. There are over 250 stores and restaurants sitting on 1.8 million square feet. The Mall is near downtown Orlando and Walt Disney World.

4. Walt Disney World
There are several parks to choose from, like Epcot and the Magic Kingdom as well as two water parks. Enjoy a wide variety of attractions, entertainment, fine dining, events and tours. There is so much to experience at Walt Disney World, you’ll never want to leave your Orlando vacation.

5. Key West
Visit the southern most point of the continental United States. Key West. The island offers eco-tours, snorkeling & diving, golfing, shopping, museums, parks, and beaches. You can enter popular tourist destinations: the homes of authors Earnest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams

6. The Everglades
According to the National Park Service, the Everglades National Park “protects and unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species.” Visitors can enjoy activities like hiking, canoeing, biking, and camping. There are also ranger, tram, and boat tours.

7. The Overseas Highway
The Overseas Highway is a 127.5 mile highway continuing U.S. Highway 1 to the Florida Keys. The highway allows travelers access to the largest area of tropical reefs on the United States mainland. Drivers can pass over the famous Seven-mile Bridge, featured in 2 Fast 2 Furious and Mission Impossible III.

8. South Beach
South Beach or SoBe is a major entertainment destination in Florida. There are hundreds of bars, nightclubs, boutiques, and hotels that cater to tourists from all over the world. Many people have second or vacation homes in South Beach, where they enjoy sunny, warm days even in winter.

9. Daytona International Speedway
The Daytona 500, the 500-mile long NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is held at the DIS every year. The Daytona 500 is regarded as the most important NASCAR race and offers the biggest cash prizes for winners. Several other races take place during the year.

10. Busch Gardens
Vacationers can visit the Busch Gardens in Williamsburg or Tampa. Visitors of the parks can enjoy rides and walking through 335 acres, housing 2700 animals.

11. Dry Tortugas
This national park is located at the end of the Florida Keys. Visitors get to enjoy crystal blue waters, coral reefs, a vast assortment of marine and bird life on 100 square miles. The seven island park is accessible by boat or seaplane. There is also a 19th century fort that is open to tourists.

12. Fort Lauderdale
Visitors to Fort Lauderdale will experience beaches, shopping, museums, nightclubs, parks, campsites, and cruiseships.

13. Universal Orlando
This theme park has many attractions, rides, and events. It is also home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

14. Aquatica by SeaWorld
Aquatica by SeaWorld has three locations in Florida where visitors can spend the day on water rides and enjoying marine animal exhibits.

15. Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove offers dolphin swims. Snorkeling with marine animals and relaxing pristine beaches. The Dolphin Swim Day Resort Package also allows unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica for 14 days around the day of your reservation.


Vacation on a Budget

Vacation on a Budget: Spending Money to Save Money
Wanting to see Orlando but don’t think you have the free cash to do it? Follow this simple tip and you will get saving for a trip in no time.

You have to have a budget to make one.
For many people “being under budget” month by month is a constant worry. Will you have enough to pay the credit card, put into retirement, pay the mortgage, and cover those seemingly spontaneous emergencies?

Taking a vacation can take a toll on that last check, or the savings account, and simply an expense that many cannot afford. But taking a relaxing break does not have to break the bank. For you next weekend off from work, plan at least one week in advance.

By using the following four parameters, you can better define your typical expenses and how to control them effectively.

Transportation — Accounting for travel is one of the first things people should think of before traveling. After all, it is the start of any one’s vacation. Whether or not you are going 20 miles or 200 miles travel fair begs the question, what’s the best way to get there? By exploring reward points on credit cards, points with airlines, cheapest taxi fares, or simply the cost of gas, you can find a bargain in getting to your dream destination. If driving, map out the quickest way to get there. Mark out your pit stops and consecutive gas stations with low rates. Flying? Buy at least two weeks in advance to get the best deal.

Room and board — Start by finding the right stay for you. Looking for a cozy, spacious, and intimate weekend? Try vacation rental by owner. By searching Google for hot topics like “short term home rentals” or VRBO, you can stay for a weekend or even a couple of weeks in a comfortable townhome or condo for an affordable price. You have the benefits of staying in friendly and warm home for a fraction of the price that you would pay for at a hotel. Browse through every possible type of living, including cheap holiday villas, luxury rentals, homes in Kissimmee Florida, summer rentals and more.

Food – Hitting the rights spots for food is essential to enjoying your stay. After all, much of our social interaction is centered on a finding a great restaurant, a unique dining experience, the best drinks in town, authentic cultural cuisine, and the list goes on. By using phone apps and websites like Grubhub, UrbanSpoon, Yellowpages, and OpenTable you can search for good eateries according to how much you want to spend per meal, how close it is to your Florida condo, what type of cuisine, and much more.

Fun — What’s a vacation without fun? Proportioning the rest of your disposable income can mean the difference between a good vacation and a great one. Start by searching through local government websites. Because many cities rely heavily on tourism, you can search through catalogues of local theaters, historical landmarks, museums, theme parks, and pretty much anything that would attract a casual tourist. In addition to this catalogue, typically these websites will list seasonal shows, festivals, and current events that make traveling at the right time ideal. Best part about this list? Often time you will find coupons or discounts that would be overlooked if you were speaking to a travel agent or stumbling upon the event by accident.

By comprising a comprehensive list of room and board, travel, food, and fun, and a dash of planning— even the most price conscious traveler can relax while on vacation


Fabulous holiday homes nightlife in Orlando!

Who said a family vacation can’t include a little nightlife? Orlando’s a fabulous holiday home away from home with entertainment for every member of the family. And now that Favorite Homes has those vacation rentals secured with the best in Florida villas, a vacation rental by owner, or houses for rent by owner, one thing’s left to do. Plan some memorable fun.

Let’s start by getting the folks out of the vacation rental to a famous bar that’s oh so “chill”. It’s the Icebar Orlando – the largest permanent ice bar in the world. Cozy up and enjoy the 70 tons of carved ice walls and frozen sculptures because, the 22 degree temperature gives you every reason to.

Fabulous holiday homes and vacation rentals are no reason to stay in for New Year’s. Make reservations for the New Year’s Eve bash at Howl at the Moon Orlando. It offers live bands performing 80’s rock and 90’s pop. Prices for the holiday party start at $20 and go to $130 per person.

Now if the entire family’s going out on the town, we suggest Kings Bowl Orlando. The spot’s got 30,000 square feet of entertainment with 22 ten pin bowling lanes, full-sized billiards tables, Bocce ball, Foosball, shuffleboard and ping pong. It’s a neon infused environment sure to please. But don’t stop there; make time for Universal City Walk with its live entertainment from Blue Man Group as well as mini-golf, movies and world-renown restaurants. Incredible!