This post is in collaboration with Toyota & DriveShop. All opinions are my own.
A couple weeks ago, Brad and I traveled to Orlando with our next door neighbors and their son. We had a fabulous time and did a variety of activities (I’ve already shared about our day at Magic Kingdom, Stay tuned for more details later this week). Today I’m sharing 5 tips for planning a trip to Orlando and also why I loved the Toyota Highlander that we drove around while in town.
5 Tips for Planning A Trip To Orlando
- Make Plans, but be flexible – A couple weeks before our trip the weather started looking less and less awesome. We were expecting highs in the mid-upper 70s and had a couple days where it barely reached 60, because of this we made some changes to our plans and were glad that we weren’t 100% tied to them for that day. We were also traveling with a 2 year old and knew that his nap schedule and mood could affect any plans we made, so we tried not to be commited to anything too much.
- Think Outside the Theme Parks – Yes Orlando has Disney, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld; however, there are lots of other activities. Wonderworks is a fun museum that Brad and I have done in the past and great for a more low key afternoon. There are also lots of fun mini-golf courses around International Drive. Many of the hotels in the area also have some amazing pools so make sure to save some time for soaking up the sun and swimming.
- Pick up snacks for your hotel – One of our first stops in Orlando was Target to pick up a few snacks to have in the hotel. Our hotel had a full kitchen so we could have picked up items to cook for meals, but for the most part we just got some snacks and grab-and-go breakfast foods.
- Plan for Afternoon Showers – Whenever I have visited Florida, there have been rain showers that come through in the afternoon. Being from Seattle, we laughed as everybody ran for covers when the rain started and as the yellow Mickey Mouse ponchos emerged. The showers will come, but they really don’t last long and you don’t get that wet. (We might have also wished that it would keep raining one afternoon when we were at Magic Kingdom so that the crowds would disperse).
- If you are flying, get a rental car that works for you (and your stuff) – Sure 5 people can fit in a compact vehicle, but can all your suitcases fit in there as well? Make sure you have plenty of room for for entire week there.
While we were in town, we had an awesome SUV to shuttle us around – the Toyota Highlander.
We had the LE model, which is the base model and it worked perfectly for us. One of the differences between the LE and higher models is the second row seats. In the LE it features a 3-across bench seat, where other models have captains chairs. Since we had 5 people and corresponding luggage, it was great that we could keep the 3rd row folded for all of our stuff (especially to and from the airport). Kevin and Renee commented that they had plenty of room to sit in the 2nd row – even with the carseat installed.
We loved having Satellite radio to listen to while we drove around Orlando (although we laughed about how we always seemed to hear a couple songs on every single drive). This model didn’t feature Navigation, so if I were to buy one I would probably upgrade to a model that had it integrated.
Below the dashboard there is a small storage area. We actually used this a lot to throw things like charging cell phone, the hotel parking pass, or other papers for the trip. They were out of the way, but still easily convenient to grab when needed.
With the 3rd row down, there was a lot of trunk space. We definitely utilized it when we were traveling to and from the airport, but even during the week it was nice to know the stroller easily fit (along with a few backpacks that were generally in there as well).