With an abundance of family-friendly activities on offer, Florida
is the perfect playground for school holidays.
But before you swap the school run for family fun, there are a few things to consider. From the cheapest times to book to where's best to stay throughout the school year, this comprehensive guide will help ensure your break with the little ones is big on family memories...
The Best Time to Book Your School Holiday
When it comes to booking the cheapest school holiday, the earlier the better - especially when you can book up to 36 months in advance and spread the cost of your holiday with Ocean Florida. January sales also offer a fantastic opportunity to bag a bargain, however, look out for our sales dedicated to school holidays
throughout the year too.
However and whenever you choose to book your school holiday in Florida, here are a few extra tips to consider...
Money saving tips
- Many simply can’t wait to be holiday-bound, scooping up deals for the first few weeks of the school holidays, however, it pays to be patient as the last two weeks of the summer break are usually cheaper
- If possible, try to book mid-week flights rather than weekends as these are generally less costly
- Take account of school term times in Florida. When Floridian kids go back to school in August, hotel prices will drop
- Consider flying from Scotland, as their different school term times can be reflected in the cost
The Best Destination for Each School Holiday
– This Gulf Coast
gem effortlessly blends vibrance with natural beauty. It’s home to the award-winning Clearwater Beach
, which not only offers the finest white sand for the ultimate holiday chillout but also nightly sunset celebrations at Pier 60 to end the days in style.
The Easter holiday makes for the ideal visiting time, as from March to May you can witness spectacular wildlife, such as migratory birds, stingrays, and sea turtles. While at Clearwater Beach, you can also enjoy a cracking Easter egg hunt with a twist. Kids are invited to search for colourful eggs while paddling in the shallow waters of the shore.
– At just over an hour and a half drive away from Orlando, Tampa
is a cheaper and less crowded alternative that still allows you to explore the theme parks in the height of summer.
Yet aside from its close proximity to the thrills and spills of Walt Disney World
, Tampa itself has a lot to offer. You can visit a host of family-friendly attractions, from Busch Gardens
to The Florida Aquarium
; sample delicious bites to eat through its diverse culinary scene, influenced by Latin, Cuban, and Caribbean flavours; and explore the great outdoors in the stunning Hillsborough River State Park.
makes for a top destination choice for all holiday seasons, the October half-term is prime time for savings, lower crowds and Halloween extravaganzas. October is generally less crowded due to many American schools being back in session after the summer months, allowing for shorter ride wait times and an overall more relaxed experience.
Plus, as October falls outside of the peak travel seasons, there are discounts across the board from flights to accommodation to theme park tickets. The Halloween-themed evening events promise to be busy, but from Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World
to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort
– they’re a treat for all ages. Better yet, Orlando experiences mild temperatures in October. With average highs of 25-29 °C, it’s still glorious sunny yet cool enough to comfortably explore the vast Florida theme parks.
– If you’re dreaming of a bright Christmas, you are blessed with choices in Florida. One destination we recommend for school holidays during December is Naples
, a coastal paradise nestled on Florida's southern Gulf Coast.
Naples embraces the holiday season with city-wide festive decorations and events. Follow the sound of merry tunes to Naples Bay and you can catch their famous Boat Parade. Glistening against the ocean, dozens of boats adorn Christmas lights worthy of taking a family photo with.
If you need to do any last-minute shopping, Naples boasts luxurious shopping along Fifth Avenue South. Along the way, you can also enjoy a range of fresh seafood restaurants and your pick of international cuisine is sure to keep even the picky teenagers satisfied.
What’s more, Naples is blessed with natural wonders that deliver a lesson in adventure. You can take an airboat ride in the nearby Everglades National Park and spot elusive wildlife among high average highs around a comfortable 25°C.
Multi-Centre Holidays: Maxmising Time Together
The best type of itinerary for a Florida holiday with school kids is one that strikes a good balance between thrills, cultural experiences, and relaxation time.
For that reason, consider a multi-centre holiday
to Florida. After all, combining a week in Orlando with a week further afield can also prove more affordable.
Luckily, the Sunshine State has an abundance of perfect pairings to choose from. After the whirlwind entertainment of Walt Disney World
or Universal Orlando Resort
, you can unwind on the white sand havens of Siesta Key Beach or experience idyllic island life in Key West
or Marco Island
And just because you’ve shelved the school books doesn’t mean you still can’t learn a thing or two. Why not immerse yourself in space exploration at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
or delve into renowned artworks at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg
? Perhaps you would also love to explore one of the USA’s oldest cities with a trip to the charming St. Augustine
One thing is for sure: a multi-centre holiday lets you maximise your precious out-of-term time together.
Accommodation for a Florida Holiday With Kids
When planning a Florida holiday with the kids, a private villa often delivers the space, convenience and affordability required. From our collection of over 2,000 Florida villas
, we can help you find a home for every type of Sunshine State escape.
However, if you're looking for a hotel holiday, our top tip for 2024 and 2025 arrivals is Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando
. Offering a prime location in the Disney Springs
Area, this brand-new hotel delivers exceptional amenities, comfortable accommodations, and free meals for those ever-hungry little ones.
Ready to plan your next family holiday? Check out our award-winning school holidays to Florida here.