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How to Maximise Your Annual Leave For a Florida Holiday in 2023

  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 20 September 2022
  • Revised 24 October 2022
How to Maximise Your Annual Leave For a Florida Holiday in 2023
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 20 September 2022
  • Revised 24 October 2022
How to Maximise Your Annual Leave For a Florida Holiday in 2023
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 20 September 2022
  • Revised 24 October 2022
Despite the promise of holidays being blissful, choosing when to travel can be a challenge. But what better way to make the most of our annual leave than planning around bank holidays? And when maximising your time off, where better for a long-haul holiday than Florida? 36 million people packed their suitcases for the Sunshine State in the first quarter of 2022 alone. That’s more than the number of tourists who visited pre-covid in 2019’s first quarter. And with everything from theme parks to pristine beaches to vibrant cities on offer - never mind the year-round warm weather - it's easy to imagine why Florida remains so popular.

Read on to discover how to bank the best 2023 Florida holidays possible at each season of the year...

January - Florida Keys Road Trip

Welcome in the new year at the tropical island paradise of the Florida Keys. As 1 January lies on a Sunday, 2 January is a substitute for New Year's Day. Thus, you can enjoy a week of Florida sunshine while only taking four days off work. 

Florida Keys' Christmas crowds have long gone, so this quiet enclave makes a perfect wind in your hair road-tripping holiday. The beaches are all yours, the island towns have restored their slow-paced vibes, and all is well down south in the land of turquoise shores.

Begin your sunny Florida Keys vacation in Key Largo. The first of the Florida Keys islands, there's as much to do in Key Largo's sea as on land in this unofficial Dive Capital of the World. Discover an underwater coral reef world as you snorkel past rainbow shoals of fish and graceful sea turtles. You may also board a glass-bottom boat to view the striking calcareous reef.

You'll venture past sport-fishing Islamorada and Marathon's dolphin-spotting bays as you head south. Bahia Honda State Park's white-sand beaches and Big Pine Keys wild deer sanctuary await your arrival on your road-tripping itinerary.

The last stop on your road trip is Key West, the southernmost point of the United States of America. The most remote island town is also the liveliest with a vibrant nightlife. Get swept up in its energy as you frolic in the clear, crystal waters, party until dawn, and admire the island's pastel, conch-style architecture. And remember, we can offer car hire with comprehensive cover on a Fly Drive Holiday.

April - Orlando 

Warmer weather of 26°C and the eagerly awaited Easter weekend, from 7 to 10 April 2023, are two benefits of this spring month. With only 8 days of yearly leave, you can take a two-week holiday to Florida. Why wait for the Easter Bunny at home when you can celebrate with Mickey Mouse and friends in Walt Disney World?

With shorter queues at Disney, thanks to school children in the classroom, you won't have to wait as long as summertime's peak. Also, Orlando's notorious humidity has not yet descended. So you can experience a whirlwind of fun and adventure in a more pleasant and less sticky environment.

After reliving your childhood dreams at Walt Disney World, visit Universal Orlando's cinematic amusement park and SeaWorld's aquatic animal kingdom. Don't forget about Fun Spot America's theme park jungle, autism-friendly Legoland Florida, and the entertaining ICON Park (Here, you can even enjoy a free ride on The Wheel, with tickets for your whole party included in every Ocean Florida Orlando holiday).

And don't stop at amusement parks; reach for the stars by visiting the nearby Kennedy Space Center. With a projected launch scheduled in April 2023, witness a Falcon Heavy - SpaceX rocket fire into the cosmos from the designated launch complex.

May - Miami and the Gold Coast

Summer is already in full swing by May, with temperatures well above 30°C along southeastern Florida. Why not frequent Florida's hotspots like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and its bustling Gold Coast before the summer crowds gather? Another bonus of visiting before peak season is that prices are affordable before their summertime hike.

There are two bank holidays in May, falling at opposite ends of the month, on the 1st and 29th of May 2023. You can take a week, two weeks, or an entire month's vacation in Florida's trendiest and liveliest cities. A week's stay sets you back just four working days' leave, with two weeks at nine days. A whole month will have you down 22 days of annual leave - a worthwhile trade for beach bliss with a cocktail in hand.

Start south in vibrant Miami, where the fun never stops. Miami is cosmopolitan and amazingly diversified, a melting pot of Latin and Caribbean cultures. Visit the eclectic Art Deco Historic District, a timestamp of the past with pronounced 1930s architecture and vintage cars. South Beach has all the vibes on its golden sandy shores for an endless party.

Head north to Hollywood's 5-star beach resorts and amble along the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, a 2.5-mile oceanside promenade. Discover why Travel + Leisure named it one of America's top esplanades as you stroll to the sound of breaking surf.

Next, venture towards Fort Lauderdale's super chic canals. The Venice of America, ride a gondola to admire the grandeur of this upmarket marina. You'll love the more relaxed ambience of Fort Lauderdale's glowing beaches that stretch for miles. To continue your Gold Coast dreamy getaway, head north towards the oceanside escapes of Baco Ranton and luxurious Palm Beach.

August - Gulf Coast beaches

As the bank holiday is on Monday, 28 August 2023, take four days off work for a weeklong Gulf Coast summer holiday on white sandy shores. Florida's Gulf Coast is more cost-effective than the tourist-laden Gold Coast. So while the holidaymakers flock to Miami and Orlando, you get to enjoy your slice of paradise.

Begin your journey in Tampa, a glorious city of waterways, design, and fun. Soar to new heights at Busch Gardens' roller coaster playground, or take a leisurely walk along the Tampa Riverwalk for sublime bay views. You can also meet a manatee at the Florida Aquarium.

The beaches of Clearwater, St. Pete, and Anna Maria Island, each with its distinct character, are pure paradise. Heighten your relaxation to lower crowds on these sandy retreats. Award-winning Clearwater Beach stuns with its deep turquoise shores and fine white sand. St. Pete Beach's pink palace, The Don CeSar Hotel, overlooks the clear, blue sea, while Anna Maria Island's snail-paced lifestyle is charmingly infectious.

Venture further south to Naples, a sophisticated city with world-class art galleries, stylish shopping malls, and sublime nature. Also, the gateway to stunning Captiva and Sanibel Islands, you can linger on the secluded shores of these cornflour-sandy isles.

December - Florida Panhandle

The Florida Panhandle is a beautiful place to spend Christmas. While it's in Florida's north, the temperatures aren't much different to the warmer south. With daily temperatures averaging around 20°C, winter's grey and gloom don't reach sunny Florida. Enjoy a week-long Christmas break with only 3 days off work.

For a wholesome Christmas atmosphere, you can't beat Florida's oldest city, St. Augustine. Revel in Christmas cheer at the city's illuminating festival, Nights of Lights. The twinkling lights draped over the striking Plaza de la Constitution trail over to the Bridge of Lions. The sparkling reflection on the Matanzas River is magical.

Further north in Jacksonville, the Christmas spirit is flickering away at the 300 ft long light show at Morocco Shrine Center. Join Jacksonville's Deck the Chair's jolly crowd, where boating light creations parade on the St. Johns River.

On the western board of the Florida Panhandle is Pensacola's coastal city. The much-anticipated Pensacola Winterfest enlivens this beach town with festive fun. One highlight is the Surfing Santa Beach Parade, a crowd favourite. Father Christmas skydives from a helicopter into the sea, where the Santa-clad surfer coasts to shore. Can Christmas get any cooler than in sunny Florida?

Mark your 2023 calendars in preparation for your Florida holiday, and click here to view our Florida deals in your destination of choice.

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