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Deerfield Beach Florida pictured on the evening of 11th September 2015

Miami International Airport is the South Eastern airport of Florida and is a major calling location for many airlines as can be seen from our airport map below.

MIAMI AIRPORT MAP

Close by is Fort Lauderdale International Airport which is also served by many of the major airlines but not as many International flights.
FORT LAUDERDALE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Orlando International Airport is located in the Centre of Florida and of course is the closest airport to DISNEYLAND.

Also at ORLANDO we have SANFORD ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. Many charter flight from the UK land here particularly THOMPSON HOLIDAYS.

Tampa International Airport on the Gulf Coast is the base for British Airways whose flights are direct from Gatwick UK.  There is no service however on Mondays and Wednesdays. Tampa Airport is extremely busy and is one of the cleanest airports that you may visit. It services all of the major airlines. The airports expansion has been continuous over the last few years.
TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

 
The plane British Airways now use is the BOEING 777. Having travelled to Tampa on this aircraft many times I can tell you that this particular flight is always full, so you need to book well in advance.

To continue, daily flights by other carriers such as US-Air, Continental and American Airways have an airport change Click for Tampa, Florida Forecastusually at O'Hare (Chicago), Newark (New York), Charles De-Gaulle (New York) or J.F.K (New York).  One word of advice, keep away from NEW YORK as you are involved in an airport change as you may have to transfer from one New York Airport to another which is a Taxi ride in heavy traffic and takes at least 30 minutes.

The prices are cheaper than flying direct. Some operate out of HEATHROW, MANCHESTER as well as GATWICK. Prices may vary depending on the time of the year and can almost DOUBLE or even more at the school holiday times, Christmas, Easter so be warned.  Try to fly out of school holiday times or suffer the consequences of higher prices. 

BA prices are otherwise reasonable outside these periods if you book through an agent like FLIGHT BOOKERS.  Prices in MAY always seem to be the cheapest. Click on the BA LOGO above to access their WEBSITE for flight schedules and prices.  Then try FLIGHT BOOKERS via the web or phone.

Click on the LOGO to the left for all the information about visiting Florida.

Most people traveling to Florida from the UK choose Orlando because of the proximity of Disney.  Virgin (from Manchester & Gatwick) and BA (Gatwick) both operate direct flights to Orlando twice daily. However if you are coming FISHING I would recommend that you fly to Tampa as a 90 minute drive or more after a nine/ten hour flight can be the last thing you want to endure, especially if it's a warm day! If your bringing fishing rods remember to bring them in a proper carrying tube otherwise they will get severely damaged. Click on the airport pictures to find more information about the airport from their websites. Recently however I have been flying via Heathrow and I have found this less tiring and its also a day flight. First time in all these years I have flow the Atlantic by day. Therefore I fly from Tampa to Chicago and then onto to Heathrow.

TPA (Tampa International)                                    ORL (Orlando International Airport)

PIE (St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport)

The only other downside of traveling here is the long wait at the US IMMIGRATION check in at your airport of arrival. Sometimes this will be as long as 1 hour. Make sure you fill out the immigration card without any mistakes. i.e. alterations. If you make a mistake, make out a new card, otherwise you will be sent to the back of the queue to complete one. You have been warned. Also these Immigration people seem to lack any sense of humour so do not try to be smart.

We have miles of great uncrowded beaches-this picture was taken at 3pm on Madeira Beach-Clearwater, a few seconds walk from my boat when I was fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Beware of the SUN as you can get burnt easily.

Tampa/Clearwater has a wealth of accommodation from hotels, motels, villas, condo's and apartments. Most are available for long and short term lets. My suggestion to anyone looking for holiday accommodation is to look at the following website www.flausa.com where you can type in your requirements and price range and a list of suitable sites is found.

 

CAR HIRE & DRIVING TIPS IN FLORIDA

Car hire in the USA is very inexpensive compared with the UK and gas (petrol) is about $3.35 per gallon for regular.  Yes, that's correct $3.35.  That's extremely cheap compared to the UK where where fuel is just over $10 a gallon now. The price for GAS (PETROL) has been very volatile and still continues to rise and fall with regularity. Basically I think we will stop recording the price here because of the volatility.

If you have not booked a car in advance you should have no problem as there are many franchises around both Orlando and Tampa Airports. Most have courier services at the airport. You need your UK Driving License a credit card and always insure the vehicle fully against damage. Hiring a car is very cheap compared to the UK!

If you are from the UK  please note that we have a few different driving regulations here and that you should note them carefully before you drive away. Also all of our cars are automatic gearboxes (transmissions)

  • IN EMERGENCY dial 911  or in Florida you can dial *FHP  (which stands for FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL) if on the freeway. 

  •  AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS  on a RED LIGHT if you are in the right hand lane you can TURN RIGHT. Do this with caution and look for oncoming traffic from the left or turning from the filter lane on the opposite side of the road. The only time you cannot do this, is when there is a sign saying NO RIGHT TURN ON RED, but these signs are rare. If you are in the pole position at traffic lights and are in the inside lane and you get tooted from behind it is because the person behind you wants to turn right and you have blocked there access. Therefore if you are unsure of where you are driving, never drive in the inside lane. 

  •  SCHOOL BUSES  

  • If you are driving and see a School Bus STOP either in front of you or on the other side of the road and it exhibits a STOP SIGN, you must STOP also, even if you are on the other side of the road. EXCEPTIONS: if on a dual carriageway with a median. School Buses are YELLOW in color and display a FLASHING WHITE LIGHT ON THE ROOF. Also a STOP ARM will emerge from the side of the bus when it unloads children. YOU MUST STOP! 

  •  FLASHING RED TRAFFIC SIGNAL  When you are driving you may come across a single RED TRAFFIC SIGNAL constantly flashing. This indicates cross roads and you must STOP. Then cross with caution. 

  •  FLASHING AMBER TRAFFIC SIGNAL  When you are driving you may come across TRAFFIC SIGNALS exhibiting a continuous FLASHING  AMBER  color. These are on cross roads. You must approach the lights with caution, but you do not have to stop. These traffic lights are only fully operational during peak times. 

  • When you are driving on large roads with many lanes, it is always a good idea to drive in the second lane from the right, if you are unsure of where you are driving. The reason for this is, quite often the inside lane suddenly turns off to the right and you end up being more lost than before. Getting back on to the road you were on may take you miles. 

  • Always have a few dollars & 25 cent coins in hand as toll roads in the USA are common. 

  • Turning left can also have its problems. If you need to turn left at traffic lights make sure you are in the left hand lane and in the left hand filter. Most traffic light systems have left turn, filter systems into which you must go prior to turning left.

  • Turning left when driving on Interstate roads is very different from the UK. It is possible that you may need to be in the fast lane (left lane) to actually turn left. Watch the overhead signs for advice. In cities on many roads, the central lane is used for turning left. You pull in to this lane prior to making your left had turn. Arrows showing you can make this maneuver are usually displayed on the road and signposts. Often lorries park in the center lane to unload their wares to retail outlets.

  • Be aware of variable speed limits as its easy to get a ticket for speeding. All police cars here carry RADAR GUNS and lie in wait. It's revenue. Now if you do not see a Police Car about every 10 minutes in your travels that would be unusual. It's not like the UK where Police cars are virtually non existent.

FOOD & DRINK

Eating out in Florida is a pleasure. The food is excellent and the service outstanding.

Of course you will pay premium prices in such places at theme parks and the USA is the KING of fast food. Otherwise eating out is really cheap in comparison to the UK. It is customary in the USA to give a tip of 15% and this is how many of the waiters survive, as the wages here are very low. When I say low I mean LOW-The minimum wage rate for waiters is $7-93 per hour. So in an 8hr shift they only earn $63-44. (
39-65 UK) That's why many workers have no Health Insurance, as it's unaffordable to them. So you can see that the Social Health Care system we have in the UK is great, so if you think the UK system is not good, THINK AGAIN. And if someone tries to tell you there are no waiting times for operations here in the US - that's a fallacy as well, a big one.

Food portions can only be called HUGE. If you eat a starter you will not eat anything else. You have been warned. For children they serve the never ending cup of Coke or similar soft drinks. By that I mean they give free refills. By the way the same goes for coffee. Don't expect to find tea in many places unless you like ICED TEA which to me is an acquired taste. Hey, try a ROOT BEER FLOAT if you are ever in a place that sells them. It's like a mouthwash drink from the dentist, with Ice Cream!

Alcohol in the USA can only be consumed by persons 21 years and over. It is likely that you may be challenged about your age if you are young and so some form of ID will be required which shows a picture and the date of birth. Many of the beers here are available in what they term light form. i.e. Bud Light.  These contain less alcohol. If you look young expect to get challenged regularly!

Page updated 1st January 2015


Electric Blue Fishing Menu
 


MFV "ELECTRIC BLUE"

ELECTRIC BLUE HISTORY
FISHING CHARTER BOOKING COST & TERMS
INLETS OF PALM BEACH COUNTY
ACCOMMODATION
WHAT IS RED TIDE IN FLORIDA
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
SHARK ATTACKS IN FLORIDA
FISHING IN FLORIDA
FISHING CALENDAR
2008 REEF FISH GEAR RULES
FISH RECIPES FOR FLORIDA
SHELLFISH & FISH ALLERGY
MERCURY IN FISH & SHELLFISH?
WWII BOMBS & MUSTARD GAS IN THE GULF

HOW TO FIND US
BRITISH CONGER CLUB
EDDYSTONE LIGHTHOUSE HISTORY UK
SEA SICKNESS (MAL DA MER)
FLORIDA FISH IDENTIFICATION
OUR FISHING REPORT
CAPTAINS DETAILS
USA & FLORIDA DIVING
THE MOON & FISHING
SHIPWRECK LIST OF FLORIDA
FLORIDA SALTWATER FISHING REGS
SINKING OF THE USS ORISKANY
SINKING USNS GENERAL HOYT S. VANDENBERG
SHIPWRECKS AROUND THE WORLD
UNDERSTANDING AIR PRESSURE ETC
WHAT IS EL NINO?
WHAT IS LA NINA?


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