One of the most visited cities is the Sunshine State, Orlando. It is packed with theme parks, roller coasters, and various amazing rides.
But O-Town isn’t just about getting your heart racing on the rides. It is also a city perfectly situated north of the Everglades, blessed with beautiful parks and botanical gardens, fascinating museums, numerous luxury hotels, glittering skyscrapers, and numerous urban lakes.
That means it’s a complete stopover on any tour of the southern United States, providing future travelers with a fusion of fun and relaxation, cultural interest, history, and natural beauty.
But before you get on that plane to Orlando, there are few things you need to do first.
10 things to do before leaving for the Orlando
We have prepared for you the list of things to do before leaving, including adapters, ESTA USA visas, and tariff plans.
1. Electronic passport
The first thing to have before leaving for the United States is definitely a valid electronic passport. If you don’t have one, you must request it in advance before your departure.
2. The USA ESTA visa
Since January 12, 2009, all nationals of countries benefiting from the Visa Waiver Program must apply for travel authorization to the USA. All travelers who want to travel to the United States for a period (not exceeding 90 days) and who have the passport of one of the 38 Visa Waiver Program countries can travel without a visa by applying online for the ESTA USA visa. It is an electronic travel automation system; the expected processing time does not exceed 24 hours.
How long does an esta last? This is a common question. It is valid for two years from the date of issue (or until passport expiration/change) and allows entry into the United States multiple times. This electronic authorization can be requested at any time before departure, with a mandatory minimum delay of 72 hours before take-off. That said, we advise you to make this request before booking your plane tickets, car, hotels …
You can request a renewal when there is:
- Passport change
- Change of name or modification of traveler identification data
- Gender change of the traveler
- Change of nationality of the traveler
- Change in the traveler’s answers to the questions of the previous ESTA questionnaire
Esta is only a travel authorization. It does not guarantee your admission to the United States, and immigration officers retain their full power to oppose your entry into the United States.
3. Health insurance
Medical insurance for your trip is not mandatory but highly recommended. In fact, health services are expensive, and even a trivial visit can cost thousands of dollars.
4. Power adapter
We know it is now difficult for you to live and travel without your smartphones, tablets, and PCs. You should therefore purchase a power adapter.
5. Tariff plans and data roaming
Before departure, you should check your operator’s rates and options for surfing the internet and making calls. Alternatively, you can purchase a prepaid card.
6. Credit and debit cards
Most credit cards and ATMs are enabled for electronic payment and withdrawal abroad, but you can ask your bank to be on the safe side. Prepaid cards are not always accepted, while a credit card is always required to rent a car.
7. Hotels and reservations
Whether you decide to experience a multi-stage adventure or to visit a single city, it is important to book, at least, a hotel as a starting point. Even better if it is eco-sustainable!. You must remember to bring all booking confirmations with you.
8. Figure out what to pack
The US climate is very varied, as is the territory. You must check the climatic conditions of the areas you will visit to decide on the most appropriate clothing.
9. Customs and pet checks
It is absolutely forbidden to bring fresh food to the United States. Instead, you can bring, without having to pay customs taxes: personal effects, camera, video camera, binoculars, 1 litre of wine or liquor, 10 packs of cigarettes, 2 kg of tobacco, or 50 cigars. If you intend to bring your 4-legged friend with you, you must also bring the documents certifying vaccinations and good health.
You will have no problem finding pharmacies, but it is always better to bring your usual medicines and those for the most common problems such as headaches and fever. Also, in American pharmacies, some drugs have different names, so it is important to note your medicines’ active ingredients.
Note: Remember to do a quick esta check to confirm the validity of your document.
Things to do in Orlando by yourself
Check out this pick of the 15 things to do when you visit the Theme Park Capital of the World!
Feel the magic of the big screen at Universal Studios Florida
With a take-out catering policy and an exceptional commitment to the 16th-century Reinheitsgebot of Germany (a Bavarian purity law that requires all Munich beers always to be made without additives or unnatural ingredients), it is hardly surprising that the Orlando Brewing Company has become one of the most popular beer producers in all of the Sunshine State.
Enjoy the peace at Harry PLeu Gardens
Blending the manicured and the tropical between their beds of camellias and roses, the famous Harry P Leu Gardens are among the most famous urban botanical gardens in the United States. Some tourist adds it to their Orlando bucket list.
The people here are dedicated to inspiring visitors to learn more about botany and to diversify with their own horticultural activities.
That’s why you can expect a mix of flora, including azaleas and cycads, traditional swaying palms and oaks, pretty elms, and fragrant eucalyptus – the list goes on! Regular visits to the site are ideal for learning all about the flora. A trip to the Leu House Museum is the perfect place to trace this family history.
Discover your inner beatnik at Maison Kerouac
This charming and humble little wooden house on Clouser Avenue’s edge is believed to have been where the beatnik and recently revered luminary of the author of On The Road lived for a short time in 1957.
The Little House was purchased by the Orlando Kerouac Project in the late 1990s (in large part with crowdsourced funds provided by the cover of a national newspaper).
It has been transformed into a creative residence for budding writers. Today, the project offers fully funded stays at Maison Kerouac so that artists can focus only on their work.
Visitors can expect a glimpse into the brains of the American Beat Generation, with regular poetry readings and more.
Get into nature at Orlando Wetlands Park
Sprawling and encompassing large swathes of central Sunshine State, just west of central Orlando, this colossal wetland park is one of the best places to spot the wild, swampy nature of this southern enclave…
Visitors can spot swaying palm trees emerging like flag poles in murky waters, see hawks and black vultures swaying between tropical canopies, weave their way along 20 miles of marked hiking trails in the company of alligators and turtles, ride a mountain bike (beware of bites!) and do a lot, a lot more.
The secret? The wetlands here aren’t natural at all but rather the result of an eco-project designed to recycle Orlando’s large amounts of wastewater.
Taste the steak at Pig Floyds Urban Barbakoa
Inspired by the multicultural mix of culinary influences at work across Sunshine State cities – from spicy Latin American chunks to smoky southern barbecue flavours – Pig Floyds Urban Barbakoa remains one of the most iconic restaurants in all of Orlando.
Located in the bustling, bustling streets of N Mills Avenue, the open kitchen offers hearty platters of pulled pork, oak-smoked ribs, grilled meats, and more, all alongside black bean tacos and Tex -Mex The mouth-watering new Mexican.
There are also many sides to go, from Caribbean-style plantains to fried yucca.
Orlando night activities
Orlando is mainly a family tourist destination. We cannot compare it with Miami or Las Vegas where there is all the nightlife you want; however, we have discos and nightclubs where you can have a great time, and it is also not that expensive compared to other cities.
Nightlife in Orlando indeed transcends theme parks. You’ll find culinary experiences from around the world, as well as great nightclubs in Downtown Orlando and world-class shopping in the malls. It is time to witness the Orlando skyline at night.
Downtown Orlando’s nightlife begins all over Orange Avenue and Church Street and extends a few blocks to Orange Avenue / Washington Street.
Between bars, discos, and pubs, there can easily be more than 40 businesses in this area of downtown Orlando, where you can find places specializing in alternative rock, 80’s music, electronic music, and even Latin music (salsa, bachata, merengue).
Most of the clubs have an admission/ cover of around $ 10.00, plus what you will consume inside. Clubs throughout Orlando close at 2 am.
I-Drive is the tourist corridor of Orlando, and therefore it has to have nightlife. Mainly between International Drive and Sand Lake Road south to where the Orlando Convention Center is.
If you are a tourist, you can stay in a hotel in this area. It is quite close to Pointe Orlando, which has restaurants, clubs, and bars. Some have live music, other dance shows, and of course, the Latin club is not lacking.
The Village at Hunter’s Creek
The Villages at Hunter’s Creek, located on the corner of John Young Parkway and Interstate 417 is another part of the city with a lot of nightlife.
In this urbanization, you can find a Latin club, and there are also a few bars, restaurants, and fast food places.
Lake Ivanhoe Row
In the northern part of downtown Orlando on Orange Avenue / E. Yale Street and Brookhaven Drive. In addition to antique shops and boutiques during the day, you will find very nice bars and restaurants at night in the middle of a bohemian atmosphere.
There are also a few gay / friendly lounges in this sector.
There are several Irish bars/pubs, but they are not located on the same block or specific section of Winter Park; some are on W. Fairbanks Avenue, and others are on N. Orange Avenue.
Park Avenue in Winter Park is renowned for its restaurants, cafes, and boutiques that are open late at night on weekends.
It is part of Universal Studios Orlando, but to enter here, you only have to pay for parking, not the entrance to the park. Once you are inside it is a world full of restaurants, discos, bars, live music and all kinds of entertainment. Listen to reggae music, the 80s, rock, etc.
Located in Lake Buena Vista / Orlando, this place has undergone several changes in recent years. New restaurants and bars have been added and others, but it continues to be an excellent place to have fun at night.
At Downtown Disney they have live music every weekend and are located between Bongos Café and Fultons Crab House; listen to jazz, instrumental, classical, Irish music, and other rather unique sounds.
As you can see, both day and night vacations in Orlando are the break that we should all take at some time in our lives.