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The best road trips from Orlando on a rental car

The best road trips from Orlando on a rental car

Orlando is the ideal vacation destination for those who seek a magical and unforgettable holiday; its theme parks and touristic sites attract millions of people every year, but if you think visiting the Disney Parks and onsite attractions are the only thing you can do in Orlando, you are wrong. Yes, these might be the city’s main pulls (and we definitely can never get enough of them), but there are other appealing plans you can carry out around Orlando if you want to escape from the theme parks hustle and bustle and experience another part of Florida.

Green parks, wildlife in nature, small towns, boat rides and sparkling beaches are just some of the wonders you can discover around the magic city. The recommendation is to reserve a car rental and embark on a road trip to explore the area’s greatest sites. Why a rental car? The answer is pretty simple: Freedom, comfort, and economy.

By renting a car you won’t have to be relying on any public transportation schedules or discomforts. On the contrary, you’ll have the chance to travel at your own peace, enjoying the road and stopping any time you want to stroll and sightsee. What is best, renting a vehicle gives a lot of advantages at the time of traveling: The option of returning the car on different destinations, GPS, car seats, and a wide range of vehicle fleet for you to choose from according to your needs.

Here are some useful tips for renting before your road trip:

Book in advance


There are many advantages of booking your rental car in advance: you will be entitled to some of the best deals on the market, (the sooner you make the reservation, the cheaper you will pay); you’ll have a wide variety of vehicles to choose from, and your car will be waiting for you at soon as you get to your destination.

Choose the right car


Choose the adequate car depending on your family size. Take into account the car’s luggage capacity to avoid paying more for a car you don’t actually need.

Take the required documentation


When it comes to documentation, each car rental agency has a policy that may differ from other companies. Make sure to call or email them and request a list of the required documents. Here are the most common when traveling within the US:
  • Round trip plane tickets
  • Valid passport
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Credit card under the reservation’s holder

US Citizens:
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid ID
  • Valid credit or debit card. For debit card customers normally conduct an identity and address verification check.

Don’t skip insurances


Think about this: there is no faster way to ruin a holiday than having an accident or some sort of damage to the rented car and having to pay out of pocket. Now, when you opt for travel car insurance you will have the peace of mind you’re traveling safe.

If you are still doubtful on what sites to visit, we’ll help you with 4 of the best road trips to take from Orlando on a rental car:

The best road trips from Orlando on a rental car

Watch manatees swim at Blue Spring State Park


There’s nothing better to unwind than a little nature and wildlife. Blue Spring State Park is a designated Manatee Refuge located in Volusia County on the St. Johns River near the Orange City and it is considered one of Florida’s most popular tourist destinations. The site is over an hour drive from Orlando, so if you are in the city it is really easy to take your car and embark on the journey. Take into account that in bad traffic it can take you up to an hour and a half, but if you’ll leave in the morning and come back in the evening you’ll go against the flow traffic.

This state reservation hosts refreshing where you can spot these giant mammals while they chill in the warm waters, and although it is strictly prohibited to swim with manatees, you can watch them safely from the boardwalk. Of course, there are areas in the park where you can swim, tube, snorkel, and even scuba dive the clear blue-green waters. The park also hosts 140 miles of green lands where you can camp or hike while enjoying watching beautiful bird species including the Florida scrub-jays.

From Orlando to St. Augustine


Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, this pristine small town is considered to be the nation’s oldest city hosting ancient forts, brick streets and an amazing collection of historic buildings, definitely a captivating walk through history. Also, it is said that ghost enthusiasts will find many opportunities to seek out spirits in graveyards, throughout downtown, and a supposedly haunted lighthouse!! Very cool huh?! Orlando and Saint Agustine are separated by a 2-hour drive but it is a straightforward interstate travel and just as the previous road trip suggestion, if you leave early and stay late, you’ll avoid most of Orlando’s congestion. What is more, if you want to take a detour along the way, Daytona Beach, home of Daytona International Speedway, is at the juncture of I-4 and I-95 so a rental car in Orlando is a great plus!

The best road trips from Orlando on a rental car

Explore the Everglades


If you have always wanted to visit The Everglades and you happen to be in Orlando, there’s a big chance you can make it to this world-famous nature preserve. Although the distance between sites might be considered a little long (4-hour drive aprox.), it will be easy if you got a car rental on your own; it’s just a matter of organizing your schedules and make the most of time. If you left Orlando around 6:00 am you'd get there around 11 am.

The Everglades offers everything from saltwater marshes and mangrove swamps to dry pine woods that are home to many birds and wild animals. When you get there, you can leave your car to take an airboat tour, rent a kayak, or walk along a raised boardwalk to enjoy the wetlands preserve. My personal recommendation if you want to avoid handling a lot of driving on the same day, is to drive down there one morning, spend the night somewhere near, and come back to Orlando the next morning. Otherwise, you can start driving back around four pm and you’ll be in Orlando by 9:00 pm approximately.

The best road trips from Orlando on a rental car

Hit the beach!!


As you might already know, there are no beaches in Orlando properly, but if you want to escape from the city buzz and hassle for a wild and you got your car rental, there are some pretty nice beach options nearby perfect to stroll. Cocoa Beach for example, is 59.8 miles from Orlando (around one hour drive) and apart from being a pristine piece of white-sand paradise where to chill and sunbathe, there are pretty nice activities to do including water sports and deep-sea fishing. Another great option is Daytona Beach 55.8 miles, (also one hour drive from Orlando); world renowned for being the city where the iconic Nascar race runs every year, the city is also known for hosting this spectacular piece of heaven where tourists come to relax and enjoy its clear waters. Daytona Beach highlights include on-beach parking, lifeguard patrols, a boardwalk, a pier, beachfront attractions, a water park, and a family entertainment center.

Orlando is a great tourist destination for the whole family but renting a car and exploring its surrounding sites is an adventure you will never regret. Enjoy!


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