The City with the Best Family Friendly Hotels: Orlando, FL

Orlando has captured the title of best city for family friendly hotels, according to TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards. The city placed 6 of its hotels in the top 10 hotels for families in the United States, and each of those hotels also placed in the top 25 worldwide!

Ranking as the #1 overall family friendly hotel in the U.S. and #5 in the world was the Floridays Resort Orlando. Floridays is a luxury, all-suite, condominium-style resort, and is an official Universal and SeaWorld partner hotel (offering dining and shopping discounts at those parks). Floridays provides transportation to all of the local parks (including Disney) via a convenient theme parks shuttle service.

To help make you family vacation as comfortable as possible, the resort offers two swimming pools, a water jet playscape for children, complete fitness center, resort-wide WIFI, pet-friendly environment (for pets under 25 pounds), and a game room. As top benefits & amenities, travelers mention the resort’s pool area, bedroom suites, full kitchen in each suite, and the proximity to theme parks and International Drive.

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Best Florida Hospitals by Region

I like Florida. My first real experience with the state was back in 1996. I was a young Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps and had just gotten assigned to MATCU school in Millington, TN. After only 3 months, the school was relocated to Naval Air Station Pensacola and I boarded a bus to make the transfer. Once there, I realized that I was about to have a wonderful time… I was 19 years old and living on the Gulf Coast.

I stayed in Pensacola for eight months before graduating and moving to my permanent duty station. But I never lost the love for Florida – and particularly the Gulf Coast. For my snowbird destination, Florida will definitely be high on the list. Knowing that, I wanted to focus a little bit on Florida’s health care options.

Florida has over 260 hospitals, and ten of them are ranked nationally. In addition to those ten, 20 others have met standards which indicate they are strong performers within the state. Here I’ll break down the best hospitals in Florida by region, so you’ll be able to judge what options are available in your retirement location.

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Best Regional Medical Care for Snowbirds

When I think about choosing a snowbird destination, one of the factors I consider important is access to quality health care. I’ve typically been a pretty healthy person, and rarely need to go to the doctor other than for my annual checkup. My wife and kids have also been healthy, luckily.

But who’s to say that won’t change as I age? Although I don’t need it right now, I want the security of knowing that I’ll be able to meet with doctors who not only care about their patients, but also have the training, experience, and support to address any health issues I may have.

There are a few organization that I trust for ranking products and organizations, including Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report. I appreciate that they provide details behind their ranking methodology, so I can verify if their judgements align with my values. I have repeatedly used CR & U.S. News for my consumer purchases, and also trust their recommendations and rankings for help choosing my MBA program. For this post, I’ll be pulling information from U.S. News.

Throughout the U.S. there are 17 medical centers that have been classified as deserving special mention for their high degree of skill across multiple health fields and disciplines. With a few exceptions, most of these ‘winners’ are located in the Northeast. Unfortunately for me, I won’t be able to utilize any of these institutions if I’m living in the South. In case you’re curious, here are the honor role medical centers:

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Three Mistakes I Made When Registering My Car in Florida and How You Can Avoid Them

Three visits!  It took me three visits to the DMV to get my Florida license plates.  Hopefully I’ll be able to give you a few tips here so you don’t repeat my negative experience.

For the official Florida DMV page on registering a vehicle in the state, you can visit their page here.

What I did wrong

  1. I didn’t take both vehicles with me
  2. I didn’t have Florida auto insurance coverage (still had Michigan insurance)
  3. I didn’t have the lien release/title signed off on a car I owned outright

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