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So this Easter we decided to travel with the kids on a work trip to Florida, and I can honestly say we didn’t want to come home. The plan was, half work, half pleasure. We were out in Florida filming digital content for one of my favourite clients Simon Shopping Destinations.

If you’ve ever visited the states I know you will have heard of them, Simon Shopping Destinations are the destination shopping locations throughout North America. If you haven’t heard of them, you need to google them and plan where to shop for your next USA trip in advance like we do.

When we asked Rocco where do you want to spend your 4th birthday? Disneyland or LEGOLAND, he had no interest in Disney and only wanted to go to LEGOLAND which was super easy and such a relief.

Our agenda was roughly like this; 4 days filming and 4-5 days with our kids to explore Florida. The first thing that comes to mind is how blessed we are to get to travel as a family for work.

So here are some general tips on where to go/stay if you are visiting Florida as a family.

Where to stay?

We didn’t want to be in central Orlando, as we wanted to explore the real Florida, like the airboat rides and gator parks so we choose an incredible development closer to LEGOLAND. Balmoral Resorts is a quiet retreat ideal for spending quality time with friends and family, yet not far from all the great attractions, activities, and entertainment of Central Florida. We stayed in the most gorgeous and spacious 4 bed home with a double garage and swimming pool. When we arrived they had been so kind leaving a birthday card, banners and a birthday cake ready for Rocco’s 4th birthday. The house itself had absolutely everything we needed as a family of 5, everything was super clean, the beds were massive, the kitchen had all the utensils you could need. I just can’t fault it in anyway, because they think of everything. I think the best bit has to be that even though it’s a holiday home and you have your own privacy they have hotel style concierge services, a big waterpark, games and cinema room for the kids and so much more. We loved the resort so much we were tempted to buy!

We also travelled down to Fort Lauderdale which is one city I love as I lived there years ago and spent a night at B Ocean Resort which was perfect for what we needed. Situated on Fort Lauderdale Beach and close to a strip of bars and restaurants the location was perfect.

What to drive?

Every time we are abroad and if we need to hire a car we’ve always tend to use @rentalcarscom because of their #faultless service and really reasonable rates! Both #USA trips we needed a big SUV to cater for all our baggage, equipment and buggies etc so we opted for a Chevy Tahoe which is just ideal when your travelling with kids and family. Here’s a peak of our lush rental car!

Where to shop?

Ok so this really does depend on what you are looking for? If you head over to my Instagram or YouTube you will see my Florida Video series from six different Simon Shopping Destinations locations, showing you which are more for family shopping days, discount deals or high end designer.

Where to visit?

So first off it has to be Gatorland and Boggy Creek Airboat Rides. Where we stayed at Balmoral we were close to both of these and Legoland, where we went for Rocco’s 4th birthday. Both are places you must take time to visit, I was blown away by both experiences and love to be surrounded by nature but the fact its around 80-90 degrees makes all these experiences so much better.

Legoland kindly invited us to the park so we independently bought fastrack passes and it was well worth the extra, the park is amazing and Rocco had the best day but its busy so having Fastrack really helps you get round all the rides super fast. Again if you head over to my instagram you will see a carousel of images from both. We also loved visiting Wild Florida which is a different experience to the above places and really cool. Then we finished our Orlando experience enjoying a Champagne flight at Icon Orlando, which was so cool to view Orlando from those heights, I wasn’t sure whether my fear of flight would affect it but I loved it and so did the kids. The best to organize tickets for most of these attractions is probably Florida Tix.

Where to Eat?

Ok this has to be the very best sushi I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Aoki is a fab sushi restaurant in Dadeland Mall near to Miami and the food is just tremendous. Not to mention the tastiest Saki! If your visiting the Art District you guys have to stop here.

Another incredible dining experience was at Hocca Bar at The Florida Mall in Orlando. Omg this was Brazilian cuisine at its best. If you are a meat eater like we are you will love all the dishes here!

So finally a big thanks is needed to all those people that made this trip a trip of a lifetime for myself and the family in every way. Thankyou all so much, you know who you are we appreciate every experience and moment and feel truly blessed!

Love Naomi and The Isted Kids xxx


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