One of our team members, Paul Kreiger, posted a question on our Moving to Orlando Facebook group asking this question: What is something you wish you would have thought of or considered prior to moving to Central Florida?
While the responses aren’t surprising to those of us who live in Florida, some of these things do come as a shock to people who have only ever vacationed here. Here are some of the responses we received.
1 – Expensive tolls – lots and lots of tolls
Many of the comments in the post talked about tolls. That was a surprise to a lot of people who moved to Central Florida. I’m originally from New Jersey, which I thought was the toll booth capital of the world – New Jersey has nothing on Florida though. Here’s a link to the current tolls (and their prices) in Central Florida.
From Cristina: How expensive tolls are and to make sure to average that in my monthly budget. Also proximity to work. Commuting sucks. While we LOVE our city I wish we would have taken a little more time and bought a house closer to the turnpike for my commute. We are a little further out then I would have liked.
2 – Living closer to work vs closer to Disney
I live 30 to 40 minutes away from Disney except it always seems to take me over an hour to get there. I-4 is the culprit. I’ve been living in Orlando for 22 years and I-4 has been under construction for … well, it seems like 22 years. Even without the construction, I-4 is a very busy road. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of day or what day of the week – it’s a busy road.
Elizabeth wrote: We thought of this before we moved but other people don’t. We would rather live closer to our jobs vs. living close to Disney. Commuting here sucks. I’d much rather my daily commute is short compared to my current 40-minute drive to Disney.
Elon wrote: Bugs, traffic, heat, traffic, bugs, traffic, and not learning spanish , ponchos, traffic
3 – Invest in Umbrellas
This is good advice. The weather in Central Florida is amazing until it isn’t. It isn’t unusual for a gorgeous day to turn dark and ugly very quickly. During these events, you could be forgiven for thinking that God was somehow angry with us for all the “Florida Man” stories. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have several umbrellas. It’s especially important to keep a good one in your car. However, don’t leave it in the trunk like I used to do which kind of defeats the purpose of keeping an umbrella to avoid getting wet.
From Madeline: Keep extra umbrellas in your car at all times. Also, throw those small, flimsy umbrellas out when you reach the state line because they don’t work in Florida
4 – Invest in Surge protectors as well
Florida is the ‘ground strike’ capital of the world. The summer months bring storms (as mentioned above), and those storms often come with lightening. If investing in whole-home surge protection is too expensive, then consider getting solid surge protectors for things like computers, TV’s, and other expensive electronics. I have whole home protection, but I also have an APC battery backup on my computer. This not only protects it from surges but also gives you about 15 minutes of back up power to safely shut down your computer.
Phillip wrote: Something a lot of people seem to not think about is surge protectors. Thunderstorms start getting pretty bad around this time of year and go through September. I wouldn’t recommend plugging any kind of electronics in without one. I’ve seen a lot of TVs, computers, etc get fried from surges and brownouts.