Historic downtown Sanford offers a variety of things to do for anyone passing through for a few hours or with a couple of days to explore. If you’re coming from outside of the Central Florida area and have some time to kill before your flight with Air Unlimited, there are plenty of fun things to experience near the Orlando Sanford International Airport where our private hangar is located.
Sanford is home to beautiful state parks, including the Lower Wekiva River Preserve. The preserve is a system of blackwater streams and trails. This wildlife area provides a habitat for black bears, otters, alligators, wood storks and Sandhill cranes. Visitors can hike, paddle and camp on the preserve to get a taste of Sanford’s wild flora and fauna. An especially interesting feature of the preserve is the equestrian campsite area that has horse stalls and corrals for those who want to bring their horse along on the trails.
Sanford Ghost Tours are a great way to hear the vast history about the area in a thrilling way. This one-hour walking tour is great for all ages, and takes you through stories of ghostly encounters around the downtown Sanford area leading up to the last stop at a haunted building. Tours are just $15 and are offered at 8 and 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.
A great way to visit multiple restaurants in a short period of time is by taking a tour with Sanford Food Tours. They work with dozens of restaurants and shops in downtown Sanford and allow guests to choose from two different tours or create their own. The Brews & Bites Tour includes stops at Deviant Wolfe Brewing, Sanford Brewing Co., Wops Hops Brewing Co., Inner Compass Brewing Co., and Tuffy’s Bottle Shop. Food and drink pairings are accompanied by the amazing sights and rich history of Sanford’s city center. The Celery City Tour stops at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe, The District, Busters Bistro, and Sanford Brewing Company. Each walking tour is about four hours and includes insight into local history and culture along the way.
Have you ever had a drink while riding on a 15-seat bicycle? At Limo Cycle Tours, you can do just that! It’s not a traditional bicycle, but rather a mobile bike bar that uses pedals to propel you forward with a tour guide steering and leading the way. The faster you pedal, the faster you get to the next destination. Guests are allowed to bring beer and wine on their tour, and each tour stops two to three times to visit shops, restaurants, and bars in the downtown Sanford area. This two-hour tour is bound to be a group favorite.
Sanford has so much to offer and is located just around the corner from Air Unlimited’s hangar in the Orlando Sanford International Airport. Call (407) 585-4300 to book your flight with Air Unlimited and ask our knowledgeable staff about their favorite things to do in Sanford.
Scared of flying? Try these tips before your next trip out of the Orlando-Sanford International Airport!
A fear of flying is something that at least one in every six adults deals with. It is perfectly normal to feel uncomfortable before and during a flight, but Air Unlimited strives to help their guests enjoy the entire flight experience from their private hangar at the Orlando-Sanford International Airport. Flight time to the beautiful Abaco islands is just over an hour, and the tips below can help you stay calm so you can enjoy a relaxing vacation from the moment you step into Air Unlimited’s hangar.
One helpful tip for a fear of flying is to simply acknowledge your fear and learn ways to control it. If you feel anxious, allow yourself to feel that way, while reassuring yourself that it’s perfectly okay to have these feelings, instead of trying to fight the anxiety. At that point, you can work to build your confidence in knowing that you will get through your flight experience using positive thoughts and deep breathing techniques to combat any anxious tendencies, such as shallow breathing. Trying active meditation practices can help distract your mind from the anxiety and bring a sense of calm to your body. Focus on the deep breaths you’re taking and try listening to guided meditation to help you relax.
At Air Unlimited, guests have an opportunity to meet the pilot prior to their flight and talk to them about their anxieties. This advantage allows guests to address any worries they have, educate themselves about the flight and what to expect during the ride, as well as get to know and trust the pilot before take-off. This can help bring them relief as they prepare to board the flight. The pilots are also accessible during the flight to keep you updated on weather patterns and flight times that can bring you peace of mind.
Distractions are a great way to feel better in almost any situation. As a guest on a plane, taking off, turbulence, and landing can be moments of high anxiety. Listening to music or watching a movie during these times is a great way to focus on something else besides the plane. Additionally, Air Unlimited’s intimate seating allows guests to easily interact with other riders, including any of their friends, family members or pets that are along for the ride. Talking and engaging with others can be a great distraction and social experience. If these tips aren’t working, try multitasking during the flight. For example, eating a snack while working on a crossword puzzle can help take your mind off of things at a deeper level than just passively listening to music, so try to stay busy.
To be even more proactive in combatting your flight anxiety, you can begin preparing for a flight well before you are at the hangar. The morning of your flight, try to avoid caffeine because this may end up making you jittery, which can amplify your feelings of anxiety. Stretching or meditating before you leave the house can prepare you to hold onto those calming feelings during your flight. This is also a great time to focus on your breathing and keep those long deep breaths throughout the day.
Rest assured that you can fly in peace with the experienced pilots flying with Air Unlimited who can get you to paradise in just over an hour. There’s no need to worry about getting to the airport early to stand in long lines and deal with airport security. Air Unlimited’s staff greets every guest with a smile for an easy, check-in process that sets you up for a relaxing direct flight to the Abacos. Call Air Unlimited at 407-585-4300 to book your flight today.
As we all get ready to gather with family and loved ones this Thanksgiving, the Air Unlimited team wanted to share what we’re thankful for this year. From being excited to go to work every day to helping people create unforgettable memories on our private planes, there is a lot for us to be grateful for.
Co-Founder and Pilot Chick Gregg and his wife Lisa: “We’re thankful for our family’s health after a year that has brought us closer together.”
Office Manager Melissa Manchester: “I’m forever thankful for my husband, RJ. No matter what is going on in life, he always manages to make me smile and laugh. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with our amazing team at Air Unlimited. I’m thankful for family, the time we get to spend together and for friends that have turned into family.”
Co-Founder and Pilot Mark Neubauer: “I am thankful for God, my Family, our Company and all our loyal passengers!”
We get the opportunity to not only work with a spectacular team here at Air Unlimited, but also to serve some amazing customers. The second you step into our private hangar, you become part of our extended family. Our lives are enriched by making your experience on our private planes unlike any other. We’re thankful for each and every one of you who has flown with us over the years. We look forward to continuing to serve you wherever your vacation dreams may lead you.
Alan Rodney Griffin has lived all over the globe, and three of his passions have remained consistent throughout his travels: aviation, Africa and his faith. There were many times over the course of his career where these passions overlapped in his work as a pilot. Air Unlimited is happy to have this seasoned pilot offering flights to the Abaco Islands from the Orlando-Sanford International Airport.
Alan’s passion for flying started when he was just 11 years old. He watched a film strip about missionaries who were killed in Ecuador with Nate Saint as their pilot. Saint’s bravery and commitment inspired Alan at a very young age, and he strived to consistently embody these traits throughout his career. He began his journey to become a pilot in 1968 after leaving his home in the UK to live in South Africa. He began teaching at St. Mary’s School in Nairobi where he taught the current President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. He tirelessly worked and saved up enough money to pursue his dreams.
By 1974 he received his private pilot license in Kenya. Alan, a man of many passions, knew it was time to move on to his next goal. Before he was able to teach in Nairobi, Alan had to go through a teacher training course. He was satisfied with this career, but he had aspirations to attend a university and expand his knowledge of aviation, which would provide more opportunities. One year after earning his private pilot license, Alan moved to Texas to attend Le Tourneau University. This was the start of even greater things for Alan. He received a Bachelor of Science in aviation and bible studies, met his wife Ruth and began working at the Gregg County Airport in Longview, Texas.
His commitment to aviation education led Alan back to Africa once again. He continued his flight training and worked in commercial aviation in Kenya. During his time there, Alan used every flight as a learning experience. This is a method of thought he still practices to this day.
Now, Alan, Ruth and their two oldest children live in Orlando. Alan’s newest venture is working with Air Unlimited piloting flights to the Abaco Islands. As a contract pilot, he has made many flights to the Abaco Islands, but he is looking forward to traveling there for pleasure instead of work. Prior to working with Air Unlimited, Alan had only visited Treasure Cay, Staniel Cay and Exuma for a photoshoot of the EADS Socata TBM 850, a high performance single engine turboprop.
In Alan’s many successful years as a pilot, he has yet to visit one destination that he can call his absolute favorite. He does have one major life goal in mind, though. New Zealand is more than 8,000 miles from Orlando over open ocean, but with dedication, Alan hopes to find a way to pilot a plane there. He has more goals on the horizon like piloting more gliders, amphibian flying, and learning how to fly a helicopter. It’s easy for him to stay motivated and inspired while working with Air Unlimited. He also keeps a healthy work-life balance and spends time gardening, exercising, helping his church, and of course being a couch potato when the opportunity presents itself.
Keep an eye out for Alan on your next flight to the Abaco Islands! If you’re looking for a good story, don’t hesitate to ask him about his many travels abroad.
For most of the country, fall is a magical time when the leaves change colors and temperatures drop. It’s one of the most beautiful times to explore the great outdoors and begin new traditions with the people you love. However, delayed flights and anything-but-friendly fellow travelers can start your vacation off on the wrong foot. An on-demand charter service ensures accurate flight times, no layovers and the privacy of having an Air Unlimited aircraft just for you and your party.
A private plane may seem a bit over-the top, but when you consider the hassle of flying with children or a larger group, the benefits are significant. Floridians dream of seeing the leaves change, instead of another dropping palm frond. Apple picking would be a great family outing, if only they could stand our extreme heat long enough to stay on the branch. Why not fly off to enjoy the true fall season? An on-demand charter service can take you from point A (hot and humid) to point B (cool and crisp) for the perfect fall getaway.
The fall season begins on September 22nd and ends just before the busiest time of the year on December 21st. With the exception of Thanksgiving weekend, fall has some of the most affordable lodging fees of the year. It’s the perfect excuse to get out of town. Because your flight will already be taken care of through Air Unlimited’s on-demand charter service, you’ll just need to keep an eye out for hotel fares. This is easier than ever with tools like Price Watch on Hotels.com and Kayak.com’s Price Alert. Just pick the city and dates you’ll be there, and let them do the rest. They will let you know the right time to book and even send you predictions for when prices are expected to drop.
One very important fall travel tip, especially for those of you who aren’t used to cold weather, is to always wear sunscreen and moisturize as much as you can. The weather might be cool enough to stay outside all day, but those pesky UVA and UVB rays are ever-present. With the lack of humidity, your skin can dry out very quickly. A little dry skin isn’t a huge problem, but once your knuckles become so dry they crack, you’ll have a tough problem on your hands — literally. It’s always smart to keep a travel-sized lotion in your bag when you set out on a fall adventure. Something like this Nivea travel-sized tin can keep you comfortable all day long.
Wherever your destination may be, Air Unlimited is here to show you that flying doesn’t have to be a hassle. With their luxury on-demand charter flights, you can enjoy your trip from take-off to touchdown. Call today for an on-demand charter service quote at 407-585-4300.
Aviation has always been important to Air Unlimited Pilot, Dave Owen, so it was no surprise that he enrolled in private pilot ground school at just 16 years old. His grandparents opened the very first airport in his hometown of Wabash, IN, and Dave spent much of his time there watching and learning anything he could. After completing ground school, Dave planned to continue his education and attend flight school, but was unable to afford it at the time. After a few years of hard work and a strict money-saving plan, he was finally able to continue following his dreams, and he graduated from flight school at the young age of 26. This gave him the necessary experience and qualifications to fly everything Air Unlimited offers, from scheduled service to aircraft charters.
While never letting his passion for flying falter, Dave also decided he wanted to follow another passion path he had grown up envisioning. He worked in law enforcement for many years, keeping his community safe. Once he retired from the police force, he knew it was time to make aviation his life priority once again. Dave feels like he truly found his place at Air Unlimited and definitely isn’t complaining about the perks of the job. He had never been to the Abacos before joining the Air Unlimited team, but island life quickly became something he fell in love with. He began embracing his adventurous side and started boating, water skiing and even barefoot skiing, every chance he had. In fact, he loves water skiing so much that he’d love to become a coach in the unlikely event that he ever loses his passion for flying. However, enjoying island life isn’t the only part of the job that Dave loves. He says the customers and his colleagues at Air Unlimited are what make the job outstanding.
Dave also keeps a very healthy work-life balance, which is important while working in one of the most stressful industries in America. He always tries to go swimming or work out after particularly stressful days and take many vacations with his family. Dave’s perfect vacation would be anywhere in the world with his wife and all of his kids. He has vacationed in Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay, and he can’t wait to explore more local towns during his time off. He also hopes to bring his dogs on the next vacation, as they are now “seasoned” flight dogs.
Dave says his next destination will be anywhere that has plenty of sun, sand and surf. Lucky for him, Air Unlimited is expanding its service to North Eleuthera in the Bahamas Out Islands in April 2018. Look for Dave on your next flight with Air Unlimited!
Vacations give you time to relax, recharge and explore new places. Before you begin your vacation, however, the stress associated with travel can cause a bit of a rough start. When you fly with Air Unlimited out of the Orlando Sanford International Airport, you experience unparalleled service and comfort, and avoid the many stressors associated with flying. Say goodbye to long TSA lines and hefty fees, and hello to comfort the unlimited way.
Not a fan of having to arrive two hours before your flight just to get through TSA lines? Lucky for you, Air Unlimited is located in a private hangar in the Orlando Sanford International Airport, and performs their own security checks. This means that guests bypass the chaos and lines usually experienced at other airports. Instead, guests go through a personalized check-in process in the Air Unlimited office, and only need to arrive an hour before take-off. If you’re a frequent public economy-class flyer, you’re in for quite a treat.
We’re not exaggerating when we say that every seat is first class. With seating for four to nine passengers, each state-of-the-art seat was created for comfort, and has its own window. Each flight to the Abacos is about 90 minutes, and with such a comfy cabin, the time will literally ‘fly by’. As the aircraft descends, you will get a sneak peek and aerial view of the Bahamas before you even land. The crystal clear, blue water will make it very easy to spot a bull shark or a spotted eagle ray swimming near the surface.
Good news for any worried pet parents – Air Unlimited is completely pet friendly! We allow pets to fly in the cabin with you instead of in a cage in the cargo hold like other commercial airlines. There are rules of course, and the pilot has the final say for which animals can fly and which might be better off staying home, but a quick call to Air Unlimited before booking your flight will get you all the answers you need for traveling with your furry friend. For those looking to travel with more than one pet, there is a two-pet per owner limit. Once approved by the Air Unlimited team, all you’ll need is a permit from the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture, and you and your furry friend will be good to go!
Air Unlimited makes it a point to never surprise customers with hidden fees or adding obscene charges for baggage. We also provide a free and secure parking area so travelers don’t have to worry about additional parking charges or how to retrieve their car after returning from a vacation. With Air Unlimited, guests are truly in good hands, and are never treated as just another number aboard a plane.
The Air Unlimited team aims to give you the best preflight and travel experience to start your vacation off on the right foot! For flight inquiries or to hear more about what Air Unlimited has to offer, give us a call at 407-585-4300.
Lobster season kicks off on August 1st, which means it’s time to pack up the gear and head to the Abacos with your fishing buddies. Since you’ll be on a boat from dawn till dusk loading up on the legal limit, we suggest taking Air Unlimited’s private jet to the islands to get you on the water as soon as possible. The Citation Mustang seats five, with more than enough room for all of your baggage and gear. If you’re traveling with more than four people, the King Air 200 is a better option. This aircraft seats nine comfortably with more head and shoulder space than most small aircrafts.
Unless you have your own boat in the Abacos, you will need to find a charter service to take you lobstering and typically, the charter boat captains will know all the best spots for taking full advantage of lobster season. If you are fishing off of a noncommercial boat, you will need to get a fishing permit from the Bahamian Customs Office. All Bahamian owned charter boats will already have fishing licenses but it’s always best to ask and make sure that everyone is covered.
Since it is illegal to dive for lobsters wearing scuba gear or any kind of air regulator, you will need to find shallow water to free dive in. The suggested depth is a spot where it only takes 30 seconds to get from the ocean floor to the surface. Spear guns are also illegal to use in the Bahamas, so keep your gear simple. All you will need is a mask or goggles, snorkel if desired, fins, a net and a tickle stick.
The last thing you want to do is get yourself and the entire boat in legal trouble from violating the Bahamian fishing guides, so be aware of the lobster regulations ahead of time. You are allowed six lobsters per person who is fishing (the captain doesn’t count). And you will need to make sure the lobster you are catching is not a female carrying eggs or a lobster too small for catching. This can be a bit tricky when you’re underwater and trying to gauge the size of the lobster or look under its tail for eggs while chasing it into your net. A lobster gauge is very useful in this situation. It is basically a small ruler made of aluminum, with indentations where you will need to place the gauge in between the lobster’s eyeballs and extend it to the end of its carapace. The measurement from the eyeballs to the carapace should be no smaller than 3 3/8 inches in length, or its tail should be at least six inches long. If your lobster reaches either of those measurements, it’s a keeper! If you catch a lobster that is under size or carrying eggs, just release it and move on.
To catch a lobster, you will need to find an area suitable for lobsters to live. This includes caves or artificial reefs where lobsters can hide. You will coax the lobster out of its cave by moving your tickle stick to the back of the cave and pulling it towards the front while hopefully running into a lobster. Once the lobster feels the tickle stick, it will shoot out of the cave so keep your net ready! After you catch one, make sure to measure it and twist your net to not let your catch free.
If you’re catching lobsters, hopefully you have a place to cook them. But if not, ask your charter captain for the best local restaurants that will cook your catch for you, and enjoy!
The Air Unlimited team is always ready to offer advice or recommendations for your lobster season adventure. Conveniently book your flight by giving us a call at 407-585-4300.
It only takes our guests leaving the Orlando Sanford International Airport to immediately get into vacation mode. With its secluded beaches, plentiful water activities, and luxury resorts, the Abacos is the ultimate island retreat. It is also home to some surprises that you can’t find anywhere else.
Sunday Pig Roast at Nipper’s
Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill is your all-in-one island experience. Located on Great Guana Cay just across from Marsh Harbour, this venue offers fresh seafood, strong drinks, two pools, beaches that lead to a reef, and a tiki bar with a dance floor. Despite the amenities and colorful atmosphere, the main attraction is the Sunday Pig Roast. It is a buffet served every Sunday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. and includes roast pork, Cajun coleslaw and custard corn bread. Come for the food, stay for the party because this is one Sunday Funday that you can’t recreate anywhere else.
Try a Goombay Smash at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar
One of the must-try drinks in the Bahamas is The Goombay Smash. This is a famous cocktail throughout the Bahamas that many places serve but its origin begins at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar in Green Turtle Cay. Miss Emily created the drink in the 60’s in her tiny restaurant that now has a collection of business cards covering the walls from visitors throughout the years. She passed away in 1977 but her family has kept her business alive by serving her delicious Goombay Smash and traditional Bahamian food. The original recipe is her family’s best kept secret that many others have tried to guess. If you’re a fan of the Goombay Smash (most people are) you can purchase the drink by the gallon to enjoy throughout your trip. If you just can’t get enough of it and want to try making it yourself, a replica recipe is below.
- 2 oz. dark rum
- 1 oz. coconut rum
- ½ oz. apricot brandy
- 3 oz. pineapple juice
- 1 oz. orange juice
Shake, pour over ice and enjoy!
Marsh Harbour Reefs
Marsh Harbour is home to two artificial reefs that have been created by shipwrecks. One reef is actually made from locomotives that were captured by the confederacy during the Civil War and then sold to Cuba. There was an accident on their way to Cuba that caused the locomotives to sink about 20 feet to the ocean floor, and it has become a beautiful reef over time.
The other shipwreck was the U.S.S. Adirondack. It dates back to 1862 and was a 207-foot wooden gun boat also used in the Civil War era. It ran aground just six months after it was built, leaving behind 14 cannons that were onboard. The cannons and remains of the ship are scattered across the ocean floor, but don’t worry! Everyone aboard the ship made it safely to shore. Both reefs are only accessible by boat and do not require scuba gear to be explored!
Whatever your plans might be for the Abacos, start your journey with Air Unlimited’s scheduled luxury flights. Every seat on the aircraft is first class and in only 90 minutes your island adventure will begin. Once you arrive, don’t forget to try some of these things that make these islands so special. After all, the Abacos is the hidden gem of the Bahamas.