Florida Guide > Planning your Trip
So, you have booked your holiday to Florida, paid for the flights, chosen your villa and planned what attractions you are going to visit during your stay.
As the date of travel draws near you will suddenly start to think about your ‘spending money. ’ Just exactly how will you take the dollars that you will need? Cash
of course is very risky – could easily be lost which of course would be a disaster. However it is useful to have a small amount of dollars to take with you so that you have change for road tolls or any other incidentals for the first day or so. Travellers cheques
. You will need to ensure that these are US dollar cheques. This means they will have to be ordered in advance from your bank and of course there is the exchange rate to consider – if you don’t use them all, the ones you have left will need to be converted back to £ sterling when you arrive home. Travellers cheques are very secure. Keep the record of the serial numbers separate from the cheques and if you are unlucky enough to lose them whilst on holiday you can get them replaced.
Travellers cheques can be cashed over a bank counter (you will need your passport as ID) or you can pay for goods in shops and receive change. Credit card
. You can use your credit card to make purchases in exactly the same way as you would in the UK. Look for the symbol (for example Visa or Mastercard) and the card will be accepted. The transaction will be made in dollars but will be charged to your credit card as £ sterling. You won’t know exactly what exchange rate you will get as it is calculated after the transaction, and there may also be a small charge per transaction.
It is a good idea to telephone your credit card company before you leave home to advise them that you are going on holiday (dates and destination) so that there is no danger of the card company suspecting it is being used fraudulently and placing a stop on transactions. Debit card
. Again can be used for purchases. Can also be used in an ATM (hole in the wall) for cash, using the PIN number that you use in the UK. Cash is dispensed in dollars, and there is likely to be a small handling charge – again, as with the credit card you won’t know in advance what exchange rate will be used.
Personally we always use our cards – and just take a few dollars in cash with us. If you are gong to rely on cards it is a good idea to take more than one and keep them separate just in case you lose your wallet. If you have a back up kept in another wallet or purse you won’t be left without a card!
Remember, you are on holiday and relaxed. Be careful not to lose your wallet. Familiarise yourself with the notes and their value – it is easy to get confused with a currency that you aren’t used to. Check your change. Carry a small calculator to help check prices using the exchange rates!
Have a great holiday!
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Page added on: 20 March 2007
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