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Florida Guide > Planning your Trip

Currency - tips for visitors from the UK

There are a few essentials to take on your Florida holiday. As well as your passports, driving licence, travel insurance, car hire voucher, flight tickets etc, there is one other essential - money.

Whilst a Florida holiday is great value, and your dollar will go a long way (don't forget the shopping bargains!), you will need a few dollars. There are several different ways to take your cash, here are our recommendations:

Credit Card
Credit cards (particularly MasterCard and Visa) are widely accepted, and will meet most of your requirements. There are several advantages - the prime one being that you will not have surplus dollars, you will only spend what you need! We recommend taking a couple of different cards (in case one is lost) - it is worth while advising your credit card issuer before your holiday that you will be using your card in Florida. Card companies use sophisticated fraud detection systems, and the sudden change in use may trigger an alarm bell.

We suggest you check out how much your credit card loads the exchange rate by - most add nearly 3% to the cost, some are free. By choosing the right card, you can make your holiday money go further!

One additional consideration - your car rental company may require a deposit payable by credit card. This will reduce the amount of credit you have available.

Travellers Cheques
Or checks as they are known as in the US. These are very widely accepted - occasionally shops require additional identification (which is also occasionally the case with credit cards). In many stores travellers cheques are as good as cash - buy them before you go, just sign and hand them over for your purchase. The change is given in cash. Much better to take travellers cheques in local currency - that takes away the difficulty of converting from sterling for the local traders. If the travellers cheques are lost, most issuers can issue replacements very quickly. On the downside, any which are not spent whilst on holiday will need to be changed back to sterling (or perhaps keep them for your next Florida holiday!)

Cash
As well as credit cards and travellers cheques, we also recommend taking some cash. This will be useful on arrival - for tipping porters at the airport (or renting a trolley to carry your cases to your hire car). And it is customary to tip waiters when dining out - a few dollars in cash will be ideal, although the option of adding the tip to the credit card is usually offered. You can top up your cash at ATMs, but remember there will almost certainly be a fee.

Author: Guy and Karen Gore (Villa link: click here)
Other articles by this author: click here

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Page added on: 1 March 2006
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