Florida Guide > Planning your Trip
Tips For First Time Travellers To Florida
- The number for emergencies is 911
- Make a note of the address and telephone number of the villa/ hotel you are staying in & carry it with you at all times
- To dial back to the UK add 44 instead of the first 0 ie 441204 123456
- Mobile phones must be ‘tri-band’ to use in USA
- Most mobile phone companies require you to register that you want to use the phone abroad before you go.
- Make a note of the make, model, colour and registration number of your hire car, very many of them look the same!
- Take careful note of where you have parked your car – car parks in theme parks and even supermarkets are very large
- USA has very strict drink/driving rules. It is illegal to drive if your blood has more than 0.02, as little as one alcoholic drink
- Alcoholic beverages should be transported in the boot of the car, not on display
- Most usual credit cards are accepted in USA, but it is wise to alert your credit card company that you are travelling. If there is a sudden increase in spending in a foreign country, some companies block use!
- Many USA shops now use ‘chip and pin’ technology so ensure you know your pin
- ‘Cash back’ can be obtained at most supermarkets
- Can be unpredictable, depending on the time of year, in particular in summer when rain is very heavy. It is a good idea to carry a plastic type mac with you.
- The sun is very hot, make sure you re-apply sun cream regularly and wear a hat. Young children should wear a tee shirt in the pool to protect their shoulders
- Even though its very hot outside, restaurants, supermarkets etc can feel chilly because of air conditioning. Always take a cardigan or shawl if you are going to be indoors.
- Portions tend to be huge! Don’t over order!
- If you can’t finish your meal it is perfectly normal & acceptable to ask for it to be ‘boxed up’. Much better than it being wasted.
- There are many ‘eat as much as you like’ type buffets in Florida. These offer very good value for money at a fixed price. Don’t be shy to ask what dishes are if they are unfamiliar.
- Tipping is expected in restaurants as this forms a large part of the waiting staffs wages.
- If you ask for a cup of tea, you will generally be given some warm water with a tea bag in it! You may prefer to wait till you get home!
- If you want lemonade ask for ‘sprite’ – lemonade is the strong, yellow type.
- It is illegal to drink or buy an alcoholic drink for anyone under the age of 21.
- Florida is home to a wonderful variety of wildlife including alligators, racoons, snakes & armadillos. The golden rule is don’t approach them & they won’t approach you!
- As in any foreign country it is wise to find out the location of the nearest emergency medical service and dentist.
- Carry your credit card with you at all times, some hospitals want to take a copy of this before they will treat you!
- Pharmacies carry a greater range of drugs than in the UK and should be your first step in case of minor ailments or accidents. There are many branches of Walgreens and CVS pharmacies and chemists are located in most Publix & Wal-Mart superstores as well.
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Page added on: 14 June 2005
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