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Florida Guide > Travelling


So the day has arrived when your long awaited thoroughly planned holiday is finally about to happen. The bags are packed and you are waiting for the taxi to take you to the airport, have you remembered everything, passports, tickets, medicines, and kid’s favourite toys? The journey to Florida is a long and tiring one but with a little forward planning it can become an enjoyable first day of your holiday rather than a chore.

Step one, make lists; the first one should contain everything you must take with you (tickets, passports, medicines etc). This should be done well in advance so that you can add all those things that you “suddenly remember”.

Then make a second list of things you think it would be useful to take but which are not essential to the holiday for example sun cream, yes you will need it but it is readily available all over Florida so if you don’t have room in your bags or you forget to buy any it won’t be a major disaster.

Thirdly make a list of all the things you have to do before you leave such as cancel the newspapers, organise transport to the airport, book the kennels for the dog etc. This may all seem obvious but when you are stressed or excited it is so easy to forget the simplest of things and mid way across the Atlantic is not the best place to remember that you have not cancelled the milk!

Step two, be sensible when packing you will have to carry these bags at some point and you will have a luggage allowance. If you are flying on a charter airline your allowance could be as little as 15kg per person. Don’t forget that is for coming back as well as going and with all the shopping opportunities out there be sure to leave some space for your new jeans, trainers etc. A bargain is not such a bargain if you find yourself having to pay excess baggage, it can be really expensive.

The dress code in Florida is very casual so leave the evening dresses and the tux at home unless you have something very special planned. Most hotels and all vacation homes provide laundry facilities including washing machines, tumble driers and irons so you really can take the minimum of clothes. If you are staying in a vacation home check with the owners exactly what facilities are provide in the villa and that will probably save you packing your hairdryer, travel iron and lots of other things that you would have been tempted to pack if you were staying in a hotel.

Think carefully about what you pack in your hand luggage. Most airlines limit the weight of hand luggage to 5kg they also limit the size of the bags. It can be tempting to pack these bags with items that are not essential for your flight but don’t forget you will have to carry these bags and store them on board the plane. Don’t waste valuable leg room by filling it with bags full of stuff that could have been packed in the hold luggage. Things that are well worth putting in your hand luggage are bottled water, lip balm, aspirin and wet wipes not to mention any regular medication you might need, your passports, tickets, car hire documents and if your staying in a villa the address and directions for getting there! If you are driving at the other end make sure you take your driving licence, if you have a photo licence you will also need to take the paper part.

If you are travelling with children the small travel bags on wheels are great for them to use to pack crayons and colouring books, soft toys and travel games as well as snacks and drinks, but don’t load them up too much, the novelty of pulling their own bag along can soon wear thin when they are tired and have eaten all their goodies!

Step three relax and enjoy your flight, with in flight movies, duty free sales, meals and drinks service (don’t forget to take it easy with the alcohol especially if you are driving in Florida) the time will literally fly by and before you know it you will be in the Sunshine state and raring to go on your fun packed holiday of a lifetime. Have fun.

Author: Steve and Julie Roach (Villa link: click here)
Other articles by this author: click here

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Page added on: 11 November 2005
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