Florida Guide > Planning your Trip
Getting Ready to Go
You have booked your flights, found the villa of your dreams and now the rest
of the planning begins
You must have travel insurance. There are plenty of medical centres in
Orlando and if you unfortunately need to visit these places, take your insurance
documents with you. They often need a credit card as extra security too. US
medical bills can be horrendous so travelling without insurance is a definite
no-no. Also if you have to take any specific drugs with you that you use
daily, ensure with your travel company that these are allowed through customs
either in your hand luggage or suitcase.
Order your currency. The Post Office gives currency commission free but you
have to order a couple of days in advance. I am with the Halifax and they gave
me currency and traveller’s checks commission free. Obviously credit cards are
easier but most credit card companies charge for you to use them abroad (it may
not show as specific charge but your exchange rate will be about 2.5% lower than
it should be) – Nationwide credit cards( at time of writing 14 /07/04) do not
make a charge. Don’t forget to keep a note of your traveller cheque numbers and
the emergency telephone numbers of the issuer and never keep the note and the
cheques together in case of lost/theft. Many villas have safes – take advantage
As regards credit cards, best to let the company know if you are going
abroad, take a number to call if any problems. My father spent over $1000 in a
day (it was at Home Depot – villa owners favourite place!!) and they rang home
to security check and stopped his visa. As he had taken the number with him, he
rang them to find out what had happened – also if you lose your cards, you can
stop them straight away. Make sure your expiry dates are far enough ahead to
cover your holiday. Strangely many assistants don’t even check your signature
on your card before giving you it back, so I imagine fraud may be fairly easy
there! We now ring our credit card company prior to travelling so they know to
expect bills from the US – hefty bills too!!!
Passports – you must have at least 6months left on your passport from your
return date, 12months is better. Check your tickets as most US flights ask you
to be at the airport at least 2.5 or 3 hours ahead of your flight. Also, can
you pre-book your seats?
Make sure you have read all the info re the car hire and don’t forget your
driving licence! I did this, as I use a different purse for holidays and didn’t
Have you got your villa address etc and the directions from the airport to
the villa. Ensure you have some currency for any tolls you may have to travel
through to get to your villa. Have you got the MC’s details for your villa.
Have you given your family/relatives the phone number of the villa and advised
that the US is 5hours behind UK – amazing how many people ring you in the middle
of the night.
Planning is the key for a great stress-free start to your holiday.
Have a fantastic time.
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Page added on: 21 July 2004
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