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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 of these.

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 transfer it!

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
Viewed 3674 times since 1 September 2008.

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