Florida Guide > Planning your Trip
Handy hints for Florida - Part 1
First credit cards.
Credit cards are the simplest and best way to pay for everything, food, entertainment, restaurant bills, shopping and such like. In the UK there are only one or two companies that allow you to use your credit card abroad free of charge. Most charge 1. 5% or more every time you use it. It is not obvious that they are doing this but they do it by giving you a lower exchange rate. If the rate on the day is for example 1. 60 then with other cards you will probably only get 1. 57 or less. This may not seem much but adds up by the end of two weeks. I use the Post Office card which is free of charge. Whatever card you take, remember to phone and tell them you will be using it in America or they may block it if they do not know. Taking cash is risky but you could take travellers cheques. These can be cashed anywhere, shops restaurants or petrol stations. You may be asked for photo ID when you use a credit card in some stores.
Tipping is expected in restaurants and is anywhere from 12% - 20%. Working it out is not easy but if you are aware that the tax they add on is either 6% or 7% then if you double it and add that on you should be about right. It would have to be exceptional service for me to leave 20%.
Spending a whole day take at the parks can take its toll on your feet so do pack comfy shoes, I even take a spare pair to change into half way through the day. There are lockers at the entrance to all the parks so you can leave jackets, rain ware and shoes etc. without having to carry them around all day.
If you buy souvenirs in the park shops, you do not have to carry them around all day. You can ask to pick them up at the entrance when you leave. PLEASE do not forget them! It will cost you the price of a ticket to go back and collect them the next day unless you can talk very sweetly to the ticket desk clerk. (Even then you will have had to pay to park again)
None of the parks allow topless men (or women) so you must wear a T shirt and not take it off in the parks. Women will not be allowed just a bikini top either. Barefoot is not allowed either- not sure why with that one.
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