Florida Guide > Planning your Trip
Hints and Tips List (Print me off)
Dollar travellers’ cheques are accepted as readily as cash, although not always in large denominations. You may need your passport or other photo I.D. when changing money or cashing cheques. Cheques should be in dollars not sterling.
Cash Point Machines (ATM)
You should be able to withdraw cash in US dollars from any bank or store ATM machine if your UK bank card has ‘Cirrus’ Maestro, MasterCard or Visa Logos and you have a pin number. There are ATM machines at the entrance to most supermarkets, parks, banks and malls. There is usually a small charge added to your bill ($2).
British credit cards are accepted in most places. Keep your passport handy as you may be asked for ID when using them.
Tipping and Gratuities
When in the US tipping is expected although you may see gratuities added automatically in some cases usually for large parties.
- Waiter/ waitress 15% of bill
- Porter $1 per case
- Bar Staff $1 per drink
Supermarkets abound in Florida and for excellent choice and value Walmart and Publix stand out.
Prices displayed in shops and restaurants exclude local sales taxes, which are added at the till. Approx 7% Pick ip the free coupon books available at anyTourist related shop. Get that 10% off your bill!
Ensure any DVD, Videos, PS2 or electrical items are UK compatible as the voltage in the US is different.
Florida Mall, Premium Outlets, Mall of Millennia, Prime factory Outlets are all shoppers’ paradise
Walmart for everything at silly prices
Publix or Walmart for food shopping.
If staying in a villa.
- All light switches in the US work off –down, up –on.
- Ice making. The bar in the ice maker needs to be up to make ice, down when you have enough. Water dispensed is drinkable.
- Pool alarms will sound when exiting the sliding doors; press the button to stop it. BUT you must close the doors going in and out.
- Black pool safety fence is there for the safety of young children and you should keep it in place if you have them. If all adult party you can roll it up.
- Do not use any form of bleach on towels or linen.
- Do not interfere with the pool heater or attempt to reset it. Please call your Management Company if you require assistance with pool settings.
- Do not interfere with the air conditioning settings.
- Keep the outside doors closed at all times. This keeps bugs out and the cool air in, the air conditioning will not work properly if outside doors are left open..
- Please make sure you clean the BBQ after use or you will be charged an additional cleaning fee.
- If you accidentally break anything inform the Management Company immediatley
- If it is a small item you may replace it yourselves as long as it’s the same.
Food & drink
- Take some teabags with you as US tea is different.
- Walmart do now sell lots of UK Foodstuffs as do Publix.
- Semi skimmed milk is known as 2% milk.
- Baked beans in the US are usually sweet. Buy beans with pork or look for Heinz in the international food aisle in Publix.
- All you can eat buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner are exceptional value. Golden Corral and Sizzler are the most popular and don’t forget the coupons.
Driving in Florida
- National speed limit is 55. However it is 65 on some 4 lane (Interstate 4) highways in Florida.
- Always keep some change and $1 bills in the car for toll roads. They can save you a heap of time. The 417 back to the airport in particular.
- Always carry your drivers’ licence and car rental agreement with you in the car.
- You can turn right at traffic signals WHEN ON RED if the way is clear unless specifically signed NO TURN On RED.
- It is law to have headlights on if wipers are in use.
- You must stop for school bus parked with STOP sign protruding at side of bus even if passing on other side of road.
- On multi lane highways vehicles are allowed to pass on both sides of you.
- Alcohol in the car must be in the boot.
- You do not have to accept any extra insurance offered at the desk but you must have CDW.
- You don’t have to upgrade your car.
- If you have booked in the UK don’t be pressured into anything stateside.
- 105.1 Variety
- 98.9 Wmmo the best soft rock & roll & no ads over the tunes.
- 107.1 Chart hits
- 100.3 Golden Oldies
- 89.9 Jazz
- 92.3 & 97.5 Country
- Dial code for UK is 011 44 then your number without the 0 on the area i.e., 011 44 1782662319.
- Local calls if not in 407 locale you need to dial 1 first. If you get anyone calling you telling you they are phone engineers and to press 9. Hang up immediately it’s a scam.
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