Florida Guide > Hints and Tips
Packing for your vacation
Ok so you have booked the villa, bought the park tickets, and hired the car. Time to pack!!!
If this is your first time staying in a villa you will be pleasantly surprised how little you actually have to take with you. Us Brits tend to pack in order to cover "all eventualities". It almost certainly won't snow, whatever time of year you go (except at selected venues at pre-arranged times!) So leave out the winter gear, you won't need it. You will not need to pack a different outfit for every day. Your villa will have a very efficient washer and drier that will have your clothes washed and dried in as little as an hour.
Probably your most important item will be the footwear, whatever you do make sure you take something comfortable to walk round the parks in. You will spend most of your time in the parks walking a long way but won't notice at all if you are wearing comfy shoes. This is not the time to break in any new shoes.
Dress in Florida is casual to say the least, most people will be wearing shorts and t-shirts practically every day. Unless you know you are going to visit a fancy restaurant, don't bother taking dressy outfits for every evening.
It may be worth taking a sweatshirt or cardigan and long trousers if you are travelling in spring, winter or fall, as the evenings can be a bit chilly. Even in summer you may want something to put on in some restaurants as the air con can feel decidedly cool after all that hot Florida sun.
You will need to take your own personal items such as shampoo, conditioner, sun tan lotion etc etc. You can of course opt to travel as light as possible and just buy these things when you get there. Most things are cheaper than at home and the range available is huge.
You won't need to pack towels as these will be provided in your villa, and its worth checking with your owner if they also provide pool towels and beach towels. Not having to take these will save you lots of space in your suitcase.
Check with your owner for things like hair dryers and baby equipment. Some homes have virtually every item of baby gear available, from cots, strollers and high chairs to baby listening monitors and even change mats.
Some homes offer you the chance to have a welcome pack of groceries ready and waiting at the villa. Items such as tea, coffee, milk, sugar, bread, butter, cookies and crisps are often included. This will save you rushing off to the supermarket straight away.
You are not allowed to bring food into the US. If you have specific dietary needs you will find most diets are very well catered for in the larger supermarkets. If you are unsure what to get, where, why not log on to the forums from this site and ask the experts.
Remember to check your baggage allowance with your airline, as they do vary. You will probably want to bring things home so remember to save some space and allowance.
In your hand luggage make sure you carry anything you may need en route. Passports, airline tickets, car voucher, travel insurance documents, directions to your villa and any medication you need. It is a good idea to photocopy your passport photograph page and travel insurance policy and have a copy with you and one left at home in case of emergency.
So now that you are all packed get yourself ready for the holiday of a lifetime, and have a great time.
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Page added on: 16 September 2004
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