The first thing that everyone must do before you leave for your Florida vacation is to get yourself an ESTA. This is mandatory and it is so you, the traveler, are authorised to board a carrier to take you to the United States. The CBP advise that you apply 72 hours before travel but I would advise that you do it as soon as your vacation is booked. This is only because I have seen people be refused and then have to go on to applying for a Visa with the process being lengthy.
More information can be found here on the CBP website.
To apply for your ESTA this link will take you straight to the one and only official website to apply.
The United States use the US Dollar and we find that a prepaid card is not only the best method of payment while you are out there but also the easiest.
As soon as we book our Florida Vacation we get ourselves a prepaid card and monthly around pay day we add funds to our prepaid card. This slowly builds up and by the time our vacation comes around we have a card ready to be used while we are out there.
We also like that we can keep track of our spending online and don’t have to carry so much cash around with us. Not only is it handy, it is also the safer option.
The best part of it all is that we can load money to it from the comfort of our own home. We like to use FairFX and we find they offer the best rates around.
Firstly this is not mandatory but is gratefully accepted by anyone offering a service to you. This can be in the form of a waiter, a taxi driver, housekeeping and even a pizza delivery guy.
Sometimes in restaurants a service tip is already added to your bill but if you find it isn’t then it is advised to add 15% – 20% on top of your pre tax amount.
That same 15% – 20% will also apply if you take a taxi, get your hair or nails done or even take a massage after those long days in the park.
For housekeeping we leave $1 per person staying in the room they will be cleaning and for hotel bellhops we give them $2 for our first bag and $1 for every additional bag.
The thing to remember is if someone is offering you a service or providing help to you then tipping is something that is strongly advised.