Preparing for Florida

There are always a lot of things to sort before any holiday, including flights, transfers, accommodation and buying holiday clothes. However, Florida is a whole other ball game.

It’s only a few days now before we head to Florida to spend two weeks at Disney World! This will be my first visit but Emma’s fourth! We booked our tickets last July as we were checking the prices for Virgin Atlantic daily, waiting for it to drop below a grand for both of us. When it dropped to £998 we pounced!

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Car hire wasn’t as straightforward. We booked with Budget car hire as they seemed to be the cheapest at the time. But a couple of months later Emma realised that Alamo were the better choice. It was free cancellation with Budget and we paid a little more for Alamo, but it meant I was a free additional driver and we get a choice of car once we arrive.  It turns out Alamo are not that good a company with an absolutely abysmal website.

To cut a long story short, all we wanted to do was check in online so we could skip the counter, which can have hour long queues (apparently) so that we can go straight out to the garage. But, as we used discount from Alamo Brits we couldn’t, as it was classed as “third party discount”. Emma rang them, but had to deal with a clueless Indian call centre. She emailed, but they couldn’t do anything about it, even though at one stage they said it had been sorted, and I tweeted a complaint towards them, but they were so clueless I couldn’t bring myself to continue. We ended up cancelling our booking and then re-booking it without the third party discount and at last we were able to skip the counter!

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Apart from this hiccup everything else has gone according to plan. We did first consider staying in a hotel to save on money, but decided to stay in a lovely villa with a pool near Davenport, only 20 minutes away from the parks. We knew it wasn’t going to be a cheap holiday, so we thought what the hell! Lets live a little!

We have been on quite a few shopping trips to buy holiday clothes and Emma has been on many more without me. There are also extra costs when flying to the US, such as ESTA, which is only $14, but you have to get it to be able to enter the US! Also from the 1st April of this year a new law was quietly brought in, stating that tourists have to have the newer biometric passports otherwise they won’t be allowed to enter the US. This has already happened to many Britons, sending their holiday plans into disarray! These passports have been around since late 2006, so aren’t new, but if you last updated your passport in 2006 and are flying to the US check you have the correct type of passport!

We have been counting down for this holiday for what seems like ages and it’s been too long since we’ve been abroad! So we’re very excited!

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