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New Year done. Christmas over. Ton of annual leave (or at least it looks it for a few weeks in January anyway!) means only one thing. Time to book a holiday!
Whilst we look for a European holiday this year in the summer (and coming up blank because it’s just so expensive!) I just thought I’d share with you some ways you can avoid overpaying on your next trip to the sunshine state.
We have booked full packages with a travel agent before, we’ve done hotel only very recently (our last 3 trips have been hotel/ticket only) AND we have done it all ourselves… so I do not want this post to come across as a ‘we do not recommend you to use a TA because that is NOT true.
What works for you might not work for the next person.. if the price was right we would not hesitate to use a travel agent again in the future however there are very few out there that actually know their stuff.
Choose the right travel agents for Florida
If you do choose to book through a travel agent be sure they are specialised in trips to Florida. Generic high street agencies such as Thomas Cook sell holidays to all over the world day in day out.. you may be lucky and get someone that knows what they are talking about but then being a newbie to Florida yourself, how do you know what’s right and what’s wrong?
Some advisors just seem to either not have a Mickey Mouse (clearly not rhyming slang but close enough!) OR you get some who willingly take full advantage of YOU not knowing the in’s and out’s of what to do, where to go and how to do it when you travel to Florida.
So here goes.. everything you need to know and things you need to ignore when booking your next trip to Florida…
- You do not need 6 months or more left on your passport. As long as your passport is valid for the whole duration of your stay and the return journey home it is valid. If you do happen to be delayed the British Embassy will be able to assist.
- You do not need an International Driving Permit – your full UK driving licence is fine.
- You do not need a DVLA code. The USA does not recognise our points system so as long as you have a valid licence over here in the U.K. then you are good to go over the pond.
- Paying to sit together will not 100% guarantee you seats together. If they want to move you or need to move you they will & refunds will not be a given.
- You do not need to take the insurance you are sold when taking the ‘free car’. Hire your own car from a site which is likely to be a similar price or take out your own insurance which will be cheaper still.
- On the basis you purchase the correct insurance cover from a UK site you WILL be covered (we always use Alamo Brits)
- The best form of transport is a car. Taxis and Uber costs soon add up, shuttles aren’t the most convenient when it comes to park days and the I-Trolley only goes up and down International Drive.
- ‘Those are the only dates that are coming up’… Florida is an extremely popular holiday destination; where there’s a will there’s a way and when you want to fly you can fly!
- Booking 18 months to 2 years in advance will NOT give you the best price. It will give you the security of having it booked but there is every chance you will pay over the odds. Flights are released 11 months in advance so TA’s are predicting prices beyond this date. It’s said to not book immediately at 11 months either & give it chance for the market to settle.
- Florida still takes travellers cheques… travel agents will want the commission from travel cards and the like so will happily attempt to deviate you away from travellers cheques.
Again don’t get me wrong, not every travel agent will attempt to sell you things you don’t need or misinform you maliciously. It tends to be those who aren’t familiar with Florida that tells you the above but it’s worth knowing ALL of the above the next time you do book your trip to the theme park capital of the world… O-Town!
If you got value out of this or feel it would be something someone you know would love to read too then feel free to share!
..and if you love Disney, Orlando & the surrounding area as much as I do feel free to check out some of my previous posts below: