10 things you need to do before holidaying in Florida
Before I get cracking on this one, can we talk about how dreamy these shoes are? They're nude, suede and come in at under a tenner from Primark. I'm in love, and they're now my staple shoes for my upcoming trip to Florida, eeek!
If you haven't heard me banging on enough about it recently, then let me tell you: I'm heading to Florida in under a fortnight. Despite having known about it for ages, it feels like it's totally crept up on me, and all of a sudden I'm needing to make the final arrangements. So, naturally I thought I'd procrastinate with a post on all the little things you need to do before setting off on holiday to Florida if you're from the UK.
1.) Arrange travel insurance. This was a bitch, hurt my bank account and it took about 3 years to read through all the contracts. BUT the idea of having to pay for healthcare in the US, and not have the trusty ol' NHS keeping me safe is a little terrifying. Plus, it means that if you need to cancel the trip for any reason (health, close family death etc), you're likely to get a good part of your money back. There's even little things that I'd never thought of included, like insurance against the plane company going into liquidation. It's best to do this as early as possible, as it covers you from when you take out the policy.
2.) Apply for an ESTA. This is basically a visa for your holiday. It asks for about a zillion pieces of information about yourself, so pop the kettle on and get cosy with this. It also comes with a little fee - I believe we paid about $14. We did this three months before leaving.
3.) Make plans for your home whilst you're away. I don't know about you, but the idea of leaving my home empty for two weeks makes my anxiety go sky high. See if you can find a house sitter, or ask someone to pop in every few days to make sure everything is okay.
4.) Make sure your passport is in date! This is such an easy thing to look over. My passport ran out a few years ago and I had no driving license for ID. Safe to say, six weeks of trying to get into clubs with no real ID in the first few months of uni was not ideal.
5.) If you have pets, make arrangements for them early on. We've got a hamster (sadly we lost our second one a couple of weeks ago) and a bunny. I didn't want to have to fork out lots of money, or be frantically trying to find somewhere for them to stay at the last minute, so I sorted out their holiday arrangements two months before ago. In case you're stuck with what to do with small pets, there are places that board them like cats or dogs.
6.) Read up on the current rules and regulations about hand luggage/actual luggage before going. I'm yet to do this, but there's nothing worse than having your stuff binned because you've not read all about what you can and can't have. Security is extra tight in the US in comparison to heading to other places in Europe, and I so don't want to be caught out.
7.) Save, save, save. Let's face it, I'm a Disney fanatic. I'll want everything at the parks. I set myself three months to save everything I could. This has meant no cheeky trips to Maccies, no new makeup and skimping on every necessary payout I can. But it'll be worth it once I get there. Set yourself a budget and a reasonable time to save it in to make sure you have the best time.
8.) Decide how you want to access your money. Do you want it all in cash? On a cash passport card? A credit card? I think we're taking a little in cash and getting a cash passport at the weekend to put the rest on.
9.) Prepare yourself for a long flight. I'm not a nervous flyer, which is fab, but a buttload of hours in a confined space can make you hella bored. I'm packing a blanket (gotta get those plane naps in, right?), a pack of cards, my kindle and some headphones as my 'starter kit' for keeping occupied, and I imagine I'll add in a few bits closer to the flight.
10.) Go on a massive shopping haul. There's about ten thousand things I need but don't have yet. Sunnies? Nope. Suncream? Nope. I've kick-started things by picking up some staple clothing pieces, like my bikini, these dreamy pumps and a pair of comfy shorts, but there's still a lil list of things I haven't yet got to.
And there we have it: 10 things to sort out before holidaying in Florida. Have you been there before? What are your recommendations of things to do?