Coming To America
The Sunshine State is one of the most popular vacation destinations anywhere in the world, and it's no wonder, Florida boasts year round sunshine, the best beaches in the country, and of course the most famous theme parks in the world!
Thousands of travellers arrive in Florida every day from around the world and it's important to be in the know regarding all the documents required to travel to America before you go.
Shown here is an updated list of what's required, but you should ckeck with the US Embassy in your own country before booking your vacation and travelling to the U.S.A.
We have also listed a guide to currency and what's expected when it comes to tipping in Florida.
Basic Traveller Documents
All international visitors travelling to the U.S.A require a passport, make sure you check your passport in advance to ensure it’s not expired. Also, we advise that you bring an alternate form of I.D. also, like a driver’s license which will be required if you're renting a car, also a credit card, as car rental companies will require this to guarantee your deposit, or you will have to pay a large cash deposit as an alternative.
Visitors from countries under the Visa Waiver Program (including the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain and Germany) do not need a visa.
Visitors from countries outside of the waiver program will need a nonimmigrant visa to visit the U.S.A..
For more information check here.
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens to visit the United States from certain countries to enter the U.S.A. without a visa, facilitating entry to the country. Business or tourism visitors can stay for up to 90 days with visas are required for longer stays
Full Details are available here.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
If your country falls under the Visa Waiver Program you don’t need to worry about visas, but in order to be admitted into the U.S.A. you’re going to need to apply for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA.
Full details here.
It’s strongly recommended that you bring a note of consent if you’re travelling with your child, and the other parent or legal guardian isn’t with you.
Customs & Border Protection
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection helps ensure the safety of all incoming travelers.
Before You Board
Make sure you’ve got your required documents, requirements vary by country of origin but all travelers
need a valid passport, and most travelers need an ESTA approval. You can apply here.
Once in the air, you’ll probably be handed the CBP Declaration Form 6059B.
This form declares any goods you are bringing for your trip, as well as any exposure you’ve had to certain agricultural and wildlife products. Only one of these forms is needed per family.
At U.S. Customs
Upon arrival at customs, U.S. citizens will stand in one line, while international travelers will be in another, make sure you’re in the correct line.
Once you’re in line, have your passport and US Customs Declaration Form handy, since your assigned customs official will ask for it.
After handing over your documents, it’s very likely you’ll be asked for a digital fingerprint, as well as a photograph, your customs official will then ask some basic questions about your trip purpose, length, and details about your accommodations. If you have nothing to declare, you can head to baggage claim.
A CBP agricultural officer may ask to search your baggage on your way out, this is routine
Once you’ve grabbed your checked luggage, congratulations, you’ve cleared customs and it's time to explore all the fun and excitement right here in Orlando.
Tips For International Travellers
Here we cover a few basic, from exchange rates to payment options and you need to know about tipping.
Try not to use the airport currency exchange, yes they are convienient but they are more expensive too.
There is also currency exchange locations in the tourist areas, they can also come at a hefty price, so keep a currency converter app handy, and do your research to make sure you’re getting the best rates.
If time permits, leave the currency exchange to your local bank or financial institution of choice. These have the most competitive exchange rates.
Pay With Card
Paying by debit and credit cards is very convienient and is available in most establishments.
Cards not only save you the hassle of carrying cash, they can also help appease currency exchange fees. Check with your local bank any transaction fees.
There’s no shortage of ATM's in America. ATM's can help avoid currency exchange fees because you can directly withdraw money. This is ideal if you plan on mainly using your ATM card, and keeping a smaller amount of cash handy, just in case it's required.
Tipping is customary here in the United States.
Here is a guide for when to provide a tip, as well as how much you may want to consider leaving.
If using a door-to-door shuttle service to get to and from the airport, a 15% tip plus $1 per bag is ideal.
Airport attendants, a $2-$3 tip would be great.
Shuttle bus drivers, $1-$2.
Valet parking, $2-$5 for attendants is appreciated.
Taxi drivers typically receive $10-20%.
If concierge aids you in booking a dinner reservation, a tip of $5 would be customary.
If they’re helping you to book tours or tickets, $20-$25 is customary.
Did a doorman help you by hailing a cab? $1 is a nice tip,
if the doorman helps you with your luggage, $2 per bag is suggested.
If a porter helped you, $2 for the first bag and $1 for each additional one.
If you ordered room service, tipping 15% is usual.
Tip housekeeping staff $1-$2 per day, leaving the tip daily s you may have different staff each day.
Tipping in the restaurant industry is customary,
as many of those serving us make only a few dollars an hour and rely on gratuities as part of their income.
Typically, in a full-service restaurant, tipping 15-20% of a total bill is a good place to start.
For bartenders, usually $1-2 per drink is appreciated.
For counter-service meals, there is no need to tip.
Throughout Your Stay
Restroom attendants can be tipped $1.
Golf caddies can be tipped $10-$25.
Pool attendants $2-$5 for each service they offer.
Boat tour operators can be tipped $5-$10.
Massage, manicure or hair, at least 15%.
Food delivery is tipped at least $2.