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Florida planning-questions?

(8 Posts)
Rosvita Fri 01-Mar-13 14:08:45

Hi all,thinking of planning a holiday to Florida but don't know where to start so thought I'd throw a few questions out there if anyone can help?!
How much should I be looking at saving?(family of 4 with 9 and 6 year old at time of travel)
When's the best time to go during school holidays?(weather,crowds,prices)
Villa or hotel?
Drive or use free shuttle buses?
What legal docs do we need?Friend mentioned about doing something more than the ESTA for husband as he has had police cautions in the past?new driving documents thing?
Is anything less than 2 weeks too short a time to bother?perhaps 10 days?
Wanting to do discovery cove and at least a day trip to universal.
Thanks in advance for any replies.

Rosvita Fri 01-Mar-13 14:23:22

Forgot 2 last initial questions!-best flight times for the kids(overnight so they can sleep?) and how to deal with jet lag?thanks!

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Mar-13 14:38:21

You mention DH having police cautions so this needs to be addressed first and foremost before you even think about booking a holiday or discussing time of year to go etc.

That could well turn out to be a problem re his entry into the USA. If he was arrested and or charged with an offence he will need to visit the US embassy in person for an interview and apply for a Visa. He may well be turned down by the authorities and they do not have to give you a reason as to why.

IDP is not necessary for FL at this time; it was a piece of badly thought out legislation that the authorities have got into a lot of trouble for.

Rosvita Fri 01-Mar-13 14:49:58

We've been to America before in 2008 and there was no problem.can't remember if he's had any cautions since then.he's never been charged for anything-fined or taken to court or anything like that and it was all for silly things when he was a teenager.where's the best place to start?does he request his criminal record from somewhere to see what's on there?dont know where to start with this!thanks

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Mar-13 15:27:08

The ESTA was introduced in January 2009.

It is very much down to the US immigration officer upon point of entry as to whether you are admitted or not.

Your DH may well now need a Visa to enter the US. Sort this issue first then you can book the holiday.

mummymeister Fri 01-Mar-13 18:18:03

Agree with attila. they have a much tougher view now than 5 years ago. re your other questions. we took our 3 out of school the 2 weeks before christmas not much happening at school other than plays and the last week they just seem to watch videos. the temp then is brilliant mid 70's and crowds non existant. flying into Tampa is cheapest and then a short drive, you will need a car realistically to get around. Cheapest option (best imo) is a villa near by. 10 - 15 mins drive max. you miss extra magic hours but so what if it isnt busy. avoid hurricane season in the autumn. budget around £5 - £6K and you should be alright. buy the book unofficial guide to WDW with kids and its sister guide for beyond disney and you will find it and the touring plans invaluable. PM me for more details. school hols = mega crowds 75 mins wait for the toy story ride!

Rosvita Sat 02-Mar-13 10:36:20

Thanks for your replies everyone.mummymeister I'd sort if figured that it wiould be best to go during term time but not sure if the kids school would authorise it.i was budgeting for about 6k -my friend spent 12k in 3 weeks which had me a bit worried as we couldn't afford that much!i'll have a look at those books and start saving!will take me a couple of years so seems a bit silly thinking about it now but got to have something to look forward to!will look into the visa thing too and get that sorted before we book anything.thanks again everyone it just seems such a minefield as so big and so many things to do!

Groovee Thu 07-Mar-13 14:03:17

We've paid £4000 for the holiday inc villa and car hire. Looking at £2000 spending money and have paid for Esta's. I'd look into checking if your husband will need an esta or a visa as you wouldn't want to book and him be turned down.

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