Often called the Sunshine State of America, Florida is one of the most famous vacation destinations in America. People arrive here from all over the world to enjoy the beaches, theme parks, and parties.
Florida is the perfect destination for just about anybody from any part of the world. After all, there is a range of options for small children, families, 20-something travelers, and older travelers. Let us help you with some tips for Internationally traveling to your Bradenton Florida Vacation.
Visitors to Florida from Great Britain, Ireland, Holland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Portugal, and Switzerland (and 16 other countries; visit travel.state.gov for a complete list) that are traveling with a valid passport do not need a visa for holiday or business travel of 90 days or less. All that is required is a completed “visa waiver” form, issued by flight attendants either before or during the flight. However, all visitors must hold round-trip or return tickets. For longer stays, all international visitors should obtain a B-2 (non-immigrant, pleasure tourist) visa, which is valid for six months.
Citizens of countries other than those listed above will require a U.S. visa, which can be applied for through the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Make an appointment early enough before your planned visit, as there may be a wait. Ask the Embassy what forms you will need, what fees you must pay (keep your receipt), and what documentation you must bring to your appointment. Visas are usually issued within a few weeks of application.
- What to pack?
When starting your search for your Bradenton Florida Vacation bring cool, comfortable clothing – shorts and casual shirts, sundresses, and, of course, bathing suits, tops, and sandals. Keep in mind that topless sunbathing and thong-backed bikinis are prohibited in most parts of Florida. Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and visors to protect you from the sun (or buy them when you arrive). For evening outings, “resort casual” attire (trousers, collared shirts, cotton dresses) is acceptable in most places, though gentlemen might consider packing a light sports coat if you’re planning a special evening out at a resort or formal restaurant. While Florida’s climate is generally warm all year round, it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket in late November through early March. Pack insect repellent and an umbrella or a light mackintosh during the rainy season, which lasts from June through October. Don’t worry if you forget anything – Florida stores can supply you with anything you need.
- How do I exchange currency?
You can exchange currency at most major airports, banks, at private exchange offices such as American Express, and at some hotels. Foreign currency exchange offices at international airports are usually open until the last international flight comes in, Monday through Saturday. Most banks are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and some are also open on Saturday mornings.
Be aware that sales tax (usually 6 to 7 percent) will be added to most prices at shops, restaurants, and attractions.
- How do I find accommodation?
Whether you plan a Bradenton Florida Vacation you’ll find it on our MyCataleya website. You will find an overview of amenities as well as links to individual websites for most properties.
- How do I obtain an International Driving Permit?
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is inexpensive and useful to have for identification purposes, even if you’re not planning to drive. It must be issued in your own country before you depart. Apply through the local or national branch of your automobile association. The application usually requires one or two photos, a current driving license, an additional form of identification, and a fee. An IDP does not replace your regular driving license; carry both if you are planning to drive. An IDP is valid for one year.
- How do I hire a car?
To hire a car and fully enjoy your Bradenton Florida Vacation you must have your driving license, passport, and a credit card. The minimum age for car hire is 21, but some agencies will charge more for drivers under 25. Major companies will allow you to pick up a car in one location and drop it off in another (for an extra charge). You can generally make reservations before you leave your country, either by phone or online. Here are links to some commonly used car hire agencies:
Camp USA Motor Home Rentals: www.onfreewheels.com
Dollar Rent-A-Car: www.dollarcar.com
Luxury Rental Cars of Orlando: www.luxrentals.com
- How do I drive?
- Remember to drive on the right side of the road.
- Legal speed limits are posted on the right side of the road.
- You may turn right at a red light after coming to a complete stop unless a sign indicating “no right on red” is posted at the intersection.
- Headlights must be on in fog or rain. Turn off windscreen wipers when stopping at tollbooths.
- When law enforcement vehicles are in one of the “break-down” lanes, either assisting a motorist or pulling over a speeding vehicle, you must move to the far lane, away from the police.
- Wearing your seat belt is required by law. In addition, children under age 4 or less than 40 pounds (15 kg) must be in an approved child car seat, usually available from your car hire company.
- Driving while drinking alcohol or while under the influence of alcohol is illegal. Appoint a “designated driver” in your group who will drink only non-alcoholic beverages for the evening and drive home safely.
- Drivers may dial *FHP on Florida interstates and highways in an emergency to reach the Florida Highway Patrol (state police). This number can also be used to report an accident in progress.
- Some interstate highways have tolls – The Florida Turnpike (Ocala to Homestead), Alligator Alley (1-75 between Miami and Naples), and the Bee Line Expressway (Orlando to Cape Canaveral) are examples. Some coastal islands have bridges at which a fare is charged.
- How do I convert kilometers to miles or vice versa?
To change kilometers (km) to miles (m), multiply km by .621; to change miles to kilometers, multiply m by 1.61. For example, 1 mile = 1.6 kilometres; 60 miles per hour = 96.6, or approximately 100 kilometres per hour.
Here are some other useful conversions:
Meters (m) to feet (ft): multiply m by 3.28
Feet to meters: multiply ft by .305
Kilograms (kg) to pounds (lb): multiply kg by 2.20
Pounds to kilograms: multiply lb by .455
Grams (g) to ounces (oz): multiply g by .035
Ounces to grams: multiply oz by 28.4
Liters (L) to gallons (gal): multiply L by .264
Gallons to liters: multiply gal by 3.79
To convert Fahrenheit (F) to Celsius (C), subtract 32 from F and multiply by .555. For example, 32 degrees Fahrenheit = 0 degrees Celsius (a temperature you’re not likely to see in Florida!); 80 degrees Fahrenheit = 26.6 degrees Celsius
- How do I find public transport?
The American Public Transportation provides links to transit agencies throughout Florida, including bus, train, and ferry timetables: www.apta.com/links/state_local/fl.cfm#A4
- How do I apply for a fishing or hunting license?
Licenses are required for both fresh and saltwater fishing in Florida and are available at many marinas, bait and tackle shops, and the local county tax collector’s office. For detailed information and regulations on hunting, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing, as well as wildlife viewing, hiking trails, and boating safety visit www.floridaconservation.org
- How do I apply for a marriage license?
You can apply for a marriage license at the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court in any Florida county. Both bride and groom must have a valid passport and a translator, if necessary, who has a valid U.S. driving license. No blood tests are required and there is no waiting period to get married for non-Florida residents. The license is valid for 60 days.
- How do I tip?
In the U.S., tipping is a customary reward for good service. In restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, tip servers a gratuity of 15% of the total bill (before tax) for good service, or 20% for excellent service. Some restaurants include a gratuity in the amount of the bill so be sure to check or ask your server so you do not overpay (the bill would say “gratuity included,” if so).
Tipping is also appropriate at a beauty salon or spa (haircut, manicure, massage, etc., at 15% of total bill); bellhop at hotel or airport ($1 per suitcase); valet ($2 when he delivers your car); taxi driver (15% of the fare) and housekeeping service if you are staying at an upscale hotel ($1 - $2 per day of your stay). On package tours, guides and drivers usually get $10 per day from the group as a whole: check whether this has already been figured into your cost and pre-paid. For local sightseeing tours, you may individually tip the driver or guide if he or she has been helpful or informative; the amount is at your discretion.
- How do I purchase tickets to sporting events?
Check local newspaper listings or contact the local Visitors Bureau; find contact information on this site under “Visitor Services.” Tickets for sporting and other events are available for purchase at Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com. You can also visit the following websites of Florida teams for dates and ticket purchases:
American Football (NFL)
Jacksonville Jaguars: www.jaguars.com
Miami Dolphins: www.miamidolphins.com
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: www.buccaneers.com
Miami Heat: www.nba.com/heat
Orlando Magic: www.nba.com/magic
Major League Baseball
Florida Marlins (Miami): www.flamarlins.com
Tampa Bay Devil Rays: www.devilrays.com
Florida Panthers (Miami): www.floridapanthers.com
Tampa Bay Lightning: www.tampabaylightning.com
Stock Car Racing
Major League Soccer (Football)
We, at MyCataleya are dedicated to providing you with the ideal rental for your group so you have the best time at your Bradenton Florida Vacation, whether you’re traveling with your sweetheart or your whole family, we’ll make it happen! Contact us today to learn more about our Bradenton Rental Houses in Florida and how our concierge can support you.
Plan Your Visit and Find Your Bradenton Florida Vacation Rental HERE.