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U.S Spending Money


RH33

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I’m heading to Coral Springs with a couple nights in Orlando and possibly a night in the keys. Disney tickets are booked and paid for.

In between We are staying with friends. 

I’ve budgeted $250 a day. We arrive on the Sunday and I’m writing off the Monday as a day at theirs and kids in and out the pool.

Never been to the states before so I have no idea what to expect spending wise. I won’t be going to malls to shop though. I’m going myself and the three kids.

Edited by RH33
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1 hour ago, RH33 said:

I’m heading to Coral Springs with a couple nights in Orlando and possibly a night in the keys. Disney tickets are booked and paid for.

In between We are staying with friends. 

I’ve budgeted $250 a day. We arrive on the Sunday and I’m writing off the Monday as a day at theirs and kids in and out the pool.

Never been to the states before so I have no idea what to expect spending wise. I won’t be going to malls to shop though. I’m going myself and the three kids.

In the USA the price you see is not the price you pay.  The price tags do not include tax.  This will catch you out if you have the exact amount in your hand only to discover it is more.

Chip and pin is less common.  Often they swipe the card which might not work with a chip and pin card.  Also they still ask you to sign. 

At the petrol station you pay in advance and then fuel up.  If you try to use your card it will ask for your zip code.  You probably don't have one!

Tipping is a big thing.  Typically it is around 15% up to 25%.  IIRC in some instances the workers are earning from tips alone.

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Fuel is about a quarter of the price.

In some restaurants there is no need for a starter.  The main course is big.  For example you order a steak and that automatically include soup, a salad and a baked potato with butter, sour cream and bacon bits.

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You should be fine on $250. They never check the signature but yeah, it's best you sign the card. If you're buying petrol, go inside and ask for $20 on 3 or whatever. Sales tax in Florida is 6% which is on top of the ticketed price. Driving in Orlando is fine but it's very busy. You can turn right at a red light, unless it says you can't, but you must come to a stop at the line first.

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5 hours ago, MP_MFC said:

Free refills on 'soda' too in most places which saves you a whack compared to restaurants here

How many sodas do you usually have? I like the free coffee refills, just like spoons over here.

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If you have a room with a kitchenette go to WallMart or the like and stock up on breakfast items (cereal, milk, eggs, jam coffee etc). Will save you a fortune.

When I went with the ex-wife and son we had an all you can eat breakfast joint a minute from our hotel. While it was only $3.99 a head, once you added on drinks, sales tax and tip it was close to $25, had we carried on like that we'd have been over $300 for breakfast alone!

 

 

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I’m staying with friends for the most part, two nights in Orlando. Obviously I’ll chip in for a food shop. Was going to go down to the keys as well but I’ve ditched that idea as it’s a lot driving just me. Kids would get fed up!

Thanks for the info, bit more relaxed now.

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I’ve a currency card so I’ll make sure I sign it. Spare from souvenirs for kids pals it’ll be food and fuel.


Only thing with these is pay attention as to whether it gets run as debit or credit - a waitress kept telling my old boy his was being declined and it turned out it was because she was running it thru as debit and it needed to be credit - it was fine when she did that. I've no idea if they're all like that (his was Thomas Cook, so I'm presuming you don't have that one!) but it might be worth buying a bag of chips in Publix or something to trial run it - the machine at the till will ask you which one it is, so try debit and if it doesn't work, use it as credit from
then on out.
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2 hours ago, RH33 said:

it’s a MasterCard thing so I’m going to guess credit but I’ll have a look into it. Thanks for the heads up.

A currency card is only good for what you load it with, so my guess would be debit.

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A currency card is only good for what you load it with, so my guess would be debit.


Same as his, but for whatever reason it had to be run as credit; might be the software in the card machines or some shit, who knows. RH you do get MasterCard debit over here too, so it's clear as mud. Just trial and error it.
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The Keys are a bit of a drive yeh, but take a wee drive to St Petes or Clearwater. Cocoa Beach is a dive. $250 a day without loads of shopping and you’ll live like a king. If you already have your disney tickets then you’ll be very comfortable. Its about $15 for an adult meal in the parks, $25 to park, $25 should fill the tank of most cars you’ll get on hire. The outlet malls are good for a cheap pair of sannies. Your pals should be able to get you ‘florida resident’ deals on quite a lot of things.
Dennys is a good breakfast, $7 for a grand slam, cracker barrell is too! If you want a good burger i recommend Freddy’s Frozen Custard and steakburgers!

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Was thinking of going there in the autumn to watch a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. Is it really shite?

If youre going for that fair enough, but as an actual resort its a shit hole of a place. Very run down. Clearwater or Daytona would be better if its simply a day at the beach you want. The kennedy space centre is amazing though!! Surprisingly though the highlight for us of our tour of kennedy was stopping to see the manatees in the wild.
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