ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR FOREIGN VISITORS: For trips to the US of less than ninety days, citizens of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, as well as most European countries, need only to have a full, machine-readable passport; visas are not required. However, every person traveling into the country – infants and children included – must have their own individual passport. If you can’t meet these requirements, you’ll be required to obtain a non-immigrant tourist visa.
INSURANCE: Though not compulsory, travel insurance is essential for foreign travelers, as the US has no national healthcare system. Before purchasing a new policy, however, it’s worth checking whether you are already covered; this is recommended for US residents as well. Some all-risks home insurance policies, for example, may cover your possessions against loss or theft when overseas, and many private medical plans include cover when abroad. In Canada, provincial health plans usually provide partial coverage for medical mishaps in another country. Some bank and credit cards include certain levels of medical or other insurance and you may automatically get travel insurance if you use a major credit card to pay for your trip.
HEALTH ADVICE: If you have a serious accident while in the US, emergency medical services will get to you quickly and charge you later. For emergencies or ambulances, dial 911, the nationwide emergency number.
Foreign visitors should bear in mind that many pills available over the counter at home – most codeine-based painkillers, for example – require a prescription in the US. Local brand names can be confusing; ask for advice at the pharmacy in any drugstore.
In general, inoculations aren’t required for entry to the US.
TRAVELLERS WITH DISABILITIES: Orlando is exceptionally accommodating for travelers with mobility problems or other physical disabilities. All public buildings, including hotels and restaurants, must be wheelchair accessible and provide suitable toilet facilities. Almost all street corners have dropped curbs.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: Government offices (including post offices) and banks are usually closed on national public holidays. As for shops and grocery stores, a good number of these remain open on holidays, except for New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, when pretty much everything is closed.
1st January: New Year’s Day
LOCAL FACILITIES: Offering you maximum convenience is a super sized Walmart a few minutes’ drive away from the villa which is open 24 hours a day. It sells food and other groceries, and has a pharmacy, photo centre, vision centre and petrol station.
There are also plenty of restaurants nearby, in case self catering every day is not your ideal holiday. If even that is too much trouble, some of the local restaurants will deliver!