Useful Information

On this page, I have assembled a list of what I think are handy things that can make your holiday run more smoothly. I will be adding to this as I remember what worked well for us, so hopefully stopping you making any pitfalls that may cause problems. If you think I have missed anything, please mail me and I will update the list.


When travelling to the US, if you do not have a US visa, you will need a visa waver called an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA for short). These cost $14 and last for 2 years.

Beware though. There are many websites dotted around the Internet portraying to be the site to get an ESTA from. These sites will actually get you an ESTA, but at a vastly inflated price!

The genuine website to get your ESTA from is the US government website located at - Do not use any other site.


If you are driving around the Orlando area, you will undoubtably end up, deliberately or not, on one of the toll roads on the Florida Turnpike ( The majority of the toll gates are manned, but some are unmanned and have exact change baskets. These do not accept Paper money or Debit/Credit cards, so beware if you do not have enough coins. You can drive through the red light at the toll gates, but each vehicle's registration number is recorded at the toll gate, so your hire car company will get the bill and pass it on to you with a suitable admin fee along with the $2.50 admin charge from Florida Turnpikes.

Some rental companies have agreements with the Florida Turnpike (, so check your rental agreement to see if it applies to your rental, and what the charges are.

The alternative is a to purchase your own Sunpass. There are 2 types available. The Sunpass Mini Transponder and the Sunpass Portable Transponder. These are available to buy at over 3000 retail locations throughout the state ( The mini transponder costs $4.99 plus tax, is stuck to your windscreen and is not transferrable. The Portable transponder costs $19.99 plus tax and is transferrable between vehicles. They can both be replenished at over 5000 sites throughout the State (


Another advantage of the Sunpass is that toll rates are cheaper than paying cash at the tolls.

Worried about taking your children in cars in Florida? This US government website will tell you what is required to keep you legal.