Florida Guide > Accommodation
Things you might not be aware of in Florida
There are some things the unwary first time visitor to Florida or even America itself may not be aware of. Many rules and regulations or just habits are quite different to that which we are used to in the UK.
For instance all marked prices in shops and restaurants are all excluding tax. When purchasing goods or paying a bill the tax will be added on at the till. This is usually 6% or 7% which is not too bad considering our 20% VAT. Another thing to be aware of when buying goods or paying in restaurants is that not all American credit cards do not have chip and pin. Therefore most cards will be run through a machine and you will have to sign for them. Some stores will ask for photo ID even for the cheapest things.
In a restaurant, do not be alarmed as they will take your card away to process it, this is normal and is perfectly safe. They will come back with a bill and you can then add on a tip and sign the slip they give you. Somehow this is then added on before it arrives at your credit card account back home – I have never managed to work out how they do this. The normal tip expected is 12 – 15%.
If you are using a hire car, when you come to fill up with petrol you will have to either present your credit card to the cashier before you fill up and pay afterwards or give them cash of , say, $25 and then fill up and the pump will stop at $25. You can not pay at the pump with a UK credit card as you have to enter a Zip code to do this and UK post codes do not work. You can NEVER fill up first and pay second.
In restaurants when they serve you with a salad before your meal they will wait for you to finish it before bringing you your main course, If, like us, you want to eat your salad with your steak, do tell them or you could be waiting quite a long time!
Biscuits in Florida are actually savoury scones so if you see them advertised with your meal do not be alarmed you are not going to get a chocolate Hobnob with your steak! Some of the best biscuits are served at Red Lobster, they are hot, soft, cheesy and utterly irresistible.
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