5 Tips to travel to Orlando from abroad

May 14, 2015

Here at Hawthorn Lake Buena Vista, A Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel, we often host visitors from all over the world. Some guests are experienced travelers and some are first-timers, but they all have one thing in common: they want their trip to Orlando to be perfect! Orlando is the magical city that houses Disney World, where dreams come true, and Universal Orlando, where thrill rides will sweep you off your feet! Getting ready to take a vacation overseas can be a little stressful, because there’s always the pressure to not forget anything and be as prepared as possible when so far away from home. To help you ease out the stress, we put together this blog post with a few tips on how to best enjoy your Orlando vacation:

5 Tips to travel to Orlando from abroad

1- Get your visa

Make sure you have a passport that is valid for at least six months, check if your country requires a visa to entry the United States and, if yes, give yourself plenty of time to obtain you visa. If you wait until the last minute, you might need to pay expediting fees, and that is precious vacation money you could have saved to spend on Mickey or Harry Potter gear.


2- Get your phone ready

Smartphones are truly smart. There’s an app and an option for everything. First and foremost, make sure you turn off your data plan to avoid getting charged ridiculous fees for using the cellular package when outside of your country. Download apps that will allow you to communicate with your family back home for free when connected to Wi-Fi. Some apps are free and some might cost $0.99 or $1.99 but you get to text and talk for free, so it will still be a good investment if you plan to keep in touch while gone. A few app examples are Skype, WhatsApp and Viber. For more information on apps you must have, check out this blog post.


3- Get a universal adapter

If you are planning on taking anything that needs to be plugged into a wall, such as a hair straightener, curler or dryer, you should take an adapter. Needing an adapter will depend on the country you are coming from, so make sure to check that. You can always purchase adapters here in Orlando if you happen to forget. But you might need to plug something before getting settled in and stopping to buy one, so take one just in case. And remember to always check the voltage on your appliances before using them in a different country.


4- Call your bank

If you are going to rely on credit and debit cards while abroad, make sure to call your bank to notify them that you are traveling. In an effort to prevent fraud, many banks will deny your charges if they’re overseas, or even in a different state, sometimes. Call the customer service number on the back of your card and give them the dates and place you will be, and you should be all set to shop away.


5- Make copies of your documents

Take pictures or make copies of your passport, driver’s license, kids’ birth certificates and other important documents, in case you lose them. Leave a copy of your passport with a friend or family member back home and take the other with you. That will help you avoid a bigger headache and hopefully save some time if documents are lost.