Travel: USA/ How to enjoy your Florida fly-drive

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The Independent Travel
Don't forget your licence. It's amazing how many people do. An eagerly anticipated fly-drive holidays becomes a rather frustrating fly- sit.

Splash out on a first-night taxi.

If your flight arrives late at night, get a taxi to the hotel and pick up the car in the morning. Better than getting lost as you try to find your jetlagged way in the dark.

When it rains, it pours. Oil rises to the surface of the roads, creating mini-skidpans. Slow down and keep your distance, or stay off the road. Seek white-knuckle rides in the theme parks, not on the freeways.

Keep to the limits. After 22 years of restrictions, Americans have grown used to driving a lot slower than 70mph. Police enforce speed limits with a passion.

There's no such thing as free car hire. Budget for extra costs, anything from top-up insurance and airport charges to environment tax.

Yes - it is like the movies. On Florida freeways you can legally overtake on either side. Watch your nearside mirror.

The only thing worse than being bumped is being robbed. If another vehicle strikes yours from behind, do not pull over at once but continue to a well-lit and populated location such as a gas station.

Are you being watched? You wouldn't dream of leaving valuables on show when you park, which is why some criminals employ young kids to watch from a distance and note where precisely you conceal your camera.

Park front first. Florida cars have number plates only on the back. So the law says that when you're parking you need to display your only (rear) licence to any passing police, so drive in front first.

Enjoy. Read maps, use common sense and have fun. America, after all, is designed for the car.

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