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US to charge £9 for Esta compulsory travel entry form

The US government is to start charging UK travellers $14 (£9) to apply for permission to enter the country.

The compulsory Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (Esta) is free at present, but from 9 September visitors to the US will have to pay for it.

It lasts for two years; people who already have a valid form will not have to pay until their current one expires.

The scheme was introduced in January 2009 but was made mandatory from January 2010.

It applies to all 35 countries with US "visa waiver" status.

Promote tourism

The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation form, which takes up to 72 hours to be approved, gives air passengers prior approval for entry to the US.

It replaced the green I-94 card which passengers have previously filled in on their flight into the US.

End Quote Martin Lewis

Most people who fill in the form should receive approval from the US Department of Homeland Security within a few minutes.

But British Airways and American Airlines are advising travellers to apply at least 72 hours in advance.

Both airlines have said people without valid Esta forms or visas will not be allowed to board flights to the US.

The fee has been introduced to fund a programme which aims to promote tourism in the US and attract foreign spending.

Martin Lewis, creator of, has urged people even considering a trip to the US to apply for a form now to beat the charge.

He said: "The security authorisation lasts for two years, so do it now and it'll be free if you travel in that time. Yet leave it for a month and you'll have to pay for it.

So save money now and apply for your ESTA! and dont forget you can also save with Bargain Villas - search here for Cheap USA villas and Cheap Florida villas

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Gas Prices in the USA

Gas Petrol prices in the USA

Hiring a villa in the USA is no different to any other holiday in that you have to take into account your holiday expenses. Usually in the USA its the norm to rent a car as this is the best to ensure that you are making the most of your holiday time. One thing to take into account is how much you will spend on fuel. So if you were wondering what the latest petrol prices are in the USA are then wonder no more because now you can check before you travel.

Simply use the map below to find your USA car hire location and check the current gas price. (Use your mouse pointer to drag and scroll in and out of the map)

Florida Gas Prices provided by


Also, courtesy of our friends at can now get a few fuel saving tips to think about when you're on the road. Follow the following link for more infomation Driving in the USA

Happy motoring!



5 Holiday Packing Tips

5 packing tips for holdays

5 packing tips for holdays

When it comes to getting things organised for a holiday I have to admit im pretty rubbish at it. Last trip I packed for I forgot underwear and socks...Therefore I tend to leave this aspect of travel to my girlfriend who is far more efficient than me. With this in mind here are a couple of useful tips;

1) Roll and not fold: Roll clothes instead of folding them, it creates less creases and saves space. Honest!

2) Mix it up: If packing 2 or more cases spread clothes between cases. If a case gets lost you'll still have something to wear.

3) Make it visible: Use a bright strip of ribbon or tape to wrap around your case for easy identification when collecting your baggage.

4) Security: Ensure that the zips are strong on the cases and that you have good quality padlocks on the checked in baggage. Keep a spare one for your hand baggage as well. Combination locks are useful if you don?t want to have the hassle of looking after keys.

5) Useful items to consider packing: Money belt, spare specs/contact lenses, chargers or batteries, universal adapter plug, a pen, pack of cards, small sewing kit medi-kit: plasters and headache tablets

More tips available at you can also help others (like me) by adding your own travel tip!?- Let us know what have you forgotton to pack?


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