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Dallas Trip

Old Jul 11th, 2003, 01:57 PM
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Dallas Trip

Im going to Dallas and indeed the US for the 1st time in November and will b staying at the Hotel Lawrence on Houston Street. Has anyone else staye
d there?
Also, Ive heard it can be difficult to get by in the U.S. without a credit card and I dont have one! Ive paid for my hotel using someone else's but when Im there will I be able to get by on cash and travellers cheques? Also am I expected to tip eveyone and if so how much on average? Here in London it's not a thing we're really used to! Any tips greatly appreciated!
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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I have nothing to say regarding your accommodations in Dallas (not one of my favorite cities in the US, honestly), but on your general questions:

-- It is usually quite difficult to travel without a credit card. At the hotel, without a credit card authorization as "deposit", you may be asked to leave a large cash deposit as insurance against room damage.

-- Other than that, cash is great. Travelers' checks are nominally accepted just about everywhere, but it may be more convenient to cash them as you go at the hotel's front desk.

-- I can only think of Miami as a major US city where gratuity is automatically calculated and included (at a 15% rate) on restaurant bills (and bar bills!). Dallas will not do this. In restaurants, the base for acceptable service is 15%, although personally I tip 20% for bills below $40US and slide down to no less than 17%, unless the server was a total jerk. In bars, I tip $1 per drink up to $5US, then 20% above that. I tip cabdrivers at 15%, plus $1US per bag lugged in and out of the cab. Skycabs, bellmen, anyone handling my baggage gets $2 per bag. Some may tip less, some more. These are my rates....
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 02:30 PM
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I think the travellers cheques and cash will do just fine for you, with the one exception being the rental car. Are you planning to rent a car?.. if so, they will require a credit card. Other than that, you will be okay.

Unfortunately, I do not have any first hand info to pass along to you on your hotel... never stayed there.

As for tipping, it is standard practice to tip waiters after your meal. The minimum tip would be 15%, a normal tip is usually 20% of the bill. Neglecting to tip a waiter is considered an insult, or a way of letting him know that you did not care for the service at all and is only done when your order is grievously messed up, etc.

You should also tip anyone who handles your luggage for you, whether it be at the airport, at the hotel, or during the trip in between. One dollar per piece of luggage is the standard. This does not apply to airline employees inside the terminal who are checking your luggage in, but does apply to the 'skycaps' who will check your bags in for you on the roadway just outside the terminal, saving you the hassle of carrying them in.

Taxi drivers should also be tipped, 15-20% of the fare.

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Old Jul 12th, 2003, 02:18 AM
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Thanks for all the tips! No I wont be renting a car so Im hoping i should be ok.
Wow you really do tip a lot in the US! Mind you the service Im told is usually much better than over here in the UK where the customer is treated all too often as a nuisance!
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Old Jul 12th, 2003, 06:37 AM
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I had drinks at the Hotel Lawrence.It is a lovely very European style true boutique hotel.Very stylish.(We were given a mini tour and did in fact see a few rooms, all with queen beds and sparkling albeit smallish bathrooms)The location of th ehotel is fabulous,within 3 blocks of the West End,in the far western part of downtown Dallas.I would email the hotel and ask if they require a cash deposit in lieu of a credit card upon check in.I recently stayed at the Loews in SouthBeach and a friend checked in without giving a credit card.He had to shell out $300 cash which he knew about.But upon check out he was informed the hotel would mail his cash deposit to him in 2 weeks!!That was a shock,especially from such a well known hotel...but alas, another topic!!I visit Dallas often,don't love it don't hate it.With work, gotta do what yah gotta do! HTH...S
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Old Jul 13th, 2003, 12:35 AM
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FrancescaUK,

I hope you travels in Dallas go smoothly. I travel there a lot, and it is one of those cities that shows its best face in the warmer months of the year, when the prarie grass is all greened up as far as you can see and the wildflowers are in bloom. November is somewhat dreary, but no matter the weather the friendliness and lack of pretentiousness of the people there always make it an enjoyable place to spend time. Check the weather before you go, it can get near freezing in Dallas in November.

If you enjoy shopping and fine dining, Dallas provides ample amounts of both and there is a great live music scene there as well if you are into such.

Hope you have a great time.
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Old Jul 13th, 2003, 09:29 AM
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thanks blenroth!
it wont mastter if the wesather id dreary - living in London Im well used to it!
Im mainly going for a history conference but have heard that Dallas has some great jazz clubs too so look forward to sampling that! Ph and of course a visit to the Southfork Ranch must be done!
Would you say Dallas is a fairly safe city for a woman on her own?
CCant be any worse than London these days Im guessing!
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Old Jul 13th, 2003, 09:34 AM
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thanks beachboi!
its always good to hear a good reccomendation on hotels!From the photos on heir website the hotel looks lovely but as I said you sometimes can't tell.
The y were very helpful on the phone and justs aid I need to fill in a n authorisation form as I am paying with someone else's credit card and that will be fine.
I read somewhere that Dallas has a considerable european population? It was something I was unaware of.
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Old Jul 13th, 2003, 05:49 PM
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Don't waste your time on Southfork...
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 07:33 AM
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Just an fyi from someone who recently moved to Dallas....Southfork is about 30 mile outside of downtown....so if you don't have a car or someone who can drive you out there it is virtually impossible to get to....the rail system doesn't go that far out.
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 09:50 AM
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Just a quick observation... November is Dallas is usually pretty nice! I am not sure where Blenroth gets "dreary" from.
I am just guessing, but I would say that the average temp is somewhere around 60.
For someone coming from the UK, November in Dallas should be wonderful!
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Old Jul 14th, 2003, 10:13 AM
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Lissa is very correct that Southfork is a long way out of town, and it is impossible to get there without a car. Personally, I will say that I have found the tours of Southfork to be overpriced, especially since only the exterior of the house was used for filming. It is free to have your photo taken by the front gate...

You are going to need a credit card to give the guarantee at the hotel. Since you have 4 months until your trip, I would advise going ahead and getting one.
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Old Jul 15th, 2003, 11:45 AM
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Dallas in November can be nice. Weather here is unpredictable...November can be warm, cool, rainy etc...So as far as what type of clothing...bring layers. One day it might be sunny and warm the next day a front might come through and it could be cooler.
I am not familiar with the hotel that you have chosen.
As far as credit cards are concerned you will need one to rent a car if you decide to rent one. Dallas has a public transportion system of buses and light rail. It is run by DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) and here is their website...www.dart.org
Tipping is between 15%-20%..with 20% being if the server was exceptionally good. Tip on the pretax amount.
When you go shopping the price you see on things does not include sales tax 8.25%..tax is added at the check out register.
I called my bank Bank of America..a very large bank here...also nationwide..the acceptance of travelers cheques will vary from location to location. I was told the maximum they will cash is $300.00. Make sure the denominations are in US dollars not British Pounds.
Southfork....it is in Parker,Texas. You could take the DART train to the Plano Texas stop and then see if any cabs are up there that would take you to Southfork..Apparantly Southfork is 6 miles away from the Plano DART stop.
I agree with the others to skip Southfork. It is a waste of money.
If you have any other questions please feel free to email me at [email protected]
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