O’Hare Shuttle: Van Galder Bus Company (Coach USA) offers 17 daily shuttles between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and the Rockford Region’s major hotels. www.vangalderbus.com
Car Rental: Generally, car rental rates in Rockford are lower than in Chicago. Take the O’Hare shuttle to pick up and return your car in Rockford.
- Avis: Chicago Rockford International Airport: - www.avis.com
- Enterprise: five area locations - www.enterprise.com
- Hertz: Holiday Inn & Chicago Rockford International Airport -www.hertz.com
- National: Chicago Rockford International Airport -www.nationalcar.com
Tips & Gratuities: American tipping customs are very different from those in other countries, and are very subjective. Many entry-level hospitality employees receive less than minimum wage and rely upon tips. Here are some guidelines.
- Restaurant waiters/waitresses: 15% for good service, 20% for outstanding service.
- Hotel porters: $2 per bag.
- Hotel maids: $2 per night, at the end of your stay.
- Hotel room service: many hotels automatically include a gratuity; if not, 15%.
- Taxi drivers: 15%, or for very short rides, round it up to the next dollar or so.
Credit Cards: The most commonly accepted credit cards in the American Midwest are MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.
Foreign Currency Exchanges:
- Exchange currency at your arrival airport, such as Chicago or Minneapolis/St. Paul.
- Use your bank card, cash card or automated teller card (ATM) to withdraw US dollars from machines throughout America. (You may be charged a fee of US $1.50-$2.50 for each transaction, but your bank will automatically give you the most current exchange rate).
- Use your credit card to pay for rooms, meals and other purchases. (Your credit card company will automatically give you the most current exchange rate.)
- As a last resort, exchange currency from Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom at the main Chase Bank, 401 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61104. (Phone 815.987.2424)
- Outside major airports, American places with “Currency Exchange” signs seldom exchange international currency. (They cash checks, issue money orders, collect utility bills, etc.)
International Phone Cards: May be purchased at most discount stores (such as Target, K-Mart, Wal-Mart) and many convenience stores (gasoline stations).