Top Tips for a Safe Florida Vacation
Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the planet, and it’s easy to see why. The aptly-nicknamed Sunshine State has some of the best weather in America, with warm and welcoming temperatures, nonstop sunshine and wonderfully long summers, too.
Florida also has some of the best attractions in the nation, famed as the home of Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts, coupled with other leading family-friendly sites in the Orlando area like Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
Then, there are Florida’s many beautiful beaches, some of which are ranked among the finest in the whole of North America, plus the country’s incredible wildlife, delicious Southern dining establishments and wide range of charming cities and towns.
Overall, there’s a lot to see and do in Florida, and it’s no surprise that people flock to the Sunshine State from all over the globe, but if you’re planning your own Florida vacation, it’s important to stay safe.
Keep Track of Your Possessions
Since Florida draws in so many tourists from all over the globe, it’s, unfortunately, a prime place for thieves and pickpockets to operate. Criminals often target tourists in Florida, as the big attractions like theme parks and malls are often highly crowded.
Try to do all you can to keep track of your possessions and avoid falling victim to these thieves, right from the moment you first arrive at the airport. When visiting places like theme parks, try to travel light, only packing the essentials if you can and potentially investing in a secure cross-body or belt-bag you can rely on for important items like passports and cash.
Walk With Care
When it comes to getting around in Florida, you’ll probably spend a lot of time in the car, driving from place to place and checking out as many different attractions as you can, but you’ll also spend a lot of time on foot, and it’s important to note that Florida actually has one of the highest rates of pedestrian-caused accidents in the whole of America.
Be sure to keep this statistic in mind and take proper action to keep yourself safe as you walk around. Only cross at crosswalks and crossing areas, make sure to be extra careful when walking at night, always keep an eye out for distracted drivers or those who don’t seem to be fully in control of their vehicles, etc.
The average trip to Florida can be quite expensive, and families may work hard and save up a lot of money in order to live out this magical dream for themselves. It can be disastrous, therefore, if something goes wrong along the way that interferes with the experience, like lost luggage, a canceled flight or a sudden and unexpected issue back home.
For these reasons, many travelers to Florida choose to take out travel insurance before they go. This can help to cover you in case of all kinds of unexpected issues like illnesses, delays, cancellations and so on. Even if none of these problems arise, having insurance will give you some much-needed peace of mind to help you truly enjoy your trip.
Do Your Research
Some people make the mistake of thinking that the whole of Florida is as family-friendly as Walt Disney World, but the truth is that the Sunshine State, just like any other state, has some less welcoming areas and neighborhoods, too. There are certain cities and areas where crime rates are high, for example.
Make sure to do the necessary research before you go, using online resources to figure out which areas are safe and popular to visit and which areas are best avoided. There are plenty of sites out there that can help you find all the information you need to plan the perfect trip, and it’s wise to stick to the main tourist-friendly areas like Kissimmee and the Keys, especially on your first trip.
Sunscreen Is Key
They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Florida has immensely sunny weather all year long, and even when it’s cold and snowy in certain parts of the U.S., the sun is often still shining brightly down in Florida. You need to be prepared for this, making sure to pack or purchase plenty of sunscreen for the full duration of your trip and use it daily.
Be liberal with your use of sunscreen, applying it all over your arms, legs, face and any other exposed areas, paying special attention to those often-overlooked spots like the nose and ears. It’s also wise to bring some strong sunglasses and other accessories like hats to avoid sun-related issues like sunstroke or sunburn too.
Have an Emergency Plan in Place
It doesn’t really matter what time of year you choose to visit Florida, you need to prepare yourself for big crowds. There are always a lot of people at the theme parks and on the beaches, and when you try to navigate those big crowds of people with your own family, it can be easy for someone to accidentally get lost, especially if you have small children.
This is why it really pays off to prepare a special “emergency plan” as a family at the start of each day, instructing the kids on what to do and where to go if they happen to get lost. At the beach too, it’s wise to make sure kids know to stay in sight of their parents at all times to prevent any unwanted scary situations.
A trip to Florida can be a magical experience and one you’ll remember fondly for years to come, as long as you plan properly and stay safe throughout the vacation.