We're from New York and definitely were not used to the heat and humidity in Florida. We found that we needed to keep a six-pack of bottled water in the car and to remember to drink at least a cupful every hour or so to make up for the liquids we were sweating. Otherwise we would get terrific headaches and feel sort of under-the-weather.
Our friends who also used to live in New York and now are permanent Floridians have adapted nicely to the climate change and had no problems with dehydration.
So if you aren't used to long periods of hot hot hot, you might want to carry some water with you too.Related to:
- Road Trip
If you hike in Florida, watch out for snakes. Most of them are not poisonous , but a lot are.
Certain Water Moccasines for example....
Coral snakes are also poisonous , but they are easy to spot, very colorful red, yellow and black ( in that order)
Plus of course rattle snakes
The beaches of Florida are safe, as there are plenty of lifeguards at the more touristy places, sharks usually only come into shore at night, and attacks happen very rarely. However, this is what I learned about shark bites when I was there:
When the sun is just setting in the evening, it's a very bad idea to go swimming at the beach- then OR after it's already dark. Sharks (and not just small ones, but your regular Jaws white shark) come closer into the beach to feed at this time. (I'm not sure why they come at this time.) You'll see the sailors returning with their boats as the sun sets, and most of the swimmers packing up and leaving. This is for their own safety, as the skarks are more prone to attack as it starts to get darker. They could still happen during the day, but it's just extra dangerous to swim at night. My brother's foot got nipped by a tiny shark as he was wading in knee-level water at Daytona Beach. He wasn't seriously hurt - just a few small bite marks, but the mistake was that he was in the water at night, which is the riskiest time.
Hotels. Fake pizza deliveries
If you stay at any hotel in Florida, you may notice flyers or advertisements on pizzarias laying in front of your door. These flyers are fake and if you order a pizza over the phone, theyll charge you for a lot of moneys. A descent pizzaria would never give you their flyer on the floor, but place it somewhere else for example on the tv. So even though they may look real to you, dont believe it!
Disney World and other amusement parks
Amusment park tips: try to take as little as possible with you, and if you have valuables (ex: cell phones or expensive cameras) make sure they are well connected to your body and are not loose. It is very easy to lose these things without knowing it on most rides. Feel welcome to wear your lightest clothing, or swimsuits with shorts (you may get wet on many rides) b/c it will get very hot..again, pile on plenty of sunscreen. Drink lots of water. Otherwise, have fun and bring plenty of money, souvenirs, food inside the parks and such can get expensive. If you need help with anything while you're at a park, feel comfortable asking any park employee or even a local...they're usually glad to help. Seek a cool restaurant or some shade every once in a while to give yourself a break from the sun. It can tire you out quickly. EAT! Nothing is worse than spending all day in the sun and not having anything on your stomach...you don't want heatstroke. Heed posted advice about some rides, they may not be safe for people with heart or back problems, or other medical problems. Some rides will flat-out not allow pregnant women at all. (I know this from experience: I worked at Universal Studios on a ride that didn't allow this, and unfortunately had to ruin the experience for a few expectant mothers b/c the ride could be dangerous for her and her unborn child.) Better to be safe than sorry!
Anyway, I hope these hints helped. Florida is a great place to vacation, and you should take advantage of all the fun stuff we have here to do! Enjoy your stay! If you have any questions or need advice about visiting, please feel free to email me at the email address below.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
Gators and 'Canes (not the football teams!)
* Alligators: yes they can be a hazard, but more in some parts of Florida than others. Otherwise, don't worry about them...they're not EVERYWHERE. If you see any, avoid them and admire them from a safe distance. Don't invade their habitat just so you can get a great picture. Buy a postcard, or take a pic from afar to take home.
* Hurricanes: I would like to comment on one traveller's tip b/c it was not all that accurate. She (or he) stated that there are "safer" places to avoid these ( one coast is "safer" than the other). This is NOT true, anyone with common weather sense knows (and we floridians know best!) that hurricanes are very unpredictable and will go where they choose. No place is safe from them! Anytime you visit during hurricane season (all summer pretty much) keep up with local weather reports and news, and if something is expected, follow and obey ALL instruction (for YOUR safety) given to you. Do not ignore anything. Do not try to stand in front of windows so that you can "watch" one happen...this is also dangerous, as high winds could shatter the glass. We floridians are used to them, and know how to prepare. I enjoy watching a hurricane happen from the sliding glass door in my apartment ,though it is reinforced with tape and we stay well away from it. Florida has very unpredictable weather, hurricane or not. Be safe while you're here!Related to:
- Family Travel
- National/State Park
More general beach advice
Seagulls: do not feed them, ever. Feeding even one a piece of food results in him telling all his friends, and soon you've got alot of hungry mouths around begging for food. Fun to watch, just watch your picnic baskets, coolers, or any food you may have with you. They can get nosy and somewhat pesky. Otherwise. they really aren't bothersome..if you see one getting too close for comfort, just shout and shoo it away. Don't bring packs of soft drinks and leave the pastic rings that hold them together laying around...throw them in a nearby trash can/waste basket. Birds and other marine life can get caught in them and injured, or choke on them if they try to eat them.
* BEER and other alcohol is NOT permitted on the beaches..if you do this and get caught (there ARE officers around) it will result in a very big fine. I have seen this happen.
* Leave your thong bikinis and such revealing suits at home...nowadays most beaches also do not permit this anymore (men OR women). Otherwise, have fun picking out a really cool swimsuit that catches the eye in bright colors or patterns...there is a wide variety of them to buy in Florida, and you never see the same one twice! :)Related to:
Other Beach Info
Stingrays are not a problem when at the beach...do as other tippers say and do the "shuffle": shuffle your feet on the sandy bottom while in the water to scare them away. Having lived here all my life, I have never once been stung or anything of the sort, no matter what ocean I was swimmming in. Sharks are also not much of a worry...again, I have swam in many beaches here and never encounted one, or seen anyone else encounter one either. Jewelry is not a good idea in the water as it may come off and be lost (alot of personal items can be carried away by the waves, never to be seen again), but as for attracting sharks, I'm not so sure about that. I spent my honeymoon on the beach and wore my wedding ring (with 13 diamonds in it, very sparkly) and didn't attract any unwanted company. At most beaches there are barriers or floating lines out to a certain distance to prevent swimmers from going too far. Please obey these when you seem them, and do not fight with a lifeguard who is warning you or asking you to come back if you've wandered out too far...they are doing your job and trying to save lives! This is why they are there. Don't let warnings about sharks or other things cause you to avoid the beaches and the water. It's perfectly safe!Related to:
I noticed alot of tippers on this subject, but only mentioned being careful about sun exposure on the beach. Being a Florida local, there are some things I didnt see mentioned by travellers in their tips to others. For all of you tourists, no matter where you're from:
*BE CAREFUL ABOUT SUN EXPOSURE! Florida sun can be very harsh to people who aren't used to it. Buy/bring ALOT of sunblock, one that is very high in SPF and apply it frequently. It is extremely easy to get burned (and quite painfully, I might add). As others mentioned, both sand and water reflect the sun, and can seriously roast you, leaving you looking like a close relative of the lobster (I've been there, it is not fun, let me tell you). The worst part is, you may not even know it until the end of your day, when hours later you're skin turns the color of fire and starts to hurt. A cousin of mine from PA visited my parents and I one summer (my parents have a pool) and we warned her (she was also unfortunatley very pale skinned and a redhead) NOT to stay in the sun ALL DAY LONG. Needless to say, she didnt listen, and spent a considerable amount of time in the local ER with sun poisoning. Her lips were literally broken out in painful blisters and her face was swollen. Sunblock is not only needed on the beach, but also in places like Disney World and other theme parks, where you spend all day walking around in the sun. I have gone to Disney, only to see alot of tourists that were very red by the fall of evening. Wear sunblock anywhere you go, if you're gonna be outside! Tousists from other states and countries are not used to the hot sun as we are, and should have maximum protection from it at all times. Heed my advice and save yourself from a nasty sunburn, and possibly a ruined vacation spent indoors b/c of pain and overexposure to the sun. Drink lots of water to avoid getting heatstroke or dehydrated.Related to:
- Theme Park Trips
- Family Travel
Don't eat on the beach
Where ever people gather in numbers seagulls can become a problem. We saw these fearsome seagulls swoop & take food from inches near people's mouths. The gulls are very aggresive so don't leave leftovers lying around bag & bin or take them home with youl
Prefer my sandwiches sandless anywayRelated to:
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
SLAP ON THAT SUNSCREEN
BUY YOUR SUNSCREEN IN LOCATION DON'T TRUST YOUR LOCAL BRAND TO PROTECT YOU IT IS PROBABLY MEANT FOR YOUR HOME LOCATION
SUB TROPICAL CLIMATE IS VERY HOT & HUMID.
DON'T DO WHAT I DID AT ST.PETE'S - TOOK A LONG WALK & ENDED UP WITH A HUGE BLISTER ON MY LIP - YUK - MAYBE THE TOWEL TRICK WAS A GOOD IDEARelated to:
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
Spring Break is crazy here!
We made the mistake of choosing a romantic get-a-way to one of the top spots for Spring Break and college age rowdies. We stayed in a highrise right on the beach. Fortunately, the management put most of the younger crowd on the lower levels, and the non-partying vacationers on the higher floors. Be aware that during Spring Break, law enforcement is overwhelmed with people and traffic. So, one may encounter loud drunks,and some nudity in the form of mooning and flashing.
Other than the well know Spring Break behavior, we all had a wonderful time in DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA !Related to:
- School Holidays
- Luxury Travel
Rain and storm are not unusual to me but the hurricane I experienced in Miami was not very nice. I think, the hurricane itself was far away, but we could not go outside for while as the storm was too strong. This photo is taken from my hotel window.
Anyway, I think now, that compared with hurrocanes like Katrina and others in this years season, my "hurricane" was just a minor storm.Related to:
Closing times for Animal Kingdom and MGM were 6pm and to be honest that was late enough as long as you get there early enough. Animal Kingdom rides were closing by 5pm. The autograph hunters were disappointed when the characters disappeared at around 4:40pm for the day too.Related to:
- Theme Park Trips
Florida Weather is potentially...
Florida Weather is potentially dangerous. If you are not used to the heat a heatstroke could make you very sick. Protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunscreen and lots of water.
Also the torrential rains and thunderstorms can pose a risk. If you notice a storm coming closer, go inside, turn off electrical appliances and stay of the phone while it lasts. Every year people in Florida get hit by lightening, at the beach, golfcourts or just on the streets. They usually don't die, but Man! It must hurt!
You can even get hit by lightning if you only see it far far away. Be careful, do as the Floridians do. Also the rains in the summer can cause flooding. For more on lightning go to 'http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wfront.htm', that's also where I found this great picture.
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