If you’re visiting Florida for the first time and are looking for travel tips ahead of your vacation, you’re in the right place! From practical advice to destination recommendations, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts to help plan your trip to the Sunshine State.
Florida is a popular vacation destination with its warm weather, beautiful beaches, theme parks, and other attractions. Even if you’ve visited before, here are some essential tips to keep your trip enjoyable and stress-free.
As tour providers who have introduced tourists to the best destinations in Florida for over 40 years, Real Florida Adventures is well-placed to help you get the most out of your vacation. We also have plenty of blogs on travel advice and things to do for every traveler beyond this one, too.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our tours in and around Orlando, our website has plenty of destinations for you to enjoy. Just get in touch with any questions about our tours or combining trips on a private excursion.
Do: Stay Hydrated On Your Florida Vacation
Florida’s warm weather can be deceiving, and it’s easy to become dehydrated without even realizing it — especially if you’re spending the day at the beach. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re spending time outdoors.
Carry a reusable water bottle with you, and refill it as needed at drinking fountains or water stations. You can also buy bottled water at convenience stores and other retailers. But carrying your own bottle means you’re always prepared!
Don’t: Feed Wildlife in Florida
Florida is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, birds, and turtles. Whether you’re at the beach or exploring the Florida Everglades. While it may be tempting to feed these animals, it’s important not to do so.
Feeding wildlife can disrupt their natural feeding patterns, and can even cause them to become aggressive toward humans. It’s also illegal to feed certain wildlife, such as alligators and manatees to ensure their safety.
Do: Wear Sunscreen When in Florida
The sun in Florida can be intense, and it’s important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. — especially if you’re from somewhere in Britain and Ireland as you might not have experienced real sunshine before…
This one may sound obvious, but wear sunscreen! We recommend an SPF of at least 30 and regularly apply it liberally to all exposed skin.
Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you’re sweating or swimming. You should also wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes.
Don’t: Swim in Unsafe Areas While on Your Florida Vacation
Florida’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, but it’s important to be aware of the dangers associated with swimming in the ocean. Always swim in designated swimming areas, and obey any warnings or flags posted by lifeguards.
If you’re unsure about the safety of a particular area, ask a lifeguard or beach official before entering the water. Additionally, be aware of rip currents, which can be strong and dangerous.
Do: Visit Florida’s Theme Parks Early in the Day
If you’re planning to visit one of Florida’s theme parks, like Walt Disney World or Orlando Studios, it’s best to arrive early in the day. Crowds tend to be lighter in the morning, and lines for popular attractions will be shorter.
You can also take advantage of early-entry programs offered by some parks, which allow you to enter the park before the general public.
If you’re staying at a hotel or resort affiliated with a theme park, you may also have access to special perks, such as early-entry or fast-pass programs.
Don’t: Leave Valuables in Your Car On Your Florida Vacation
Car theft is a common problem in Florida and it’s important not to leave valuables in your car. If you’re renting a car, make sure it has an alarm and anti-theft devices installed. When parking, choose a well-lit area, and don’t leave your valuables visible.
Do: Explore Florida’s Great Outdoors
Florida is home to a variety of beautiful natural areas, including state parks, national parks, and wildlife reserves. Take the time to explore some of these areas, and appreciate the state’s natural beauty.
You can go hiking, kayaking, or wildlife viewing, or simply enjoy a picnic in a scenic location. Just be sure to follow any rules and regulations posted by park officials.
Don’t: Litter On Your Florida Vacation
Florida’s natural areas are a treasure, and it’s important to keep them clean and litter-free. Always dispose of your trash properly, either in designated trash cans or by taking it with you when you leave.
Additionally, be mindful of your impact on the environment when you’re exploring natural areas. Stay on designated trails, and don’t disturb wildlife or vegetation.
Do: Try Local Floridian Cuisine on Your Vacation
Florida has a rich culinary scene, with plenty of delicious and unique dishes to try. Whether you’re looking for fresh seafood, Cuban sandwiches, or key lime pie, there’s something for everyone. Look for local restaurants and food trucks, and don’t be afraid to try something new.
Don’t: Drive Carelessly On Your Florida Vacation
Florida’s roads can be busy and congested, especially during peak travel times. It’s important to drive carefully and to obey traffic laws, including speed limits and traffic signals.
Avoid distractions while driving, such as texting or using your phone, and always wear your seatbelt. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, use a GPS or map to help navigate.
Do: Respect Local Floridian Culture
Florida is a diverse state, with a variety of cultures and traditions. When visiting, it’s important to respect the local culture and customs. This includes things like dress codes, religious practices, and social etiquette if you’re visiting religious buildings or restaurants.
There is a lot more to say about Florida’s culture — so much so that it probably deserves its own blog topic… For most guests, it’s easy to respect the local culture, and we’re sure you will!
Don’t: Overdo it on Alcohol On Your Florida Vacation
Florida is known for its nightlife, and there are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. However, it’s important to drink responsibly and avoid overdoing it on alcohol! Just remember that a hangover can feel worse in Florida’s warm, humid environment!
If you’re planning to drink, make sure you have a designated driver or use a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft. Don’t drink and drive, as this is not only dangerous but also illegal.
In conclusion, Florida is a wonderful vacation destination, but it’s important to be mindful of these dos and don’ts to make your trip enjoyable and safe. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and follow these straightforward tips to enjoy your day trips in and around Orlando.
With a little preparation and common sense, you can have a fantastic time exploring all that Florida has to offer. Just get in touch if you want any advice for planning or other travel tips ahead of your Sunshine State vacation!